Wednesday, October 28, 2009

IRA Charitable Gift Tax Exemption to Expire

According to the North Bay Business Journal, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 is due to expire at the end of the year with little sign that Congress will vote to renew it.  The act allowed individuals over the age of 70 ½ to donate up to $100,000 per year from their IRA without calling the withdraw income, thus avoiding income tax on the donation.

World Food Program to Text Food Vouchers to Poor Refugees

The United Nation’s World Food Program (WFP) is testing a program in Syria that will distribute food vouchers to Iraqi refugees in Syria via text messaging.  One thousand random families will get donated SIM cards so they can receive text message codes, which are redeemable for food items such as rice, flour, lentils, chickpeas, and oil at certain government run shops.  The program, which the WFP says is the first of its kind, is expected to last four months, though the WFP said it may expand the program based its results.

Head of Rockefeller Foundation Among America’s Best Leaders in 2009

The U.S. News and World Report placed Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, in it’s list of America’s Best Leaders 2009.  The article notes how loss of a fourth of the $4 billion endowment did not restrict her ability to tackle global problems. UN News quoted Rodin as frankly stating that “we have a 100-year history, and we’ve seen the Great Depression and x number of recessions.”   Instead, she focused the foundations grants on results, cutting programs that were showing few results and scaling back the number of long term projects in favor of three year commitments.  But this has not stopped her from global efforts, committing a $150 million to a full blown agricultural revolution in partnership with the Gates Foundation.