(The Wall Street Journal) Tough economic times are lately of consequence in the nonprofit world. The Giving USA Foundation, an organization that has monitored philanthropy since 1956, noted that charitable giving is in its sharpest decline for the second year in a row, taking an overall plunge of 3.6%. Religious organizations, education, arts, culture, and humanities–which usually enjoy strong philanthropic support–experienced significant neglect this year whereas human services and health increased by 2.3% and 3.8%, respectively. Fortunately, an eventual increase in giving, akin to the increase after the Great Depression, is expected.
(The Florida Times-Union) Nonprofits in the state of Florida could be strongly affected by a recent case being heard in the Georgia Supreme Court. The Nuci Phillips Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits people suffering from mental disorders, is fighting the Athens-Clarke County Tax Assessors, who denied tax-exemption to the nonprofit because of money-raising tactics. The Nuci Phillips Memorial Foundation owns a structure called “Nuci’s Space” especially designed for musicians and people with mental illness. Because Nuci’s Space rents rooms to bands and serves as a venue for private weddings and birthdays in order to raise funds, the Athens-Clarke County Tax Assessors decided against tax-exemption for the charity. A Clarke County court ruled in favor of the nonprofit, but the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the ruling, citing that the space is not ‘purely public’ as described by the law. Justices will continue to debate over this decision in the coming months.