The Boy Scouts of America officially ended a ban on gay leaders on Monday. Chapters sponsored by churches will retain the right to ban gay leadership on an individual basis. The nonprofit cited media coverage of the issue as one reason behind the change in policy. Maintaining the ban would have been "the end of us as a national movement," said BSA President Robert Gates.
In 2011, the Rural Utilities Service announced $3.5 billion in stimulus money to help bring high-speed internet to 7 million rural Americans and 360,000 businesses -- but much of the money has been frittered away without producing significant results, a new investigation shows. Many of the funded projects failed to get underway, or fell by the wayside, leaving millions of people without broadband access. "We are left with a program that spent $3 billion, and we really don’t know what became of it," says Mark Goldstein of the Government Accountability Office.
Sen. Rand Paul's super PAC raised just $3.1 million in the first six months of 2015, leaving him about $100 million behind Jeb Bush. It's still early days, but polling suggests that the Kentucky Republican has some serious catching up to do if he wants to be a serious contender in 2016, writes Harry Enten.
Captain Kirk, the fictional "Star Trek" protagonist, would have voted Republican, Sen. Ted Cruz told the New York Times last week. William Shatner, the Canadian-born actor who played the iconic space explorer, isn't so sure. "I can’t even vote in the U.S. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly," he says.
Philanthropist Tom Golisano has agreed to donate $25 million to the Special Olympics. The money will be used to support health services for people with intellectual disabilities. "Healthcare disparity and the lack of access to healthcare for people with IDs globally is a huge issue, and Tom realized he needed to help them step it up and that's why the donation is so large," said Golisano Foundation Director Ann Costello.
Construction of new condos has slowed dramatically thanks to tougher mortgage rules and increased lending constraints on builders, writes Kris Hudson. Condo construction was responsible for just 5.5% of new multifamily housing in the first quarter of 2015, a dramatic drop from the 24% average, according to the Commerce Department.
Nonprofit agencies are playing an integral role in the fight against childhood cancer as the lion's share of medical industry attention and federal funding go to adult treatments. Solving Kids Cancer and St. Baldrick's Foundation are among the nonprofits working to find a cure and support development of new treatments.
The upcoming sale of StanCorp Financial, the 10th largest corporate giver in the Portland area, won't affect its philanthropic efforts, according to company officials. Last year, the company raised more than $500,000 for the Knight Cancer Challenge. "The Standard has a long history of providing philanthropic and community service to Portland and communities across the U.S. where our employees live and work, and that will not change," said Vice President of External Affairs Justin Delaney.
Before committing to a nonprofit board, potential members should make sure they feel strongly about the mission and that there are clearly defined roles and expectations for the board. They should also review the nonprofit's strategic plan, learn the average gift size and be aware of the biggest challenges faced by the executive director.
Merger talks are heating up between Maine College of Art and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, according to Salt Executive Director Donna Galluzzo. The deal would allow Salt, which is scheduled to close in September, to move forward with its goals and "unique programming," she said. Salt's board attributed the planned closure to declining enrollment, lack of an endowment and issues with fundraising.