News You Can Use: Week of 10/27

Michigan to offer master’s in fundraising: Philanthropy Journal (10/16)
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor next year will offer a master’s program in fundraising with a concentration in philanthropy, advancement and development. The program, set to begin in fall 2009, will teach leadership skills in government relations, marketing communications, alumni relations and fundraising, as well as institutional, corporate and foundation relations. The 30-credit program is the first in the U.S. to focus on fundraising in the higher-education field, the school says.

Verizon helps domestic-violence victims reach out: Philanthropy Journal (10/22)
Verizon Wireless will  provide more than 22,000 wireless phones and 66 million minutes to domestic-violence agencies this year through its HopeLine Program, so victims of domestic abuse can contact friends, family, shelter support staff and potential employers. Verizon’s HopeLine Program also has awarded more than $5.6 million in cash grants to domestic-violence organizations throughout the U.S. since 2001.

Nonprofits look to new administration for more favorable treatment, report finds: Philanthropy News Digest (10/25)
A new report from the Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Listening Post Project ( identified nonprofits’ top priorities for the new adminstration. Based on 448 responses to a survey of more than 1,000 nonprofit executives, the report, Nonprofit Policy Priorities for the New Administration, found that respondents’ top four priorities with regard to the sector were the restoration and/or growth of funds for their field in the federal budget; the reinstatement and expansion of tax incentives for charitable giving and volunteering, including those embodied in the estate tax; federal grant support for nonprofit training and capacity building; and reforming reimbursements under Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs to ensure they cover the real cost of services.

Other policy measures identified by respondents as somewhat or extremely useful included college loan forgiveness for students who take jobs in nonprofit organizations (85 percent of respondents) and the expansion of AmeriCorps and other national service programs that work with nonprofits (74 percent). Many respondents  also endorsed broader shifts in national policy, including greater attention to issues of poverty (86 percent), universal health insurance (80 percent), and a community service obligation for students receiving college student aid (75 percent).

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