Supreme Court Voids Overall Campaign Donor Limits

By Mark Sherman, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court further loosened the reins on political giving Wednesday, ruling that big campaign donors can dole out money to as many candidates and political committees as they want as long as they abide by limits on contributions to each individual campaign. In a 5-4 vote won by conservative justices, the court struck down limits in federal law on the total amount of money a contributor can give to candidates, political …

4 Steps to Smarter Donations

Charities typically receive more than 40 percent of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. Some December donors are motivated by the season’s mantra of giving. Others are eager for an eleventh-hour tax deduction before the year-end deadline. All should take four simple steps to get the most bang from their donation bucks: 1. Do your homework. The major and most useful watchdogs include Charity Navigator, CharityWatch and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. They rate charities on how they …

Be Aware of “Breast Cancer Awareness” Scams

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – time to think pink. But also take a clue from those theme-hued ribbons and other merchandise. Your desire to support the search for a cure for the second-biggest cause of cancer death among women can be the perfect opening for charity scammers. The same thing can happen when natural disasters and other in-the-news events prompt the opening of hearts and wallets. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter There are lots of legitimate …

Report: One-Third of World’s Food Goes to Waste

Finish your peas and carrots and you can join the “clean plate club.” That’s what my parents told my brother and me when we were growing up. They had lived through the depression and wanted to be sure nothing at our table went to waste. A report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) this week reminds me of the painful truth behind our lighthearted family tradition. It sends up an alarm about the astounding 1.3 billion tons …

Were Lance Armstrong’s Lies Justified?

Betrayed. That’s the only way to express the feelings I have as I track Lance Armstrong’s “process of confession.”  In fact, I was so upset I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Oprah interview last night, which, in addition to “coming clean” had to include some justification for why he spent nearly two decades lying, attacking his denouncers and systematically deceiving a community of cycling supporters and fans. (I am one of them.) I am an avid cyclist.  I cycle …

Three Ways to Cut Back on Fundraising Mail

 “Why do I get so much fundraising mail?” If you are in my position as a development professional, you sometimes get that call (or letter) from a donor that starts with, “Why do you send me so many requests for support?”  Obviously, if it’s “so much” it must be “more than I want.”  I usually get right to the point – how often would you like to hear from us?  Would you rather join our sustainer program? (A sustaining donor …