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Aid Worker Security Report 2014 — Unsafe Passage: Road attacks and their impact on humanitarian operations

August 22, 2014 Comments off

Aid Worker Security Report 2014 — Unsafe Passage: Road attacks and their impact on humanitarian operations (PDF)
Source: Humanitarian Outcomes

Summary of Key Findings

  • The year 2013 set a new record for violence against civilian aid operations, with 251 separate attacks affecting 460 aid workers.
  • Of the 460 victims, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were seriously wounded, and 134 were kidnapped. Overall this represents a 66 per cent increase in the number of victims from 2012.
  • The spike in attacks in 2013 was driven mainly by escalating conflicts and deterioration of governance in Syria and South Sudan. These two countries along with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan together accounted for three quarters of all attacks.
  • The majority of aid worker victims were staffers of national NGOs and Red Cross/Crescent societies, often working to implement international aid in their own countries.
  • Year after year, more aid workers are attacked while traveling on the road than in any other setting. In 2013, over half of all violent incidents occurred in the context of an ambush or roadside attack.
  • The advances in humanitarian security management have failed to effectively address this most prevalent form of targeting. While some good practice exists in protective and deterrent approaches to road security, more collective thinking and action is required, particularly in developing ‘kinetic acceptance’ strategies for negotiating safe access in transit.
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Money? Time? Blood? What are Americans Giving?

August 18, 2014 Comments off

Money? Time? Blood? What are Americans Giving? (PDF)
Source: Harris Interactive

Charitable donations rose in 2013, the first growth seen since the 2008 recession. But of course, measurements like this typically track monetary giving – just one of the ways Americans, and people the world over, can contribute to causes they believe in. Broadening the scope to all types of giving, a recent Harris Poll finds that nine out of ten Americans (91%) have made some sort of contribution within the past two to three years, with money only the second most common type of giving (66%), after used clothing (73%).

Just over half of U.S. adults gave food (53%) within that timeframe, while four in ten gave time or labor (41%) and nearly two in ten gave blood (18%). Nearly half (45%) gave some other type of used item, 4% made some other sort of medical or genetic donation, and 7% gave something else entirely.

Contracts and Grants between Human Service Nonprofits and Government: Comparative Analysis

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Contracts and Grants between Human Service Nonprofits and Government: Comparative Analysis
Source: Urban Institute

Government’s reliance on human service nonprofits to provide services has been increasing, expanding the ability of nonprofits to achieve their missions and the ability of government to serve its constituents. This brief summarizes results from human service nonprofits in the second national study of government contracts and grants. We compare results of human service organizations in the 2013 national survey of nonprofits to the results of the survey conducted in 2010. We examine how human service organizations have managed since the recession ended and how their relationships with governments have changed.

CRS — Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

On April 3, 2014, the Senate Finance Committee voted to report the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act (S. 2260), which would extend a set of expired tax provisions through the end of 2015. These and other temporary tax provisions that are regularly extended for one or two years are often referred to as “tax extenders.” This report briefly summarizes the temporary charitable tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and are being considered for extension. The report also discusses the economic impact of these charitable tax provisions.

Four charitable tax provisions are discussed in this report: (1) the enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; (2) tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes; (3) basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property; and (4) special rules for contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes. There are other “tax extender” provisions that may affect tax-exempt entities discussed in other CRS products. Specifically, CRS Report R43510, Selected Recently Expired Business Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”) , by Jane G. Gravelle, Donald J. Marples, and Molly F. Sherlock includes a discussion of the modification of tax treatment of certain payments to controlling exempt organizations.1 Extender provisions related to the low-income housing tax credit, which may be relevant for tax-exempt organizations, are discussed in CRS Report R43449, Recently Expired Housing Related Tax Provisions (“Tax Extenders”): In Brief, by Mark P. Keightley.

The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities by Subsector and Revenue Range

June 30, 2014 Comments off

The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities by Subsector and Revenue Range
Source: Urban Institute

Summary

  • This brief extends the analysis of the first brief in the series, “The Impact of the Great Recession on the Number of Charities,” which compared closures among nonprofit organizations over two periods: the “baseline period” of 2004—08, which includes the years immediately before the recession’s full impact, and the “recession period” of 2008—12, which includes the worst of the recession and its immediate after–math.
  • The brief takes a closer look at nonprofit organizations that ceased operations during the baseline and recession periods by revenue range and subsector (arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, international affairs, public and societal benefit, and other).
  • In both time periods and across all subsectors, smaller organizations with revenues between $50,000 and $99,999 were most vulnerable to closure.
  • In all subsectors, organizational closure was more prevalent during the recession period (2008—12) than during the baseline period (2004—08).
  • However, organizations with revenues of $1 million and above were no more likely to cease operations during the recession period than during the baseline period.
  • The largest increase in closure rates occurred among international organizations, while human services experienced the smallest increase.
  • In addition to higher closure rates, the recession is also associated with loss of revenue among smaller nonprofits. Twenty–two percent of all organizations with $50,000 to $99,999 in revenue in 2004 had revenue fall below $50,000 in 2008. That share jumped to 30.1 percent for the 2008—12 period.

HHS OIG — Performance Data for the Senior Medicare Patrol Projects: June 2014 Performance Report

June 26, 2014 Comments off

Performance Data for the Senior Medicare Patrol Projects: June 2014 Performance Report
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

WHY WE DID THIS STUDY
This memorandum report presents performance data for the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) projects, which receive grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to recruit and train retired professionals and other senior citizens to recognize and report instances or patterns of health care fraud. (ACL was established in 2012, bringing together the Administration on Aging (AoA) and two other offices.) In July 2010, AoA requested that OIG continue to collect and report performance data for the projects to support its efforts to evaluate and improve their performance. OIG currently reports this performance data on an annual basis.

HOW WE DID THIS STUDY
We based this review on data reported by the SMP projects. In addition, we requested and reviewed documentation from the projects for expected recoveries of funds for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. We also requested and reviewed documentation for actual savings to beneficiaries and others that were attributable to the projects, as well as for cost avoidance. We did not review documentation for the other performance measures.

WHAT WE FOUND
In 2013, the 54 SMP projects had 5,406 active volunteers, a 5-percent increase from 2012. These volunteers conducted 148,235 one-on-one counseling sessions, a 31-percent increase from 2012. They also conducted 14,924 group education sessions in 2013, compared to 14,748 in 2012.

In 2013, expected Medicare and Medicaid recoveries that were attributable to the projects were 9.1 million, a 50-percent increase from 2012. However, total savings to beneficiaries and others decreased from $133,971 in 2012 to $41,718 in 2013. Finally, cost avoidance on behalf of Medicare, Medicaid, beneficiaries, and others increased by 26 percent, from $113,692 in 2012 to $143,282 in 2013.

We continue to emphasize that it is not always possible to track referrals to Medicare contractors or law enforcement from beneficiaries who have learned to detect fraud, waste, and abuse from the projects. Therefore, the projects may not be receiving full credit for savings attributable to their work. In addition, the projects are unable to track the substantial savings derived from a sentinel effect whereby fraud and errors are reduced by Medicare beneficiaries’ scrutiny of their bills.
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New Research on the Field of Black Male Achievement Highlights Successes and Opportunities

May 30, 2014 Comments off

New Research on the Field of Black Male Achievement Highlights Successes and Opportunities
Source: Foundation Center

The Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations today released a report entitled Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement. It is the latest addition to a growing suite of resources at BMAfunders.org, a web portal that facilitates engagement, collaboration, and strategic decision making among those working to promote positive outcomes for black men and boys in America. Based on interviews with 50 leaders in the social, academic, government, and business sectors, the report maps the landscape of work in this area and offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.

This publication is a timely resource in light of a growing chorus of national initiatives focused on improving the economic, social, and physical well-being of black males. These include President Obama’s announcement in February launching My Brother’s Keeper, a public-private partnership supporting young men of color, and the formation of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, launched last year by 26 foundation leaders.

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