Faith Based/Religion/Churches

Oakland-based Family Radio sees donations soar as 'Judgment Day' approaches
May 20, 2011

Family Radio is the evangelical nonprofit that has plastered billboards and driven vans across the Bay Area and the world proclaiming the end of the world will be Saturday. The Oakland-based nonprofit has raised more than $100 million over the past seven years, according to tax returns. It owns 66 radio stations across the globe and was worth more than $72 million in 2009.

As The End nears, donations have spiked, a board member says, enabling Family Radio to spend millions of dollars on more than 5,000 billboards.

Israeli Philanthropists Launch Nation’s First American-Style Jewish Federation
May 20, 2011

A brand new American import has arrived in Israel, but it isn’t the usual fast-food chain or a television sitcom. Rather, it’s that staple of U.S. Jewish life, the community federation. For the first time, a group of philanthropists in the leafy city of Ramat HaSharon near Tel Aviv have created an Israeli charity — Takdim-The Ramat HaSharon Community Foundation — based almost entirely on the federation model. They are in talks with several American federations that are considering mentoring the organization.

For Some, Helping With Disaster Relief Is Not Just Aid, It’s a Calling
May 11, 2011

With the ability to feed 20,000 people from one mobile kitchen, and a chain of command so tightly run it would make a military officer proud, the Southern Baptist Convention teams are the backbone of disaster relief in the South. Nearly 95,000 Baptists across the country are trained to handle disasters. After the Red Cross and Salvation Army, the Baptist group is the biggest disaster relief organization in the country.

Thousands of church members are doing their part to help the South recover from the recent tornadoes. They raise money, sort clothing donations and hand out water.

Jewish Family Service meets standards of excellence as nonprofit
April 28, 2011

Jewish Family Service of Greater Wilkes-Barre has received certification under the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations Standards for Excellence program.

JFS met 55 standards under eight categories over several years to earn the distinction, and is only the third nonprofit organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania to do so. Standards were adopted by PANO several years ago to enhance the governance of nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth.

Congregations, Hit Hard During the Recession, Begin Recovery
April 22, 2011

Though religious congregations are slowly recovering from the recession, many groups are still feeling the pain, according to a new study. The study by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research combined the results of 26 polls taken to show the effects of the downturn and analyzed data from more than 11,000 congregations.

It found that more than 40 percent of congregations reported that their finances stabilized in 2010. About 10 percent reported increases in revenue last year and 22 percent saw a drop in revenue during the recession but have since recovered.

Credit-card kiosks ease donations at area churches
April 1, 2011

Some churchgoers are swiping their bank cards at machines that look a bit like ATMs.

Places of worship have provided more options for tithing and offerings in the past decade. Some install links on their websites for worshippers to give online. Some provide options for automatic deductions from checking accounts. Now comes a new twist: Machines rolling into churches - called giving kiosk units.

SecureGive has been selling them since 2007, but sales have taken off only in the past year. Now about 325 churches nationwide use them.

Donations to Churches Rebounded Slightly Last Year
March 30, 2011

Giving to churches rebounded slightly in 2010 after two years of steep decline, but churches fear efforts to trim tax breaks for charitable donations could be an obstacle to the post-recession recovery, according to a new study.

Some 43 percent of churches say their donations increased in 2010, according to the survey of 1,500 church leaders. Only 36 percent of the groups reported gains in 2009.

Holocaust charity gives away £35m
March 1, 2011

The Otto Schiff Housing Association, a charity that supports survivors of the Holocaust, is planning to give away all its assets to other charities and then close down because it believes they are better placed to carry out the work.

It has given £17m to the charity World Jewish Relief and £18m to Jewish Care, and will continue to give funds to other charities that support Jewish people until it has no money left.