- - Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHARITIES

Nonprofits have lean year, expect more of same

SEATTLE — As the first signs of an economic recovery make the news, many of the nation’s nonprofit organizations are digging in for another three to four years of financial distress, according to researchers who keep an eye on the charitable world.

Some larger nonprofits are seeing donations start to rise again, but most report their income is holding steady at lower, post-recession levels or is still going down, according to a new study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative.

The collaborative found 59 percent of nonprofits report their donation income is flat or lower than in 2010, which was another down year for most charities. Among those that receive some government dollars - long considered a safety net for charitable organizations - more than half are reporting a decline in income for the year.

Forty-one percent of nonprofits have seen their donation income go up in 2011, but most of the nation’s smaller charities with less than $3 million in total spending saw donations drop again this year.

Food pantries and homeless shelters across the country have reported funding crises this year because of an increase in need coupled with a drop in donations.

CONSUMERS

Online yule shopping up 15 percent over 2010

Research firm comScore says U.S. online sales this Christmas shopping season are up 15 percent so far compared with last year.

The Reston-based company says shoppers have spent $30.9 billion online from Nov. 1 through Dec. 16, up from $26.9 billion at the same point last year.

Online sales surpassed $1 billion on four days last week, which comScore expects to be the heaviest week of online shopping this holiday season. Cyber-Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, remains the biggest online shopping day in history, with $1.25 billion in sales.

The company says spending will start to slow as Christmas draws closer.

SEC

Panel files civil charges vs. Fannie, Freddie ex-chiefs

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