U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits 82.3%, Report Finds: While the U.S. high school graduation rate rose to a record high of 82.3% in 2014, the nation is not on track to reach the goal of achieving a 90% rate by 2020, a study from Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education finds. The annual update from GradNation found that while Iowa has achieved a 90% graduation rate and twenty other states are on track to do so by 2020, for the first time in four years the nation as a whole is not on track to meet the goal.
Disadvantaged Americans Face Significant Barriers to Justice, Study Finds: Less than one legal aid attorney is available for every ten thousand poor people across the country, a report from the National Center for Access to Justice at Cardozo Law School finds. According to the 2016 edition of the Justice Index, fewer than seven thousand civil legal aid attorneys are available for the nearly 110 million Americans eligible for free legal assistance. The study also found that Americans who are not proficient in English have a harder time finding an attorney.
Report Calls for Aid for Male Students of Color: Policy supports such as universal preschool, paid parental leave, and home-based early childhood learning activities can help address the achievement gap for boys and young men of color, a report commissioned by the Urban Institute finds. The study found that young males of color face disparities in access to orderly classrooms — one of the strongest predictors of annual learning gains. Compared with their white peers, students of color have limited access to effective teacher support, components of which includes teachers developing a supportive relationship with their students, stimulating students’ interest, and insisting that they work hard and persist in the face of difficulty, the report said.
Outlook for U.S. Giving Weakens: Against a backdrop of market volatility and economic uncertainty, charitable giving in the U.S. in 2016 is expected to fall short of the increase recorded last year, a report from the Atlas of Giving finds. According to the latest monthly forecast from the Dallas-based forecasting group, charities are likely to see total giving range from a decline of 0.9% on a year-over-year basis to a modest 1.4% increase, well below the 4.6% increase seen in 2015 and the 2.6% increase for 2016 that the group projected in February.
Failure to Fund Overhead Penalizes Nonprofits, Study Finds: Funders’ reluctance to fully fund overhead costs prevents many nonprofits from maximizing their impact, a report from the Bridgespan Group finds. According to the report, Pay-What-It-Takes Philanthropy, the typical 15% cap on reimbursement for nonprofit overhead falls short, in many cases, of the actual indirect costs associated with the delivery of a service or services. It calls for an approach that takes into account the actual costs associated with providing a given type of service.
Women More Likely to Give to Girls’ Causes: Women are more likely than men to give to charity and support girls’ causes, and tend to give more to those causes, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana U. Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds. The report, Giving to Women and Girls: Who Gives, and Why? found that 72.1% of female respondents gave to charity in 2014, compared with 66.9% of male respondents, while men gave more on average. Among respondents who gave, 46.7% of women reported donating to at least one cause that affects women and girls, compared with 37.1% of men.
Giving in Los Angeles Down From Pre-Recession Levels: Charitable giving in Los Angeles County has fallen significantly from pre-recession levels, even as needs among the young, and homeless surged, a study commissioned by the California Community Foundation finds. Based on Internal Revenue Service data and a survey, the report, The Generosity Gap: Donating Less in Post-Recession Los Angeles County, found that giving in the county totaled $6.03 billion in 2013, down from $7.16 billion in 2006. It also found that charitable contributions as a percentage of adjusted gross income fell across all income levels, from an average 2.4% in 2006 to 2% in 2013, and that the median revenue of the county’s nonprofit child welfare and human services organizations has declined significantly since 2000.
Red Cross Spent 25% of Donations Internally, Report Finds: A new report released by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) finds that the American Red Cross spent a quarter of the nearly $500 million it raised after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti on internal expenses, a number far larger than the charity previously had disclosed. The Senate Judiciary and Finance committees found that the charity spent $125 million, or a full 25% of the donations it received for earthquake relief and recovery efforts, on fundraising and management, a contingency fund, and “program costs,” even though the organization repeatedly has stated that nine out of every ten dollars it receives in donations are spent on programs.
Charitable Giving Increased 4.1%: Gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations totaled an estimated $373.25 billion in 2015, setting a record for the second straight year, the latest edition of Giving USA reports. It found that giving increased 4.1% in current dollars in 2015 (4% in inflation-adjusted dollars). The report also revised the inflation-adjusted estimate for 2014 giving to $359.04 billion, up 7.8% (6.1% in inflation-adjusted dollars) from 2013, and found that giving in 2015 rose in all four categories it tracks. The report also found that giving increased across all issue areas in 2015, with giving to education up 8.9% (8.8%), to $57.48 billion; and giving to child welfare/human services up 4.2% (4.1%), to $45.21 billion.
Child Health, Education Indicators Improve Data Book Finds: Although they grew up in the midst of an economic downturn, today’s teenagers are seeing record improvements in many measures of health and education, an annual report from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation finds. According to the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book one out of five children (22%) in the United States lived in poverty in 2014 — the same rate as in 2013 but significantly higher than the 2008 rate of 18%. But, the report found that the rates of children without health insurance coverage improved 40% between 2008 and 2014. The report found that for youth born after 1995, teen birth rates fell 40%, to an all-time low, between 2008 and 2014, while the share of teens abusing drugs and alcohol dropped 38%, and the percentage of high school students not graduating on time fell 28%, with declines in all but three states.