Updated March 30 at 12:29am

Crossroads reports jump in December donations

Many cite dip caused by pension reform support as reason


PROVIDENCE - After taking a dive in October and November, donations at Crossroads Rhode Island bounced back in December, according to President Anne Nolan, although final figures on the amount of donations in late 2011 are still being compiled.

The Providence agency that helps the homeless has been in the news after losing about $100,000 in projected donations following its support of Engage Rhode Island, the business-backed group formed to support pension reform.

But Nolan now says the group thinks other factors such as the Great Recession probably accounted for the dip.

“We never said [support for EngageRI] was the cause,” Nolan told Providence Business News on Thursday.

At least one local union, Local 580 of the Service Employees International Union, acknowledged urging members not to give to charities that support pension reform.

“We will continue to donate to charities, but not to charities focused on anti-labor activities,” said Philip Keefe, president of the 1,000-member local.

Donations to Crossroads in December came in above projections, Nolan said, and “a lot” of donors told the agency they contributed specifically to counter the dip in donations that followed its support for pension reform.

Nolan has withdrawn from EngageRI board of directors -- not because she feared retaliation for its pension-reform support, she said, but because the reform legislation was passed in November and so the issue is settled. For the same reason, she said, she had Crossroads’ name removed from the EngageRI website list of supporters. The agency will not take a stand regarding municipal pension reform.

According to the 2009 IRS 990 form, the most recent year available on the online nonprofit tracker Guidestar, Crossroads in that year had revenue of $7.3 million, including $3.6 million in government grants and $1.75 million in contributions, gifts and other grants. The form does not include a separate line item for donations from individuals.


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