Big News Roundup

It's been a week of big news for fundraisers. Here's a quick round-up:

HIPAA change on the horizon -- A provision in the stimulus package will mean serious trouble for healthcare fundraisers. It would revise HIPAA's definition of healthcare operations to exclude fundraising. Yikes. This means development staff would no longer have access to the names and addresses of patients who have received care: in other words, their best prospects.

Taxation fixation
-- The 400 highest-earning Americans paid an effective tax rate of 17% in 2006. Add this to the recent string of high-profile tax "troubles," and the focus on tax structure during the election, and we'll likely see some serious tax reforms in the next few years. Get ready, gift planners and CPAs -- prepare for an upswing in tax-motivated (or at least tax-considerate) giving once the recession turns around.

And, of course:

Salary caps -- $500,000 sounds like a lot of money to you and me, but for major donors, it's chump change. This will impact New York and Connecticut a lot more than Oregon. Oregon's chief economist, Tom Potiowsky, points out that our financial services industry (the primary beneficiary of the bailout) is miniscule in comparison to some East Coast markets. So the economic fallout from that particular crash is much smaller here.

But that doesn't mean bad news isn't on the horizon for Oregon. Timber, anyone? More on that later, when I report back on Potiowsky's talk at Portland State on Friday, "The Big Dipper: Another Roller Coaster Ride for the Oregon Economy."