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WASHINGTON, DC-The Human Rights Campaign has started a five-year fundraising drive so it can build or buy its own headquarters.

The homosexual activist group becomes the latest nonprofit seeking to fund its own real estate in order to guard itself against rising rents. The group estimates it can save $15 million over 15 years this way.

The average rental rate now stands at $42/sf, up 7 percent in the first half of 2000, according to Delta Associates, a real estate research firm.

Charitable donations are up in the buoyant economy, encouraging nonprofits such as Chesapeake Bay Foundation and American Association of Medical Colleges to take this step.

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