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Charity roundup – 9/11 gifts in limbo – Harvard fund in red

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In the year-end headlines:

* Americans donated $1.4 billion to 240 charities providing Sept. 11 relief, with 60 percent of adults contributing in just 10 weeks, including nearly half of everyone earning less than $15,000 a year, Newsweek reported Dec. 17. But those charities have handed out only $324 million, or less than one-fourth of the total.

* The American Red Cross named former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell oversee its effort to hand out $350 million left in its fund for Sept. 11 victims, and said it expected to give out nearly half of the $667 million Liberty fund by the end of the year, the Associated Press reported Dec. 27.

* Online auction house eBay has stopped accepting new items for its Sept. 11 charity auction, CNET News.com reported Dec. 27. The auction, which ends within 10 days and won’t yet disclose results, set a goal of raising $100 million in 100 days, but at its halfway point had raised only $5.6 million.

* Harvard Management, which runs the $18 billion endowment at Harvard University, ended its fiscal year in the red, posting a return of minus 2.7 percent for the 12 months ended June 30, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 20.

* A study by the Center on Philanthropy at the University of Southern California and The Foundation Center says California foundations had $68.3 billion in assets in 1999, trailing only foundations in New York, the Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 13.

* Tax relief that Congress approved in January for families of employees affected by the Sept. 11 attacks and other disasters lets companies use their tax-free charitable foundations to give financial assistance to their employees, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 24.

* Trustees of Bard College teamed up to donated $120 million to the school, roughly doubling its $115 million endowment, The New York Times reported Dec. 20.

* Donations to Maryland charities grew 62 percent in the seven months after the November 2000 launch of HelpingMaryland.org by the state’s chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Daily Record in Baltimore reported Dec. 27.

* New York’s attorney general reports that for-profit telemarketers pocketed $129 million, or 68.5 percent, of the $188 million they raised in the state for charities in 2000, DMNews reported Dec. 21.

* Trustees of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York sued Chicago law firm Katten Muchin Zavis in Los Angeles Superior Court, charging that the firm gave some of the Duke’s estate to the Duke Endowment in Charlotte, N.C., a charity that the trustees say she did not want in her will, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 25.

* In the face of a third-quarter decline of 7 percent in donations to Silicon Valley charities, local charity supporters have organized a Venture Van that chauffeurs wealthy donor’s through the region’s poorer neighborhoods, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 27.

* A study by British think-tank Social Market Foundation found that the poor give a bigger share of their income to charity than do the wealthy, regardless of age, class or beliefs, The Guardian reported Dec. 21.

* An alumni donor to the University of Oxford who already has given the school 100,000 pounds, or nearly $145,000, quit as a fundraiser and cancelled a pledge of another 100,000 pounds after the school rejected admission to his son, The Times of London reported Dec. 20

* Germany’s biggest charities have suffered a big drop in charitable contributions this year, Frankfurter Allgemeine reported Dec. 26.

* Conservatives in Scotland say all schools in the country should get charitable status to help them raise money through tax breaks and rate relief, The Scotsman reported Dec. 27.

* Actor Paul Newman is launching a camp in the Lower Galilee region of Israel for terminally ill Arab and Jewish children — – the eighth in his Hole in the Wall Gang Camp network — the israelinsider reported Dec. 26.

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