Charity roundup – Tuition rise – Charity plan flaws

Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*Colleges and universities are raising tuition more sharply for the next academic year because of the large decline in endowments and contributions, The New York Times reported Feb. 22.  In a survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, 610 colleges reported a 3.6 percent loss on investments for college endowments for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, the largest drop since 1984.

* A report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life says the White House has failed to work with other policy groups to resolve problems with President Bush’s proposed charity plan, The Associated Press reported Feb. 20.

*Arthur Andersen, Enron’s former accounting firm, is being sued by the Baptist Foundation of Arizona for allegedly approving false documents, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 19.  The foundation, in the largest bankruptcy ever filed by a nonprofit group in the U.S., seeks $300 million in compensatory damages for its 13,000 investors who lost an estimated $590 million. Andersen says the foundation gave it false information and filed suit only because of the firm’s size and solvency.

*The Internal Revenue Service has okayed new charities in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks without doing thorough background checks of their business plans, Knight-Ridder reported Feb.18.

*Many companies have formed their own relief funds to help Sept. 11 victims, The New York Times reported Feb. 19.  The National Association of Home Builders, for example, started the Home Builders Care Victims’ Relief Fund to give money to victims who have not received help from larger charities such as the American Red Cross and United Way.

*John W. Gardner, founder of Common Cause, a lobbying group that works to reform U.S. campaign finance laws, and an instrumental force in the creation of Medicare, the government program that provides medical insurance for older Americans, died in his home on the campus of Stanford University on Feb. 16, The Washington Post reported Feb. 17.

*The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation gave more than $103 million in gifts to Northwestern University, including $75 million, the largest single donation to a Chicago-area university.  The money will support teaching, research and a new endowment at the medical school, which will be named the Feinberg School of Medicine.

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