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Nonprofitxpress roundup – Packard slashes grants, staff

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Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*Faced with a plunge in the value of its endowment to $3.8 billion from more than $13 billion in 1999, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, Calif., is cutting its staff to between 80 and 110 from 160, and reducing its 2002 grants to $200 million from $250 million in 2002 and from as high as $616 million in 2000, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 23. The reductions might have been greater had the foundation not dipped into its endowment to cushion the cuts, the Journal said.

*Community foundations, which in the 1990s were the recipients of appreciated stock from wealthy individuals wanting to avoid capital-gains taxes, now are getting gifts of real estate as the downturn in the stock market has slowed appreciated stock to a trickle, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 18. The Council on Foundations reported that the value of community foundation portfolios, on average, fell 3.9 percent last year, the worst annual return since 1994, the Journal said.

*Corporate scandals have prompted by soul-searching by universities, museums, charities and politicians about whether contributions they have received are ill-gotten gains, The Washington Post reported Sept. 15.

*On the eve of accepting a $12.5 billion offer from the William Wrigley Jr. Co. for Hershey Foods Corp., the charitable trust that controls Hershey has abandoned its auction of the company, The New York Times reported Sept. 18.

*Faced with slumping capital markets, the $10 billion endowment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is assessing its investment policy, assets allocation and manager lineup, Institutional Investor reported Sept. 16.

*The Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Md., is giving researchers at 20 universities throughout the U.S. $1 million each over four years to bring to the undergraduate classroom the creativity they have shown in the lab.

*The University of California at Santa Barbara received $51.3 million in philanthropic gifts and pledges in 2001-02.

*The Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis has given the Candler School of Theology at Emory University $10 million to create a doctoral program in practical theology and religious practices.

*The board of the Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which owns the “Blue Cross” and “Blue Shield” names and trademarks, has approved separate plans by Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New York and by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to become for-profit businesses.

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