Here are the week’s nonprofit headlines:
* The newest Blue Cross plan to become a for-profit business has raised $417.5 million in its initial share of stock to the public, the Associated Press reported Nov. 8. WellChoice, parent holding company of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New York, raised sold 16.7 million shares on Nov. 8, or 20.3 percent of common stock, at $25 a share, which surged nearly 10 percent, AP said.
* The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to a request by Illinois and 18 other states to review previous rulings that held charitable solicitation is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment, The New York Times reported Nov. 5. Illinois wants to be able to pursue consumer fraud actions against a telemarketer that pocketed 85 percent of funds it raised for a Vietnam veterans charity.
* U.S. universities lost an average of 3.6 percent on their investments in the year ended June 2001 and likely will suffer losses as larger or larger in 2002, according to a report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, The New York Times reported Nov. 5. The losses snapped a streak of investment gains that began in 1984.
* Princeton University asked a judge to throw out a claim by a family that wants to take back a $550 million endowment and give it to another school, the Associated Press reported Nov. 6. Descendants of the endowment’s creators says the school is mismanaging funds and wants to mix with its own endowment assets of the Robertson Foundation, which provides most of the funding for Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
* A Gallup Poll finds that Roman Catholic parishioners throughout the U.S. fear the church is using their donations for legal fees in sexual-abuse lawsuits or to keep victims quiet, with one in every five Catholics surveyed saying they have stopped contributing to their local diocese because of the scandal, The New York Times reported Nov. 9.
* The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University will launch a new Institute on Faith and Giving to study the links between religion and philanthropy and how spiritual values influence philanthropic action, thanks to a $5 million gift from the family of the late president of the Lilly Endowment who previously served as president of Eli Lilly and Co.