Nonprofitxpress roundup – Bush aide sorry

Compiled by Donnie Stanley

Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*John J. DiIulio, former director for the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the White House, apologized for comments he made in the January issue of Esquire that politics drives domestic policy in the Bush Administration, The New York Times reported Dec. 2.

*If it opts to declare bankruptcy to stem costs from lawsuits filed against its priests for alleged sexual abuse, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston could be forced to disclose its tightly-held financial records and let a federal judge decide whether to sell church property to pay settlements with plaintiffs, The New York Times reported Dec. 2.

*Mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac will make a $225 million cash contribution to its philanthropic programs, including $205 million for the Freddie Mac Foundation that helps support nonprofits that assist child-abuse victims, with the remainder to other undetermined charities, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 9.  The money is expected to cover the foundation’s administrative costs for six to eight years and will eliminate the company’s need to make additional annual contributions.

*The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation is giving $100 million to The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to be used for an education center that will be part of a new eight-acre complex to be built over the next 10 years, The New York Times reported Dec. 7.  In May 2001, citing a dispute with the Smithsonian Institution over the role she would play in a new exhibit she had planned to fund, Catherine Reynolds withdrew most of her $38 million gift to the museum.

*A criminal probe of accounting practices at Computer Associates has raised questions about a $40 million donation to the State University of New York at Stony Brook by Charles B. Wang, the firm’s former chairman and CEO, The New York Times reported Dec. 3. Specialists in corporate pay and governance say the gift may not have been disclosed to investors and posed a conflict for Shirley Strum Kennedy, the school’s president, who served on the firm’s board at the time, the Times said.

*Cleveland philanthropist Peter B. Lewis, who recently surprised nonprofit groups in Cleveland by announcing a boycott of charitable organizations, gave a $12 million gift to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and an ultimatum to the museum director, Thomas Krens, to reduce budget expenses, or start looking for another job, The New York Times reported Dec. 2.

*The weakening economy could cause Minnesota foundations to give less to nonprofits in 2003, according to a survey by the Minnesota Council on Foundations. Eighty-nine percent of Minnesota foundations reported lower assets in 2002, a council study in November 2002 said.

*Faced with a slumping economy and record job losses, recent MBA graduates are exploring careers with nonprofits such as Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, founded by Michael Porter, a Harvard Business professor, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 1.

*Fearing that does not represent all ethnic groups, the Peace Corps is doubling its efforts to reach more minority groups and encouraging them to volunteer after graduation, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 3.

*To make their dollars go further when donating to charities, potential donors might want to sell stock that is no longer appreciating in value and give the money to charity, thereby increasing the deduction for both a capital loss and a charitable deduction, a BusinessWeek columnist says in the magazine’s Dec. 2 edition. Donors also can opt to support charities that may qualify for a match from employers, philanthropists or government agencies that offer challenge grants, BusinessWeek says.

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