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Nonprofitxpress roundup – Harvard fights fund

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Compiled by Donnie Stanley

Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*The Harvard endowment, biggest stakeholder in two funds advised by a unit of Franklin Templeton Investments, has urged shareholders to oust Templeton and start to liquidate its Templeton China World and Templeton Dragon funds, The New York Times reported Jan. 5. Templeton says Harvard wants short-term gains at the cost of long-term shareholders — and repeatedly has used similar tactics against similar funds, the Times said.

*Surprising ethics committee leaders, Republicans in the U.S. House okayed changes in their strict ethics rules to let charities make more types of gifts to lawmakers, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Jan. 8.

*Using his philanthropy to forge friendships, Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison helps fund research projects for scientists through the Ellison Medical Foundation, which receives $50 million a year, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 9.

*After 20 years in the wish business, the Grant-A-Wish Foundation has renamed itself the Believe in Tomorrow Foundation and will help children and families cope with stress from medical treatments, The Associated Press reported Jan. 10.

*Designed to help plug schools and libraries into the Internet by offering subsidies to buy services, the federal $2.25 billion E-Rate program may have been abused by fraudulent contractors, says a report from the Center for Public Integrity, The New York Times reported Jan. 10.

*The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation will spend $16 million in grants over the next three years to help groups pushing for stronger measures to help protect the Great Lakes from pollution, The Chicago Business reported Jan. 8.

*After three years and $25 million in investments, Columbia University will shut down Fathom.com, a Web site the school created featuring online courses, The New York Times reported Jan. 7. Starting April 1, Columbia’s online efforts to reach alumni and other off-campus groups will be housed within the school and run through Digital Knowledge Ventures, a nonprofit.

*Viacom Inc. and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation have launched Know HIV/AIDS, a $120 million ad campaign to fight HIV/AIDS through 49 public-service messages targeting the general population and groups hit hardest by the disease.

*After receiving a $120 million gift from Ruth Lilly, the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical heir, Americans for the Arts has hired a consultant to draft an investment strategy, a move that will lead to a search for investment managers, Institutional Investor reported Jan. 2.

*Created in 2001 with funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Meningitis Vaccine Project has launched a Web site to provide information about eliminating epidemic meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. The project is a partnership of the World Health Organization and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health.

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