Harvard treasurer’s firm target of probe

Here are the week’s top nonprofit stories:

* Harvard University’s new volunteer treasurer, who as treasurer chairs the board of the entity that administers the school’s $19.3 billion endowment, also heads a mutual fund firm under investigation by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, The New York Times reportedJuly 15.

* Repeal of the estate tax could reduce charitable bequests 22 percent, says a Congressional Budget Office study analyzing two recent articles that estimated reductions of 12 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

* Customers tend to buy more from companies they see as socially responsible, and to support nonprofits supported by the companies, whose benefits from nonprofit partnerships depend on the partnerships’ benefits to the nonprofits, says a study led by a business professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

* North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill, designed to help charities and universities raise money, that would let investors buy life insurance on people they never met, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported July 11.

* The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a $45 million grant for research into the dual tuberculosis and AIDS epidemic, Reuters reported July 15.

* Crisis, a British charity, has asked the government to track Britain’s “hidden” homeless to begin to address a problem it estimates costs the country 1.4 billion pounds, or nearly $2.6 billion, a year, communitycare.co.uk reported July 13. The charity also estimates Britons living in temporary housing could grow from an estimated 380,000 now to 1 million by 2020.

* A new survey in Britain shows public confidence for charities has surged since the mid-1990s, while government and local authorities are the least supported public institutions, The Guardian reported July 14.

* Laurance Rockefeller, a venture capitalist, philanthropist and conservationist, died July 11 in New York City at age 94, The New York Times reported July 11.

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