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Buffett giving most of fortune to Gates foundation

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Here are the week’s top nonprofit news stories reported elsewhere:

* Investor Warren Buffett will give most of his $44 billion fortune to charity, including $31 billion to the nearly $30 billion-asset Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than doubling the assets of what already is by far the world’s biggest philanthropic organization, The New York Times reported June 26. Ten days earlier, Gates announced he would scale back his role as chief software architect at Microsoft over the next two years, eventually devoting his time entirely to his foundation, The New York Times reported June 16.

* The House voted June 22 to end the estate tax on inherited wealth for all but a few of the wealthiest U.S. families, with the Senate set to vote and Republicans conceding they do not have enough votes to fully repeal the estate tax, The New York Times reported June 23.

* Nonprofits in China receiving foreign funds increasingly are being scrutinized by the Chinese government, which suspects the organizations of trying to organize peaceful revolutions similar to the Orange revolution in Ukraine and the Rose revolution in Georgia, The Boston Globe reported June 15.

* The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to reduce funding over the next two years to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by 17.4 percent, eliminating spending for Ready to Learn grants and denying the funds necessary for the service to convert to digital TV, Reuters reported June 14.

* Israel and Palestine both have been admitted to the Red Cross after the two-day International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the BBC reported June 22. Israel had to overcome objections over the adoption of its own symbol, and a rule requiring relief societies to come from sovereign states had to be amended for Palestine to be admitted, the article said.

* Teach For America, the organization that places recent college graduates in needy school districts, is growing in popularity, with the organization seeking to expand its coverage areas and become the biggest employer of new graduates in the U.S., the Associated Press reported June 17.

* The New York State attorney general’s office informally warned the American Civil Liberties Union that any action it takes to limit board members’ speech about internal practices and voting may be of legal concern to the attorney general’s office, The New York Times reported June 19.

* The authors of a study in the journal Health Affairs reported finding that nonprofit hospitals trump for-profit hospitals, with lower mortality rates and better fiscal accountability, Reuters reported June 20. However, the IRS is increasing its scrutiny of nonprofit hospitals amid worries they are skirting out-of-date standards or abusing their tax-exempt status, The New York Times reported June 19.

* Harvard University is awaiting delivery of a $115 million donation pledged a year ago by Oracle software chairman Larry Ellison, The Financial Times in London reported June 21. The delay in payment has caused the university to place on hold its plans for a global health institute that was to be funded by the donation.

* Nieces and nephews of Ruth Lilly, the only surviving great-grandchild of drug magnate Eli Lilly, are petitioning an Indianapolis court for guardianship of the aging heiress, citing her “inability or unwillingness” to select recipients of charitable gift designations due to her deteriorating health, the Indianapolis Star reported June 20.

­­– Compiled by Leslie Williams.

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