Nonprofit news roundup – Week of 04.30.07

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

* Philanthropists Eli Broad and Bill Gates, who collectively have invested over $2 billion to improve schools, have teamed up to spent $60 million to make education a focus of the 2008 presidential race, The New York Times reported April 25.

* Public-education reform could get a huge philanthropic boost from the estate of Helen Walton, the widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, who died April 19 and held a stake in the retail giant worth roughly $16.4 billion, USA Today reported April 22. Helen Walton had planned to leave her stock to the Walton Family Foundation, which has been a big supporter of public-school reforms.

* A new study the Center for American Progress has developed a strategy, which the group says would cost the government $90 billion a year, that would halve the number of people living in poverty within 10 years through a big increase in the minimum wage and other measures to boost the income of low-end workers, The New York Times reported April 25.

* “Idol Gives Back,” a two-night broadcast of American Idol, raised over $30 million for charities working to support poor children in the U.S. and Africa, USA Today reported April 26.

* Ford Motor Co. promoted Susan Cischke, vice president of environmental and safety engineering, to the new job of senior vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, a job that will report to CEO Alan Mulally and oversee efforts to create a long-range strategy on sustainability issues, The New York Times reported April 24. Mulally told reporters he believed in global warming and in “the correlation and analysis that it’s mainly because of greenhouse gases.”

* Big Green Innovation, a new business unit at IBM that focuses on environmental issues, has launched an alliance with The Nature Conservancy to provide technology and expertise for the nonprofit’s Great Rivers Partnership, BusinessWeek reported April 27.

* It has been only since he entered the U.S. Senate that Barack Obama, who wants to be the Democratic candidate for president in 2008, has donated a bigger share of his income to charity, the Chicago Tribune reported April 25. In 2006 and 2005, Obama and his wife, a hospital administrator, reported taxable income of $983,626 and $1.65 million, respectively, and claimed deductions for $60,307 and $77,300 in charitable donations, respectively, compared to taxable income of $259,394 and deductions of $1,050 for gifts to charity in 2002, the year before Obama launched his campaign for the Senate, the Tribune reported.

* William Gross, manager of bond firm Pimco, plans to auction off his collection of classic British stamps, estimated to be worth $4 million to $5 million, and donate the entire proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, the humanitarian charity, The New York Times reported April 24.

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