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Nonprofit news roundup – Week of 08.06.07

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Here are the week’s nonprofit stories reported elsewhere:

* The Treasury Department and IRS have issued regulations that will make requirements of 403(b) saving plans more similar to those of 401(k) retirement saving plans, The Wall Street Journal reported July 28 (subscription only).  The changes, available to most nonprofit employees and teachers, eventually will mean lower-cost investment options with higher returns.

* One of the five finalists in an American Express contest to win up to $5 million is a Proctor and Gamble employee whose idea to bring safe drinking water to children in poverty is the same as the P&G program he oversees, raising concerns that the idea could be an advertising effort, The New York Times reported July 28.

* In the past month, Harvard University has lost about $350 million through its investment in Sowood Capital Management, a hedge-fund firm founded by Jeffrey Larson, a former investment manager for the school, The Wall Street Journal reported August 1 (subscription only). The hit highlights the risky nature of alternative investment strategies and stirs controversy about the millions of dollars paid to money manager in compensation.

* After resisting the offer for over a year, a push from his mother encouraged David Letterman to allow his alma mater, Ball State University, to dedicate its new media building in his honor, IndyStar.com reported July 31.  Letterman graduated from Ball State in 1970 with a bachelor’s in telecommunications and has given nearly $20,000 a year to the school since 1985 for scholarships for telecommunications students.

* With 24 of the Association of Museum Director’s 200 members in search of new leaders for big-city museums, the task of filling each post with multi-skilled individuals is proving daunting, The New York Times reported July 29.  However, Philip Nowlen, head of the Getty Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, says the situation is cyclical, and has confidence that leadership programs such as his can help build the pipeline.

* Tiziana Dearing, current executive director of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, has been appointed by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley as the first woman to lead Catholic Charities in Eastern Massachusetts, The Boston Herald reported July 28.  Dearing will assume her new post in mid-September.

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