Nonprofit news roundup – Week of 11.05.07

* Rock star Bono is combining his two anti-poverty groups, the ONE campaign and Debt, AIDS, Trade Africa (DATA), to form a single organization within the U.S. called ONE, under the leadership of David Lane, an executive at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Reuters reported Oct. 29. Outside the U.S., DATA will retain its name and focus, which includes AIDS treatment, debt cancellation and general development issues.

* Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham has given more than $77 million in shares of company stock to his wife for the establishment of a foundation, the Washington Post reported Oct. 31. Company officials say the transfer will have no effect on company governance.

* The Nature Conservancy faces intense public pressure over the fate of a $110 million Adirondacks land purchase that requires the conservation group to continue logging for the next two decades to supply the paper mills of its previous owners, Finch, Pruyn & Company, the New York Times reported Oct. 29. Much of the 161,000 acres, seen as a choice parcel, likely will be sold to the state of Vermont and to private individuals, as the Nature Conservancy says it cannot afford to keep the property.

* Oral Roberts University, an evangelical school in Tulsa, Okla., founded by its revival-tent preacher namesake, is facing crippling debt of more than $52 million, the Associated Press reported Oct. 24. Its current president, Roberts’ son Richard, faces a lawsuit alleging he channeled university funds into personal pleasures.

* Texas Children’s Hospital has received a record donation of $50 million from Houston’s wealthiest couple, Jan and Dan Duncan, to launch a pediatric neurological institute, the Houston Chronicle reported Oct. 23. The founder and chairman of energy-services provider Enterprise Products and his wife already have made several large donations to medical institutions from their personal fortune, estimated by Forbes at $8.2 billion.

* Indiana University has revealed the mystery donor of a $70 million gift made two years ago as Gene Cox, former owner of Aero Blind & Drapery, the Associated Press reported Oct. 30. The university has billed the gift as its largest donation ever.

* The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls Johannesburg, South Africa, will host a U.S. team sent by the talk show host to investigate alleged abuse of one of its pupils, News24 reported Oct. 25. The school has been dogged by scandal since its inception in January, as two girls already have left the academy citing “cultural differences,” and parents have complained about strict visiting hours and limited communication with their girls.

* Broadcom Corp co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III will give $100 million to groups supporting education, youth sports, medical research and U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East in a return to philanthropy after several years of personal crises, the Los Angeles Times reported Oct. 25. Nicholas, whose woes since leaving Broadcom in 2003 have included a messy divorce, health problems and alleged drug and prostitute use, will announce details of the donations in a few weeks.

* The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has received $85 million from a group of alumni with the stipulation that the school retain its current name for at least the next two decades, reported Oct. 27. Thirteen alumni each gave at least $5 million, which will be used to boost executive education and masters in business administration programs.

* Minnesotans trust nonprofits more than does the average American, says a recent survey by the St. Paul-based Charities Review Council, the Minnesota Daily reported Oct. 22. Of the 600 Minnesotans surveyed, 94 percent gave time or money to charity and 83 percent said they trusted the organizations they gave to.

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