Nonprofit news roundup – Week of 12.31.07

* Some rivals of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, citing the secrecy involving donors who have given over $500 million to the foundation of her husband Bill Clinton to help him build a presidential library, say donors could use presidential foundations to bypass campaign finance laws designed to curb political influence, The New York Times reported Dec. 20.

* Two former hedge-fund analysts have formed GiveWell, a group that tracks charities and ranks their effectiveness, The New York Times reported Dec. 20.

* Giving nearly $300 billion a year to charity, and increasingly wanting to know the impact of their dollars, American givers now can turn to a growing number of services that track charities’ effectiveness and as charities work to improve the way they track themselves, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 20 [registration required].

* The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in New York City has committed $39 million to a new fund it has created to help charities grow and become more efficient, The New York Times reported Dec. 21.

* A report by the Colorado secretary of state says registered charities in the state spend $10.30 on average to raise $100, with telephone campaigns hiring paid solicitors costing $51.33 for every $100 raised, The Denver Post reported Dec. 21.

* The Lenfest Foundation will give Teach for America a $10 million challenge grant to support its growth in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported Dec. 20.

* Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said she had developed a deal to put $15 million more in the federal account for the Smithsonian Institution if the museum raised $30 million in private support for maintenance and revitalization, The Washington Post reported Dec. 12.

* Unlike their parents and grandparents, who focused their charitable giving on mainstream Jewish organizations, young Jewish philanthropists want to fund groups they believe directly affet their lives, and are looking for more choice in picking charities and more control over their giving, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 13.

* Ohio State University named Peter Weiler, vice president for development and alumni relations at Penn State, as its new senior vice president for university development and president of the Ohio State University Foundation, The Columbus Dispatch reported Dec. 19. Weiler may head up a possible $1.5 billion capital campaign, the newspaper said.

* Tom Landrum, a long-time administrator at the University of Georgia who has held the job on an interim basis, has been named senior vice president for external affairs on a permanent basis, the Athens Banner-Herald reported Dec. 19.

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