Nonprofit news roundup for Feb. 22, 2008

Nonprofits fight debt, bond insurers

Universities and other nonprofits seeking to refinance debt are struggling with insurers’ refusals, The Boston Globe reported Feb. 21. Until recently, hospital and university bonds were considered safe, conservative investments, but recent problems in auction-rate bond markets and soaring interest rates have would-be investors fleeing.

Dividing charity’s spoils fairly

The potential dangers of partnerships between nonprofit and for-profit companies could be avoided by agreeing on ways to share the commercial benefits upfront, The Financial Times reported Feb. 21. Several models for such joint ventures are emerging, including spin-off benefits, consultancy services and open source obligations.

Art stolen in Holocaust shown in Israel

The Israel Museum is running two exhibitions of unclaimed art looted during the Holocaust, one including notable paintings stolen from French museums, The New York Times reported Feb. 20. The Israel-France collaboration required intensive negotiations and a new Israeli law.

Charity galas go online

Online auctions like Charitybuzz, Ebay Giving Buzz and CMarket are joining, and sometimes even replacing, live events in the world of affluent and celebrity fundraising, The Financial Times reported Feb. 16. Online events usually are more efficient than live ones, and their impact can be easily measured.

Stanford eliminates tuition for some

Stanford University will no longer charge tuition for about a third of its students, those whose families make less than $100,000 a year, reported Feb. 20. It also will pay most room and board charges for families earning less than $60,000.

GWU limits tuition increases

George Washington University has launched a five-year plan that will hold tuition increases for next year’s freshman at 3 percent and quadruple fundraising for financial aid to $40 million annually by 2013, The Washington Post reported Feb. 8. The school, one of the most expensive in the country, says its endowment is too small to eliminate financial aid loans as 30 other colleges have done recently.

Local philanthropy creates global progress

Local, institutionalized philanthropy has the power to create sustainable progress worldwide, wrote Susan Raymond, senior managing director of philanthropic consulting firm Changing Our World Inc., on Feb. 6. in the first column in a series of five for Growing economic prosperity in developing nations and resulting greater economic and societal freedom have enabled reinvestment in both economic growth and societal good, said Raymond.

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