Nonprofit news roundup for Mar. 6, 2008

Clinton‘s charity benefits from stock deal

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s foundation received options on 200,000 shares of Accoona stock as payment for his appearance at the Internet search engine’s 2004 launch party, The Chicago Tribune reported March 4. The options, which the William J. Clinton Foundation sold in 2006 for $700,000, is one of several “shrouded” financial successes benefiting the multimillionaire and his charity.

Some nonprofits seek to bid on own bonds

Facing soaring debt, hospitals and their allies in Congress are seeking permission from the Security and Exchange Commission to bid on their own bonds, The Boston Globe reported March 5. Many buyers, spooked by the credit crisis, have stopped bidding at bond auctions, leaving hospitals, universities and other large nonprofits paying interest rates as high as 20 percent.

Large stock gifts foretell sharp price dips

Top corporate executives often make large gifts of stock to their family foundations just before company stock prices dip sharply, The New York Times reported March 5. The study by a New York University professor suggests they may be “monkeying around with paper trails,” yet the gifts are legal, as insider trading rules don’t apply to charitable contributions.

‘Fortunate 400′ give record $7.6 billion

The top 400 U.S. taxpayers have nearly doubled their share of the nation’s total individual income since the mid-1990s, wrote Tom Herman in a Wall Street Journal column March 5. These “Fortunate 400,” who reported $85.6 billion in income on 2005 tax returns, gave a record $7.6-billion to charity that year.

Fortunes made and given away in Asia

Many Asians are making large fortunes and giving them away, Forbes reported March 10. The magazine surveys 48 of Asia’s big, though not biggest, and most interesting new philanthropists.

Senate staffer’s exit may ease nonprofit hospitals’ minds

The departure of a powerful critic of nonprofit hospitals from U.S. Senator Charles Grassley’s staff may spell relief for the nonprofit set, wrote Jacob Goldstein in a Wall Street Journal blog March 5. Grassley has questioned whether nonprofit hospitals are earning their tax-exempt status.

Whistleblower in Ethiopian pedophilia case faces jail

British teacher Jill Campbell faces up to six months in jail after a Swiss children’s charity in Ethiopia won a suit accusing her of defamation, The Associated Press reported March 5. Campbell and her husband compiled evidence that helped convict the director of an Ethiopian orphanage run by Terre des Hommes-Lausanne of pedophilia in 1999.

Cummins Foundation names new director

The Cummins Foundation has named Jean Blackwell, current chief financial officer of diesel engine maker Cummins Inc., as its new director, The Associated Press reported March. 5.

eBay forces UK scalpers to give to charity

Facing mounting controversy over the resale of tickets to charity events, eBay’s United Kingdom branch will force those reselling benefit concert tickets on their site to donate 20 percent back to the charity the concert benefits, The Financial Times reported Mar. 5.

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