Nonprofit news roundup for March 10, 2008

NPR head leaves after board clash

Ken Stern, the National Public Radio executive director credited with contributed significantly to NPR’s growth over the past decade, has stepped down, The Washington Post reported March 7. Sources say NPR’s board was frequently at odds with Stern’s initiatives, including an expansion into new media; Dennis L. Haarsager of Northwest Public Radio will replace Stern on an interim basis.

Billionaire philanthropists chart new course

Billionaire entrepreneurial philanthropists are changing the rules of the aid and economic development game, marrying corporate social-responsibility approaches to the single-issue focus and reach of nonprofits, Paul Maidment wrote in a Forbes column March 5. Many are also focusing on broader societal issues in a process of globalization and modernization that may increasingly bring them into conflict with governments.

Fisk University to keep O’Keefe paintings

A judge ruled Fisk University will not lose an art collection donated by Georgia O’Keefe, The Associated Press reported March 6. New Mexico’s Georgia O’Keefe Museum, legal representative of the artist’s estate, had sought to confiscate the paintings after the cash-strapped university’s repeated attempts to sell or share them were ruled in violation of the donor’s original terms.

British charity office gets nonprofits $1 billion

The Office of the Third Sector, whose creation last year gave British charities their own cabinet minister and a louder voice in government doings, has led to a settlement for charities over the next three years of 515 million pounds, or over $1 billion, The Times reported Mar. 4.

Community foundation targets Singapore’s new rich

The first Singaporean community foundation seeks to fill the gap between family foundations and the Community Chest, which coordinates the nation’s social service sector, reported March 6. Accepting donations of $1 million plus, the foundation hopes to encourage more giving among the new rich.

California university gets $16 million for music

California State University, Long Beach. has received its largest gift ever, $16 million for music scholarships from the Bob Cole Trust, The Los Angeles Times reported March 7. The university will rename its conservatory in honor of the real estate entrepreneur.

Indian billionaire bolsters country’s Olympic prowess

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has created the Mittal Champions Trust to improve India’s dismal Olympics record, The Wall Street Journal reported March 7 [subscription only]. Mittal has put $10 million into the fund so far, which introduces athletes like archer Mangal Singh Champia to modern sports training.

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