Nonprofit news roundup for March 12, 2008

Schwarzman gives N.Y. Public Library $100M

Wall Street financier Stephen Schwarzman is giving his name and a $100 million to the New York Public Library’s, jump-starting the institution’s $1 billion expansion with one of the largest gifts ever to a New York City cultural institution, The New York Times reported March 11. The project will outfit the Central Library for book borrowing and close the Mid-Manhattan branch.

Building boom challenges regional theaters’ mission

A building boom among nonprofit theaters has seen dozens of construction projects initiated since 2000 with a collective tab nearing $1 billion, The New York Times reported March 9. Yet some wonder if regional theater movement hasn’t lost sight of its founding mission, as buildings boast flashier price tags and more groups import national talent instead of providing steady jobs for local artists.

Young British workers seek ‘worthwhile work’

A new report has uncovered deep dissatisfaction in British workplaces, with 40 percent of young, private-sector workers considering a move to the public or charity sectors, wrote Stefan Stern in a Financial Times opinion column March 11. More than 60 percent of workers ages 18 to 25 say they seek “more worthwhile work,” a trend Stern attributes to poor management.

Australian philanthropy lags behind U.S.

Rich Australians lag behind their American, Canadian and British counterparts in charitable giving, according to a new study, The Sydney Morning Herald reported March 10. While wealthy Americans give on average 10 percent to 15 percent of their net worth, Australians give less than 1 percent.

British nonprofits: Reluctant investment innovators

British nonprofits have the freedom to invest more creatively than most others, yet remain too bound by tradition, The Financial Times reported March 10. A new report by money manager Sarasin & Partners says times are changing, however, citing increasing use of innovative investment techniques and an increased range of asset classes already the norm in pension funds and American university endowments.

Sports scholarships disappoint expectations

The average college sports scholarship from the National Collegiate Athletic Association is nowhere near a full ride, The New York Times reported March 10. Scholarship envy and overoptimistic parents often complicate the lives of sports scholarship kids, who often find the demands on their time, minds and bodies in college more taxing than the journey to get there.

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