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Nonprofit news roundup for March 25, 2008

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Rockefeller funds social stock-exchange research

The Rockefeller Foundation is spending $500,000 to examine the feasibility of a “social stock exchange” where ethical investors could trade shares of clean technologies, health-care, and development projects, The Financial Times reported March 22. The United Kingdom has been chosen as the study site, in part because of strong government support for social enterprise, but socially responsible investing has spread as far as China, which will launch its first socially responsible mutual fund by the end of March, The Financial Times reported March 16.

Women edge into top endowment spots Women now manage 10 of the 50 largest university and private foundation endowments in the U.S., making them part of the vanguard moving into non-traditional asset classes, The New York Times reported March 22. Some see this shift over the course of the past decade as encouraging, but far from complete.

Asian-American giving both traditional and modern

Asian-American philanthropic groups are increasingly seeking to combine traditional Asian forms of giving – intimate, small-scale giving in modest silence – with larger-scale Western forms, AsianWeek said in an editorial March 23. The Asian Women Giving Circle has taken the ancient Korean concept of geh, or shared savings circles, and added a philanthropic twist, AsianWeek reported March 23.

Allen gives $5M to tuberculosis researchers

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is making his first foray into global-health research with a $5 million grant to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute for tuberculosis study, The Seattle Times reported March 20. Allen’s Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has recently dominated this field of grantmaking, while Allen’s philanthropic impulses have drawn him towards more eclectic projects.

Hispanics leverage dollars for change in Latin America

A recent PODER Magazine symposium on Latin American philanthropy suggested U.S. Hispanics should look at bigger ways to leverage their philanthropic resources for change in their countries of origin and to promote Hispanic nonprofits, Ana Gloria Rivas-Vazquez said in an opinion column in The Miami Herald March 23. Rivas-Vazquez says groups like Hispanics in Philanthropy, where she is vice president, are already making inroads towards these goals.

BusinessWeek green transport report

The merits and demerits of clean but smelly diesel cars, how U.S. automakers will make the new fuel-efficiency standard, the takeoff of carbon offsets and GM’s Vice-Chairman Robert Lutz on global warming are some of the highlights of BusinessWeek’s special report on green transport March 24.

Jewish, Israeli charities face money troubles

The dollar’s fall has cost hundreds of Israeli charities dependent on foreign funding a nearly 20 percent decline in income, Ha’aretz reported March 19. Meanwhile, Jewish charities in New York are watching the collapse of long-time philanthropic supporter Bear Stearns with a wary eye, worried that trouble in the financial sector, where many of their donors work, will impact their coffers, Debra Nussbaum Cohen said in a column in The Jewish Week March 19.

Lange tackles global poverty

Mark Lange, a journalist and former presidential speech writer, examines global poverty in a six-part series in the Christian Science Monitor March 10 through March 21.

American higher education bridges Middle East gap

American institutions of higher education in the Middle East are trying to bridge the post-September-11 East-West gap, The Middle East Times reported March 24. Despite the deteriorating opinion of the U.S. among many Middle Easterners, demand for an American-style liberal arts education has only increased.

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