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Nonprofit news roundup for June 16, 2008

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Bloomberg gives another ‘anonymous’ $60 million

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is funneling another enormous set of “anonymous” grants, together valued at $60 million, to arts and social-services groups through the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times reported June 13 (see Bloomberg story). Since 2002, Bloomberg has given $175 million to city groups through Carnegie, technically anonymously, but his patronage has always been an “open secret,” The Time says; a separate charity he is creating, the Bloomberg Family Foundation, may take over doling out the money when he is out of office.

Philanthropist Stewart Mott dies

Philanthropist Stewart R. Mott, known for his gifts to progressive and often offbeat causes, died June 12 at age 70, The New York Times reported June 14 (see Mott article). The Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust supports causes including birth control, abortion reform, sex research, arms control, feminism, civil liberties, governmental reform, gay rights and research on extrasensory perception.

Chinese-American philanthropy challenges stereotypes

While the rising force of Chinese philanthropy in the U.S. is most apparent in major gifts to universities, think tanks and other nonprofits, most giving comes through donations of $1 million or less, The Los Angeles Times reported June 16 (see Chinese immigrant story). This flurry of philanthropy is putting Chinese Americans in prominent positions in nonprofit leadership and challenging stereotypes of Chinese as stingy.

Pew offers nonprofits low-cost D.C. offices

The Pew Charitable Trusts is moving into a new 10-story Washington, D.C., office building with plenty of space, 90 percent of which the funder plans to rent to other nonprofits at 10 to 15 percent below market rates, The Washington Post reported June 16 (see Pew article). Pew’s plan comes as other nonprofits have been leaving the city due to high rent.

Named gifts get creative

As a “seemingly endless flow” of new philanthropists floods the market, the cost of named gifts is rising, MSNBC reported June 14 (see named gifts article). Though development professionals are inventing creative plaque locations, including $100,000 plus to name the toilets at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, the number of “A-list” naming opportunities has remained relatively finite.

U.S. adoption laws seen as failing black children

U.S. adoption laws are failing black children, who represent the largest share of kids awaiting adoption, says a new report from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, The New York Times reported June 13 (see adoption story). Trans-racial adoption, particularly of black children by non-black parents, raises complex issues for adoption agencies and potential parents alike, the report says.

In Brief:

* North Carolina community foundations are getting a boost from the growing popularity of donor-advised funds, The Triangle Business Journal reported June 13.

* A Michigan United Way has formed 23 collaboratives among local nonprofits as a way of pooling resources in tough times, Crain’s Detroit Business reported June 16.

* The University of Massachusetts has retracted an honorary degree awarded to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in 1986, Mark Nizza said in a New York Times blog June 13.

* A Catholic Charities program, Young Men in Transition, is helping young fathers in St Paul, Minn. finish high school, get jobs and develop relationships with their children, The Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune reported June 15.

* Benton Furniture Share collects discarded bookcases, couches and desks left on move-out day at Oregon State University to give to low-income families, The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported June 14.

* India-born John P. Kapoor has become the top individual donor to the State University of New York at Buffalo by giving $11 million to his alma mater, The Times of India reported June 14.

* Ottawa builder and philanthropist Zeev Vered died June 9, The Ottawa Citizen reported June 12. His philanthropy extended from endowing the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to scholarships, academic programs and arts groups.

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