Nonprofit news roundup for July 2, 2008

Center on Philanthropy director to lead IU Foundation

The executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has been chosen to lead the Indiana University Foundation, according to an Indiana University media release July 2 (see IU Foundation story). Eugene R. “Gene” Tempel will succeed Curtis R. Simic, who is retiring after 20 years as foundation president.

Helmsley’s fortune may go to animal welfare

The late hotelier and real-estate magnate Leona Helmsley may have instructed that her entire charitable trust, valued between $5 and $8 billion, be used for the care and welfare of dogs, The New York Times reported July 2 (see Helmsley fortune story). Yet the “mission statement” left by the woman who willed $12 million to her own dog, Trouble, may not be legally binding, say some lawyers.

Princeton gets $100 million for climate change

Princeton University alum Gerhard D. Andlinger has given his alma mater $100 million to build a new engineering center that will focus on issues of energy and the environment, with a particular emphasis on climate change, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported July 1 (see Princeton climate change story). The gift is the initial installment of what will be $400 million in university spending on these issues over the next decade.

In Brief:

* The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the latest argument in a 6-year battle over control of one of the state’s oldest foundations, the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, The Associated Press reported June 27.

* Michigan’s state legislature has adopted amendments to its Nonprofit Corporation Act that would close a loophole for safeguarding charitable assets and mandate what previously were two “best practices” for nonprofits, Crain’s Detroit Business reported July 1.

* Pittsburg State University has received $10 million for a new fine and performing arts center from anonymous donors, The Morning Sun reported July 1.

* For scores of historic-house museums, simply keeping the lights on has become a challenge, and experts say this summer may make or break some sites, The Associated Press reported June 16.

* Nonprofits in northern Virginia spend much more per capita than groups in other regions of the state, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported June 24.

*UBS Wealth Management has established a philanthropic services division, InvestorDaily reported June 20.

* The Friends of the Barnes Foundation are right to keep fighting the art collection’s move to Philadelphia, a transition that counters the wishes of its founder and that may prove to be unsustainable, Edward Sozanski said in an opinion column in The Philadelphia Inquirer June 29.

* A controversial for-profit Mexican microfinance group, Compartamos Banco, has been unfairly criticized by nonprofits who think it is earning “too much” profit, Mary Anastasia O’Grady said in an opinion column at The Wall Street Journal June 30.

* The former chief of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard A. Grasso, has won a battle to keep his pay because of the exchange’s conversion from nonprofit to for-profit status in 2006, The New York Times reported July 2.

* Three “modern-day Robin Hoods” known to Indian villagers only for their generous donations were “close to the top ranks” of a cocaine-trafficking organization in the U.S. and Canada, The Hindustan Times reported June 29.

* Journalist Michael Kinsley, husband of the retiring president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is “producing” a book he hopes to compile from a debate on his blog exploring the merits and drawbacks of Gates’ “creative capitalism,” he said in a column at The Huffington Post June 26.

* Five Tulsa colleges will split a $25 million gift from The George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa World reported June 30.

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