Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 17, 2008

Nonprofits regroup after Wall Street crises

A series of economic crises, including the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the federal bailout of American International Group Inc. and the buyout of Merrill Lynch & Co. by Bank of America, is forcing nonprofits to rethink their fundraising strategies, Bloomberg reported Sept. 17 (see Wall Street story). Corporations accounted for 5.1 percent of all donations to U.S. nonprofits in 2007, according to GivingUSA Foundation, a Glenview, Ill.-based research group.

Yale endowment grows 2 percent to nearly $23 billion

Yale University’s endowment rose 2 percent, to nearly $23 billion, in the fiscal year ended June 30, The Boston Globe reported Sept. 17 (see endowment story). Richard Levin, president of the university, said the endowment plans to increase its spending by 37 percent this year in response to criticism over its payout rate of 3.7 percent to 3.8 percent over the last two years. As of June 30, 2007, Yale’s endowment was second only to Harvard’s as the largest education fund in the U.S., according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, a Washington-based advocacy group.

University steps up fundraising efforts

In response to waning state support, the University of California, Berkeley, announced a five-year, $3 billion fundraising drive in an effort to compete with financial-aid programs offered by private institutions, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sept. 17 (see fundraising story). The university, which already has raised $1.24 billion from private sources over the last three years, plans to devote the money to scholarships, campus renovation and financial support for faculty and programs.

In brief:

* Nonprofit health-care organizations generated 8 percent on their investments last year, down from a nearly 11 percent average return the previous year, according to a study by the Commonfund Institute, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Sept 15.

* T. Denny Sanford, a billionaire philanthropist from Sioux Falls, S.D., offered $30 million to the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine to help build a stem-cell research facility, The San Diego Business Journal reported Sept. 16.

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