Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 23, 2008

MacArthur Foundation names award winners

The MacArthur Foundation presented 25 “genius awards” to people making innovative contributions in their fields, The New York Times reported Sept. 23 (see genius story). Each recipient will receive $100,000 a year for five years to fund work ranging from art to astronomy. Since 1981, 756 people have received the award.

University endowments fare better than Wall Street

Despite the recent havoc on Wall Street, university endowments are staying secure, and some are generating profits, ABC News reported Sept. 23. Partly because university endowments are highly diversified, their investments fell an average of 4.7 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, compared to a 15 percent drop for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Bill Clinton calls on businesses, foundations to donate

In the wake of upheaval on Wall Street and surging prices at the gas pump, former President Bill Clinton expressed concern that donations to charitable organizations will fall as needs increase, The Washington Post reported Sept. 23 (see economy story). Opening the fourth-annual Clinton Global Initiative, a forum aimed at addressing global problems, he called on businesses and foundations to open their wallets to alleviate suffering worldwide.

Paulson champions proposed $700 billion bailout

Henry Paulson, U.S. treasury secretary and avid wildlife supporter, is spearheading the proposed $700 billion bailout of the country’s faltering financial industry, USA Today reported Sept. 23 (see bailout story). Paulson and his wife have donated $100 million to charitable causes supported by banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs, where Paulson served as CEO, and the Bobolink Foundation, a Chicago-based organization they founded to promote conservation. The couple ranked 18th on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of America’s Most-Generous Donors in 2006.

In Brief:

* Munich-based electronics conglomerate Siemens AG is setting up a foundation endowed with $583 million to address social issues such as poverty, education and climate change, The International Herald Tribune reported Sept. 23.

* The University of Iowa Foundation raised nearly $161.9 million in outright and deferred gifts in the fiscal year ended June 30, including a record $96.7 million in outright gifts, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Sept. 22.

* Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. donated $10 million to the Salvation Army to help disaster-relief efforts after flooding in the Midwest and hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, the Associated Press reported Sept. 22.

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