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Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 26, 2008

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N.C. State moves endowment to UNC’s management firm

In an effort to boost endowment returns, North Carolina State University plans to hand over about half its $545 million endowment to UNC Management Co., which manages the $2.2 billion endowment of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Triangle Business Journal reported Sept. 26 (see endowment story). The management company produced an 8 percent return for UNC in the fiscal year ended June 30, compared with a negative 6 percent return for SEI Investments, which managed most of NCSU’s endowment funds for the last two years.

Malaria-eradication plan gets $3 billion boost

PATH, a Seattle-based nonprofit health organization, received $3 billion to help wipe out malaria, The Seattle Times reported Sept. 26 (see malaria story). The funds, including $168.7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will go toward implementing a Global Malaria Action Plan to cut malaria deaths worldwide by more than half in the next seven years.

UT-Austin may have broken even on investments

Despite sinking money into failing Wall Street companies, the University of Texas at Austin’s $24 billion endowment may have broken even, or even made a profit, on these investments, The Dallas Morning News reported Sept. 25. Some hedge fund managers for the university invested as if the institutions would fold, either short-selling their stock or buying credit default swaps. However, the endowment has lost 4 percent to 5 percent as a result of the stock market’s overall decline.

Education center aims to close achievement gap

A new education center at Harvard University, funded in part by a $6 million grant from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, aims to close achievement gaps in U.S. public schools, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 25 (see education story). The center plans to track student performance and teaching practices in three of the country’s largest school districts and share results with policymakers.

Funds suspended for former NBA star’s charity

Federal authorities have suspended funding for a nonprofit run by Kevin Johnson, Sacramento mayoral candidate and former NBA star, while they conduct an investigation into possible wrongdoing, The Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 26 (see suspension story). Johnson, who runs St. Hope Academy, is accused of using federally-funded AmeriCorps members to run personal errands. A spokesman for Johnson says the accusations, which came to light a week before the beginning of absentee voting in the mayoral election, are politically motivated.

In Brief:

* The time and money spent on bailing out Wall Street’s elite should go toward a universal health program, says Michael R. Sesit in an opinion column on Bloomberg Sept. 26.

* Portfolio Data Management System, a new Web-based software program unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative, aims to help philanthropists measure the impact of their charitable donations, The New York Times reported Sept. 25.

* Blake Mycoskie, whose company gives a pair of shoes to an impoverished child for each pair it sells, discusses blending business and philanthropy in a Q&A on CNN Sept. 26.

* Montana nonprofits are looking for ways to boost funding as the Wall Street crisis takes an especially severe toll on “under-resourced” states, the Associated Press reported Sept. 25.

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