Nonprofit news roundup for Oct. 1, 2008

Wachovia sale troubles Charlotte nonprofits

Charlotte-area nonprofits are anxious about losing millions of dollars in donations after Citigroup purchased Charlotte-based Wachovia Bank, one of the area’s largest providers of funds and volunteers, The Charlotte Observer reported Sept. 20. Wachovia contributed more than $8 million to Charlotte-area charities in 2007. The sale of Wachovia comes in the wake of a controversy involving the $1.2 million compensation package of Gloria Pace King, former CEO of Charlotte’s United Way affiliate.

Churches protest ban on political advocacy

More than 30 Christian pastors across the U.S. backed presidential candidates from their pulpits Sunday to protest rules separating tax-exempt organizations from politics, the Associated Press reported Sept. 29. The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, the conservative legal group that organized the protest, plans to send copies of the sermons to the Internal Revenue Service in a move critics call “divisive and unlikely to succeed.”

Record university gift depends on court ruling

Depending on the outcome of an international trial, the University of Texas at Austin could get a record $500 million gift, The Austin-American Statesman reported Oct. 1 . The university is set to receive 25 percent of net proceeds from the case if a court rules that Fort Worth, Texas-based Moncrief Oil International owns part of a Siberian gas field. Gazprom, the Russian oil giant that controls the gas field, has refused to honor contracts that the American company made with a Gazprom subsidiary in the 1990s.

Drexel University overhauls endowment

Drexel University in Philadelphia is restructuring its $550 million endowment under a new policy adopted in May to diversify its investments, Pensions & Investments reported Sept. 30 (see allocation story). The endowment also plans to hire two analysts to assist Joshua Kaplan, its investment director.

In Brief:

* Corporations are merging to ride out the credit meltdown, and nonprofits may have to follow their lead, says Alair Townsend in an opinion column in Crain’s New York Business Sept. 28.

* International airlines are raising millions for charity through on-board schemes that allow passengers to donate air miles and unneeded foreign currency, CNN reported Oct. 1.

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