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Nonprofit news roundup for Oct. 21, 2008

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Museums cut back due to financial concerns

Museums nationwide are struggling to weather the Wall Street crisis and the weak economy without slashing exhibitions and programs, The New York Times reported Oct. 20 (see museum story). The Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example, is bracing for economic fallout by instituting a temporary hiring freeze and a 10 percent cut in its general operating budget.

Credit crisis tackles college athletics

College athletics departments are taking a hit as the financial crisis wreaks havoc on the investments of wealthy benefactors, The New York Times reported Oct. 20 (see athletics story). Construction work on the athletic facilities at Oklahoma State University has been postponed after news that the investments of billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens, who donated a record $165 million to the athletic department in 2006, lost $1 billion this year.

Mellon Foundation gives $10 million to promote playwrights

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has donated nearly $10 million to theater organizations to help playwrights who are struggling to find producers for their work, The New York Times reported Oct. 20 (see theater story). The playwriting centers and theater companies receiving the grants aim to offer writing workshops and bring new works to the stage.

In Brief:

* With nearly nine in 10 people saying they would take their business from one company to another if the other company supported a good cause, businesses are taking steps to make social responsibility a central part of their mission, Kim T. Gordon said in an opinion column on MSNBC Oct. 20.

* Mandating higher payouts from university endowments does not necessarily mean more affordable education, Burton Weisbrod, Jeffrey Ballou and Evelyn Asch said in an opinion column in The Los Angeles Times Oct. 20.

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