Nonprofit news roundup for Oct. 23, 2008

Donors become ‘shareholders’ in philanthropy

The concept of the immediate public opportunity, or IPO, has sprung up across the U.S. and Canada to get donors to “buy shares” in programs that offer positive change instead of monetary rewards, The Ottawa Citizen reported Oct. 23 (see IPO story). The concept taps into the growing number of donors who think of their donations as investments rather than gifts. Chuck Harris, a banker at Goldman Sachs, used the IPO model to raise $15 million for College Summit, a group that helps low-income students get into universities.

U.S. endowments funds try to keep cool during market crisis

As they weather the global market crisis, U.S. endowment funds are encouraging clients to think long-term and not make drastic changes to their portfolios, Reuters reported Oct. 23 (see endowment story). Endowment funds in the U.S., which lost an average of 3.04 percent in the fiscal year ended June 2008, are exploring opportunities in overseas markets, real estate and private equity to stabilize their investments.

In Brief:

* Having spent years in an office, many retirees are volunteering in the wide open spaces of national parks, The New York Times reported Oct. 22.

* The New Jersey Performing Arts Center received $11 million from Betty Wold Johnson, heir of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, Bloomberg reported Oct. 23.

* Nonprofits in Kankakee County in Illinois are banking on community generosity to get them through an expected chill in holiday donations, The Daily Journal reported Oct. 22.

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