Nonprofit news roundup for Oct. 30, 2008

Art museums hit hard by financial meltdown

Of the nonprofits fighting to survive the financial crisis, art museums are among the hardest hit, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 30 (see museum story). Coming off a two-decade art boom, many museums are struggling to pay for expansions to their facilities while their board members, many of them former real-estate and Wall Street executives, are tightening their belts.

Universities raise tuition to combat credit crisis

To overcome shrinking endowments, many universities are raising tuition even as more students struggle to get financial aid, Reuters reported Oct. 29 (see tuition story). Oberlin College, a private school in Ohio, has seen its nearly $750 million endowment drop by about 15 percent in the past four months. Tuition and fees at public universities have risen 175 percent since 1992, the article says.

Former Smithsonian director reimburses museum

W. Richard West Jr., former director of the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum, is reimbursing the institution $9,700 for excessive travel expenses, says the Smithsonian inspector general, The Washington Post reported Oct. 29 (see reimbursement story). The over $250,000 spent by West on travel accommodations, though “lavish,” did not break with institution rules, the inspector general says in a report issued to Congress.

In Brief:

* In the wake of the worst credit crisis in seven decades, U.S. nonprofits are slashing budgets, salaries and programs to stay afloat, Bloomberg reported Oct. 30.

* Children’s Hospital Boston has launched Generation Cures, a philanthropic website to help children and parents raise money for pediatric medical research, The Boston Globe reported Oct. 29.

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