Nonprofit news roundup for Nov. 7, 2008

Philanthropists make their voices heard

No longer content to work behind the scenes, more foundations are investing in public-policy change, The New York Times reported Nov. 6 (see advocacy story). Peter G. Peterson, Wall Street billionaire and former commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon, produced a documentary criticizing the soaring level of national debt. And instead of courting corporate executives, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund sought the media’s support in persuading Exxon Mobil to boost investments in alternative-energy sources.

Chicago business school gets $300 million

The business school at the University of Chicago has received $300 million, one of the largest donations ever made to a U.S. university, from David Booth, chief executive of the Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual fund, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 7 (see donation story). Booth, who graduated from the university in 1971, donated shares in Dimensional, which manages about $120 billion in assets. The school, whose endowment took a hit during the credit crunch, will change its name to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Cleveland Foundation gets $39 million bequest

The Cleveland Foundation has received a $39 million bequest, one of the largest gifts in its history, from the estate of Donald J. and Ruth Weber Goodman, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Nov. 7. The gift will support research and education at the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals. The total bequest from the Goodman estate, which now stands at over $60 million, will rise to about $70 million once the estates are settled, says Donald Goodman’s son.

Rice to announce $1 billion campaign

Rice University plans to announce a $1 billion fundraising campaign to fund academic programs, scholarships and relationship-building with other Houston institutions, The Houston Chronicle reported Nov. 7 (see campaign story). The university has already raised $500 million for the campaign, which is scheduled to end in 2012.

In Brief:

* Parents wishing to raise charitable children should start early and integrate philanthropy into daily life, says Lora Shinn in an opinion column in The Huffington Post Nov. 7.

* Wikipedia’s annual fundraising campaign aims to raise $6 million, three times the amount raised last year, to fund its volunteer-created Web-based encyclopedia, the Associated Press reported Nov. 6.

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