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Nonprofit news roundup for Dec. 5, 2008

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International giving by U.S. foundations hits record level

U.S. foundations gave a record $5.4 billion to international causes in 2007, and the level is expected to rise this year, says a report by the Foundation Center, the Associated Press reported Dec. 4. International giving by U.S. foundations rose by more than 50 percent between 2002 and 2006, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation accounting for more than half of the growth.

Harvard prepares $600 million bond issue

Harvard University is preparing to launch a $600 million bond issue to repay part of its debt and cancel some interest-rate swap agreements, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 5 (see bond story) [subscription only]. JP Morgan Securities will manage the bond issue, and UBS Financial Services will serve as the retail distributor of the bonds. Harvard’s endowment is reeling from an $8 billion, or 22 percent, loss over the last four months.

N.C. corporations struggle to give amid economic woes

The slumping stock market is stanching the flow of charitable donations from both corporations and foundations, WRAL reported Dec. 4 (see economy story). However, several corporations in Research Triangle Park, N.C., are vowing to keep their commitments to nonprofits. Red Hat, a Raleigh-based software developer, canceled its annual holiday party to buy 800,000 meals for the needy.

Hewlett Foundation awards over $125 million in grants

The Hewlett Foundation announced $125.1 million in grants to 214 organizations worldwide, including $31.8 million to organizations addressing global population issues, The San Francisco Business Times reported Dec. 4 (see grants story). The Menlo Park, Calif.-based foundation also provided $28.9 million to environmental causes and $24.2 million to global-development programs.

In Brief:

* The Kansas University Endowment Association is scaling back its monetary distributions to the university, citing a $290 million, or 26.6 percent, drop in investment returns from July 1 to Oct. 31, The Lawrence Journal-World reported Dec. 4.

* Morrisville, N.C.-based Triangle United Way is extending its annual fund drive by six weeks to combat flagging donations, The Raleigh News & Observer reported Dec. 5. The organization expects to fall about $800,000 short of its $11.7 million goal.

* Everywun, a new online company, will allow users a free and convenient way to support charitable causes by clicking a button, which generates income from corporate sponsors, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Dec. 5.

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