Nonprofit news roundup for Dec. 12, 2008

Economic crisis squeezes Dallas nonprofits

The economic tailspin has left Dallas-area nonprofits reeling, The Dallas Morning News reported Dec. 12. Nonprofit organizations are dealing with plunging corporate donations and government funding while grappling with greater community need. Mesquite Social Services, which provides food, rental and mortgage assistance to 10,000 people a year, has seen one rental-assistance fund run dry as clients increased by 20 percent since last year.

University of Florida endowment drops 8.3 percent

The University of Florida’s endowment lost $103.6 million, or 8.3 percent, during the first three months of the 2009 fiscal year, The Palm Beach Post reported Dec. 11. Coupled with significant endowment losses, the state’s 11 public universities have seen about $174 million in state budget cuts since the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.

University of Minnesota gets $40 million for diabetes research

The family foundation of Richard Schulze, founder of Best Buy, has given a $40 million grant to the University of Minnesota to help eliminate type 1 diabetes, The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Dec. 12 (see diabetes story). The grant, the second-largest in the university’s history, will promote research on treatment for type 1 diabetes, which afflicts 1.5 million Americans.

Chicago hospital fights to provide services

Chicago-based Mount Sinai Hospital is struggling to continue its nonprofit mission of providing life-saving treatment to all people, regardless of income, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 12 (see hospital story) [subscription only]. With no large nonprofit network to tap into, less government funding than county or state health centers, and 72 percent of its patients lacking health insurance or on Medicaid, the hospital has seen annual losses as high as $15 million over the past five years.

Nonprofits add $8 billion to Arkansas economy

Arkansas nonprofits contributed about $8 billion to the state’s economy since 2005, says a study by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Nonprofit Organizations and the Arkansas Coalition for Excellence, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported Dec. 11. Nonprofits also helped support 189,000 jobs in Arkansas, which ranks 34th in number of nonprofits.

British universities hit hard by economic crisis

Economic woes in higher education are reaching across the pond, with the endowments of British universities reporting a combined loss of at least 250 million British pounds, or $374 million, The Guardian reported Dec. 12 (see endowment story). Cambridge and Oxford universities are expected to take the biggest hit, with Cambridge losing 84 million pounds, or nearly $126 million, in the year ending in July.

In Brief:

* The endowment of Duke University in Durham, N.C., now stands at $5 billion after plummeting $1.1 billion, or 19 percent, since June 30, The Triangle Business Journal reported Dec. 12.

* The University of Nebraska Foundation’s endowment has plunged below $1 billion, a 30 percent drop since October 2007, the Associated Press reported Dec. 10.

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