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Nonprofit news roundup for Dec. 31, 2008

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Yale sticks to plan despite endowment losses

Yale University is not planning any drastic changes to its spending or investment strategy, despite a $5.6 billion endowment loss in the last six months, U.S. News & World Report reported Dec. 30 (see endowment story). Though more U.S. universities are scrambling to cut programs and faculty positions to save money, Yale’s conservative spending from its $17 billion endowment has, for the time being, enabled it to ride out the economic storm, says David Swensen, Yale’s endowment manager.

Albany nonprofits look to new year

Nonprofits in Albany, N.Y., expressed cautious optimism that charitable giving from individual and corporate donors would remain steady next year, says a survey by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, The Albany Times Union reported Dec. 30. Nearly six in 10 area nonprofits predicted that corporations would maintain, or even boost, their current giving levels in 2009.

Economic crisis strikes Chinese universities

China’s top universities have not been immune to the economic crisis, which has threatened the university’s biggest funders, Reuters reported Dec. 30 (see China story). Peking University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, is facing increasing pressure as both state funds and private donations take a hit, says Zhou Qifeng, president of the university. As a result of the stumbling economy, a quarter of China’s 6.1 million college graduates could have trouble finding a job next year, says a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In Brief:

* Activist groups that push donors to give to minority-led charities are not only missing the mark, but also hurting the sector, says an editorial in The Wall Street Journal Dec. 30.

* Long Island-based charities that used telemarketers to raise money last year saw just 16.81 cents of every dollar raised, the lowest of all the regions in New York State, Newsday reported Dec. 31.

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