Nonprofit news roundup for Jan. 20, 2009

U.S. universities work to unload variable-rate debt

As the ailing economy continues to chip away at university endowments, many U.S. colleges are scrambling to refinance their debt, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 20 (see college debt story). Of particular concern are variable-rate demand bonds, which are tied to interest rates. The 300 private colleges rated by Moody’s Investors Service, including Harvard and Princeton, collectively have sold $25 billion in variable-rate debt.

Nadel could be new Madoff, reports say

Reports are surfacing that Arthur Nadel, a philanthropist and hedge-fund manager, may have disappeared, taking with him up to $350 million of his investors’ funds, Canada Free Press reported Jan. 20 (see Nadel story). Nader is president of the Sarasota, Fla.-based Guy-Nadel Foundation, which has assets of $3.4 million in 2006.

University of Manitoba plans for spending cuts

The value of The University of Manitoba’s endowment plummeted 19.7 percent in 2008, leaving the Canadian university with less money to spend in 2009, The Manitoban reported Jan. 20. While the school plans to allocate 4.5 percent of the value of the endowment over the last three years to spending in 2009, recent losses likely will mean a funding drop of 6 percent to 9 percent in some areas.

In Brief:

* In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Exelon Foundation donated $1 million to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Reuters reported Jan. 20.

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