Nonprofit news roundup for Jan. 28, 2009

Travel, hotel expenses of United Way CEO grew

The expense documents of Gloria Pace King, ousted CEO of Charlotte-based United Way of Central Carolinas, show a jump in the amount of money spent on travel, food and accommodation, without providing details on how the money was spent, The Charlotte Observer reported Jan. 27. King’s total expenses ballooned to $74,000 in fiscal 2008 from $56,000 the previous fiscal year. The agency’s board of directors is aware that it should have scrutinized King’s expenses more carefully, says attorney Russ Sizemore. King accused the board of race, age and gender discrimination in a statement released this month.

Foreign firms paid bulk of Clinton’s speaking fees

Nearly all of the $6 million former President Bill Clinton earned in speaking fees last year came from foreign companies, say documents filed by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Associated Press reported Jan. 27. The national bank of Kuwait, a Hong Kong-based automotive company, and firms based in Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Portugal paid the former president a total of $4.6 million in honoraria. Many of these companies also made donations to Clinton’s charitable foundation.

Brandeis shutters museum, sells artworks

Brandeis University, battling a budget shortfall of up to $10 million, plans to close its art museum and auction off its collection of more than 8,000 artworks, The New York Times reported Jan. 26 (see museum story). The Rose Art Museum, which houses works by modern artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein, will be converted into a fine-arts teaching center and gallery. The move may cause a rift between the university and its major donors, who did not expect their donated artworks to be sold, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 27.

Foundations renew commitment in down economy

Fifty of the largest U.S. foundations have committed more than $100 million in grants to help nonprofits and their clients weather the recession, says the Foundation Center, the Associated Press reported Jan. 27. Despite significant losses, many U.S. foundations have boosted funding for basic needs, including food pantries, homeless shelters and foreclosure-prevention services.

In Brief:

* Private schools throughout the U.S. are reeling as endowments tumble, donations dry up and parents decide to cut lofty tuitions from their budgets, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 26.

* The endowment of the University of Cincinnati fell to about $850 million from about $1.1 billion, representing a loss of about 23 percent between July 1 and Nov. 30, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Jan. 27.

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