Nonprofit news roundup for Feb. 13, 2009

Fraction of nonprofit hospitals provide bulk of charity care

The IRS reports that fewer than one-fifth of nonprofit hospitals provide 78 percent of uncompensated health care for the poor, raising doubts over whether some merit their tax-exempt status, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 13 (see hospital story). Also, top executives at a group of 20 hospitals earned an average of $1.4 million a year, the report says. The American Hospital Association called the report “seriously flawed,” and accused the agency of focusing more on executive compensation than on community benefit.

Tanking economy takes big bite out of Big Ten

The Big Ten schools have seen their endowments shrivel in the economic turmoil, says Alison Go in a blog in U.S. News & World Report Feb. 12 (see endowment story). Though the bigger endowments of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., lost the largest amounts, the comparatively small endowment at the University of Iowa in Iowa City lost the biggest piece of its pie at nearly 30 percent.

Gates Foundation funds ‘neglected’ tropical diseases

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $34 million to help fight “neglected” tropical diseases, which affect more than one billion people but garner little attention because of their low mortality rates, Voice of America reported Feb. 12. From 1975 to 1999, less than 1 percent of new drugs on the market were targeted for treatment of such diseases, which include sleeping sickness, guinea worm and river blindness.

Anheuser-Busch donates $2.5 million to university

The Anheuser-Busch Foundation pledged $2.5 million over the next five years to the University of Missouri, St. Louis, to help fund the construction of a new business-administration building, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Feb. 13. The donation, one of the largest in the university’s history, has helped alleviate concerns that the beer company’s takeover by InBev last year would put the brakes on its corporate giving.

In Brief:

* New York nonprofits are voicing their frustration over Gov. David Paterson’s proposed budget cuts, which would include slashing a $10 million initiative to help elderly and disabled Social-Security recipients, The Times Herald-Record reported Feb. 13. The cuts are part of a plan to close a $15.4 billion deficit.

* The dismal economy is motivating fundraisers to try new methods, such as utilizing digital media and targeting recently laid-off employees, Forbes reported Feb. 12.

* The Public Safety Compact, a $2 million initiative launched by Maryland nonprofits and the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, aims to provide drug treatment for prison inmates, The Baltimore Sun reported Feb. 13.

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