Nonprofit news roundup for Feb. 25, 2009

Individual gifts of $1 million-plus dwindle

The number of individual donations of $1 million or more to charities in the last six months of 2008 dropped 33 percent from the same period a year before, Inside Indiana Business reported Feb. 25. The decline, reported by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, was the second largest of its kind in the past decade, with the largest, 35 percent, occurring in 2001. Despite the decline in individual donations, the number of $1 million-plus gifts from foundations in the second half of 2008 jumped 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Fundraising outlook grim for U.S. colleges, universities

Fundraising prospects look bleak for U.S. colleges and universities following the stock-market nosedive, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 25 (see college story). Academic institutions rely heavily on stock prices, since many donors prefer to give appreciated stock instead of cash. Though a study by the Council for Aid to Education reports that colleges and universities raised a record $31.6 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 6.2 percent increase from the previous year, the study’s director predicts drastic drops in fiscal 2009 and 2010, The New York Times reported Feb. 24.

Yale cuts construction, salaries to combat loss

To offset a projected 25 percent endowment loss for the year ending June 30, Yale University is shelving $2 billion in construction projects and curbing raises for employees who make more than $75,000 a year, Bloomberg reported Feb. 24. The school also plans to cut non-faculty staff pay and non-salary expenses by 7.5 percent in a move to trim $37 million from its budget for fiscal 2010.

Gates Foundation gives $100 million for AIDS prevention

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave a $100 million grant to the International Partnership for Microbicides to develop sexual gels to prevent women from contracting the AIDS virus, Bloomberg reported Feb. 24. The grant, which followed a $28.5 million pledge from Britain’s Department for International Development, is the second given to the partnership by the Gates Foundation.

Bill allocates $20 million total for arts, humanities

A bill introduced by the House Appropriations Committee for the current fiscal year includes $10 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, The New York Times reported Feb. 24 (see arts story). The allocations, which are awaiting approval of the Senate and House of Representatives, would bring each of the endowments’ annual budgets to $155 million.

In Brief:

* Despite the souring economy, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas surpassed its goal by raising $58.4 million during its recent campaign, The Dallas Morning News reported Feb. 25.

* The W.K. Kellogg Foundation plans to invest $100 million over the next five years in for-profit companies that generate both financial and social returns, Crain’s Detroit Business reported Feb. 24.

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