New strategies urged in managing college endowments
While the chase for big returns has led the managers of endowments at colleges and universities to adopt the same high-risk investment strategies used by investment managers for mutual funds, retirement funds or pension funds, managing those high-education endowments requires different strategies because colleges and universities receive contributions, Jim Wolfston, president and founder of CollegeNET, says in an article April 9 in Inside Higher Ed (see university endowment story). In the financial-services world, Wolfston says, maximizing short-term measurable investment returns plays a key role. Because those non-education funds do not involve donations, their managers lack any strategic initiative to increase them. But the “power and importance of contributions in university endowments opens novel strategic opportunities around which endowment managers must learn to creatively think and act,” he says.
Facebook launches charity initiative
To celebrate enrolling its 200-millionth active user, Facebook has launched Facebook for Good, a page for members to share stories about how the social-networking site has helped them give back, CNET News reported April 8 (see Facebook charity story). Facebook also has teamed up with 16 charities and advocacy groups that have created virtual “gifts” members can buy for the Facebook profiles of other members. Most of the proceeds will go to the charities, not to Facebook, with the remainder covering administrative costs.
Fund aims to give small British charities clout
Believing small charities lack the resources of big charities to push for changes in government policy, British cabinet member Liam Byrne is creating a fund to help those working with “vulnerable” people get their voices heard, BBC News reported April 8 (see British charity fund). But John Redwood, a senior conservative member of Parliament, calls the plan a “crazy” waste of taxpayers dollars.
Nuns sue bank over investment losses
The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, based in Dubuque, Iowa, has sued a State Street Corp. bank for putting their money in risky subprime mortgages instead of more conservative investments, the Associated Press reported April 8 (see charity lawsuit story). The nuns say their financial advisers promised to invest conservatively but instead put their assets into risky investments.