Nonprofit news roundup April 16, 2009

Colleges seek donations to cover financial aid

As college and university endowments struggle to regain lost ground, many schools are asking donors to help pay for financial aid for incoming students hit hard by the recession, The New York Times reported April 15 (see college donation story). Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has seen financial aid requests skyrocket 88 percent, and while linking donations and financial aid helped the school exceed goals for its telethon and gala, fundraising has slowed.

Obamas gave nearly 6.5 percent of 2008 earnings to charity

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008 gave $172,050, or nearly 6.5 percent of their earnings, to 37 charities, including $25,000 contributions to CARE, a global antipoverty group, and to the United Negro College Fund, the tax return they filed shows, The New York Times reported April 15 (see Obama
donation story
). The couple paid $855,323 in federal income taxes on a combined household income of $2,656,902. Those taxes would be higher by about
$102,000 if under Obama’s proposed budget plan, Bloomberg reported April 16 (see Obama tax story).

Charlotte United Way chopping funds to partner agencies

United Way of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, N.C., still reeling from a scandal involving the pay of its ousted CEO, says it will slash funding to its 91 member charities by up to 36 percent, the Charlotte Observer reported April 15. The cuts, starting in July, could trigger layoffs, program cuts and even mergers of some charities. Many of those nonprofits, which get up to 40 percent of their funds from United Way, are serving record demand for services because of the recession.

City of Charlotte taking look at nonprofit pay

In the face of budget cuts, some members of the Charlotte City Council are taking a hard look at the executive pay and health benefits at nonprofits the city funds, the Charlotte Observer reported April 16. Among 26 city-funded agencies, a dozen executive directors make six figures, and nine agencies pay all health-care premiums for their staffs.

Art museum sale betrays public trust, critic says

A move by Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J., to sell 50 works from its permanent collection to address financial need, a move that auction-house Christie’s expects will generate $2.9 million to $4.3 million, represents “another sorry example of an institution cashing out on art in the public trust,” says James Panero, managing editor of The New Criterion, said in a guest column in The Wall Street Journal April 15 (see museum sale story).

Kentucky nonprofits spur growth, report says

Kentucky’s nonprofit sector is a major source of both services and economic impact, contributing more than $13.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2006, says a new report by the University of Kentucky Nonprofit Business Leadership Institute, Business Lexington reported April 15. The sector, with combined assets in 2006 of $20 billion, grew 56 percent over the decade of 1996 to 2006, the report says.

Barclays hires Goldman Sachs philanthropy executive

Barclays Wealth, the wealth-management arm of British bank Barclays, has hired the head of philanthropy from rival Goldman Sachs, making Barclays the latest bank to boost its philanthropic advisory services for wealthy clients, Wealth Bulletin reported April 15 (see philanthropic services story). Before joining Barclays, Emma Turner spent 11 years at Goldman Sachs and, before that, 10 years as fundraiser and marketing manager for a major London charity.

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