Nonprofit news roundup April 23, 2009

Donors angry as schools tap restricted gifts

A growing number of donors are up in arms as many colleges and universities, increasingly challenged to find funds to pay for core operations, are looking to tap restricted gifts held in endowments whose donors often give clear instructions on how their money should be spent, The Wall Street Journal reported April 23 (see donor rebellion
story
).

Nonprofits adapt to tough times

Nonprofits, facing cuts in government support and declines in investments and donations, are cutting costs, eliminating waste and looking for innovative ways to use volunteers, spur new donations, build ties with existing donors and launch projects to generate more income, The Wall Street Journal reported April 23 (see nonprofit
survival story
).

Family givers turn to donor-advised funds

Frustrated by cost of running their private foundations, philanthropists increasingly are turning them into donor-advised funds, which invest assets and make grants to charities from individual accounts based mainly on the advice of donors, The Wall Street Journal reported April 22 (see donor-advised fund story). The tough economy also is a factor because the value of many foundations’ assets has declined and donor-advised funds can cost thousands of dollars less to operate than foundations.

Poor schools hurt economy more than recession, report says

A new report says the poor performance of U.S. schoolchildren, especially those who are poor and minorities, has hurt the U.S. economy more than the current recession, The New York Times reported April 23 (see poor schools story).The report by McKinsey & Company says closing achievement gaps between black and Hispanic children and white children, between poor and wealthy students, between Americans and students abroad, and between students of similar backgrounds in different parts of the U.S., would increase the annual gross domestic product of the U.S. by trillions of dollars, or $3 billion to $5 billion a day.

Native arts foundation formed

A new foundation to support the work of American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native artists is being created with initial funding of $10 million from the Ford Foundation, The New York Times reported April 22 (see native arts foundation story). Called the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the organization says it is the first permanently endowed national foundation of its kind.

Ivy endowment-management examined

A new book, How Harvard and Yale Beat the Market, examines the principles behind the investment strategies used by the managers of the endowments at the two Ivy League schools, The Wall Street Journal reported April 22 (see college endowment story). Matthew Tuttle, the book’s author argues that an investment fund should have a mandate to make money, not to stick to a certain benchmark, the Journal says.

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