Nonprofit news roundup for June 8, 2009

Gates CEO aims to improve partnerships, internal processes

In his first annual letter, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes says the funder needs to improve its internal processes and the quality of its grantmaking partnerships, The Seattle Times reported June 3 (see Gates Foundation story). His comments are based on the results of the first-ever survey of the foundation’s staff.

University of Virginia‘s endowment begins rebound

After nine straight months of decline, the endowment of the University of Virginia gained $78.3 million in March and $115.6 million in April, The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported June 4 (see University of Virginia story). The endowment, which provides about 5 percent of the university’s operating budget, had fallen to a low of $3.76 billion from a peak of $5.1 billion and now stands at $3.9 billion.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences gets $33.4 million

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences received $33.4 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to expand the Reynolds Institute on Aging, Max Brantley said in a blog in the Arkansas Times June 4 (see University of Arkansas story). The gift is the school’s second-largest ever and will be used to build four more floors for the institute and create a pedestrian walkway connecting the institute to a nearby medical facility.

Mars Hill College exceeds goal by raising over $38 million

Mars Hill College in western North Carolina raised more than $38 million during its “Values and Vision Capital Campaign,” topping its goal by more than $2.5 million, The News-Record and Sentinel reported June 4 (see Mars Hill College story). The funds will be used for scholarships, construction of new buildings and expansion and improvement of existing facilities.

Half of Michigan nonprofits report drop in fundraising, survey says

About half of Michigan nonprofits have seen a drop this year in financial and in-kind contributions, says a survey by the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University, Crain’s Detroit Business reported June 4 (see Michigan nonprofits story). Arts and culture groups have been hardest hit, with three in four reporting fundraising declines, while human-service organizations fared best.

Colorado officials seek funding from foundations

State officials in Colorado are reaching out to the state’s private foundations to seek assistance in plugging a $400,000 funding gap for marketing and outreach for the state’s food-stamps program, The Denver Post reported June 6 (see Colorado foundations story). Colorado has been working to improve the $166.4 million computer system that processes food-stamp applications, a project foundations say is taking too long and forcing needy people to turn to food shelters, churches and senior centers.

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