Nonprofit news roundup June 18, 2009

Guggenheim cutting staff, budget

Despite record attendance, the foundation that runs the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum plans to cut 25 positions, or 8 percent of the foundation’s full-time staff, The New York Times reported June 16 (see Guggenheim cuts story). The museum, which has seen the value of its endowment fall about 18 percent, to about $113 million, is cutting is annual operating budget by about $6 million overall, to about $60 million.

Princeton endowment down 30 percent; early retirement offered

With its endowment losing $5 billion over the past year, or nearly 30 percent of its value, Princeton University will offer an early retirement incentive package to employees to help cut costs and reduce the potential number of layoffs at the school, the Trenton Times reported June 17 (see Princeton endowment story).

Boards face personal liability for non-compliance with law

Personal liability can be steep for board members who fail to pay attention to their nonprofit’s compliance with the law, The Wall Street Journal reported June 17 (see board liability story). A federal appeals court recently supported a $409,000 IRS penalty against the board chair for a nonprofit hospital in Texas for unpaid payroll and related taxes.

Hybrid business models aim to boost social enterprise

Growing interest in hybrid business models has prompted states to okay new corporate structures that let entrepreneurs build nonfinancial goals into for-profit businesses, BusinessWeek reported June 15 (see hybrid nonprofits story).  One new form, the Low-profit Limited Liability Company, or L3C, targets companies that put their missions before profits. The arrangement lets them qualify for foundation loans or investments, known as “program-related investments,” that advance a foundation’s goals and also may generate financial returns.

Irvine Foundation targets strategic rethinking of arts delivery

Of the $70 million in grants the $1.4 billion-asset James Irvine Foundation will make this year, $20 million will go to the arts, including $3.35 million in the form of innovation grants its CEO James Canales characterizes as “risk capital” to spur a strategic rethinking of the way arts organizations deliver art, The Los Angeles Times reported June 17 (see Irvine Foundation story).

Former mayor to head Seattle Foundation

The Seattle Foundation named former Seattle Mayor Norman B. Rice as its new president and chief executive, effective July 6, the Seattle Times reported June 11 (see Seattle Foundation story). Rice will succeed Phyllis Campbell, who left in March to become chairman of JPMorgan Chase’s Pacific Northwest business.

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