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Nonprofit news roundup June 24, 2009

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Harvard’s lead bond manager leaves amid asset reallocations

As Harvard Management Company, which manages the university’s endowment, backs away from investing in distressed assets such as mortgage-backed bonds, the group’s head of domestic bond investing is moving on, The Wall Street Journal reported June 23 (see Harvard investment story). Marc Seidner and his colleague Michael Llodra are leaving the company, which is hanging onto cash as it plots its future investment strategy.

Museums fight restrictions on sales of artworks

Major arts organizations including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are working to halt a proposed law that would prevent cultural groups from using proceeds from the sale of artworks to cover operating expenses, The New York Times reported June 22 (see arts sales story). The legislation comes in response to groups that recently have sold valuable pieces of their collections in order to plug budget gaps created by the recession.

City College‘s planned ‘sale’ of classes on hold

Don Griffin, chancellor of City College of San Francisco, is in hot water after neglecting to inform trustees of his decision to sell naming rights to college classes for $6,000 each, The San Francisco Chronicle reported June 23 (see City College story). The plan, which now is under review by the trustees, was intended to save some of the 800 classes that will be cancelled next school year due to a budget deficit.

Supply of volunteers shrinking, survey says

The recession is beginning to take a toll on Indiana volunteers, many of whom are leaving the charities they once supported, and new volunteers are harder to come by, says a survey by United Way of Central Indiana, The Indianapolis Star reported June 22 (see United Ways story). The shift comes at a time when half of nonprofits surveyed say they are relying more on volunteers this year than last.

Kellogg gives $1.6 million for Obama’s national service effort

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has committed $1.6 million to United We Serve, President Barack Obama’s nationwide service effort, The Associated Press reported June 22 (see Kellogg Foundation story). The funds will support grassroots nonprofits and state service commissions  to encourage volunteerism in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans.

First Lady ushers in ‘summer of service’

First Lady Michelle Obama called on attendees of the National Conference on Volunteering and National Service to participate in the United We Serve effort that will run through Sept. 11, USA Today reported June 23 (see Michelle Obama story. She says the Obama administration understands that “service is the key to achieving our national priorities.”

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