Nonprofit news roundup for July 2, 2009

Obama aims to find, support ‘most promising’ nonprofits

The Obama administration is on a mission to identify the best nonprofits and programs making a difference in fields such as education, training and health care, The Associated Press reported June 30 (see social innovation story). The president’s community service act includes a $50 million innovation fund Obama would like to use to boost the country’s most promising nonprofits.

Alumni agree to pay $6 million for Antioch College

Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, will become an independent school when the campus is transferred to a group of alumni paying a price of $6 million, The Associated Press reported June 30 (see Antioch University story). The college was closed two years ago because of financial problems and likely will not reopen for at least another two years.

Michael Jackson’s will may name charities as partial benficiaries

Michael Jackson’s 2002 will names his mother, his three children and one or more charities as the beneficiaries of his estate, The Wall Street Journal reported June 30 (see Michael Jackson story). The charities, yet to be identified, could see a portion of Jackson’s assets, which some currently estimate are worth about $200 million.

Hiring scandal dampens donations at N.C. State University

Some long-time donors to North Carolina State University are discontinuing their support in the wake of a scandal over the hiring and compensation of Mary Easley, the wife of former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, The News & Observer reported July 1 (see N.C. State story). While donations to the school’s annual fund are up this year, new commitments are down 22 percent over last year.

Kansas University‘s endowment loses 20 percent

Kansas University’s endowment posted investment returns of about negative 20 percent during the 2009 fiscal year, the worst performance in recent memory, The Lawrence Journal-World & News reported June 30 (see Kansas University story). Once the final numbers are in, the school’s endowment could fall below $1 billion, having stood at $1.52 billion last year.

Colleges tap ‘underwater’ funds to cover costs

Given a law adopted in 38 states that allows colleges to spend money from endowments that have dropped below their original purchase value, more schools are dipping into such “underwater” funds to cover operating costs, Inside Higher Ed reported July 1 (see college endowments story).

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