Nonprofit news roundup for July 29, 2009

Suit filed to prevent closure of Rose Art Museum

Overseers of the Rose Art Museum have filed a lawsuit to stop Brandeis University’s plans to close the museum and sell off its holdings to make up for losses sustained by the school’s endowment, The New York Times reported July 27 (see Rose Art Museum story). The museum’s works are valued at about $350 million.

Atlanta nonprofits decry return of $30 million in federal funds

Atlanta-area nonprofits are criticizing city officials’ management of the Atlanta Renewal Community, a $53 million federal program begun six years ago to boost the local community, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported July 27 (see Atlanta nonprofits story). Only $7.3 million of the money was spent on services, while a roughly equal amount was spent on administration, and the city now must return $30 million in unused funds to the federal government.

Merce Cunningham’s dance company aims to raise $8 million

Several weeks before his death July 26, Merce Cunningham, who started the Cunningham Dance Foundation, set in place a plan to raise $8 million to preserve his work and provide for the transition his dance company’s assets should he no longer be able to lead it, The Los Angeles Times reported July 28 (see Merce Cunningham story). About $2.5 million has been raised to date.

Mid-South nonprofits hard hit by recession

About half the nonprofits operating in the Mid-South region of the U.S. say they will finish the year with a budget deficit, and almost a third have no cash reserves, says a report from the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, The Memphis Daily News reported July 28 (see Mid-South nonprofits story). The situation could worsen over the remainder of the year, the report says.

Swiss corporate philanthropy robust despite recession

Despite the recession, corporate philanthropy in Switzerland is thriving, with over three-quarters of companies continuing to support the social sector, says a survey by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, World Radio Switzerland reported July 28 (see Swiss philanthropy story). Virtually all companies surveyed say they plan to maintain their giving in the coming years.

Wealth in India seen outpacing philanthropy

The growth of philanthropy in India is not keeping pace with the country’s growing wealth, and when rich Indians do give, it’s often to their Hindu temples, not to help their needy brethren, Dean Nelson wrote in an opinion column in The Telegraph July 28 (see India philanthropy story). One couple, however, has created a hospital that provides free medical and dental care for the poor.

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