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Nonprofit news roundup for Aug. 6, 2009

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Two named to oversee Harvard’s endowment

Harvard Management Company, which manages the Harvard Endowment, has hired two investment managers to oversee the ailing endowment, which lost 30 percent of its value over the past year, The Bismark Tribune reported Aug. 5 (see Harvard Endowment story). Emil Dabora, a senior managing director at Caxton Associates, will become equity portfolio manager, and Michele Toscani, managing director at Fortress Investment Group, joins the international fixed-income team.

Shapiro Foundation loses over $140 million in Madoff scheme

The Carl & Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, which is run by a longtime friend and client of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff, lost more than $140 million in the investment scheme, amended tax returns show, The Boston Globe reported Aug. 5 (see Shapiro Foundation story). While the foundation will not make new grants, it says it will honor all existing commitments.

PBS cuts workforce by 10 percent

In response to declining funding over the course of the recession, the Public Broadcasting Service laid off 10 percent of its workforce this summer, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Aug. 5 (see PBS story). Local affiliate WQED in Pittsburgh laid off nine workers in July, and other stations across the country also are making similar cuts.

Houston Symphony staff and musicians take week-long furlough

In an effort to save money, the Houston Symphony Orchestra will be on furlough for a week in August, Tim Smith wrote in a blog in the Baltimore Sun Aug. 6 (see Houston Symphony story). The symphony joins the ranks of other orchestras across the country, including the Baltimore Symphony, that have been forced to make major cuts over the past several months.

Arrests lead Sephardic community to examine its charities

After Syrian Jewish leaders in the New York City area were charged with money laundering and misuse of charitable funds, the Sephardic community is working to provide more oversight and transparency to its charities, The Jewish Week reported July 4 (see Jewish charities story). Proposed reforms include routine audits for nonprofits and halting the practice of having rabbis serve as sole manager for charitable funds.

University of Georgia raises record $110 million

The University of Georgia raised a record total of $110 million in fiscal 2009 from almost 54,000 donors, 3,000 more than contributed in fiscal 2008, The Associated Press reported Aug. 4 (see University of Georgia story).

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