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Nonprofit news roundup for Aug. 14, 2009

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‘Cash for clunkers’ takes toll on car donations

At a time when charities already are seeing declining donations, the federal “Cash for clunkers” program is putting additional stress on nonprofit coffers by slowing donations of vehicles to charity, The Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 12 (see cash for clunkers story). One Texas charity estimates the program has cost it $75,000 in vehicle donations.

Education endowments begin turnaround

With more than a year of market turmoil behind them, college and university endowments are beginning a long-awaited climb, Diverse Issues in Higher Education reported Aug. 14 (see college endowments story). Howard University’s endowment has rebounded to $410 million from a low of $375 million and the United Negro College Fund’s endowments have risen to $84 million from a trough of $65 million.

Federal program aims to boost charter schools

Lured by the federal government’s $4 billion Race to the Top program, an education fund that encourages more charter schools, states across the country are lifting caps on the number of charters they will allow, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 13 (see charter school story).

Gates Foundation taps Cerrell to lead new London office

The Gates Foundation has tapped Joe Cerrell to establish and lead its new London office, which will work to build closer ties to European governments and global aid organizations, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 14 (see Gates Foundation story). Cerrell joined the foundation in 2001 and leads its global health policy and advocacy group.

High-tech companies team up to ‘wire’ low-income homes

A coalition of high-tech companies, including Dell and Intel, is partnering with nonprofit Connected Nation to submit a $24 million grant proposal to the federal government to help the cover costs of equipping low-income homes with computers and Internet service, Dow Jones reported Aug. 13 (see Connected Nation story). Private companies participating in the coalition will match government funding through in-kind donations of hardware and other equipment.

Washington State University‘s endowment climbs

Washington State University Foundation’s endowment has grown to $252.3 million as of June 30, a 5.8 percent increase since the end of March, The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported Aug. 13 (see Washington State University story). The climb continued through July and into early August, school officials say.

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