Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 1, 2009

Some charities may have to repay gains made under Madoff

The trustee charged with managing claims for the victims of Bernard Madoff’s investing scheme says some charities may have to pay back gains earned while their funds were under management by the convicted swindler, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 1 (see Madoff and charities story). Under the theory that such gains are “fruit of a fraudulent scheme,” organizations that earned more than they lost may be subject to such “clawback” actions.

Largest public broadcasting affiliate faces layoffs, furloughs

WGBH, the Boston-based public-broadcasting affiliate that produces well-known programming including Frontline, Nova and Antiques Roadshow, plans to lay off staff, freeze salaries and mandate furloughs in an effort to cut its budget by $7 million, The Boston Globe reported Sept. 1 (see WGBH story). Changes to the organization could affect PBS, which gets more than a third of its prime-time programming from WGBH.

Manhattan college’s conservative investments pay off

While some universities sustained investment losses of 20 to 30 percent in fiscal 2009, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan saw its endowment grow by 5 percent in fiscal 2008 and expects a break-even return in fiscal 2009, The Times Newspapers reported Sept. 1 (see Cooper Union story). The school’s performance is due to a conservative strategy that aims for “no material losses” and “a constant cash flow to meet expenses.”

Football Hall-of-Famer to raise money for Kansas University

Gale Sayers, a two-time All-American football player who attended Kansas University and went on to play for the Chicago Bears, will join the university in October as director of fundraising and special projects, The Kansas City Star reported Aug.31 (see Kansas University story). Sayers, who previously served as assistant athletic director at Kansas, aims to help strengthen the school’s athletic programs.

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