Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 15, 2009

Gates Foundation awards $35 million to boost access to banks

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $35 million grant to the new Alliance for Financial Inclusion, a coalition of banks in over 60 developing countries that aims to increase access to financial services for poor people, The Puget Sound Business Journal reported Sept. 14 (see Gates story).

New York Philharmonic lands $10 million gift

The New York Philharmonic received $10 million from financier Henry R. Kravis to pay for a composer-in-residence, and an additional $250,000 grant every other year to fund a working composer, The New York Times reported Sept. 14 (see New York Philharmonic story). Grant recipients are required to write an original piece of music for the philharmonic.

Columbia‘s endowment falls 16 percent

Columbia University’s endowment fell 21 percent to $5.7 billion in fiscal 2009, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 14 (see Columbia endowment story). That includes a payout of 4 percent to 5 percent to support the university’s operations, and investment losses of 16 percent for the year.

South Florida nonprofits struggle to meet growing needs

As sources of revenue dry up and basic human needs increase, struggling nonprofits in South Florida are laying off staff, cutting programs, increasing collaboration and getting creative about fundraising, The Miami Herald reported Sept. 14 (see South Florida nonprofits story). Nonprofits also are taking the time to deepen relationships with existing donors.

Prince Charles’ charitable foundation under review

British royal Prince Charles’ architectural charity, Foundation for the Built Environment, is being reviewed by the U.K.’s Charity Commission, which received a complaint that the prince is using the foundation to “influence public policy and lobbying ministers,” BBC News reported Sept. 14 (see Prince Charles story). The foundation calls the allegations “unfounded and baseless.”

Furniture donations in Scotland plummet

With furniture donations in the Scotland down 43 percent over the past year, the Community Recycling Network for Scotland and Waste Aware Scotland are launching a campaign to boost donations, BBC News reported Sept. 14 (see furniture donations story).

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