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Nonprofit federal health-insurance plan floated…

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Nonprofit news roundup 

Republican senator seeks nonprofit government insurance plan

Republican Senator Olympia Snow proposed and amendment to the federal health-care bill that would create a nonprofit government insurance company to provide health coverage should private-market policies remain too expensive, The New York Times reported Sept. 19 (see health reform story).

Risky investment strategies take bite out of elite universities

Some of America’s most prestigious universities now are paying the price for high-risk investment strategies that paid off during boom times but cost billions during the economic bust, The Associated Press reported Sept. 21 (see U.S. universities story). The shift over the past few years from to riskier investments like commodities, real estate and private equity took a heavy toll on elite schools like Harvard and Yale, both of which lost about 30 percent of their endowments in fiscal 2009.

ACORN’s ethical lapses threaten to taint nonprofit sector

The recent breaches of ethics and public trust by some ACORN employees have the potential to taint the entire nonprofit sector, which could lead to “rips in the social safety net” at a time when vulnerable Americans are suffering, Darryl A. Jones Sr., CEO of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations wrote in a letter to the Baltimore Sun Sept. 22 (see ACORN letter). The majority of nonprofits are responsible stewards of their donations and missions, he wrote.

MacArthur Foundation bestows 24 ‘genius awards’

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named its latest crop of 24 MacArthur Fellow, each of whom will receive $500,000 to use however they choose, The New York Times reported Sept. 21 (see MacArthur Fellows story). Recipients of this year’s “genius awards” include documentary maker James Longley, writer Edwidge Danticat, journalist Jerry Mitchell and photojournalist Lynsey Addario.

Pennsylvania‘s budget impasse takes toll on states nonprofits

As Pennsylvania’s budget impasse continues without a balanced budget, nonprofits that rely on state funding have been forced to furlough workers, provide IOUs to vendors and seek increases to their lines-of-credit, Patricia A. Coulter wrote in an opinion column in The Philadelphia Inquirer Sept. 21 (see Pennsylvania nonprofits column).

Coldplay donates $1.6 million to London charity

British rock band Coldplay has donated $1.6 million to Kids Company, London-based a charity that helps underprivileged children who lack adult support, The New Zealand Herald reported Sept. 22 (see Coldplay charity story).

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