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Universities stand by high-risk strategies…

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Nonprofit news roundup 

Universities stand by higher-risk investment strategies

Despite steep investing losses by U.S. colleges and universities, endowment managers still back a diversified strategy that includes higher-risk investments like hedge funds and real estate, The New York Times reported Sept. 22 (see university investments story). Harvard University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology all say they will stick with their existing strategies, which last year led to steep endowment losses.

White House says to keep politics out of federal grantmaking

The White House has warned government agencies to keep politics out of the federal grantmaking process, a step taken after the National Endowment of the Arts was criticized for asking artists to create works that would boost President Obama’s legislative agenda, The New York Times reported Sept. 22 (see federal grants story). Grant awards should be based only on the merits of the proposals, the White House says.

Gates Foundation to offer $400 million in loans

In an effort to boost its program-related investments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is planning to provide $400 million in new low-interest loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, Kristi Heim wrote in a blog in the Seattle Times Sept. 22 (see Gates Foundation story). The foundation’s CFO will manage the investments.

Corporate philanthropy in China spikes

Corporate philanthropy in China is growing as the nation’s companies begin to place more weight on social responsibility, The New York Times reported Sept. 22 (see Chinese philanthropy story). Charitable giving in China reached $15.7 billion last year, three times more than was donated in 2007, with about $11 billion of the 2008 total going to relief efforts in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake.

Branch tapped to lead American Humanics

R. Wayne Branch, former president of Clark College in Washington State, has been named president of American Humanics, a nonprofit in Kansas City that prepares colleges students for careers in the nonprofit sector, The Kansas City Star reported Sept. 22 (see American Humanics story). American Humanics programs are offered through 60 colleges and universities across the country.

Minnesota funders aim to maintain grantmaking

Slightly more than half of Minnesota foundations plan to reduce their grantmaking, fewer than the six in 10 across the country that will cut spending, Business North reported Sept. 22 (see foundation giving story).

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