Stanford suspends ‘smoothing formula’…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Stanford suspends ‘smoothing formula’

The president of Stanford University, a former Silicon Valley businessman, is suspending the school’s “smoothing” formula, which spreads the school’s losses out over a five-year period, Bloomberg reported Oct. 26 (see Stanford endowment story). Instead, the school, whose endowment fell 27 percent in fiscal 2009, is making deep staff and program cuts and will reduce the amount it takes from its endowment for the next two years.

Health-care giving falters in U.S. and Canada

Charitable giving for health-related causes in the U.S. rose an anemic 2.9 percent in 2008 to reach $8.6 billion, while similar donations in Canada fell 12.9 percent to $1.07 billion, says a new report from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Reuters reported Oct. 26 (see health-care giving story).

Bill and Melinda Gates lobby for U.S. funding of global health

Bill and Melinda Gates are asking Washington officials to continue their funding of global health efforts in spite of the recession, saying the U.S. is making a “huge difference” in developing countries, The Washington Post reported Oct. 27 (see Gates lobbying story). U.S. funding for global health has grown to $7.7 billion a year.

Baltimore City Foundation under microscope

The Baltimore City Foundation is under the microscope of the Baltimore Sun, which says the organization operates with “broad discretion” and “almost no oversight,” The Baltimore Sun reported Oct. 25 (see Baltimore City Foundation story). The paper says some of the foundation’s funds are awarded to projects with little or no relation to its charitable mission, spending that could be in violation of IRS rules, and some awards appear to be for the purpose of skirting the public-bid process.

Wichita-area nonprofits struggling

After seeing a rise in demand for their services and a drop in donations, almost half of Wichita-area nonprofits expect to post a deficit for the year, says a survey by United Way of the Plains, The Wichita Business Journal reported Oct. 26 (see Wichita nonprofit story). Revenue was down for six in 10 nonprofits over the past six months, compared to the same period in 2008.

Church of Scientology convicted of fraud by French court

The Church of Scientology has been convicted by a French court of “organized fraud” and using “commercial harassment” in recruiting and must pay more than $900,000 in fines, The Associated Press reported Oct. 27 (see Church of Scientology story). The verdict, which does not ban the church from continuing its operations, is being appealed by the organization’s French branch.

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