Philanthropy seen missing mark…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Philanthropy seen missing mark

A significant portion of charitable giving by individuals and foundations in the U.S. is not meeting the needs of nonprofits or of society, Pablo Eisenberg wrote in a column in The Wall Street Journal Nov. 9 (see fixing charitable giving story). Foundations should increase their grant payout to 6 percent from 5 percent, provide more unrestricted grants, and award more multi-year grants, and individuals and institutions should funnel more money to the “truly needy.”

Public-private philanthropic partnerships on rise

Increasingly, philanthropies and wealthy individuals are looking to partner with government to make headway on persistent societal problems like child poverty and homelessness, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 9 (see public-private philanthropy story). Donors are finding they can leverage their investments by working with government, which in turns gets needed capital and expertise.

Tech training nonprofit gets $4.5 million

Year Up, a nonprofit that preps youth for careers in technology, will receive a four-year $4.5 million grant from Venture Philanthropy Partners to help the charity double in size by 2013, The Washington Post reported Nov. 9 (see tech mentoring story). Year Up currently provides 144 students with information technology skills and college credit while helping them understand the realities of the working world.

One Laptop Per Child fields criticism

Short of its goal of giving away 7 million laptops at a cost of $100 each, nonprofit One Laptop Per Child has given away one million laptops costing $200 each to children in the world’s poorest countries, The New York Times reported Nov. 8 (see One Laptop Per Child story). Some critics say the group is failing, but its founder believes “the tide is turning.”

Gubernatorial hopeful’s foundation gives little in first year

The Griffith R. Harsh IV and Margaret C. Whitman Charitable Foundation, the new $46 million funder set up by billionaire Meg Whitman, who is running for governor of California, gave $125,000 to charity in its first year, The Silicon Valley Mercury News reported Nov. 6 (see Whitman Foundation story). Of that, $100,000 went to the Environmental Defense Fund, which is at odds with Whitman over water policy, while $3 million of the foundation’s assets were invested in hedge funds in the Cayman Islands.

Ross Perot donates $6.1 million for military training

Texas billionaire Ross Perot will donate $6.1 million to be used for programs at the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, The Associated Press reported Nov. 7 (see Ross Perot story). The funds will be used to expand ethics training for officers and boost cooperation between the military and government agencies.

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