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‘Spend-down’ foundations create anxiety…

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Nonprofit news roundup 

‘Spend-down’ foundations create anxiety

Some foundations are created with the goal of spending all their assets and closing, while others come to that decision later, but either way, funders that close their doors can leave charities searching for replacement dollars, The New York Times reported Nov. 11 (see foundation closings story). Currently, about one in 10 foundations are in spend-down mode, and another quarter are considering it.

Fired founder of Feed the Children sues

Larry Jones, the founder of Feed the Children who was ousted by the charity’s board of directors, is suing the organization and board to be reinstated, The Associated Press reported Nov. 11 (see Feed the Children story). The suit, which alleges Jones was fired out of “personal malice” and spite, also seeks punitive damages and compensation for lost pay.

Goldman Sachs Foundation invested in hedge funds, futures

The Goldman Sachs Foundation’s 2008 tax filing, which is said to be three inches thick, shows that much of its money was placed in hedge funds and futures contracts, The New York Times reported Nov. 11 (see Goldman Sachs Foundation story). Its corporate parent says it has set aside $200 million for the foundation, an infusion that would nearly double the funder’s size.

Art museum criticized for exhibiting trustees’ collection

The New Museum of Contemporary Art is fielding complaints for its decision to exhibit the art collection of Dakis Joannou, a museum trustee and one of its major donors, The New York Times reported Nov. 10 (see New Museum of Contemporary Art story). Joannou also is the chief patron of artist Jeff Koons, whose art will be included in the exhibit and who will curate the event.

Eli Broad urges philanthropist to take risks, dig deep

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Eli Broad is pursuing “venture philanthropy,” eschewing established institutions and looking for new opportunities to bring about reform in education, art and medical and scientific research, Dow Jones reported Nov. 11 (see Eli Broad story). Broad, who says he has the wealth necessary to take risks without fear, is encouraging other philanthropists to dig deep to help those who are suffering.

Temple University professor wins $1 million research prize

Laurence Steinberg, a professor at Temple University, won a $1 million prize for his research on developmental adolescent psychology from the Jacobs Foundation, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Nov. 11 (see research prize story). The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize was given for the first time this year by the Zurich-based funder.

British woman leaves millions to opera, nature group

Mona Webster, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter who grew up in Edinburgh, left about $7.5 million each to the Metropolitan Opera and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Britain, The New York Times reported Nov. 10 (see Mona Webster donations story).

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