Silicon Valley giving hits skids…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Silicon Valley giving hits skids

Charitable giving in the Silicon Valley area of California has slowed, with donations from the wealthy directed through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation dropping to $46.2 million as of August, compared to $168 million for all of 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 19 (see Silicon Valley giving story). Assets for the foundation’s donor-advised funds have dropped by almost $1 billion since a peak in late 2007.

Eli Broad to create, endow contemporary art museum

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad says he will build an art museum, and endow it with $200 million, to house his collection of contemporary art works, The Los Angeles Times reported Nov. 16 (see Broad donation story). He hopes to do it quickly, and has yet to determine the location, although both Beverly Hills and Santa Monica are vying for the honor.

Gates Foundation’s new building could send ‘wrong signal’

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is building a 900,000 square-foot headquarters facility with an estimated price tag of half a billion dollars, an expense that “may be sending the wrong signal,” Robert Frank wrote in The Wall Street Journal Nov. 16 (see Gate Foundation story). Some say the funds should be spent for charitable purposes, but foundation representatives say owning its own space will be more cost-efficient over time than leasing multiple spaces.

Long Island nonprofits keep 25 cents of telemarketing funds raised

Long Island nonprofits that use professional telemarketers to solicit funds on average get to keep less than 25 cents of every dollar raised, with the remainder kept by the telemarketing companies, says a new report from the New York Attorney General’s office, Newsday reported Nov. 16 (see fundraising solicitation story). That’s lower than the state average of 39.5 cents flowing to nonprofits.

Milwaukee foundation launches online tool for basic-needs funding

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation launched Vital Signs, an online tool designed to help direct, track and assess donations for basic-needs assistance, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Nov. 17 (see Milwaukee Foundation story). The site includes information and analysis of unemployment, food-stamp use, foreclosures and other indicators of financial stress.

Giving in Hawaii flat since 2001

While Hawaiians are continuing to give, with 92 percent donating to charity last year, the amount they’re giving is roughly equal to what they gave in 2001, says a survey by the Hawaii Community Foundation, The Honolulu Advertiser reported Nov. 15 (see Hawaii giving story). Over the same period, giving to religious organizations rose while donations to human-services groups fell.

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