Selected press coverage of philanthropy since our last issue.
New York Times
- The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, endowed with $1.25 billion from the late tobacco heiress estate, handed out its first cycle of grants in late December of last year after President Joan Edelman Spero spent some time dancing, reports Jennifer Dunnings March 10 article, "Surprise! Take Some of Dukes Millions." To familiarize herself with the fields in which the foundation was directed to support in Dukes will, Spero talked to Dukes friends, visiting her homes and studying her personal possessions. In all, eight environmental, medical and cultural groups received a total of $18.6 million in grants.
- Proposed legislation that would require corporations to disclose how much money they give to individual charities has raised corporate ire, writes Adam Bryant in his April 3 article, "Companies Oppose Idea of Telling How They Contribute to Charities." A group of companies and nonprofits have written a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission warning against the requirement, saying it would "dangerously expose corporate philanthropy to a broad range of special-interest groups."
Wall Street Journal
- Frederick Phineas Rose, who FN&C last wrote about in November/ December (see "Clips"), likes to keep his hand in the projects he funds, says "Strings Attached," Monica Langleys March 26 article. The Rose family, longtime New York builders, amassed a large bank account until one day several years ago Rose said, "Ive made enough money." His hands-on style includes making suggestions for every aspect of his projects, down to the elevator signsa practice that brings both praise and criticism from his colleagues.
- A Tax Report brief from March 25 reports the tax provision allowing donors to deduct the full market value of stock donated to private foundations will expire June 30. Caplin & Drysdale lawyer Thomas A. Troyer advises donors not to take chances; make your donations before the provision expires, he says.
- David Packards four children have $8.9 billion to give away through their fathers foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, California, writes George Anders in his March 6 article, "Giving Away $9 Billion Isnt Easy; Just Ask the Packard Children." David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, left a letter to his children before he died in 1996 emphasizing his wish to help reduce the burgeoning world population with his foundation. This year, the foundation plans on spending $35 million on population control programsmore than any other private foundationand $70 million next year.
Los Angeles Times
- In Los Angeles, as in other cities, "strategic philanthropy" means giving money to the right charities, according to a November 23 article by Mark Dowie. "Nothing opens doors wider or faster in Los Angeles than the seven-figure checks made out to the right museums, theaters, hospitals and universities," he writes.
The Washington Post
- The Lilly Endowment gave a three-year, $42 million grant to the College Fund/UNCF, reports Michael A. Fletcher in his March 26 article, "Lilly Endowment Gives $42 Million To College Fund." The grant is to help UNCF colleges "with capital improvements, scholarships and faculty development." Thirty-nine member schools will receive funds.
- An April 4 article by Cindy Loose, "The Power Brokers of 14th Street," chronicles the renewal of the historic 14th Street corridor in downtown Washington, D.C. Thirty years ago, when Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, riots and fires broke out there, leaving more than 4,000 homes and 270 businesses gutted. The area is experiencing a renaissance, thanks mostly to local foundations, nonprofits and community development corporations.
- Judith Havemann profiles Pew Charitable Trusts Director Paul C. Light in her March 24 article, "Bankrolling an Activist Agenda." Light, who was previously a professor, writer and congressional aide, was recruited by Pew Trust President Rebecca W. Rimel to work on funding "bold political, news media and administrative experiments," says Havemann.
- The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region gave five awards to local leaders who are "examples of commendable deeds," says "Honoring Those Who Improve the Lives of Others," a March 18 article by Cindy Loose. President Terri Lee Freeman says the foundation will make the awards annually. Loose profiles the first five winners.
- Bill Gates toured libraries in Demopolis and Selma, Alabama the week before his appearance before Senate Judiciary Committee investigating antitrust allegations, says Donald P. Bakers article, "Plugging In to Philanthropy" from March 4. He stopped by to see the impact of grants made through the Gates Library Foundation to rural libraries such as those in the Alabama towns.
- As of last September, a total of 81 nonprofit hospital conversion foundations held assets of $9.3 billion, says Laurie Larsons February Trustee piece, "How Does Your Foundation Grow?" Yet many trustees of those foundations, held over from the nonprofit hospital days, dont have the skills to run the foundation effectively.
- Columbia Journalism Review writer Susan Benesch credits press collaboration with local government and nonprofit community groups to the rise and success of a new breed of journalism in her March/April article, "The Rise of Solutions Journalism." This kind of reporting, she says, not only identifies large social problemssuch as deteriorating inner citiesbut also shows examples of how people have overcome those problems successfully
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