Category Archives: News-updates

Lack of Aid Coordination Hurts Ebola Fight as Virus Spreads

A disorganized and largely leaderless international response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa has slowed efforts to stem the worst outbreak of the virus in history, according to The Washington Post. The lack of coordination in how funds are being raised and spent and which groups are providing equipment and staff has delayed shipments of badly needed supplies and the set-up of field facilities.

Aid charities, governments in the region, and global health officials were largely caught off guard …

Utility Sale Means $48-Million Gift for Alaska Foundation

A utility executive’s pledge last year to donate 90 percent of his shares in the company to the Juneau Community Foundation will yield about $48-million for the organization in Alaska’s capital, the Juneau Empire reports. The foundation announced the estimated size of the gift Wednesday as the sale of Alaska Electric Light & Power to a Spokane, Wash., utility firm nears completion.

Bill Corbus, the owner and former president of the Juneau power provider, and his wife, Katie, made the stock promi…

Livestrong Gifts Fell by a Third After Armstrong Admission

Donations to the Livestrong Foundation dropped by 34 percent in 2013, a year that started with charity founder Lance Armstrong confessing that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career, Bloomberg reports. The cancer organization took in $15-million last year, down from $22.7-million in 2012, according to tax filings.

The foundation’s total revenue fell 38 percent to $23.3-million, with Nike, sunglasses maker Oakley, and other corporate partners terminating deals w…

Universities of Maryland and Colorado Receive Major Gifts

A University of Maryland dropout who went on to play key roles in high-tech start-ups that sold for hundreds of millions of dollars is donating $31-million to his would-be alma mater, reports The Washington Post. The gift from Brendan Iribe will go largely toward a new computer-science building, to be named for the donor, who left the College Park campus during his freshman year.

Mr. Iribe’s most recent venture, virtual-reality-headset developer Oculus VR, was purchased by Facebook for $2-billio…

Wash. State Officials Say Autism Charity Scammed Donors

Washington State authorities are seeking to close down a purported autism nonprofit headed by a woman whose previous, similar organization was also shuttered by the state, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The Washington attorney general’s office contends in a civil suit filed last week that Brandie Christian of Lynnwood, Wash., and her husband, Joshua Hani, lined their pockets from gifts to the Autism Outreach Foundation.

The couple launched the foundation in late 2012 as the state was sh…

Effect of Gaza Giving Raises Concerns for Jewish Charities

Emergency campaigns by U.S. Jewish groups to aid Israelis affected by the Gaza war prompted a flood of donations and raised worries among some philanthropic leaders that the crisis derailed giving strategies and diverted money from other causes, The Jewish Week writes.

Jewish institutions and organizations raised tens of millions of dollars in the seven weeks of fighting, supporting medical and other direct aid for those in areas hit hard by Hamas rocket fire as well as programs some charity off…

Federal Workplace Giving Campaign Expands Donor Options

The U.S. government’s workplace charity drive launched its 2014 edition earlier this month with new provisions that give federal employees leeway to direct contributions to a wider range of organizations, The Washington Post reports. The added “universal giving” feature allows federal civilian and military personnel participating in the 151 regional Combined Federal Campaigns to target local charities in areas outside their own.

Previously, donations through the country’s largest workplace fundr…

Gates Foundation Pledges $50-Million for Ebola Battle

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $50-million contribution Wednesday to fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa and speed development of diagnostic tools and treatments, reports The Seattle Times. Much of the money will go immediately to the World Health Organization and other groups to expand emergency operations on the front lines of the outbreak, which has claimed at least 2,300 lives.

The commitment includes $10-million Gates has already provided for Ebola-fighting supplies an…

Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Aims to Go Beyond 9/11 Work

The co-founder and executive director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, one of the biggest charities formed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, tells The Wall Street Journal about plans to broaden the organization’s focus to support needy grass-roots nonprofits as well as disaster victims.

The fund is led by Edie Lutnick, whose brother, Gary Lutnick, was one of the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died on September 11, 2001. The financial-services firm was based at the World Trade …

Opinion: 501(c)(4)s Are the New Smoke-Filled Rooms

The emergence of nonprofit “social-welfare” groups as electioneering tools is tilting the political playing field toward wealthy interests, “widening the gap between the rich people who control campaign financing and the economically anxious voters targeted by their ads,” a New York Times columnist writes.

Thomas B. Edsall notes the hundreds of millions of dollars that flow through Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and Charles and David Koch’s network of conservative organizations, which are not requir…