Monthly Archives: February 2007

American University Faces IRS Inquiry

The Internal Revenue Service will investigate American University’s tax records from 2004 to 2006 in a probe related to allegations of excessive spending by the university’s ousted president, Benjamin A. Ladner, according to a statement by university officials (sixth item down).

According to an American University audit released in October 2005, Mr. Ladner charged $500,000 in car, alcohol, and travel costs to the university over a five-year period. Upon being forced to resign, he received a $3.7…

Stem-Cell Institute Wins Court Case

In a quick verdict, a state appeals court ruled financing for a nonprofit stem-cell institute in California did not violate the state constitution, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Roger Klein, chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, says he believes the ruling will finally allow the institute to make grants. The institute approved 72 grants totaling $45-million in early February, but litigation held up distribution.

The California institute—a 10-year, $3-billion effort tha…

Businesses With Social Missions Gain Popularity

More and more entrepreneurs are choosing to start for-profit ventures with social missions over starting a new charity, reports the Financial Times.

The article follows a woman who opened a chocolate-chip cookie business in one of the poorest parts of the world, Khayelitsha, near Cape Town in South Africa. Alicia Polak had previous experience delivering windup radios through a nonprofit group but grew frustrated at the lack of job training the group offered.

She decided businesses offered better…

Hillary Clinton Discloses Charity Connection After Inquiry

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did not include her role at her family foundation on five Senate financial disclosure reports that were filed after the foundation was started in 2001, reports The Washington Post.

Senate ethics rules require lawmakers to disclose their affiliations with family-run philanthropies.

The Clinton Family Foundation has given $1.25-million to charity and allowed Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, to write off more than $5-million in personal income…

Pew Trusts Pour $2.2-Million Into Economic-Mobility Study

The Pew Charitable Trusts, in Philadelphia, will give $2.2-million over two years to support a study by two liberal and two conservative Washington think tanks to examine the ability of Americans to improve their economic status during their lifetimes, and from generation to generation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s chief executive, tells the Journal that the effort is designed to encourage scholars at the four foundations—the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage F…

‘Ultimate Gift’ Creators Gear Up for Movie Release

A new film that suggests ways for people to pass their wealth onto the next generation tells the story of a rich baron who, nearing death, decides to leave his fortune to his grandson, and imparts moral lessons to the boy in a series of videos he leaves for him, reports Forbes.

The Ultimate Gift movie is the latest in a string of efforts to promote a book of the same name on wealth transfer by Jim Stovall, the magazine reports. Fox Faith is releasing the movie, starring James Garner, to general…

Business Skills Help a Founder Expand His Literacy Group

A former Microsoft executive who started a charity nine years ago to get books to the developing world is applying his business expertise to his philanthropy, reports The Financial Times.

Since 1998, John Wood’s Room to Read has opened 3,300 libraries in developing countries and has set a goal of opening an average of 30 libraries each week in years to come, the paper reports.

Mr. Wood, who has a new book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, is critical of the charity world’s ability to show…

Actress Joins Foreign-Policy Group

The nonprofit foreign-policy group Council on Foreign Relations, in New York, recently accepted Angelina Jolie into its membership, reports the New York Post.

Ms. Jolie, an actress who is known for her work with refugees, AIDS orphans, and disaster victims and who serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, is being welcomed into the organization by many current members, the paper reports.

One member, Carol Adelman, former head of foreign-aid programs for the United States, tells th…

TRANSCRIPT: Fund-Raising Research

Adrian Sargeant, who holds a new professorship in fund raising at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, discussed his fund-raising and marketing research online today. You can read the transcript on the Chronicle’s Web site.

Smithsonian Official Accused of Misspending $90,000

A confidential report by the Smithsonian Institution’s inspector general found that Lawrence M. Small, the Smithsonian’s top official, charged $90,000 in unauthorized expenses from 2000 to 2005, reports The Washington Post.

“Many transactions were not properly documented or were not in accordance with Smithsonian policies,” wrote A. Sprightley Ryan, acting Inspector General, in a report to the Smithsonian Board of Regents Audit and Review Committee. The report was not released to the public, but…