Monthly Archives: February 2011

Federal Budget Cuts Update: AmeriCorps and Public Broadcasting

A Harvard graduate student’s online petition drive to save the threatened AmeriCorps program has mushroomed into a nationwide grass-roots campaign that had attracted nearly 105,000 signatures by late last week, The Boston Globe writes.

Caleb Jonas, who spent a year in the federal national-service program, started the drive through online petition site Change.org on February 9, as the House of Representatives geared up to pass a budget bill that would eliminate AmeriCorps, sending an e-mail messa…

New Trend in Corporate Giving on Agenda for CEOs’ Conference

“Creating shared value”–the name applied to the growing trend in corporate philanthropy to blend efforts to promote social good and business objectives—will be a key agenda item at a major gathering of corporate leaders Monday, says Reuters.

More than 90 CEO’s are to meet in New York at the Board of Boards conference, which coincides with International Corporate Philanthropy Day. The Clinton Global Initiative seeks to further push so-called shared-value efforts at a June gathering in Chicago tha…

British Charity Campaign Attracts $25-Million

A campaign by British scholars to persuade people to give “what you can” has raised charity pledges of $25-million, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The article examines the efforts of Toby Ord, a 31-year-old Australian who earns $52,000 a year as an ethics researcher at Oxford University.

He gained attention in Britain in 2009 when he started Giving What We Can, a campaign that promotes greater giving by people of relatively modest means. Its 80 members pledge to donate at least 10 pe…

Gates Foundation Earmarks $70-Million to Raise Food Production

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Sunday announced $70-million in new spending to help small farmers in the developing world boost their crop yields and incomes, Reuters reports.

The British government’s Department for International Development is adding $32-million over five years to the effort to increase agricultural production in Africa and Asia as escalating food prices raise the risk of widespread malnutrition and political instability in poor countries.

Cornell University will receiv…

In the Arts: $10-Million Gift for Chicago Museum; N.Y. Philharmonic Smashes Fund Target

The Art Institute of Chicago plans to renovate and expand its galleries of ancient art with a $10-million donation from a prominent Greek-American family, writes The New York Times.

The gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation will support work on the Art Institute’s displays of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine art. Mary Jaharis, who runs the foundation with her husband and their two children, is a trustee of the Chicago institution and of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In other arts news:

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Judge Denies Jewish Group’s $18-Million Claim on Banker’s Estate

A Los Angeles judge has tentatively ruled against a California Jewish organization that says it was promised $18-million by a prominent businessman and philanthropist before his death in 2008, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy’s said Chabad of California failed to provide sufficient evidence during a trial last year that Roland Arnall, co-founder of the mortgage giant Ameriquest, had orally pledged the money to Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, Chabad’s president, …

$30-Million Bequest to Benefit Calif. Hospital Expansion

A Southern California children’s hospital has received $30-million from the estate of a local businessman whose only previous known donation was a used computer, reports The Orange County Register.

Children’s Hospital of Orange County will split the gift from Robert Tidwell, a retired investment banker who died in 2009 at age 87, between clinical programs and construction costs.

The hospital is undergoing a $585-million expansion and renovation that will boost its capacity from 238 to 404 beds a…

In the Arts: U. of Iowa Wins Battle Over Legislator’s Demand to Sell Painting

An Iowa lawmaker has dropped his proposal to require the University of Iowa to sell its $150-million Jackson Pollock painting to finance scholarships, The Des Moines Register writes.

Rep. Scott Raecker said the emotional debate over his bill, which was due to be considered by a House committee Monday, would distract the legislature from its most pressing priority, passing a budget.

Gov. Terry Branstad and John Pappajohn, a Des Moines philanthropist who has given the university $40-million, both …

Seattle’s Urban League Comes Under Scrutiny in City Inquiry

The Seattle chapter of the Urban League is among several organizations and individuals that were paid by the city school system under “questionable” contracts, according to a report by Washington state auditors, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says.

Police and prosecutors are investigating a program designed to encourage small, minority-owned businesses to bid on school projects. An investigation by the state Auditor’s Office found nearly $1.8-million in spending for services that were never pe…