19th-Century Founder’s Words Central to Cooper Union’s Tuition Battle

A New York court is attempting to parse the flowery prose of a 19th-century education patron in determining whether the college he established can begin charging undergraduate tuition for the first time in its more than 150 years, The Wall Street Journal writes.

A group of students, faculty, and alumni seeking to block the new fees at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art rest their case on the school’s charter and what they claim is the intent of its founder, Peter Cooper, to offe…

New ‘Bucket’ Challenge Aims to Build Solidarity with Gazans

A Palestinian journalist has launched a “rubble bucket challenge,” an adaptation of the ice-bucket challenge that urges people to publicly show support for Gazans affected by Israeli air strikes, The Daily Telegraph and The Washington Post write.

In a video posted online Saturday, Ayman el-Aloul says water is too valuable in Gaza “to empty over our heads.” Pointing to the ruins of buildings behind him, he says that “we looked around us … and decided to use it instead of iced water,” after which …

Ohio Woman Gets 2 Years for $588,000 Theft at Nonprofit

The payroll supervisor at a charity in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, who used her position to embezzle $588,121 from the organization was sentenced Monday to a two-year prison term, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Wendy Harper was also ordered to make restitution to the Harvest Management Group, which manages residential properties for the elderly and disabled, and to pay $126,365 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Ms. Harper, 44, of Columbus pleaded guilty in February to one count each of theft from federal…

White House Offers New Compromise on Contraceptive Mandate

The Obama administration laid out new rules Friday for faith-affiliated nonprofits to opt out of providing birth-control coverage for their workers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Under the new plan, the federal government will take responsibility for ensuring such coverage for employees at organizations that state in writing in religious objection to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.

The administration announced plans to tweak its initial accommodation for religious groups foll…

ALS Charity Faces Challenge of Spending Ice-Bucket Windfall

With the ice-bucket challenge swelling the ALS Association’s coffers by millions of dollars a day, the organization risks lower rankings from the nonprofit watchdog groups if it does not spend the money quickly on mission-related work, Fortune writes. The charity raised $53.3-million from July 29 to August. 22—compared to $19.8-million all of last year—thanks to the viral phenomenon that encourages people to challenge friends to give to the organization or drench themselves with ice water.

The A…

Declining Demand for Blood Could Drain Red Cross Finances

Medical advances have sharply reduced the need for blood transfusions, sowing major changes in a blood bank industry dominated by the American Red Cross, The New York Times reports.  Transfusions have declined from 15 million units of blood five years to 11 million last year, according to the charity, which has 40 percent of the market and derives about 60 percent of its $3-billion annual budget from blood services.

Blood banks, many of which are also nonprofits, are merging and shedding workers…

Wisc. Governor Sought Gifts for Conservative Nonprofit

Documents briefly made public Friday indicate that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign encouraged donations to an advocacy group that was battling efforts to recall the governor and Republican state lawmakers in 2011 and ’12, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Emails among Mr. Walker and senior aides called for soliciting contributions from outside groups and wealthy donors like Donald Trump and Sheldon Adelson to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative nonprofit led by a Walker c…

Opinion: Gates Investments Undermine Foundation’s Good Works

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s stock portfolio, which includes hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in oil, pharmaceutical, and mining firms, undercuts its efforts to improve health, reduce poverty, and limit environmental despoliation in the developing world, The Nation argues.

The liberal magazine notes that foundation head Susan Desmond-Hellmann, in her previous position as chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco, divested her holdings in the tobacco indus…

Bloomberg Applies Mayoral Methods to Global Philanthropy

The New York Times looks at ex-New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s burgeoning global philanthropy, focusing on his efforts to curb tobacco use in Turkey and other countries with high smoking rates.

Since leaving office, the billionaire media mogul has ramped up the work of his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, on campaigns that echo his New York efforts on smoking and obesity and puts cities at the center of effecting change, the Times writes, suggesting that at age 72 he “has one last asp…

Miley Cyrus Uses Music Awards Win to Launch Homelessness Campaign

Pop star Miley Cyrus sent a homeless man to the podium at MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday to accept her prize for video of the year and simultaneously kicked off an online fundraiser for a Los Angeles charity serving homeless young people, reports The New York Times.

Taking the stage after Ms. Cyrus’s name was called for her “Wrecking Ball” video, the man identified himself as Jesse and said he was “accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United St…