LSU Alumnus Commits $40-Million for Athletics and Academics

Louisiana State University announced an anonymous $40-million pledge Wednesday to support scholarships for student athletes and budding engineers, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans writes.

The planned gift will be paid upon the death of the donor, who was identified as an alumnus and a lifelong supporter of LSU sports. The donation will be split evenly between the Tiger Athletic Foundation to fund athletic scholarships and the LSU Foundation to aid students in the College of Engineering’s Depart…

Economic Rebound Sends Art Museums on a Buying Spree

After years of reining in acquisitions amid the economic slump, art museums are again expanding their collections, the New York Observer writes in an article rounding up recent purchases by major institutions.

While some museums continue to pay millions for works by long-recognized masters, many are riding the rebound to build up holdings in underrepresented areas like photography and video, decorative arts, and work by minorities and artists from Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

“Donor…

$7.5-Billion Pledged to Vaccinate Children Worldwide

The GAVI Alliance said Tuesday that governments and private donors have committed $7.54-billion to its campaign to inoculate 300 million children in poor countries against deadly diseases over the next five year, Reuters reports. Bill Gates made the largest pledge, $1.55-billion, followed by $1.5-billion from the British government.

Despite the strong U.S. currency complicating dollar-denominated global fundraising efforts, the pledges announced at a Berlin donor conference topped the $7.5-billi…

$100-Million-Plus Gift to Northwestern U. Will Go Toward Global Studies

Roberta Buffett Elliott, investor Warren Buffett’s sister, has donated more than $100-million to Northwestern University to create an institute for global studies and to provide scholarships for international students, according to the university.

The gift is part of Northwestern’s $3.75-billion fundraising campaign and brings the total raised so far to more than $2-billion.

New Mass. Attorney General Aims to Block Big Health Nonprofit’s Expansion

Reversing her predecessor’s stand, newly elected Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called on a judge this week to reject a plan by the state’s largest medical chain to acquire three more hospitals, The Boston Globe reports. In a court filing Monday, Ms. Healey raised the possibility of a state suit to block nonprofit Partners HealthCare’s intended purchase of medical centers in Weymouth, Medford, and Melrose, Mass.

Former attorney general Martha Coakley backed the mergers after reachin…

Smithsonian Plans First Foreign Foray With London Gallery

The Smithsonian Institution announced plans Tuesday for a 40,000-square-foot exhibition space in London that would be the 168-year-old museum and research complex’s first permanent outpost outside the United States, reports The New York Times. The proposed gallery would be part of a cultural quarter being developed at the East London site of the 2012 Olympics.

Smithsonian officials said no U.S. government funds would go into the British project. London authorities pledged to raise $50-million fo…

Dells Donate $25-Million for New Tex. Teaching Hospital

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced a $25-million matching gift Tuesday to a new hospital that will serve as the main training center for the University of Texas medical school, the Austin American-Statesman writes. The health-focused foundation led by the computer mogul and his wife donated $50-million two years ago for the medical school, to be named for the Dells and scheduled to open next year.

The dollar-for-dollar match puts fundraising for the planned Dell Seton Medical Center i…

Insurance Executive Leaves $20-Million to Pa. Divinity School

The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary announced Tuesday that it has received a $20.25-million bequest from Robert Thomson, a longtime local insurance agent who died in September at the age of 94, writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Presbyterian Church-affiliated institution said it would use part of the unrestricted gift to cover the outstanding $6-million of a $26.5-million capital campaign and is seeking input from faculty and others on what to do with the rest.

A bachelor who had no childre…

USAID Drops Aid Charity Accused of Massive Misspending

The U.S. Agency for International Development said Monday that it is suspending one of its biggest nonprofit contractors after investigators uncovered “serious misconduct” in the group’s handling of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds, reports The Washington Post. International Relief and Development has received more than $2.4-billion from USAID since 2007, primarily for humanitarian and community-development projects in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Federal reviews and reports from USAID’…

Opinion: Donating Data Could Be New Philanthropic Frontier

Two Britissh researchers speculate on a future in which giving away data on personal habits becomes part as much a part of the philanthropic landscape as donating money, blood, or time, in an article reposted by business-news site Quartz from online academic journal The Conversation.

As an example, University of Nottingham fellows Anya Skatova and James Goulding suggest that data from loyalty cards showing individuals’ eating and shopping habits could yield clues on how diet and lifestyle figure…