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Flinn Foundation Names 2010 Scholars

The Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation has announced the names of twenty students selected as 2010 Flinn Scholars.

The full scholarship to attend one of three public universities in the state includes an intensive three-week seminar in Eastern Europe, at least one additional study/travel experience abroad or in the United States, mentorship by a university faculty member, invitations to cultural events and activities, and additional opportunities to participate with university faculty in research programs and professional meetings. The cash value of tuition is provided via a partnership with the universities. The other benefits of the scholarship are valued at $54,000 or more per student.

Chosen from a pool of more than five hundred and fifty applicants, this year’s Flinn Scholars represent fourteen high schools in eleven Arizona cities. To keep his or her scholarship, each student must maintain a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average and participate in campus or community activities.

“These students have been courted by the best universities in the country for at least the past two years, and rightly so,” said Flinn Foundation president and CEO Jack Jewett. “They are intellectually brilliant and curious, dedicated to their communities, and eager to make a difference in the world. Meeting and getting to know these students renews my belief that Arizona can nurture the future leaders our state needs.”

For a complete list of the 2010 Flinn Scholars, visit the program’s Web site.

“As Program Turns 25, Newest Flinn Scholars Choose Arizona Universities.” Flinn Foundation Press Release 5/17/10.

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Chief Executives of New York City Cultural Institutions Looking at Lower Pay

I found this article to be of particular interest because I am sure if  this is happening in NYC this is probably happening all over, especially in states like Louisiana whose arts funding was cut by 80%. Please read the article below written by a writer for the New York Times.

In the past eighteen months, historically well-paid executives of major New York City arts and cultural organizations have frozen their salaries or taken cuts as their organizations’ budgets have shrunk, the New York Times reports.

Buoyed by years of revenue growth, many New York cultural institutions approved salary increases for their chief executives that rivaled those seen in corporate America. Compensation increases of 25 percent to 50 percent over five years were not unusual; in some cases packages nearly doubled. But as the recession tightened its grip on the economy, that trend reversed. For instance, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts president Reynold Levy, who once received annual compensation of roughly $1 million, has twice agreed to salary reductions and last year received a package worth roughly half of what he was paid in 2008. “Most people in senior leadership roles at cultural institutions are at or below where they were in 2008,” said Jennifer Bol, a consultant at executive search firm Spencer Stuart. “Growth in these compensation levels really stopped.”

Cultural leaders interviewed by the Times said reductions were primarily a response to economic forces, although several noted the influence of increased scrutiny of nonprofit governance and compensation practices. The recent media mini-storms caused by the departures of Lawrence M. Small and Barry Munitz from the Smithsonian Institution and the J. Paul Getty Trust, respectively, amid public disclosures of lavish spending and perks, also has increased the level of public attention to the issue. In addition, the IRS tightened its compensation guidelines this year, with arts organizations increasingly being asked to justify their executive compensation packages.

Indeed, some of the leaders who had received large pay increases in recent years have recognized that budget cuts should apply to all levels of an organization. “An example had to be set,” said Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb, who cut his $1.5 million salary twice starting in December 2008. “As the head of the institution, I felt it necessary that it begin with me.”

Pogrebin, Robin. Taylor, Kate. “Reducing Pay for New York Cultural Executives.” New York Times 4/25/10.

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New Requests for Proposals (RFP’s)

Arts and Culture

Entries Invited for Council on Foundations’ 44th Annual Film & Video Festival
Films selected to participate at the festival must have received full or partial funding for production, distribution, and/or outreach from a private, community, operating, or corporate foundation; a corporate giving program; or a donor network….

Posted on May 24, 2010
Deadline: June 25, 2010

Foundation for Jewish Culture Offers Support for Completion of Jewish Documentary Films
Grants of up to $35,000 will be awarded to U.S. directors or producers working on original documentaries that explore the Jewish experience through fresh perspectives….

Posted on May 20, 2010
Deadline: July 27, 2010

Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Announces Mobilizing the Community Through the Arts Grant Program
Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to nonprofits, arts organizations, and arts programming organizations using an arts-based approach to address community issues such as land stewardship, social justice, or education….

Posted on May 20, 2010
Deadline: May 28, 2010 (Eligibility Self Evaluation Tool)

Creative Capacity Fund Offers Professional Development Grants for Artists and Arts Organizations in San Francisco and Los Angeles
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to arts administrators and individual artists in the Bay Area and Los Angeles pursuing professional development activities….

Posted on May 20, 2010
Deadline: Monthly

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Invites Nominations for Leadership Awards
The Distinguished Public Service Award and the Gary Young Award recognize individuals who have displayed exemplary leadership of state arts agencies and regional arts organizations….

Posted on May 20, 2010
Deadline: July 16, 2010

Community Improvement/Development

SEVEN Fund Announces Third Annual Open Enterprise Solutions to Poverty Request for Proposals
Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to think-tanks, economists, professors, and other individuals for their efforts to find a solution to poverty through scientific research….

Posted on May 21, 2010
Deadline: October 15, 2010 (Initial Proposals)

Global Competition Seeks Essays on Faith-Based Enterprise Solutions to Poverty
Awards of $5,000 will be given to individuals who have written first-person narratives describing enterprise solutions to poverty that are faith-based, faith-inspired, or utilize interfaith efforts….

Posted on May 21, 2010
Deadline: October 15, 2010


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Invites Applications for Native Plant Conservation Initiative
Grants will be awarded to nonprofits and local, state, or federal government agencies working on plant conservation projects related to the effects of climate change….

Posted on May 21, 2010
Deadline: July 1, 2010 (Pre-proposals)


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces Call for Proposals for Active Living Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Rapid response grants of up to $150,000 will be awarded to nonprofits working on time-sensitive studies of emerging or anticipated changes in physical activity-related policies or environments related to children and adolescents….

Posted on May 21, 2010
Deadline: July 1, 2010

Human Services

M·A·C AIDS Fund Accepting Grant Applications for Housing Services and Programs
Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to organizations working to provide food, nutrition, or housing services to people living with HIV and AIDS….

Posted on May 21, 2010
Deadline: June 15, 2010


UNITY Invites Journalists of Color to Apply for New Entrepreneurship Program
A $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation will make it possible for journalists of color to participate in a series of two-day “boot camps” featuring training, one-on-one mentoring, and a competition for start-up funding….

Posted on May 22, 2010
Deadline: Various

Philanthropy and Voluntarism

PARSA Community Foundation Announces Mehrgan 2010 Grant Cycle to Support Persian Causes
Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to nonprofits that support Persian/Iranian causes; the foundation has expanded its funding scope to humanitarian work, environmental conservation, academic fellowships, and much more….

Posted on May 25, 2010
Deadline: June 15, 2010 (Letter of Inquiry)

Independent Sector Invites Nominations for American Express NGen Leadership Award
One nonprofit leader under the age of 40 will be honored for his or her transformative, measurable impact within the nonprofit or philanthropic community….

Posted on May 24, 2010
Deadline: June 14, 2010

Entries Invited for 2011 Nonprofit Collaboration Prize
Awards of up to $150,000 will be given to nonprofits that have made the greatest impact through collaborative, innovative responses to challenges or opportunities….

Posted on May 23, 2010
Deadline: July 16, 2010

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy Offers Conference Scholarships to Young Philanthropic Leaders of Color
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to help young philanthropic leaders of color attend a conference, gathering, or training of their choice for the purpose of professional development….

Posted on May 20, 2010
Deadline: June 18, 2010

Third Sector New England Announces Second Round of 2010 Capacity Building Fund Grants
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to networks of five or more groups working to bring about a positive community impact in Rhode Island or Massachusetts….

Posted on May 19, 2010
Deadline: June 24, 2010 (Letters of Intent to Plan)

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Washington University Receives $60 Million Gift

Washington University in St. Louis has announced a $60 million gift from university vice chair and life trustee John McDonnell and his family’s JSM Charitable Trust.

The largest portion of the gift — $48 million — will be used to create and endow the McDonnell Academic Excellence Fund, an unrestricted fund that the university can use to respond to new academic opportunities, launch initiatives that build on its strengths, and maximize its impact on the world. Income generated from the fund could be used for a range of one-time needs, including faculty appointments, new construction and building renovations, scholarship and fellowship support, and new programs. At the chancellor’s discretion, income from the fund can also be used to build other university endowments over time.

Another $10 million will support the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, a global network of partner universities established in 2005 to enable scholars from those institutions to earn a graduate degree and experience broad leadership exposure at the school. In addition, a $2 million challenge grant will be used to encourage new and expanded annual scholarships as part of the university’s Opening Doors to the Future campaign.

“This is a remarkable gift, and it will have a real impact in advancing Washington University’s strategic plan for excellence,” said university chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “I am very grateful to John McDonnell and the JSM Charitable Trust’s directors for their foresight and extraordinary generosity. I am particularly thankful to them for establishing the McDonnell Academic Excellence Fund, which will provide flexibility and generate much-needed resources in perpetuity.”

“John McDonnell, JSM Charitable Trust Give $60 Million to WUSTL.” Washington University Press Release 5/21/10.

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A Music Hall Sways to Its Own Beat

A Music Hall Sways to Its Own Beat

David Goldman for The New York Times

The violinist Maurycy Banaszek on the stage of Bargemusic, where the music is accompanied by views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan.

Published: May 20, 2010

There is usually a moment early in any concert at Bargemusic when even listeners who have spent many evenings hearing music in this converted coffee barge find themselves wondering why they couldn’t have found something to do on dry land. The barge, moored on the Brooklyn side of the East River — near the River Café and a stone’s throw from the Brooklyn Bridge — is a boat, after all, and it is given to the gentle rocking motion that mariners love and landlubbers can find mildly disconcerting.



The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more. Join the discussion.

Yana Paskova for The New York Times

The Flux Quartet, from left, Tom Chiu, Conrad Harris, Felix Fan and Max Mandel, during a recent concert at Bargemusic.

But part of the magic of Bargemusic is that you quickly forget about the motion. When you take your seat, you face a stage set before a large window that offers a spectacular view: the river, with its varied traffic, and the looming cityscape of Lower Manhattan. The performances, by an expansive roster of regulars, as well as visiting ensembles and soloists, are typically so involving that they eclipse even the view.

Lately the programming has been increasingly inventive, as Mark Peskanov, the violinist who has been Bargemusic’s president and executive and artistic director since 2006, has added a new-music series (Here and Now), an early-music series (There and Then) and jazz concerts to the diet of standard repertory solo and chamber works that has been Bargemusic’s main fare. All told, the barge presents about 220 concerts year round.

The offerings over the next week are fairly typical of Bargemusic’s programming these days. In a Here and Now concert on Friday night, the new-music band Sequitur performs Corey Dargel’s “Pulitzer Prize Acceptance Speech,” Phil Kline’s “Football Season Is Over” (a setting of a text by Hunter S. Thompson) and works by Robert Beaser, Martin Bresnick, Tom Cipullo, Michael Fiday, Lee Hyla, Stefan Weisman and Marc Blitzstein.

The Saturday and Sunday concerts are more traditional. Mr. Peskanov; Carlos Prieto, the cellist; and Doris Stevenson, the pianist, perform works by Haydn, Brahms and Shostakovich. Another Here and Now program on Wednesday, performed by the neoLIT Ensemble, is devoted to works by female composers, and on Thursday the Carlos Cuevas Trio plays jazz.

“The truth is, whatever happens here has to do with my taste and my experience or is something I’m very interested in,” said Mr. Peskanov, a bearlike musician with tousled hair and a Russian accent, in a recent interview at the barge. “I’m very interested in what’s happening with new composition. I have always played it. For my debut with the New York Philharmonic, I played a concerto that was composed for me by Stanley Wolfe, and for my Carnegie Hall debut, I played the John Williams Violin Concerto.

“But I’m also interested in what happened back then, in the time before Bach and Vivaldi. That’s something I don’t know as much about, and I’m very curious. So I think the early-music series, There and Then, will open my ears about some things.

“And jazz, let me tell you what happened. We had a benefit concert here for P.S. 8 with some jazz musicians. And one of them — Jeff Newell, the saxophonist — mentioned to me that he had a composition about 25 minutes long that he felt was too long to play in a club. And I thought: ‘That’s it. There is no reason Bargemusic should not open its door to this.’ For jazz musicians, it’s a different experience. It’s a concert atmosphere, not a club.”

As it turns out, Mr. Peskanov is not finished shaking up Bargemusic’s schedule. Starting on June 7, the jazz concerts will be moved from their Thursday night perch to Mondays, and will have both a new series name, Jazz and More, and a new purview: the “more” takes in borderline indie pop-classical performers like the singer, violinist and songwriter Christina Courtin, who performs on June 14, or the Batteries Duo, a trumpet and electronics ensemble that performs with the pianist Steven Beck on July 5.

June will bring other novelties too. As part of Here and Now, the Flux Quartet is devoting a full weekend (June 4 to 6) to music of Morton Feldman, with the clarinetist Evan Ziporyn joining them the last two days . And Mr. Peskanov is starting a new series of hourlong lunchtime concerts, Music in Motion, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with free admission for children with an accompanying adult, who pays $10.

“The performers and the programs are not going to be announced,” Mr. Peskanov said. “That will give the performers a certain freedom. And the format will be maybe 45 or 50 minutes of music and 10 or 15 minutes when people can ask the performers questions. I think it will be a lovely thing for the neighborhood, and it shows us as what we are, a kind of Noah’s Ark of music. This is the spirit of the barge. This is the spirit of Olga.”

Mr. Peskanov was referring to Olga Bloom, now 91, who founded Bargemusic in 1977 and ran it until around 2005, when she began turning over its administration to Mr. Peskanov. Mr. Peskanov, the artistic director at the time, had been overseeing the barge’s programming for several years.

Ms. Bloom, a violinist, came up with the idea of presenting concerts on a barge in 1975, but it took a couple of years to get her project under way. Her first problem was finding the right vessel: her first two barges were acoustically and structurally problematic, but the third, a 102-foot coffee barge, built in 1899, proved ideal for concert use and could seat about 175. Ms. Bloom spent a year refurbishing it, had it towed to its current home at the Fulton Ferry Landing and opened for business.

Etienne Frossard

Olga Bloom, 91, the founder of Bargemusic, with its director, Mark Peskanov.



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Yana Paskova for The New York Times

The former coffee barge floats at Fulton Ferry Landing.

She began modestly, presenting weekly concerts by students from the city’s conservatories. But in 1984 she signed on the violinist Ik-Hwan Bae as her artistic director, and he persuaded her that hiring professional musicians would yield better performances and draw a more devoted audience. By 1990, the barge was thriving. When Mr. Bae left to join the faculty of Indiana University in 1995, Ms. Bloom brought in a committee of chamber players to do the programming, Mr. Peskanov among them.

The job Ms. Bloom turned over to Mr. Peskanov involves more than running the concerts. The mundane side of it, overseeing the barge’s maintenance, requires constant attention and a significant chunk of the annual $1 million budget.

“The thing about this place, which Olga understood very well,” Mr. Peskanov said, “is that it’s like a hungry monster. There is so much to do. It’s 24/7, but it feels more like 48/7. And the fund-raising, I feel like every time I talk to anyone, every phone call or every note I write is about raising money. But it’s good work. It’s about getting interest in the place and about collaborating with people to keep it going. Fund-raising is about collaborating in the same way playing chamber music is.”

Still, it is the musical side of running the barge that most engages Mr. Peskanov. He said he was constantly listening to young musicians — some of whom audition for Bargemusic by giving free performances on Saturday afternoons — and finding new additions to his roster of regulars. Sometimes he gets lucky: in 2005 he presented Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, an unknown 18-year old German cellist, in her American recital debut. A month later she won first prize (and two special prizes) at the International Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris.

“I think that performing at Bargemusic has been an important first step for literally dozens of young musicians,” said Johnny Gandelsman, a violinist in Brooklyn Rider, the mostly new-music string quartet, and the Knights, a chamber orchestra. “Both groups I play in have performed at the barge many, many times. In a way, we started building our audience at the barge.

“What’s great about Mark is his trust in the younger generation. If someone suggests a musician or a program to Mark, his attitude toward booking new people or programming and commissioning new music is always, ‘Why not?’ ”

One reason that openness seems to come so easily to Mr. Peskanov is that few proposals crossing his desk are likely to outpace his own vision of what Bargemusic can be.

“In a perfect world,” he mused, “I would like to put on a concert lasting three, four, five hours, with everything in it: chamber music, jazz, pop, new music — a big menu. It would be like a feast. I would love to have musicians come in and say: ‘Hey, let’s do this. Let’s do that.’ Spontaneous programming. Can you imagine the excitement, to do this maybe one day a month?”

“O.K., I’m just dreaming out loud,” he said, catching himself momentarily. “But things are happening, too.”

Bargemusic is at Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn, next to the Brooklyn Bridge. Concerts are at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Regular tickets are $15 to $35; concerts by large ensembles $20 to $40. Jazz and More programs are $20; $10 for students. The Music in Motion series, starting June 1, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1 p.m., costs $10, but is free for children up to 16 accompanied by an adult; (718) 624-2083,

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Hit by the Downturn, Museums Seek Bailouts

Several Forge Partnerships With Universities, Even Hand Over Artwork, to Keep Doors Open Amid Deficits


The Magnes Museum is giving away its entire collection of prized Jewish art, including a 19th-century ketubah, or marriage contract, from one of India’s oldest Jewish communities.

[NEWMuseum] MagnesObjects from the Magnes Museum’s collection: an embroidered wedding costume from Taddana, Morocco.

The Berkeley, Calif., museum doesn’t have enough money to maintain the 10,000-piece collection, says Alla Efimova, executive director of the Magnes, and so it will turn the trove over to an unlikely rescuer: the University of California-Berkeley, part of California’s public university system, which has experienced its own budget shortfall of $1 billion this past year. But the museum says UC-Berkeley is in a better financial position to oversee the collection.

“There was just not enough money to go around and we needed to do something to ensure the institution would continue,” Ms. Efimova says.

Tottering under years of deficits, accumulated debt and declining donations, several of the country’s small and medium-size museums have been turning to the art-world equivalent of a bailout. They are partnering with a university or other academic institution, in some cases handing over artworks and changing locations, in a last-ditch effort to keep their doors open and their collections intact and available to the public.

In Portland, Ore., the Museum of Contemporary Craft—founded in 1937 as a ceramics studio and today one of the nation’s oldest nonprofit art galleries, with works of glass, metal, fiber, wood and ceramics—narrowly avoided collapse last year by virtue of an almost $1.4 million bailout from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. The college paid off the museum’s debts, and it is taking over some fund-raising and giving financial support.

[SKYBOX1] MagnesPortrait of the Lilienthal family, circa 1816, Germany.

In Berkeley, the Magnes is packing up the objects in its current home, a century-old 8,500-square-foot manor with manicured gardens, and relocating to an 18,000-square-foot former printing plant that it owns a block away from UC Berkeley. The mansion is on the market with a $3 million asking price.

Museums’ financial strain follows years of ambitious expansions, large executive pay packages and far-reaching real-estate investments undertaken during the real-estate boom. Many museums took on debt to finance these activities—only to have the floor fall out from under their endowments in 2008 when the market crashed. Last year, the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, Fla., shut its doors and gave its 435-piece collection of contemporary Florida art to St. Petersburg College, after seeing its $8 million endowment shrivel to $500,000.

The Magnes, founded in Berkeley in 1962 by the late Seymour Fromer, was named for Judah L. Magnes, one of the founders of Israel’s Hebrew University. Fromer wanted to create a place dedicated to the Jewish art and history of the American West. Over the years, the museum purchased two buildings in downtown Berkeley, including the former printing plant, and added ambitious educational programming.

By 2002 the Magnes found it could no longer keep up the costs of running the museum. It entered into costly plans to merge with the Jewish Museum of San Francisco, in the hopes that by combining resources with a similar institution, it could become financially sustainable. In a matter of months, both institutions had agreed to unwind the merger, citing a “mission misfit.”

The Magnes still couldn’t afford the necessary upkeep of its rare collection, Ms. Efimova says. Finally, several large donors and foundations including investor Warren Hellman stepped in to broker the deal with UC-Berkeley. They are putting up the money to cover costs for the first five years of the integration.

[museum] The MagnesA Soviet poster written in Yiddish extolling the state’s educational system over traditional religious schools.

Another Magnes donor, John Riley, says he supports the merger as a way to preserve the museum and its legacy. The grandson of Jacques Reutlinger, a San Francisco philanthropist who before his death set up a $1 million fund dedicated to supporting the Magnes Museum, Mr. Riley will turn over his trusteeship of the fund to the university. He says he has concerns. “University of California-Berkeley is having funding problems, so we are taking a risk,” Mr. Riley says.

A UC-Berkeley spokeswoman says the university conducted a “hard-edged assessment” of the deal. “The collaboration between the Magnes Museum and UC Berkeley is financially feasible,” she says.

Financial emergencies represent especially difficult dilemmas for museum donors. If they continue to write checks to keep a museum afloat, the museum might fail anyway. If they support a partnership or change-in-control, it might infringe on the institution’s unique character. Donors also worry about the financial health of their rescuers: Many universities are struggling with the same funding cuts, shrinking endowments and slowdown in private contributions that afflict museums. The arts and higher education were both hit hard by the economic downturn. In 2008, donations to arts institutions and education organizations each declined by almost 10% compared with 2007, according to the Giving USA Foundation, which tracks the data. Both types of organizations saw their endowments shrink, in some cases by as much as 30%.

Some museums are holding out. The Fresno Art Museum, trying to cope with budget shortfalls by laying off staff, contemplated a merger with the University of California-Fresno earlier this year. It recently decided against the move. “We were concerned with turning over our art collection to the state system with no guarantee that the art would stay in our community,” says Tom Speck, chair of the museum board. The university declined to comment.

Instead of a merger, the museum board decided to stick to a plan to cut expenses and create a five-year strategic plan to increase donations, run a leaner operation, embrace more local artists and beef up the board of trustees from 12 to 26 members. It also hired a new permanent executive director. Mr. Speck says the museum’s finances are in the black. “It was definitely a wake-up call to stop spending beyond our means,” he says.

[museum] Perian SullyA painting by 19th-century artist Moritz Daniel Oppenheim of Jewish scholars in 18th-century Berlin.

Museum directors say joining forces with an academic institution can be a good option for a jewel-box institution in financial trouble. Universities, they say, are likely to keep a collection intact. And a university is more likely than a private collector to maintain public access.

Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft needed a lifesaver last year, unable to raise enough money to continue paying for its $5.5 million expansion in 2007 into a large, new home in the downtown Pearl district. With its 1,000-piece collection serving as collateral on about $1.4 million in outstanding bank debt, the museum whacked its $2.2 million budget in half, laid off a third of its staff and cut back on its newly-expanded educational programs.

Enter the Pacific Northwest College of Art, which was looking to expand its craft and design curriculum and to inherit a top-notch exhibition space. It agreed to absorb the museum’s liabilities and take over the institution, dipping into a $15 million donation it had previously received for operating support. The college was able to renegotiate $300,000 of the remaining bank debt, and it got the museum’s 15,000-square foot building as part of the deal. And the crafts museum will stay put in its new home.

Write to Shelly Banjo at

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Cincinnati Museum Center Sues Local Foundation Over Disputed Grant

Wow, this is a first! The Cincinnati Museum Center is suing a local foundation over  grant funding-$1M to be exact. Will this start a trend? How are foundation’s and other grant-making agencies protected from lawsuits? Will the Cincinnati Museum Center win its case? These questions will be answered soon I am sure; however in the meantime I believe that  organizations are scrambling and thinking of better ways to protect their assets and the way they do business. Please read the news article listed below to read more about this interesting case:

May 18th, 2010 | Add a Comment

A legal battle has erupted over a disputed $1 million grant to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal from a local foundation, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The Cincinnati-based Good Neighbor Foundation was established in 2006 upon the death of Gloria Fehr, who amassed more than $40 million in stocks and bonds from Time Warner and other companies. According to leaders of the Museum Center, the foundation, at the behest of one of its former directors, Arthur Katz, Jr., pledged $1 million to help restore an historic Union Terminal dining room not used since the 1950s. Indeed, a February 2006 letter to museum president Douglass McDonald from Katz, who died in 2007 and was a close friend of Fehr’s, referred to the “[f]oundation’s anonymous proposal to restore the dining rooms” and stated that “Our proposal remains the same: We will grant up to $1 million for the restoration of the private dining rooms, period.”

But foundation attorney C. Francis Barrett claims the grant was never awarded because the museum neglected to specify how the money would be used and then ignored a suggestion it submit a second proposal with those specifics. “A foundation cannot distribute money without a proposal being received,” said Barrett. “They just can’t write checks willy-nilly.”

Museum officials, who argue that they were very specific in their proposal, have filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County against the foundation. “You don’t ever like to file a lawsuit against a donor,” said McDonald. “I’ve been in this business twenty-five years, and nobody has ever not given a gift they verbally promised me, let alone a gift that was so detailed in writing….I feel like we have a moral obligation to honor the donor’s intent.”

This story from The Philanthropy News Digest, a service of the Foundation Center.

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Helping America’s Metropolitan Regions Build Prosperity, Expand Opportunity.

May 18th, 2010 | Add a Comment

The Ford Foundation today announced a five-year, $200 million effort to help transform the way that cities, suburbs and surrounding communities grow and plan for the future, promoting a new metropolitan approach that interweaves housing, transportation and land-use policy to foster greater economic growth.

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Many Thousands of Charities Risk Losing Their Nonprofit Status!!!Please Read…

May 13, 2010

Many Thousands of Charities Risk Losing Their Nonprofit Status as New Tax Deadline Approaches

Many Thousands of Charities Risk Losing Their Nonprofit Status as  New Tax Deadline Approaches 1The IRS is sending postcards like this to remind charities of a paperwork deadline.

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close Many Thousands of Charities Risk Losing Their Nonprofit Status as  New Tax Deadline Approaches 1The IRS is sending postcards like this to remind charities of a paperwork deadline.

By Grant Williams

Hundreds of thousands of nonprofit organizations could lose their tax-exempt status this month.

Nobody really knows for sure how many organizations will lose their tax exemptions, but several research groups estimate that more than 300,000 organizations listed on the Internal Revenue Service’s rolls ultimately could be affected. While many of those groups have long since ceased to exist, many others, such as soup kitchens, neighborhood baseball clubs, and local arts organizations are likely to be affected because they have not filed required IRS forms for the past three years.

Organizations that are still in business but lose their tax-exempt status will face an array of problems. They will have to reapply with the IRS for a new exemption and pay a fee. And if they regain their tax exemption, they will be liable for income taxes for the period in which they were not exempt.

Donors will also be affected, but won’t have to worry about losing the ability to deduct a gift to charity until January, when the Internal Revenue Service will announce an official list of which organizations are still eligible for tax-deductible gifts.

Congress passed a law in 2006 to help the IRS keep better track of active organizations of all sizes and figure out which charities no longer exist.

As part of the law, small organizations that never had to regularly file returns in the past—those with annual revenues of $25,000 or less—must now file a new online return, called a Form 990-N or “e-postcard,” which requires basic information, such as the name of a principal officer and a mailing address. But getting the word out about the change has proven tricky. Several officials of very small charities reached by The Chronicle in the past two weeks said they had only just learned of the requirement.

Jayne Lee, executive director of the Human Nature Dance Theatre, in Flagstaff, Ariz., which has had annual revenues of less than $25,000 since it registered with the IRS in 2005, says she recently learned about the need to file a return by chance when visiting the IRS Web site. “Maybe it was just intuition that took me there—I don’t know,” she says with a laugh. Ms. Lee filed the Form 990-N last week.

The reason so many groups will lose their status this month is that May 17, 2010, marks the first three-year filing deadline for groups whose fiscal years end in December.

Contrary to some published reports, the May deadline is final for those groups. Lois G. Lerner, who oversees the IRS office that monitors charities and foundations, has implored charities in several speeches in the past weeks to remember that “if you’ve got a May filing date, you don’t have any more time to come into the IRS. You will lose your exemption.”

‘Extraordinarily Cautious’

The IRS will wait until January to release the names of organizations that will have lost their exemptions in May because it says it wants to avoid errors.

In the run-up to the May deadline, some groups have sought automatic three-month extensions to file their forms and the tax agency wants to be sure those are noted, the forms filed, and the exemptions preserved.

Other groups that file forms before the May deadline may face other problems with the IRS, and the revenue service wants to be sure those concerns are sorted out before the government deems a group to have failed to keep its exemption. “I am not going to put any organization’s name out as revoked until the entire process is completed,” says Ms. Lerner. “We’re being extraordinarily cautious.”

Ms. Lerner says the IRS has been working hard for three years to let tax-exempt organizations know about the looming deadline. She says the tax agency has been particularly concerned about groups with revenues of $25,000 and below that have been out of touch with the IRS since obtaining their tax-exempt status years ago and have not, until the 2006 law was enacted, been required to file annual returns.

“We sent letters to all the small organizations that are on our master file explaining this right after the law was passed,” says Ms. Lerner. “We have continued to send letters to those organizations that haven’t had to file with us,” she says, and to larger groups that have failed to file.

Because leaders of small organizations are not likely to read official IRS announcements on the tax agency’s Web site or attend legal conferences where such matters are discussed, the revenue service has tried to get the word out through public libraries, Congressional offices, and employers.

“We’ve talked it up everywhere, from meetings with small organizations to cocktail parties,” says Ms. Lerner.

Many tax-exempt groups, including Toastmasters International and the League of Women Voters, have posted alerts on their Web sites for their own member organizations.

Counting Up the Losses

Just how many nonprofit groups will be dropped from the IRS’s books remains to be seen. GuideStar, which provides an online database of nonprofit groups using IRS and other information, has predicted that 350,000 to 400,000 organizations, perhaps half of them defunct, may lose their tax exemptions because of the new law.

The Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, in a new report for The Nonprofit Quarterly, estimates that as many as 341,000 organizations, many of them groups that no longer operate, could lose their tax-exempt status as a result of the new law. The final figure could be lower, however, as organizations rush to meet the May deadline, the center says.

Ms. Lerner says an estimate of 400,000 is not “appropriate” but declines to make a prediction. “I don’t want to be a Pollyanna about this,” she says. But she says the IRS is “optimistic that we’ve gotten the word out to a lot of folks. And we know this because we’ve had lots and lots of people running to us and saying, How do we do this?”

Out of Touch

Some nonprofit experts, however, say that, despite the IRS’s efforts to publicize the impending deadline for keeping tax-exempt status, trouble may be brewing, especially for small charities.

“These are the ones that often have volunteer officers and an address that changes as the shoebox of records is passed from one volunteer mom or dad to the next,” says Marc Owens, a Washington lawyer who used to manage the IRS’s nonprofit branch. “They’re a tough group to try to get in touch with.”

Mr. Owens says he anticipates “a wave of complaints, many that will probably go to the members of Congress, about the IRS revoking Little League after Little League, a lot of organizations that wear white hats.”

If, say, 200,000 organizations lose their exemptions and only 20,000 of these are actually in business and not defunct, “that’s still an awful lot of organizations that have suddenly lost their tax-exempt status,” says Mr. Owens.

Even so, some experts say requiring small organizations with $25,000 or less in revenue to file is sensible.

The government is saying that “all we need you to do is fill out this tiny little 990-N form,” says Bob Ottenhoff, chief executive of GuideStar. “Just tell us that you are out there, that you are still alive, that you are a functioning nonprofit organization.”

He adds: “This is not going to guarantee that an organization is well run or even effective in its work. But at least it’s a basic minimum standard.”

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Facts About Philanthropy

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Key Statistics

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Why Glasspockets?

Writing for PhilanTopic blog, Foundation Center president Bradford K. Smith asks: If the Digital Divide is fast becoming a thing of the past around the world, why is it alive and well in philanthropy?

Writing for PhilanTopic blog, Janet Camarena, director of the Foundation Center’s San Francisco office and project lead for the Glasspockets initiative, discusses the importance of working with partners in the development and continuing evolution of Glasspockets.

With Glasspockets, the Foundation Center and its partners are working to:

  • Inspire private foundations to greater openness in their communications.
  • Increase understanding of best practices in foundation transparency and accountability in an online world.
  • Illustrate how institutional philanthropy is relevant to the critical issues of our time.
  • Highlight the many stories of philanthropy that show how private wealth is serving the public good.
  • Illuminate successes, failures, and ongoing experimentation so foundations can build on each other’s ideas to increase impact.

About our partners:

Center for Effective Philanthropy: The mission of the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is to provide data and create insight so philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness and impact.

Communications Network: Formed nearly 20 years ago as a volunteer group, the Network today operates as a stand-alone 501(c)(3), dedicated to helping advance, promote, and encourage the adoption of effective communications practices in philanthropy.

Global Philanthropy Forum: The Global Philanthropy Forum aims to build a community of donors and social investors committed to international causes, and to inform, enable and enhance the strategic nature of their giving and social investing.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations: Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.

One World Trust: The One World Trust is an independent think tank that conducts research, develops recommendations and advocates for reform to make policy and decision-making processes in global governance more accountable to the people they affect now and in the future, and to ensure that international laws are strengthened and applied equally to all.

About the Foundation Center:

Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 550 foundations, the Foundation Center is a national nonprofit service organization recognized as the nation’s leading authority on organized philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. Its audiences include grantseekers, grantmakers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants; issues a wide variety of print, electronic, and online information resources; conducts and publishes research on trends in foundation growth, giving, and practice; and offers an array of free and affordable educational programs.

Contact us:

For information on Glasspockets, please contact:

Janet Camarena
Director, San Francisco Office
The Foundation Center