March 28, 2011

Lady Gaga and others contribute to ‘Songs for Japan’

Posted in Philanthropy at 6:21 pm by philanthropynews

Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Bob Dylan are among the artists featured on the “Songs for Japan” compilation released on Friday through iTunes.

Proceeds for the $9.99 release will benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) and go towards earthquake and tsunami relief.

The 38-track compilation also includes songs from U2, John Lennon, Bruno Mars, Katy Perrt, Rihanna, Madonna, Eminem, Cee Lo Green, Lady Antebellum, Elton John, Queen and John Mayer. Purchasing the songs individually would cost about $38, so it’s a bargain and charity.

(Read more via On The Red Carpet.)

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March 25, 2011

Practices benefit from philanthropist’s millions

Posted in Philanthropy at 5:57 pm by philanthropynews

Philanthropist Vivien Duffield has given £8.2 million to help a number of cultural schemes across England get built.

In all, 11 projects stand to benefit from the Clore Duffield Foundation, which has given more than £50 million since it was formed in December 2000.

She said: “I am delighted that we have been able to support such outstanding projects by some of the best architects in museums, galleries and theatres.”

The smallest amount given is to Eric Parry’s Holbourne Museum in Bath, which has benefitted from £125,000, and is due to open this May.

The largest awards of £2.5 million each have been given to Haworth Tompkins’ National Theatre in London, which is being revamped under a £70 million project, and Caruso St John’s £45 million redevelopment of Tate Britain in Pimlico, central London.

(Read more via BDOnline.)

March 21, 2011

No Surprises, Rural Philanthropy Still Lags Behind

Posted in Philanthropy at 8:08 pm by philanthropynews

The failure of foundations to put much grant money into rural nonprofits is historic and persistent.  Despite frequent promises to the contrary, foundations haven’t done much to narrow the disproportional gap between urban and rural groups’ access to foundation dollars.  The toll is increasingly evident in the rural nonprofits across the country that struggle to stay afloat every day.

In Monroe County, Georgia a community health center serving rural communities is closing.  As the director of the clinic noted, all too typical of rural areas that lose a crucial service, “Unfortunately, there is not another rural health center or clinic in the county.

(Read more via Non-Profit Quarterly.)

March 17, 2011

To Tax or Not To Tax Is Not The Question, But How?

Posted in Philanthropy at 4:13 pm by philanthropynews

Like many local governments struggling to overcome their fiscal woes, New Orleans has begun to ask if it still can afford to exempt private schools and universities, churches, charities and other nonprofit organizations from property taxes. Findings from a study released this week, and conducted for Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Tax Fairness Commission, suggests that New Orleans will “ultimately require a significant contribution from properties that are off the tax roll,” noting that these same groups and organizations benefit from taxpayer-financed services. NOLA.com reports that the Bureau of Governmental Research calculated for its study that “43 percent of the total assessed value of property in Orleans Parish is exempt from taxation, with nearly one-quarter of the exempt property escaping taxes because it is owned by nonprofit groups.”

(Read more via The Non Profit Quarterly.)

March 14, 2011

Tishman Speyer regains footing

Posted in Philanthropy tagged , , at 4:13 pm by philanthropynews

After major suffering during downturn, firm is now buying, selling, leasing and restructuring at a fast clip

Tishman Speyer Properties may have suffered one of the biggest debacles of the downturn with Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village, but the firm appears to be getting its footing back.

Over the past year, the 33-year-old Manhattan-based company has gone on a spree of buying, selling, developing and leasing buildings, as well as restructuring some of its debt.

Last year, the firm bought around $1.06 billion of property around the world, up from $99 million in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. It wasn’t just a purchaser, though: The firm sold about $1.9 billion worth of property in 2010, up from $500 million a year earlier.

Experts agree that going back to the basics — which for the firm is office buildings, not the multifamily world — is serving Tishman Speyer well.

“They’ve righted their ship to concentrate on what they do best, which is the office sector,” said Ben Thypin, director of market analysis at Real Capital Analytics in Manhattan. “That makes sense. It reflects how forgiving the real estate market can be.”

(Read more via The Real Deal.)

March 10, 2011

Russian Charity Event Drew Putin, but Perhaps No Money

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:11 pm by philanthropynews

MOSCOW — Turn on Russian television and one is bound to see images of Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin skiing, riding a horse or flying a plane. He has also been shown shooting a tiger with a tranquilizer dart and chasing whales in a dinghy while wielding a crossbow. It is all part of a well-honed tough-guy image.

But in December, viewers saw his softer side. Mr. Putin, though not previously known to be musically gifted, sang a sweetly rendered version of “Blueberry Hill” in English, accompanied by a live jazz band. He also played a grand piano.

The occasion was billed as a charity event for hospitals treating children with cancer. But three months later, the mother of a 13-year-old girl with cancer who believed her daughter would benefit from the event is saying that no money ever made its way to the hospitals.

(Read more via New York Times.)

March 7, 2011

Long After Giving His Money Away, a Donor Takes the Pledge

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:10 pm by philanthropynews

The Shy Philanthropist is most decidedly going public. Charles F. Feeney, who made a fortune as co-founder of Duty Free Stores, has become the 59th signatory to the Giving Pledge, the project created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren E. Buffett to encourage the mega-rich to commit at least half their wealth to philanthropy.

Mr. Feeney, who eschews all the trappings of wealth, gave virtually all of his billions to the organizations now known as the Atlantic Philanthropies more than 25 years ago, but he insisted on keeping his philanthropy secret.

Organizations receiving grants from Atlantic were required to sign contracts that stipulated they would not reveal its support, and its Manhattan offices were hidden behind unmarked doors in a nondescript office building for years.

(Read more via New York Times.)

March 4, 2011

Rahm’s Tweeting Doppelganger Emerges to Claim Charity Donation

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:18 pm by philanthropynews

Throughout Rahm Emanuel’s Mayoral campaign in Chicago, the notoriously foul-mouthed politician was shadowed by a tweeter whose tweets under the nom de plume @mayoremanuel were a work of profane art. If you have not yet read them and have a tolerance for gritty language, you should. The doppelganger had many more Twitter followers (more than 39,000) than the real candidate (11,000).

The real Rahm was intrigued and declared that if the fake Rahm came forward he would give $5,000 to the charity of his choice. Some think he may have offered the reward to stop rumors that he himself was writing the expletive filled missives.

(Read more via The Nonprofit Quarterly.)