Philanthropy Notes: June 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who oversees the implementation of Obamacare, is shaking down businesses and charitable groups for large donations. HHS, which initially denied what Sebelius was doing, says it needs the money because Congress appropriated less than the administration requested for enrolling people in Obamacare. HHS plans to pay potentially billions of dollars to members of radical Saul Alinsky-inspired groups to educate the public about the wonders of Obamacare and get them to sign up.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and H&R Block are expected to contribute $10 million and $500,000, respectively, to Sebelius’s campaign. H&R Block’s connection involves Obamacare’s interaction with citizens’ tax returns. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has launched an investigation into Sebelius’s fundraising and demanded that HHS and the solicited companies provide documents related to the scheme, which will channel funds to nonprofits closely tied to Obama.

When she was U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton created a special arrangement for her closest aide, Huma Abedin, wife of disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), to allow Abedin to do consulting work for private clients while she was still employed by the Department of State, the New York Times reports. Abedin, whose family has close ties to Islamist groups, may have broken the law by failing to disclose the arrangement or how much money she earned from the consulting work she performed. Some of Abedin’s outside work was for the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation.

To celebrate its own centennial, the Rockefeller Foundation is publishing a massive six-volume book series titled Beyond Charity: A Century of Philanthropic Innovation. Jeff Cain quips at PhilanthropyDaily.com that the first volume weighs in at a hefty 324 pages. The more modest Carnegie Corporation of New York, celebrating its centennial, made do with a “measly three-part series” in its official newsletter and a nine-minute video.

The median salary for fundraisers climbed by 8 percent in 2012 to $71,100, according to a 1,750-member survey conducted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. That’s a big jump from the tiny 1.5 percent increase the year before and the largest percentage increase since 2007, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

Joseph H. Grant, acting commissioner of the tax exempt and government entities division of the IRS, is leaving his position this month. Grant, an IRS employee since 2005, currently heads the office that has been in the news lately for allegedly applying improper scrutiny to conservative organizations seeking nonprofit status under the tax code.

GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

Goldman Sachs Group has become a bit too involved in the political process in Malaysia, complain critics in that sprawling Polynesian country, the Wall Street Journal reports. The investment bank made $200 million in profit from government-related bond transactions in the past two years while raising $6.5 billion in principal. Two of the transactions were carried out on behalf of a sovereign wealth fund controlled by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Critics accuse Goldman of overcharging Malaysian taxpayers and of poorly managing the fund.

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