Monthly Notes

Philanthropy Notes: December 2013

Foundation endowments are finally bouncing back to pre-recession levels, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. The 236 charities, private foundations, and universities with a fiscal year-end of June 30 surveyed by the newspaper experienced “an overall median investment return of 6.5 percent in 2012.” This is a dramatic increase over the 1.7 percent growth rate reported in mid-2011.

Can you say golden parachute? Former presidents of many elite private colleges and universities are still drawing hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation from the school years after leaving their posts, the Boston Globe reports. For example, Jehuda Reinharz, who left Brandeis University in 2010, has received at least $1.2 million from the school since leaving. Reinharz, who now runs the Mandel Foundation in Cleveland, takes in wages as president emeritus and a half-time faculty member. “We’re seeing more and more of these farewell packages to presidents,” said Andrew Gillen, a senior education researcher at the American Institutes for Research. “It’s symbolic of the growth of the cost of college,” he rationalized. Former leaders from Harvard, Tufts, and Northeastern, also reap lucrative rewards from sabbaticals, part-time professorships, lump-sum severance payments, and generous retirement benefits, the paper reports.

As of mid-November, Americans have given more than $33 million to help the Philippines rebuild after the Polynesian nation was hit by Typhoon Haiyan, according to CNN Money. The American Red Cross had received $11 million from U.S. donors. The sum will go higher after contributions made via Facebook and iTunes are added to the total. Other major relief agencies have received plenty of cash, including Unicef ($4.7 million), World Vision ($6 million), and the U.K.-based Disasters Emergency Committee ($48 million). At press time, every Catholic parish in the country was taking up special collections for Filipino relief.

It’s a hard-knock life for rap superstar Jay Z and his fashion collaboration with a high-end clothing retailer. The singer, whose real name is Shawn Carter, suffered adverse publicity when Barneys New York was accused of racially profiling its customers. Pressed to cut his ties with the chain, the artist chose instead to donate all of his share of the profits from sales of the new BNY SCC line, which includes a fragrance and other products, instead of the 25 percent initially agreed upon. The money will go to Jay Z’s charity, the Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides educational aid to inner-city youths. Jay Z said he plans to take on “a leadership role” in Barneys’ efforts to crack down on profiling.


Goldman Sachs is planning to help the cash-strapped central bank of Marxist Venezuela fence almost 1.5 million ounces of gold between now and October 2020, according to the El Nacional news website in Caracas.  The bullion is reportedly on deposit with the Bank of England.  Goldman expects to create a financial instrument in order to trade the precious metal in the international market.  The Venezuelan regime, which owns oil giant CITGO, conducts a robust so-called public diplomacy program in the U.S., donating home heating oil to help the poor and funding radical illegal-alien groups like Casa de Maryland.


Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum, former senior vice president at CRC, writes and speaks widely…
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