Monthly Notes

Philanthropy Notes: December 2014


Can Hillary take a hint? The Democracy Alliance, a secretive club for radical billionaires, snubbed presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at its semi-annual planning meeting in the nation’s capital last month by not inviting her to address the group. Instead its donors who fund left-wing political infrastructure invited progressive populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-N.Y.) and Vice President Joe Biden to address them. Warren “got a rock star’s welcome during a closed-door speech to major donors, one of whom interrupted her by yelling ‘Run, Liz, Run!’” Warren received multiple standing ovations during her oration, Politico reports.

The Project on Fair Representation, an Alexandria, Virginia-based legal defense fund, filed suit against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an effort to have their affirmative action programs banned. The group claims that the two schools’ policies limit admissions of high-achieving Asian-American and white students and that Harvard has a quota limiting how many Asian-Americans it accepts. The group’s ultimate goal is a noble one: to have race-based admission standards prohibited in all colleges in the country.

Executives at large foundations and nonprofits are starting to receive larger raises after a long period of wage stagnation, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. The median change in salaries for such executives at 82 organizations surveyed was 4.9 percent, according to datasets from 2011 and 2012. Since about 2009 charities have been hiking compensation more modestly, on average by around 3 percent annually. “Organizations have a bit more money, and they’re willing to bid up salaries,” said compensation consultant Brian Vogel.

Ralph Nader has issued a giving pledge urging Americans born from 1924 through 1944 to make gifts to civic organizations, the Chronicle reports. “It is a ripe time: There have never been more billionaires,” Nader told the newspaper. “It gives them a chance to have a collective patriotic legacy, to leave a nonprofit advocacy institution behind for posterity.” Nader’s suggestions for beneficiary groups skew to the left. Among them, groups promoting faster conversion to renewable energy and advancing “full Medicare for all.”

 

GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s long-running investigation into Goldman’s ties to Libya’s sovereign wealth fund “is focusing on an internship and other perks allegedly offered by the Wall Street bank to win business” from the former regime of the late Muammar Qaddafi, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the microscope is the bank’s hire of the brother of Mustafa Zarti, at the time deputy chief of the Libyan Investment Authority. The SEC is apparently treating as suspicious the $1 billion worth of transactions with the authority when the bank’s relationship with the Libyan fund began to deteriorate.

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 writes and speaks widely on ACORN and other radical advocacy…
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