Weekly News Recap: September 29, 2017

Prince Harry greets children as he leaves The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Saturday. (CHRIS JACKSON / GETTY IMAGES FOR THE INVICTUS GAMES FOUNDATION)

Never begin a day until it’s written on paper. -Jim Rohn

Episode 6 of our podcast BrainTrust Philanthropy Powered by ViTreo! was posted yesterday. Titled Why You Need to Hire a Data Scientist at Your Nonprofit, this episode features Gena Rotstein, Melody Song, and John Gormaly. Listen or subscribe on our website to never miss an episode.

Best practice


Books to read

Life and career hacks


Lists of lists

  • AFP Top Ten: Sponsorship Packages, Philanthropic Advisors, PSAs, Special Event Ideas & More! (AFP eWire) Each week, AFP gathers the top blog posts, videos, articles and other resources to help you keep on top of latest trends and reach your fundraising goals In recognition of the great curation by AFP's Michael Nilson, we wanted to share. I found the article on sponsorship packages refreshing and, even, a bit challenging. I also enjoyed the two articles on how to convert volunteers to donors -- good stuff in both. 9/27/17

Studies and reports

Philanthropic personalities

  • Mark Zuckerberg will no longer try to reclassify Facebook stock to fund his philanthropy (Recode) "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will no longer try to reclassify the company’s stock, settling a major class-action lawsuit with shareholders. Zuckerberg wanted to reclassify Facebook’s stock so he could sell shares — to fund the ambitious philanthropic projects he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are leading — while retaining control of the company." 9/22/17

Philanthropic controversy

  • A $200-million donation threatens to tar UC Irvine's medical school as a haven for quacks (Los Angeles Times) We shared this story in last week's recap. It continues to spur significant and polarizing discussion in the marketplace. "The only reason ‘integrative medicine’ exists is to integrate quackery into medicine." 9/22/17

  • George Clooney, Heidi Klum, More Stars to Defend Harvey Weinstein in amfAR Donation Dispute (US Magazine) Yes, we are quoting from US Magazine."Famous faces are coming together to back longtime Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein after amfAR board members complained about an agreement between him and chairman of 13 years, fashion designer Kenneth Cole, that proceeds from an auction would go both to the AIDS charity and American Repertory Theater (ART) at Harvard." 9/22/17

  • University accepts $50 million donation from Stephen Ross amid fire from students (The Michigan Daily) We posted about the controversy in last week's recap. "Business students [...] are worried accepting the donation will send a negative message to their fellow students and the country, as the U.S. Tax Court ruled against Ross in August for 'grossly' overestimating the value of a tax-deductible gift to the University. The case between the IRS and Ross pertained to a Southern California property donated by Ross — a real estate mogul — to the University. Though the University sold the property for $2 million, and later valued it at $5 million, Ross and his business partners claimed a $33 million charitable tax deduction. The IRS took issue with the discrepancy in its own valuing of the property at $3.4 million, almost 10 times what Ross filed the tax deduction as." 9/20/17

Trends and shifts

Large gifts

  • Cleveland Clinic department receives large donation (Sun Sentinel) "The Cleveland Clinic's Orthopaedic Surgery Department received a $2 million gift from Jeff Levietz and the Levietz Family Foundation." 9/26/17

  • UA receives $5 million donation (Tuscaloosa News) "A $5 million donation will help build a high-tech cyber security lab and fund research in business-data intelligence at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration. The donation, made by Marillyn A. Hewson, a UA alumna and chairwoman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, was announced [...] at Bidgood Hall, where the lab will be located." 9/26/17

  • Donation by Netflix CEO creates new program to Bowdoin (Coastal Journal) "Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings, and member of Bowdoin College’s Class of 1983, has donated $5 million towards creating a new program to help low-income, first-generation, and other underrepresented students." Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine. 9/26/17

  • Seattle's Museum of Flight receives largest-ever donation of $17 million (KOMO News) "The Museum of Flight has received the largest bequest in its 52-year history, a donation of more than $17 million to help provide educational opportunities for young people interested in a career in aerospace, science or technology. The gift is from the estate of Betty Houston, an aviation buff and widow of World War II bomber pilot Frank "Sam" Houston." 9/26/17

  • EVERTEC Increases Hurricane Relief Donation to $1 Million (Businesswire) "Evertec [...] announced the Company will donate a total of $1 million for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico." 9/25/17

  • Focused Ultrasound Foundation Receives $10 Million Donation Pledge (NBC) "A Charlottesville organization that works to transform the treatment of medical disorders has received a generous contribution from an anonymous donor. That donor has made it easier for the Focused Ultrasound Foundation to receive $10 million within the next few years. The donor has pledged up to $10 million that has to be matched one for one by 2022." 9/25/17

  • What does a college do with a $200 million commitment? For one, build a new campus (Miami Herald) This gift follows on a gift the Patels made earlier this year. We shared that story in our March 17, 2017 recap. "Nova Southeastern University is expanding to a new Clearwater campus, thanks to a record-setting donation from a Tampa-area couple. The $200 million philanthropic commitment — NSU’s largest ever — from cardiologist Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Pallavi Patel, will go toward $50 million in scholarships and building a Tampa Bay Regional Campus on the former site of Clearwater Christian College." 9/25/17

  • I'M DONATING A MIL TO PUERTO RICO (TMZ) Yes, we are posting a link from TMZ. Yes, that is their headline. That said, congrats to J Lo. "J Lo made the announcement [...] in NYC alongside the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, saying the American island nation was in desperate need of help after being devastated by Hurricane Maria ... which she said she'd contribute to with a mil from the proceeds of her Vegas show." 9/24/17

  • Rolling Hills Local School District receives $42 million donation (Times Reporter)I like this gift but I do not like the term. 30 years; $1.4 million per year; that is a long time to amortize a gift. "The Rolling Hills Local School District soon will have new facilities — at no cost to the district taxpayers — thanks to an energy provider coming to Guernsey County [...]. Guernsey Power Station announced the agreement which will see $42 million given to the district over a span of 30 years. The sum will pay 51 percent of the construction tab with the remainder picked up by the state." 9/22/17

  • Booth donation kickstarts $350 million Kansas Athletics fundraising campaign (University Daily Kansan) "University alumnus David Booth announced [...] a $50 million donation to a Kansas Athletics fundraising campaign that is part of a $350 million, five-year strategic vision." 9/22/17

  • Carlos Beltran starts Hurricane Maria relief effort with $1 million donation (ESPN) "Carlos Beltran is the latest athlete to use his well-known profile to raise money for the victims of a natural disaster. Beltran, a Puerto Rico native, and his family kicked off a fundraising campaign for those affected by Hurricane Maria with a video on his donation page detailing their $1 million donation and asking for any amount to help rebuild their home country after the disaster." 9/22/17

  • Two philanthropic families unite for a $1M donation to support PACE arts center (The Daily NonPareil) "The families of Dick and the late Deanne Miller and John and Anne Nelson have donated a combined $1 million toward the creation of the Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center in downtown Council Bluffs." Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. 9/22/17

  • Annette Simmons makes 11th $1 million donation to Crystal Charity Ball (Dallas News) We first profiled Mrs. Simmons in our December 2, 2016 recap. At that time, she had just made a $50 million gift to Trinity River Park in Dallas. She is quite the woman. "Annette Simmons continues to build on her 37-year history of support for the Crystal Charity Ball with another donation of $1 million. She and her late husband, Harold, began giving to the group early in their marriage, she noted. This is the 11th time the Simmons gift totaled $1 million." 9/22/17

  • Muskegon Community College gets $1.5M donation to name downtown center (MLive) "[The] Carolyn I. and Peter Sturrus Technology Center is the official name of Muskegon Community College's downtown campus following a $1.5 million naming donation." Muskegon Community College is a community college located in Muskegon, Michigan. 9/21/17

  • Sobey family gives $6.5 million to NSCC in record-setting donation (Metro News) NOVA SCOTIA STORY Congrats to NSCC and thank you to the Sobey family. "The Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) received its largest ever donation [...] when the Sobey Family unveiled $6.5 million in various contributions [...]. The largest portion of the donation, $4 million, will be used to establish a permanent bursary program to recruit and assist students who may have not have considered postsecondary education an option for themselves otherwise [...]." 9/24/17

  • Cal State San Marcos receives $1 million donation for student veterans facility (KUSI News) This is a cool gift to support veterans who are students. "Cal State San Marcos officials announced [...] that the school received a $1 million donation from the San Diego-based Epstein Family Foundation to support its center for student military veterans." 9/20/17

  • Motown Museum expansion effort lands $1 million Erb donation (Michigan Foundations) "A $1-million gift from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation is the latest step as museum officials aim for a $50-million transformation of the West Grand Boulevard site, home to Motown's original Hitsville U.S.A., studio and headquarters." 9/20/17

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