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September 27, 2016

Daily News Roundup: $37 Million Tex. Haul Raises Giving-Day Bar

North Texas Giving Day Sets Record With $37 Million Haul: The online-fundraising event Thursday topped last year’s take by about $4 million to set a new mark for the nation’s biggest giving day, Dallas Business Journal reports. Nearly 143,000 donations from all 50 states came in during an 18-hour giving window, and, for the first time in the event’s eight-year history, every participating nonprofit — 2,518 in all — received a donation. Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving, Tex., raised the most money, collecting $638,414. Read a Chronicle special report on successful digital-fundraising strategies and listen to a webinar with Susan Swan Smith of the Communities Foundation of Texas, which runs North Texas Giving Day.

Census Data Shows Millions Climbing Out of Poverty: The number of Americans living in poverty dropped by 3.5 million last year, The New York Times writes, citing newly released Census Bureau data. The 1.2 percent drop in the national poverty rate is the biggest since 1999 and the first substantial decrease since the Great Recession. Economists said greater job availability, particularly in the retail, restaurant, and hotel sectors, and the higher minimum wage adopted by several major cities are driving down the number of people living below the poverty line — currently $24,300 for a family of four in most of the country — with blacks and Hispanics seeing the biggest improvement.

Yale Endowment Reports 3.4% Gain on Investments: The university’s investment fund stands at $25.4 billion after outperforming peers for the year ending June 30, writes The New York Times. The average among college endowments that have reported fiscal 2016 returns to date is minus 2.7 percent, according to Cambridge Associates, which advises institutional investors. Harvard, the only university with a bigger endowment than Yale’s, lost 2 percent. Yale, known for pursuing a more diversified portfolio than most endowments, has consistently outgained peers over the past decade while funding a growing share of the university’s budget.

Money Owed to Trump Went to His Foundation: The Donald J. Trump Foundation has received about $2.3 million in recent years from companies that owed money to the Republican presidential nominee or one of his businesses, The Washington Post writes. Two people familiar with the transactions — a $400,000 payment from Comedy Central for a 2011 Trump TV appearance on a roast and $1.9 million from ticket broker Richard Ebers — said the payers were instructed to send the money to the foundation, according to the Post. Trump campaign officials said the firms were told to give the funds to a charity of their choice. The campaign said Mr. Trump paid income taxes on the Comedy Central payment, as required by law, but did not comment the money from Mr. Ebers.

Nonprofits Take Lead in Boosting Immigrant Voter Turnout: A growing number of grass-roots groups are working to mobilize immigrants to show up at the polls, The American Prospect magazine writes. The effort comes amid a presidential campaign in which immigration has been a central issue and turnout by Latinos, Asian-Americans, and other immigrant groups could be crucial to the outcome, according to the article, excerpted from an upcoming book on nonprofit organizing in immigrant communities. Groups such as the MinKwon Center for Community Action in Queens deploy volunteers who speak native languages to register foreign-born Americans, who typically vote in low numbers, and guide them through the electoral process. Read a Chronicle article and opinion column on nonprofit efforts to get out the 2016 vote.

Flamboyant Chinese Donor Accused of Exaggerating Giving: A Chinese media investigation levels charges that recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao, who has gained global prominence with attention-getting philanthropic stunts in China and elsewhere, falsified and exaggerated donations, reports the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Chen, who styles himself the “most charismatic philanthropist of China,” denied the allegations raised by news outlet Caixin and threatened a defamation suit. According to Caixin, Mr. Chen has donated as little as a tenth of the $300 million he claims to have given away and falsified official seals to document donations, a major offense in China. Mr. Chen has won praise for promoting philanthropy among Chinese moguls but has also drawn fire for his publicity-conscious approach to giving.