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October 10, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Coke and Pepsi Fund Scores of Public-Health Groups

Big Soda Firms Back Nearly 100 Health Organizations, Study Says: Boston University researchers identified 96 medical and public-health groups that listed the Coca-Cola Company or PepsiCo as a sponsor from 2011 to 2015, including major national nonprofits like the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association, writes The Washington Post. The study comes amid growing scrutiny of the health effects of sugar and sugary drinks and of the beverage industry’s funding of research on diet and obesity.
National Faith Nonprofit Calls on Pro-Marriage-Equality Staff to Quit: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has told employees that they should leave the organization, one of the country’s largest college ministries, if they support same-sex unions, reports the Associated Press. InterVarsity said staff should “believe and behave” in accordance with the Madison, Wis.- based nonprofit’s views on sexuality, as affirmed in a position paper it issued over the summer stating that sex should be reserved for marriages between a man and a woman. The organization has chapters on 667 U.S. campuses and reported receiving $80 million in donations last year. See where InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has ranked in The Chronicle’s annual Philanthropy 400 list of the largest U.S. charities.

N.Y. College President Quits Amid Scrutiny of Finances: Lisa Coico’s resignation as head of the City College of New York comes as federal investigators examine her expenses and use of funds from the 21st Century Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, reports The New York Times. The federal inquiry followed Times reports that the foundation had covered personal expenses for the campus leader and been reimbursed not by Ms. Coico but by another nonprofit, the Research Foundation of the City University of New York. In a separate article, the Times details Ms. Coico’s spending and other controversies that marked her eight-year tenure at City College.

U. of Buffalo Foundation Rejects Call for Faculty Trustee: The State University of New York campus’s nonprofit affiliate voted down a request by faculty leaders to be represented on its board, The Buffalo News reports. The university’s Faculty Senate had also proposed adding board members representing the student body and campus professional staff as a way to address concerns over how the foundation handles hundreds of millions of dollars of university funds. Satish Tripathi, the university's president and a foundation trustee, said the proposed board expansion would breach the “firewall” between the nonprofit and the university.

Opinion: Reforms in Charity Accounting Don’t Go Far Enough:  The changes set to take effect next year in how nonprofits report assets and expenses will not substantially improve disclosure or help donors better gauge where to give, according to a Barron’s assessment. Journalist and author Gary Weiss runs down gaps in the new rules adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and concludes that nonprofit accounting “still has a lot of maturing to do before it can claim to be grown up.”

Alumni of D.C. Social-Venture Incubator See Investment Gains: Mission-driven start-ups that went through Washington’s Halcyon Incubator are showing strength in raising private capital, writes The Washington Post. Founded two years ago by a pair of Japanese pharmaceutical moguls, Halcyon offers a live-in immersion course for entrepreneurs building businesses with social and environmental goals. Halcyon’s program director said nearly half of the 32 companies that have completed the program to date have drawn seed funding from investors or donors, collectively raising $10 million.