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October 11, 2016

Daily News Roundup: 'Forbes' Ranking Lists Buffett as Biggest 2015 Benefactor

Forbes Study Puts Warren Buffett Atop Roster of 2015 Donors: The billionaire Berkshire Hathaway chairman gave away $2.84 billion last year, topping the magazine’s Giving 50 list. Forbes, in collaboration with Shook Research, based the ranking on donations that reached beneficiaries in 2015, eschewing pledges and other deferred giving. Most of Mr. Buffett’s total went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose co-founder Bill Gates ranked second, distributing $1.4 billion. George Soros ($654 million), Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson ($513 million), and Michael Bloomberg ($510 million) rounded out the top five.

Opinion: Why Fundraising Success Has Not Curbed Breast Cancer: The “pink” movement, which has attracted billions of dollars to combat the disease, draws on fundraising and advocacy tactics pioneered a century ago in the battle against tuberculosis but has been unable to replicate the results, comedian and writer Natalie Shure argues in Slate. The article recounts the history of the anti-TB campaign, which spawned Christmas Seals, and which Ms. Shure credits for remaining localized and shifting its focus from treatment to prevention as tuberculosis waned. Major breast-cancer groups such as Susan G. Komen built on the TB effort’s innovations in raising money and awareness but have not shown its adaptability, continuing, for example, to focus on cancer screening even as research shows early detection does not improve survival rates, she says.

After Moving to Mass., GE Puts Money Into Opioid Battle: General Electric is funding a Boston effort to help clinics improve frontline addiction programs as part of the $50 million in regional giving it pledged upon moving its headquarters to the city earlier this year, writes The Boston Globe. The commitment included a $15 million investment in community health, and GE executives undertook a statewide health-care listening tour in which the opioid epidemic emerged as a top public priority, according to the Globe. The company has given $700,000 to Boston Medical Center for a program to bolster addiction-treatment training and technical assistance at about 30 community health centers across Massachusetts.

$40 Million Gift Boosts Business Education at Miami U.: The donation from Richard and Joyce Farmer and their family foundation will support faculty, students, programs, and curriculum enhancement at the Ohio institution’s business school, which is already named for the donors, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Mr. Farmer is the former chief executive of Cintas Corporation, which makes uniforms and other supplies for businesses. He and his wife are both Miami graduates.

Newly Leaked Clinton Emails Show Infighting at Foundation: Emails reportedly hacked from the personal account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman cast light on tensions at the Clinton Foundation as Chelsea Clinton took on a bigger role at the charity several years ago, Bloomberg writes. The communications posted by WikiLeaks include emails from late 2011 revealing complaints by Ms. Clinton about Doug Band, a longtime Bill Clinton aide and foundation official, over his work with global business advisory firm Teneo Holdings, which was drawing media scrutiny. Mr. Band complained in turn that Ms. Clinton was “acting like a spoiled brat kid."

Donors to Mo. Candidate’s Charity Also Backing His Campaign: Eric Greitens, the Republican nominee for governor of Missouri, has received nearly $2 million in campaign contributions from donors to the Mission Continues, a veterans group he founded and led before entering politics, reports the Associated Press. A spreadsheet generated by the charity that lists names and contact information for its $1,000-plus donors appears to have been accessed by a staffer for Mr. Greitens’s gubernatorial exploratory committee last year, according to AP, which obtained the document. Mr. Greitens and a spokeswoman for the charity said Mission Continues did not share its donor list with the campaign, which would violate federal law, but the candidate said he did individually solicit some supporters of the nonprofit for campaign help.

Obituaries: N.Y. Philanthropists Herbert Irving and Elizabeth Rohatyn: Mr. Irving, who gave more than $300 million over his lifetime to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, died last week at age 98, reports The New York Times. The co-founder of food-services giant Sysco began contributing to the hospital in the late 1980s and focused much of his philanthropic attention on cancer care and research. Ms. Rohatyn, a former chairwoman of the New York Public Library who supported numerous education and cultural causes, died Sunday at age 86, the Times also writes. The wife of financier Felix Rohatyn, she was also a Lincoln Center board member and founded Teaching Matters, a charity that helps teachers use technology in the classroom.