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October 18, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Phil and Penny Knight Pledge $500 Million More to U. of Oregon

Latest Knight Megagift Supports Science Studies at Alma Mater: The University of Oregon will announce a $500 million pledge Tuesday from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, to establish a new center for scientific research at the Eugene campus, The Oregonian reports. The pledge, to be paid over 10 years, backs a $1 billion university effort to build a hub to translate research into medical cures and product innovations. Mr. Knight, a 1959 Oregon graduate, has given extensively for athletics and academic programs at his alma mater as well as committing $400 million to Stanford and $500 million to Oregon Health & Science University in recent years.

Charities Rethink Holding Fundraisers at Trump’s Fla. Estate: As sexual-assault allegations engulf Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, charities are likely to grow wary of scheduling galas at the Republican nominee’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, according to the Associated Press. Breast-cancer group Susan G. Komen, which is slated to hold a fundraiser at the oceanfront estate in January, is reconsidering the site, and event planners say bookings are likely to fall off after the next round of already-contracted events take place. The National Organization for Women is calling on women’s-health charities to sever ties with the Trump property, medical-news site Stat reports.

In other Trump charity news, the Donald J. Trump Foundation has complied with an order by New York regulators to halt fundraising in the state because it lacks legal authorization to do so, Reuters writes. The New York attorney general’s office said it has extended a deadline for the foundation to file paperwork on its past solicitations. And on the Clinton Foundation front, the latest WikiLeaks dump of emails hacked from a top Hillary Clinton campaign aide cast more light on Chelsea Clinton’s discontent with foundation operations when she took a leadership role at her family’s charity in 2011, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Nonprofit CEOs Earn 25% Less Than Business Peers: Fast Company assesses the findings of a new Charity Navigator survey on compensation for top nonprofit executives and compares it to for-profit CEO pay as tracked by salary database PayScale. The median pay of $123,362 for chief executives at some 4,500 groups in the Charity Navigator survey is about a quarter less than the median for a wide swath of corporate leaders. The charity watchdog found that leaders at nonprofit research, education, and rights groups were the highest paid compared to other causes. See The Chronicle’s updated database of nonprofit CEOs’ pay.

Princeton U. Settles Lawsuit Challenging Property-Tax Break: The Ivy League institution will pay $18.2 million over six years to the Princeton, N.J., tax office and to town residents to end the three-year-old case, reports The Wall Street Journal. A group of local homeowners brought suit in 2013, arguing that the private university’s participation in for-profit ventures voided its tax exemption. The agreement does not address the exemption itself. State and local governments have increasingly sought to collect taxes or other payments for municipal services from wealthy colleges like Princeton, which has a $22.7 billion endowment. A Journal opinion column criticizes Ivy League colleges for not pumping more of their investment funds into student assistance and calls for legislation limiting federal contracts, subsidies, and research grants for institutions that maintain large endowments and do not put brakes on tuition hikes.

Big Gifts Back Science Showcases in Boston and N.J.: Media mogul and ex-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $50 million to Boston’s Museum of Science, writes The Boston Globe. The gift through his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, will boost the museum’s endowment by nearly 40 percent. Mr. Bloomberg, who grew up in Boston’s Medford neighborhood, credited the museum as key to his success, saying regular childhood visits “showed me what was out there in ways that traditional school didn’t do.”

Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., also announced a major science gift: $25 million from alumni Jean and Ric Edelman to establish a museum and other facilities at a university-owned former quarry that is rich in dinosaur-era fossils, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The husband-and-wife financial planners founded asset-management firm Edelman Financial Services. Jean Edelman serves on Rowan’s Board of Trustees.

Demand Grows for Top Fundraising Talent in Chicago: Experienced development directors are an increasingly hot commodity for nonprofits in the city, Crain’s Chicago Business writes. Skilled veteran fundraisers are commanding premium salaries, especially at organizations preparing for major capital campaigns, and searches for development officers are taking longer than for nonprofit CEOs in the region, according to a Crain’s. Read a Chronicle article on the national sellers’ market for top fundraisers.