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September 20, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Soros Pledges $500 Million for Migrant-Led Businesses

George Soros to Invest $500 Million to Aid Migrants: The billionaire investor and philanthropist announced the commitment Tuesday, saying in a statement that he will spend up to a half-billion dollars to back start-ups, existing businesses, and social enterprises run by migrants and refugees worldwide, Bloomberg reports. The investments will be controlled by Mr. Soros’s nonprofit network and profits will support programs at his Open Society Foundations, including those serving migrants. Mr. Soros elaborated on his plans in an opinion column for The Wall Street Journal.

Trump’s Charity Covered Legal Costs for His Businesses: The Donald J. Trump Foundation spent $258,000 to resolve legal disputes involving its namesake founder’s for-profit companies, writes The Washington Post. The foundation made charitable donations of $100,000 and $158,000 that were stipulated, respectively, in settlements of cases involving Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., and a Trump golf course in Westchester County, N.Y. The article details other instances in which the foundation appears to have paid personal or business expenses for Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee. Experts in nonprofit tax law said the cases represent possible violations of federal laws barring “self-dealing” by charity officials.

In other Trump Foundation news, The New York Times reports that the organization — which solicited donations nationwide to support veterans in connection with a January rally hosted by the Republican presidential candidate — is not registered to raise money in 38 states that require charities to do so. Some $1.67 million of the $5.6 million raised via the event in Iowa consisted of online donations routed through Mr. Trump’s foundation, which has come under media scrutiny for its unusual operation. His campaign has not offered a state-by-state breakdown of where the money came from.

Catholic Relief Services Promotes Longtime Executive to CEO: The global humanitarian arm of the Roman Catholic Church named Sean Callahan, who has spent 28 years with the charity, as its new chief executive, The Baltimore Sun reports. He will take his new office at the Baltimore-based organization January 1, succeeding Carolyn Woo, who is stepping down after five years at the helm. Mr. Callahan is currently the charity’s chief operating officer and previously served as executive vice president for overseas operations and head of its programs in East Asia, in which capacity he worked with the recently canonized Mother Teresa. Catholic Relief Services raised $361.1 million in private support in 2014, ranking it 63rd in The Chronicle's latest Philanthropy 400 list of the largest U.S. charities.

Billionaire Art Donor William Louis-Dreyfus Dies at 84: The France-born business mogul, who pledged last year to sell off an art collection valued at up to $50 million and give the entire proceeds to the Harlem Children’s Zone education charity, passed away Friday, writes Artnet News. His death was announced Sunday by his daughter, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as she accepted an Emmy Award for best lead actress in a comedy for her show Veep. The art gift was inspired by a 60 Minutes segment in 2011 on the Harlem charity and aims to provide long-term financial stability for its work with low-income children and families in Harlem.

Nonprofit Created to Run Philly Newspapers Names First Leader: Former Wall Street Journal business executive Jim Friedlich was tapped as executive director of the Institute for Journalism in New Media, established earlier this year to take control of Philadelphia’s daily newspapers and their shared website, the Journal reports. In recent years Mr. Friedlich has been a consultant advising major media companies on digital strategies. The institute was formed in January by Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, then-owner of the Inquirer and Daily News newspapers and Philly.com, who donated the media properties and $20 million to the new entity. The dailies will continue to operate as for-profit businesses; the institute will make grants for specific newsroom projects and support journalism education and research on new media models.

Study Uses TOMS Shoes to Assess Impact of In-Kind Giving: A World Bank report on footwear donations by the for-profit social enterprise said they have a "negligible" overall impact on the lives of children in developing countries, Bloomberg writes. Researchers conducted focus groups with nearly 1,600 children in El Salvador who received shoes from TOMS, which gives away a pair of shoes for each pair it sells. The study found that youthful recipients used the TOMS shoes but also largely felt outside groups should do more to provide for the needs of their families instead. The findings illustrate "the importance of more careful targeting of in-kind donation programs," the study concludes.