September 30, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Trump Foundation Is Not Authorized to Solicit in N.Y.

Trump’s Charity Lacks State Certification for Fundraising: The New York City-based Donald J. Trump Foundation, which since 2008 has relied on contributors other than its namesake founder, has never obtained the state certification that allows a charity to seek donations, The Washington Post reports. A state law known as “7A” requires New York-based groups that raise more than $25,000 a year from the public to obtain a special registration, which the Trump Foundation has not done, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office. Tax filings show the charity has collected at least that amount from outside sources in each of the last 10 years. A former head of the state charities bureau said the law would apply unless donors are “giving money without being asked.”

In other campaign-related philanthropy news, Talking Points Memo reports that Mr. Schneiderman’s office has broadened an ongoing investigation into allegations of “self-dealing” by Mr. Trump and his foundation. A Fordham University law professor writes in a New York Times opinion column that the Republican presidential nominee’s “apparent disregard for the law” in his charity’s operation “does not bode well” for his possible administration. And The Economist breaks down the “swirl of truth, innuendo, and crazed conspiracy theories” surrounding the Clinton Foundation and its links to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s political and governmental activities.

Koret Foundation Rivals to Both Step Down in Legal Pact: The agreement is part of the newly approved settlement of a lawsuit that grew out of a contentious internal feud at the $600 million San Francisco grant maker, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency writes. Susan Koret, the widow of founder Joseph Koret, will give up her permanent seat as board chair immediately. Real-estate billionaire Tad Taube, a 37-year Koret trustee, will resign on April 1. Ms. Koret had accused Mr. Taube and his allies at the foundation of diverting money from its core mission of aiding the poor and Jewish communities in the Bay Area and Israel to benefit his own pet causes, including the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the Koret boardroom battle and its implications for foundation governance.

Melinda Gates Setting Up Shop to Focus on Women in Technology: The co-leader of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation talks to tech-news site Backchannel about her plans for a new venture aimed at beefing up the presence of women in technology fields. Ms. Gates, who earned degrees in computer science and worked at Microsoft before turning to philanthropy full time, notes that while women now earn nearly half of law and medical degrees in the United States, the proportion of female computer-science graduates has fallen from 37 percent to 18 percent since the 1980s. She is establishing a personal office to focus on the issue but says she is still in a “learning mode,” after which “I will figure out exactly what investments I will place down.”

Big Gifts Benefit Northern State U. and USC: Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., has received anonymous donations of $20 million and $15 million to support completion of new academic and residential buildings, reports the Aberdeen American News. In addition, a benefactor has offered a $20 million interest-free loan toward the academic project, according to university officials, who said information about the donor or donors could be forthcoming in the near future. Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, have given $20 million to the University of Southern California to help build a new cancer institute, a project initiated by and named for Mr. Benioff’s fellow tech billionaire and former employer, Oracle head Larry Ellison, Forbes writes.

Donor-Backed Endowment Sets New Funding Model for Mich. City: Bloomberg Businessweek looks at Kalamazoo’s unconventional and perhaps unprecedented plan to build a $500 million endowment to secure the economically distressed city’s long-term fiscal stability. After being approached by city officials for short-term assistance, local philanthropists William Johnson and William Parfet proposed the permanent endowment and pledged an immediate $70.3 million, which will cover Kalamazoo’s budget deficit for the next three years and finance a 38-percent cut in property taxes. The untried idea has raised concerns that civic spending will reflect the priorities of wealthy benefactors rather than residents. “Everyone’s saying what if, and I get that,” Mayor Bobby Hopewell said. “But to me this is a prime example about how philanthropy in this community is willing to go where no one has gone before.”