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Nonprofit News From Elsewhere

George Soros’s sprawling global philanthropy is getting trimmed and reshaped to sharpen its focus on the threat of rising authoritarianism. Some Open Society grantees in other areas, including public health, refugee aid, and criminal justice, have been given “tie-off” funding for one last time, as the organization sheds staff through buyouts and layoffs. In online conversations, some staff have complained that leaders put together the new strategy without consulting frontline employees, while others said the organization needs to tend to its own issues with racism and sexism. Executives say the shakeup is needed to help shore up democracy around the world, to cut out duplication, and to bring some order to an organization that grew in an ad hoc fashion over decades. (New York Times)

Background: See the Chronicle’s article in May describing the changes.

Some of the richest colleges and universities would get a tax break under a $1.2 trillion package of tax cuts proposed by congressional Democrats. The measure would roll back a 1.4 percent tax on large endowments and would benefit “major research universities like Harvard and Princeton as well as small liberal-arts colleges such as Williams and Amherst.” The levy, part of the 2017 tax overhaul, went to help pay for corporate tax cuts. The Democrats’ proposal would reduce the tax according to a formula that “weighs revenues from undergraduate tuition and fees against undergraduate financial aid,” an executive at a college and university trade organization said. In fiscal 2021, university endowments saw a 27 percent median return on investments, their best performance since 1986. Plus, Politico reports that the measure would offer a tax credit that people donating to universities could take in lieu of a charitable deduction. (Bloomberg and Politico)

Refugee-resettlement groups across the United States are reporting a rush of donations and volunteers to help welcome immigrants from Afghanistan. The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in Baltimore is awash in donations of household goods, diapers, and school supplies, and it has raised about $1.8 million over the past month, compared with $25,000 in August 2020. Tens of thousands of people have signed up to volunteer for the organization. World Relief had 15 times as many donors in the past three weeks as it had in the same period last year, and Islamic Relief has raised more than $1 million in recent weeks. An executive at Church World Service said 256 landlords have offered rental properties for refugees. The help comes as refugee organizations struggle with hollowed-out staffs and budgets after the Trump administration cut legal immigration to a “historic low” of 15,000. (Washington Post)

More News


  • Billionaires Have Been Using Charity To Whitewash Their Tiny Tax Bills. It’s Time To End This Incredibly Wasteful Charade. (Insider — subscription)
  • ADL Head: On NY Islamic Center, We Were Wrong, Plain and Simple (CNN)
  • She Feeds Hundreds of Homeless Daily in Orange County. City Officials Want Her Out. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Exploring Racial Justice In Philanthropy: What The Philanthropy Sector Must Do to Better Support and Uplift BIPOC-Led Nonprofits (San Francisco Bay View)

The Arts

  • The Met Opera Races to Reopen After Months of Pandemic Silence (New York Times)
  • Fashionable Safety, Sacklers, and NFTs: the Metropolitan Museum of Art CEO on the Return of the Met Gala (Time)
  • A Fashion Show With an Unexpected Focus: Sexual Assault Survivors (New York Times)
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