Super-sized donations to benefit various organizations

A spate of super-sized donations has recently benefited various organizations and higher education institutions. They include what is reported as the largest single contribution to a historically Black college or university (HBCU), $100 million to UNCF, and $350 million from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for projects in Indiana.

Donations up in 2021 for universities, nonprofits

Two separate reports provide evidence of nearly $100 billion in donations to 864 U.S. institutions of higher education and 8,635 nonprofits in FY 2021, according to articles in the most recent Philanthropy News Digest. The $52.9 billion directed to universities represents a 6.9 percent increase from the previous year, while the $46.4 billion donated to nonprofits represents a 9 percent jump. The largest contributors to the academy were foundations, accounting for 33 percent of receipts. Meanwhile, nonprofits in the environmental sector saw the largest annual increase, 19.3 percent, yet the sector remains one of the smallest of 11 classifications.

$42.4 million philanthropic grant to help fuel regional innovation in Northern Indiana

As a way to help encourage innovation and workforce development in Northern Indiana, a five-year, $42.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will support the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network. An effort of the University of Notre Dame and the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, the LIFT Network will launch iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame’s Innovation Park, a burgeoning innovation district on the campus’ southern end. This is the sixth region in Indiana where the Lilly Endowment has made an economic development commitment.

Kapor Center, Gates Foundation launch $1M grant competition to diversify tech sector

The Oakland-based Kapor Center, a nonprofit focused on leveling the playing field in tech, has announced the Tech Done Right (TDR) Challenge with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With an emphasis on growing opportunities for women and people of color in the sector, the challenge will fund organizations with innovative solutions to building diverse, inclusive, and thriving tech ecosystems. Awardees will receive one-time grants beginning at $100,000. The challenge is now open and accepting applications here, with a submission deadline of Tuesday, May 7.

Foundations look for 50% tax cut

Presently, the IRS provides private foundations a tax break if they show a trend of exceeding qualifying distribution requirements (grants). The legislative intent is for the tax reduction to serve as an incentive or reward for those foundations that are more generous with their grants over a five-year period than the 5 percent minimum distribution required by law.  The Council of Foundations wants all philanthropists to get the tax break regardless of the trends in their generosity and disbursements.  Four senators apparently agree with the council as they have included the provision in S. 1343, the recently introduced bill addressing several tax provisions dealing with charitable giving. The bill was introduced by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), both members of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, with Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore) as co-sponsors.

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