Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gates Foundation CFO to Resign Next Year

Alexander Friedman, the chief financial officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced his intention to leave the world’s largest foundation in February of next year.  Friedman oversaw the foundation during a period of growth that nearly doubled the size of the organization, and he initiated program related investments for the foundation.  Friedman said that he expects to return to the private sector, though he is considering non-profit and government positions as well.

USAID Economist Issues Dissent to State Dept Aid Plan

Senior USAID economist C. Stuart Callison issued a formal dissent memo arguing against the demands of Special Representative Richard Holbrooke’s proposed policy on Pakistani aid.  Holbrooke has been pushing to use more local Pakistani organizations to deliver and oversee aid to Pakistan, a plan that Callison says contradicts the US’s interest in delivering “high-impact counterinsurgency and broad-based economic development as quickly as possible.”  Callison acknowledged that the overhead costs associated with USAID contractors is high, but argues that Pakistan lacks the institutional structure to effectively deliver aid.

Tuesday’s Health Care Bill Looks Good for Nonprofits

The health care bill that passed through the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday has several previsions that should leave many nonprofits smiling.  First, the proposed cap on the charitable deductions by the wealthy is gone, as are proposed provisions regulating how nonprofits justify executive pay.  Unlike earlier versions of the bill, this one specifically allows for small nonprofit employers to receive a payroll tax credit that was previously reserved for small businesses.  The bill does include restrictions on nonprofit hospitals, which will be required to make a “community health needs assessment” every three years.  The bill also prohibits certain “extraordinary collections actions,”  limits the amount that can be collected from patients in need of financial assistance, and requires hospitals to formulate and publish financial assistance policies.

Goldman Sachs Pondering a $1Billion Donation to Charity

The investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering donating over $1 billion to charity in an effort to quell the public and political fervor expected to rise as a result of the company’s massive bonuses this year.  The bank is expected to pay a record $22 billion in bonuses, which breaks down to about $700,000 per employee.  No word yet on which charity or charities are expected to receive the massive donation.