Philanthropy News Blog

A roundup of philanthropic news.

This Week in Philanthropy: May 15th – 21st

Inside L.A. LGBT Center’s $57 Million Campaign

This year is a big one in LGBT history. In addition to June marking the 50th anniversary of the riots following a police raid at New York’s Stonewall Inn, which sparked the modern gay-rights movement, the month will also conclude the largest fundraising campaign to date by the nation’s oldest gay and lesbian community center.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center, founded in 1969, will have raised more than $57 million to build a new facility in Hollywood. The money will help pay for the $142 million Anita May Rosenstein Campus, which opened in early April. The campus will include the center’s administrative operations, plus 99 units of affordable housing for elderly people, 100 beds for homeless youths, senior and youth centers, and transitional housing with supportive services for young people in need of medical or mental-health services.

In addition to the $57 million in gifts, pledges, and grants, the campaign is topped off by $10 million in new-market tax credits for investment in low-income housing.

Full article text available via The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 05/14/2019

$24.1 Million Gift to Support International Students, Executive Education

A $24.1 million gift from Nassef Sawiris, a University of Chicago trustee and College alumnus, will support the education of Egyptian students through an expanded scholars program at the University and a new executive education program serving government officials and business leaders in Egypt.

Of the overall gift from the Nassef Sawiris, $18.1 million will support the Sawiris Scholars Program, which enables academically talented students from schools and universities in Egypt to attend UChicago’s undergraduate school and the College’s Odyssey Scholarshipprogram, UChicago’s flagship financial aid initiative, which supports a need-blind, loan-free education at the College. The remaining $6 million of the gift will support a new non-degree certificate executive education program in El Gourna, Egypt at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Full article text available via U Chicago News, 05/15/2019

Orlando Bravo Gives $100 Million for Entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico

San Francisco financier Orlando Bravo is putting $100 million into his family foundation to develop a number of programs to support Puerto Ricans who want to start their own businesses and to promote entrepreneurship on the island more broadly.

Bravo co-founded Thoma Bravo, a private-equity firm in Chicago and San Francisco that invests in technology services and software companies. He was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and still has family there. He came to the U.S. mainland as a teenager, attending high school here for a short time, and then returned to Puerto Rico to graduate. He returned to the mainland to attend college, earning two bachelor’s degrees from Brown and law and business degrees from Stanford.

Full article text available via The Chronicle of Philanthropy , 05/16/2019

New Residence Hall Will Be Named Burke Hall

The easternmost of Colgate’s two new residential facilities will be named Burke Hall, in recognition of a $10 million gift from Gretchen ’81 and Steve ’80 Burke P’11,’20.

“On behalf of the entire Colgate community, I thank the Burkes for their remarkable generosity at this important moment in the history of the University,” President Brian W. Casey said in an announcement to the University community today.

Full article text available via Colgate News, 5/20/2019

Oprah Surprises New Jersey Students with $500K Donation, Pizza Party

Former daytime talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey donated $500,000 to a Newark high school after she heard of its after-school program.

In a surprise appearance Friday, Winfrey threw a pizza party for students at West Side High School and gave them a $50 ShopRite gift card each.

Oprah said she was inspired by West Side’s “Lights On” program that provides recreational activities at the school after hours every Friday.

Full article text available via, 05/20/2019

Robert F. Smith Pledges to Pay 2019 Morehouse Grads’ Loans

Philanthropist and Giving Pledger Robert F. Smith has pledged to pay off the student loans of the Morehouse College Class of 2019, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Washington Post report.

Announced during the commencement speech Smith delivered to the school’s nearly four hundred graduates and their families, the commitment is valued at up to $40 million — making it the largest gift in the school’s history. The announcement — which was not included in Smith’s prepared remarks — came as a surprise to Smith’s own staff as well as Morehouse College officials. Tuition, room and board, and other costs at the all-male historically black college run about $48,000 per year, Morehouse College president David A. Thomas told the Post.

Full article text available via Philanthropy News Digest, 05/21/2019

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