Philanthropy

November 19, 2008

Bank of America donates $900,000 to Bay Area nonprofits

Bank of America has awarded grants totaling $900,000 to Bay Area nonprofits.  As reported in San Francisco Business Times, four organizations won $200,000 unrestricted grants as part of Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. They are Community Housing Partnership and Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco and Urban Gardens and Oakland Ballet Company in the East Bay.  In addition to these large unrestricted funds winners, the bank honored five community leaders in both San Francisco and the East Bay with a $5,000 donation to the nonprofit of the winner’s choosing. The program also honors local high school students, five from both San Francisco and the east Bay with a paid eight-week internship and other leadership training support.  Starting in 2009, the bank has a 10-year goal to give away $2 billion to community nonprofits.

Filed under Banking and Financial Services, Philanthropy by

June 17, 2008

Wells Fargo gives $100K to Hispanic chamber

Wells Fargo made a $100,000 grant to the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, of which $25,000 will be used to start a CHCC Foundation. Since 2000, the bank has given more than $1 million to the chamber. The CHCC says it represents the interests of more than 600,000 Hispanic-owned businesses and more than 60 Hispanic chambers and business organizations throughout California.

Filed under Banking and Financial Services, Business Associations, Governor Schwarzenegger, Philanthropy by

December 14, 2007

UCSF wins $5 million from Gates Foundation to fight malaria and improve health systems

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give $5 million to the University of California, San Francisco, to promote and implement promising strategies against global health crises, according to a report in San Francisco Business Times. UCSF Global Health Sciences will use the funds to start an “action tank,” led by Sir Richard Feachem, the former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Global Health Group will first focus on malaria eradication and an enhanced role for the private sector in strengthening health systems in developing countries. “The group’s first project will be an incredibly important one — helping to accelerate progress toward the eradication of malaria, a disease that kills thousands of children in Africa every day,” said Tachi Yamada, M.D., president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program.

Filed under Health and Medical, Philanthropy by

November 14, 2007

Dow gives UC Berkeley $2 million for sustainable products program

The University of California, Berkeley got a $2 million gift from the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation that will pay to start a new program providing teaching and research opportunities in the area of sustainable products and solutions. According to a report in San Francisco Business Times, the foundation intends to provide a total of $10 million over the next five years and to help the program find additional foundation and corporate sponsors. Based at the Center for Responsible Business at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the Sustainable Products and Solutions (SPS) Program is being established in partnership with Cal’s College of Chemistry. The program will focus on sustainability issues involving society, science, engineering, the environment and finance. A request for proposals will be issued later this fall seeking research and education ideas, primarily from master’s degree-level and doctoral students at Cal.

Filed under Philanthropy, University of California by

September 27, 2007

AT&T gives $500,000 to Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation

Press Release:

AT&T today announced a $500,000 contribution to be paid over the next two years to the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF), a community-based organization providing a wide range of family services to low-income residents throughout California. The contribution will fund a pilot program called “BeSchoolReady”, an Internet-based educational tool that introduces young children to computer technology through Internet-delivered learning modules designed to develop learning, language and cognitive skills. The purpose of the program is to prepare preschool students to begin their formal education and increase their chances of kindergarten success.

AT&T’s contribution will provide over 1,300 preschool students from low-income families within the next two years with the opportunity to use the BeSchoolReady program. For many children, and their parents, it will be a first-time experience with computers, so the project also helps to encourage technology literacy in the Latino community. MAOF preschool children are already using the BeSchoolReady web program at several Los Angeles County MAOF Centers.

“We are thrilled to partner with AT&T to help encourage technology literacy in the Latino community,” explained Martin Castro, MAOF President & CEO. “The launch of the BeSchoolReady program will help ensure our preschoolers are comfortable with computers and can be better prepared to succeed in the public school system when they enter kindergarten.”

Filed under Education and Training, Mexico, Philanthropy by

September 14, 2007

Google put up $30 million for robot race to the moon

No, this is not an article from “The Onion” – it is from the San Jose Business Journal:

Google Inc. said Thursday it will sponsor a $30 million robot race to the moon. Mountain View-based Google said the race is being organized by Santa Monica-based X Prize Foundation, which is known for its multimillion-dollar scientific challenges. The grand prize of $20 million will go to the first team to get a privately funded spacecraft on the moon. Some specific tasks are also included in the challenge. Second prize is $5 million and a bonus of $5 million will go to the team that carries out other specific challenges, such as locating ice on the lunar surface. In a statement, Peter Diamandis, X Prize CEO, said the use of space “has dramatically enhanced the quality of life and may ultimately lead to solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on earth – energy independence and climate change.”

Filed under Aerospace and Aviation, Philanthropy by

July 10, 2007

More on the funding of Schwarzenegger’s luxury junkets

The Los Angeles Times has written still another expose of Governor Schwarzenegger’s use of shadowy “non-profit organizations” funded by “undisclosed donors” to pay for his foreign trips- euphemistically called “trade missions” . The California State Protocol Foundation, one of the most notorious of these groups, is closely associated with the California Chamber of Commerce, and is widely thought to be a vehicle used to curry favor with the Governor by major corporations and others with business before the State.

By giving to this foundation, donors can avoid having their identities made public, because these charities are not governed by the disclosure rules that apply to campaign contributions. And they can donate unlimited amounts to the nonprofit, which is not subject to contribution ceilings the way campaign accounts are, the Times reported. In addition, The protocol organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, also known as a public charity and donations to these groups are tax deductible- which may technically be legal but is a clear abuse of the purpose of non-profit organizations.

Governor Schwarzenegger stays in luxury hotels and flies in top-of-the-line private jets when he travels overseas. “That jet for those international jaunts is extremely expensive,” a source told the LA Times, “China was probably well north of $100,000.” The protocol foundation’s expenditures have exploded since Schwarzenegger began using it — from $55,000 in 2003 to $1.8 million in 2005 and $1.3 million last year. Nonprofit monitors say it is almost impossible to justify routine spending of charitable dollars on aircraft that can cost $6,000 to $10,000 an hour to lease.

A foundation spokesman told the Times that the returns are “sufficient to demonstrate how the foundation pursues its mission of relieving the taxpayers of the cost burden of certain government activities, especially those related to international trade and diplomacy.” That’s all well and good, but aren’t these trade missions supposed to be for the benefit of all California business- not just Schwarzenegger’s business associates and campaign contributors? Remember the guy who was going to be “the Governor for all the people” and who would “shun special interest money”. He now resides over a State government that has grown increasingly hostile to small business interests, and an administration that is almost completely closed to all ideas and input from ordinary citizens.

The times said that “most of Schwarzenegger’s foreign sojourns have been trade missions, though his critics say the trips really are little more than junkets designed to boost his international profile.” Count us now to be among them. While we were ecstatic when Schwarzenegger got elected, in the area of international business development his administration has become more and more corrupt. In fact, this abuse of non-profits to fund junkets is strikingly similar to the corruption scandal of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, now serving time in a Federal Penitentiary for his actions.

The California Governor’s economic development and international trade activities were not supposed to be focused on making Arnold Schwarzenegger the most successful and internationally known person in the world, they were supposed to be for all of us- and in that regard, he is failing miserably. Someone close to him needs to tell him he is on the wrong road- a very dangerous road.

Filed under California Government, Governor Schwarzenegger, Opinion, Philanthropy by

June 6, 2007

UCSB Receives $12.5 Million Gift for the California NanoSystems Institute

The University of California, Santa Barbara has announced that Virgil Elings and Betty Elings Wells have made a $12.5 million gift to UC Santa Barbara to support pioneering research at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). In recognition of their recent gift, the new building that is home to the prestigious California Institute for Science and Innovation will be named in honor of Virgil Elings.  The CNSI is a multidisciplinary research partnership between UCLA and UC Santa Barbara established by the state in 2000 with the support of the state legislature and California industry.  Virgil Elings is a former UCSB professor of physics who made
fundamental contributions leading to the scientific revolution at the nanoscale. In 1987, he co-founded Digital Instruments (DI), the first company to make the power of atomic scanning probe microscopy readily available to scientists and engineers, enabling them to view and
explore nanoscale features and structures never seen before – a critical starting point in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Filed under Philanthropy, University of California by

March 23, 2007

Donation of $500,000 to Governor’s charity linked to favorable laws for AT&T

The Los Angeles Times has reported that the $500,000 donation AT&T gave to one of Governor Schwarzenegger’s charities came just six months after the governor signed a law lifting barriers to the company’s bid to sell pay television service in California. The money went to After-School All-Stars, a tax-exempt group founded by Schwarzenegger in the early 1990s to provide tutoring, recreation and other programs to poor children. The organization’s board includes some of Schwarzenegger’s closest friends and aides, including Bonnie Reiss, a former senior aide in his administration, and Paul Wachter, his financial advisor, the Times reported. “It’s all to the good for low-income kids, but it’s also noted on AT&T’s balance sheet in more ways than one,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. “There is a benefit to regardless of his technical affiliation with the charity.”

Last November, AT&T gave $25,000 to the Governor’s campaign, and just four days later Susan Kennedy, now his Chief of Staff voted as Public Utilities Commission member to approve AT&T’s merger with SBC Communications. Less then a month later, Governor Schwarzenegger paid that exact amount to Susan Kennedy leading many to suspect that AT&T had paid this money as a bribe in order to secure this favorable decision by the PUC.

Filed under California Politics, Governor Schwarzenegger, Philanthropy, Telecommunications by

Irvine Foundation gives $250,000 to help farmworkers

“The James Irvine Foundation said Thursday it gave $250,000 to four community groups to help the state’s farmworkers. The San Francisco foundation gave the money to help workers who have lost jobs because of a crop freeze in January. The Irvine Foundation gave $75,000 each to the Ventura County Community Foundation; the Desert Community Foundation, which is based in Palm Desert; and the United Way of Tulare County. It also gave $25,000 to the Community Foundation for Monterey County.”

Filed under Agriculture and Food, Philanthropy by

March 21, 2007

AT&T to provide funding for Schwarzenegger after-school program

“California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in San Antonio Tuesday for a special ceremony that will involve the AT&T Foundation giving a major gift to After-School All-Stars, an after-school program the former actor founded… The AT&T Foundation’s gift will be used to support the national program — which is a nonprofit organization that offers tutoring services and sports to at-risk middle school students. The exact dollar amount will be released at a special event at Alamo Stadium.”

Filed under Governor Schwarzenegger, Philanthropy by

February 18, 2007

Yahoo co-founder to give Stanford $75M

“Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo Inc., and his wife will donate $75 million to Stanford University, according to reports Friday. The Associated Press reported that Stanford plans to spend $50 million of the donation on a new environmental studies center it hopes to finish by December, and $5 million on a 120,000-square-foot center for training doctors. It hasn’t decided yet how to spend the rest. Yang and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, met in 1992 while studying at a Stanford program in Japan, then graduated from the university in 1990.”

Filed under Education and Training, Environment and Climate, Philanthropy by

February 15, 2007

George Lucas Educational Foundation hires COO

The George Lucas Educational Foundation has hired Cindy Johanson as its first chief operating officer. The San Francisco Business Journal reports that she previously worked at the Public Broadcasting Service, where she managed the led PBS web site. She also co-founded the National Teacher Training Institute to teach math and science teachers using television and online classes. The foundation is a nonprofit focused on education. Milton Chen is its executive director.

Filed under Education and Training, People on the Move, Philanthropy by

February 7, 2007

Lawrence Berkeley Lab designs low-tech stove for Sudan Refugees

CHF International has teamed up with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley to research, design and manufacture more energy efficient stoves for use in IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in Sudan. To execute the first phase of this program, Visiting International Professional (VIP) Brian Tachibana traveled to Khartoum, Sudan, to oversee production of the first 50 stoves. With an education and work experience as an engineer, Brian was able to work with CHF Sudanese staff to simplify the initial stove design, to account for material availability and allow greater productivity during the manufacturing process. In just two weeks, the initial 50 stoves were constructed and then transported to locations in North and South Sudan for testing.

Filed under Energy Industry, Philanthropy, Sudan by

San Diego Economic Development Corporation Awards Kyocera Founder

“San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will feature Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, John Micklethwait, at a dinner program tomorrow honoring the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera Corporation, Dr. Kazuo Inamori. As the recipient of EDC’s 2007 Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award, Dr. Kazuo Inamori is recognized as an executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in both business and philanthropy. In 1959, and at the age of 27, Dr. Inamori founded Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. (now Kyocera) in Japan with 28 employees and three million yen from friends. In 1971, Kyocera became the first Japanese-parented corporation with manufacturing operations in the State of California.”

Filed under Economic Development, Japan, Philanthropy by

February 1, 2007

Google to host fundraising launch for X Prize

Google, Inc. will host the launch of a fundraising event for the “X prize” – a new philanthropic organization whose mission is to create breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity based on competition. The March 3 event at Google’s Mountain View headquarters will kick off a $50 million drive and be hosted by Google founder and X Prize board member Larry Page. The benefit is intended to “encourage innovations in areas such as fuel consumption, water, medicine and more” said X Prize president Tom Vander Ark.

Filed under Philanthropy by

January 30, 2007

Chevron donates $10M to U.S, Institute of Peace

San Ramon-based Chevron Corporation announced that it gave $10 million to help build a permanent headquarters for the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. The Institute was created by Congress in 1984 to study and promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict. Its new headquarters will be at the northwest corner of the National Mall.

Filed under Energy Industry, Philanthropy by

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