The David Geffen Foundation has sold two pieces of art by Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock to investor Kenneth Griffin for $500 million. The paintings are on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, where Griffin sits on the board of trustees. "These two iconic paintings allow us to share wonderfully powerful and transformative moments in the history of postwar art with thousands of visitors to our museum every day," said AIC President James Rondeau.
After the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in upstate New York went bankrupt, a nonprofit cooperative called Symphoria emerged to take its place. Managing director Catherine Underhill says the musician-focused structure gives the organization flexibility and room to innovate. "It's been difficult for the musicians most of all. Their compensation is not what it used to be. But now they have a voice that can help to shape this organization, to make it durable," she says.
The Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation has awarded Stony Brook University in New York a grant valued at about $750,000. Jim and Marilyn Simons have agreed to match the gift, and the school will receive a total of $1.5 million to create the school's first endowed chair in the history department.
Norman Burns II, president and CEO of the Conner Prairie museum in Indiana, has launched an aggressive growth strategy for the organization since taking its helm at the start of the year. He said that he will continue the work of his predecessor by increasing fundraising, promoting the museum nationally and showing the community its economic value.
Nonprofit leaders can ensure their organization hosts a successful fundraising campaign by having a comprehensive strategy in place, setting realistic goals and focusing on quality storytelling, writes Alyce Lee Stansbury, president of Stansbury Consulting. It's also important for board members to be involved in the fundraising plan and for all parties to actually ask for donations.
The Trust for Public Land has purchased 108 acres on the James River in Virginia. The nonprofit said it would use the space to develop a public park, and for conservation measures. "Turning the property into a new park along the James River will open up a key stretch of the county’s riverfront," said Senior Project Manager Lynda Frost.
Army veteran Stephen Machuga founded Operation Supply Drop in 2009 and Stack-Up.org in 2015. The organizations supply troops and veterans with video game supplies. Machuga said that after eight years of service, video games helped him readjust to civilian life by taking his mind off his experience in Iraq. "Keeping [soldiers] busy and engaged is important," he said.
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How to Catch a Unicorn
Check out the latest post on the BoardSource blog! Jermaine Smith, a 2015 Judith O'Connor Memorial Fund Scholar and Young Leadership Council board member, discusses his unique identity and provides a list of tips to get nonprofit leaders thinking about how to diversify their boards. Read more here.
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