David Geffen Foundation sells 2 paintings for $500M | A symphony lives again through a co-op approach | Gardiner Foundation pledges $750K to Stony Brook University
February 22, 2016
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David Geffen Foundation sells 2 paintings for $500M
New Survey Ranks Chicago's Art Institute Top Museum In The World
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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.
CNNMoney (2/19),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (2/19) 
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A symphony lives again through a co-op approach
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 Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (2/19) 
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Gardiner Foundation pledges $750K to Stony Brook University
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.
Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.) (subscription required) (2/20) 
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Boards in Action
Conner Prairie museum CEO launches aggressive growth strategy
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.
Indianapolis Business Journal (free registration) (2/13) 
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Other News
Strategic Leadership
6 steps to successful fundraising
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.
Tallahassee Democrat (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (2/20) 
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Sector Analysis and Impact
Trust for Public Land acquires 108 acres for public park in Va.
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.
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) (2/19) 
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Nonprofit Leaders in the News
Veteran's nonprofit sends video game care packages to troops
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.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2/21) 
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BoardSource News and Notes
Webinar Today: Building Your Board Bench
There are new strategies and vehicles for recruiting board members and concrete steps your organization can take to set up the board and your organization for success. Join us today to learn more about how to leverage these innovative strategies as well as simple best practices.
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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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