Lehman's not-for-profit fallout

September 17, 2008
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When a major company goes under, it's not just the employees and shareholders who take hits. It's also the not-for-profits that the company helps support. A Bloomberg story today reports on Lehman Brothers endowment, which contributes to over 200 causes each year.

According to Lehman Brothers' website, its philanthropic activity included donations to the Apollo Theatre Foundation and its in-school seminars, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's Team Shakespeare school program, Dallas Children's Theatre, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra's Children's Concert Series, Los Angeles Opera's outreach program, the Alliance of Resident Theatres and many, many more.

According to the Bloomberg story, the endowment may still survive an additional five years.

Looking over the list and watching the news reports, I'm reminded of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, who acknowledged, "...when we feed a starving fellow creature, it is with their bread, because there is no other bread; when we tend the sick, it is in the hospitals they endow; if we turn from the churches they build, we must kneel on the stones of the streets they pave. As long as that lasts, there is no getting away from them. Turning our backs on [them] is turning our backs on life."

Your thoughts?
  • It's not just the companies that go under that are pulling back corporate giving. Check out some of what's happening right here in Central Indiana with some of the big companies here. Talk to a few of the bigger non-profits in the area and you'll find that their corporate donations are likely going down as well.
  • Lou, what was the name of that new restaurant on Indiana Avenue that you just reviewed?
  • It's Zing. You can find the review at www.ibj.com/arts.

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