The weeks between Christmas and New Year's are crucial for charities — the guilt and goodwill in the air means it's a particularly ripe time to solicit donations. But not this year. In the wake of a large number of nonprofits being wiped out after investing with Bernard Madoff, donors are being a lot more careful. Bill White, who runs New York–based charities the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, told the Journal that one client who was considering making a gift to the museum wanted to know exactly who they would invest the money with, much to his surprise. "We've had lots of people in the past say what we can use the money for and can't use the money for," he told the paper. "But we have never ever had anybody ask us what we are investing the money in."
Meanwhile, over at Yeshiva University, which lost $110 million to Madoff, students in a seminar attended by the Times were feeling betrayed:
In the eyes of the students, Bernard L. Madoff had deceived scores of people, turned billions of dollars into dust and ruined many lives. So instead, the graduate seminar of 15 began by debating whether Mr. Madoff’s actions were sins, and whether it mattered that he was Jewish...Some said Mr. Madoff’s religious affiliation was irrelevant; others worried that his Judaism might tarnish their own, that outside eyes would not be able to see past his faith.
Aw. Don't worry, guys. It doesn't matter that he's Jewish. If there's one thing we know so far about Madoff it's that he was, pretty clearly, an equal-opportunity offender. After all, he ruined the holidays for everyone in the world. That counts for something.
After Madoff, Donors Grow Wary of Giving [WSJ]
Betrayed by Madoff, Yashiva University Learns a Lesson [NYT]