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More victims of the Wall Street crisis

Lori Stassi Sep 23, 2008

The Wall Street fallout news now includes charities, museums, colleges and other institutions that have relied on the largess of Wall Street’s big firms to help fund their operations, programs and endowments.

A story in the Wall Street Journal Monday said, “The failure of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and pain at other big firms threaten to cut into the corporate and individual donations that more than a million nonprofit organizations rely on for basic operations and charitable programs.” The paper quotes Gordon J. Campbell, president and chief executive of the United Way of New York City, saying, “There will be fewer dollars coming in the doors.”

The blog miners over at mediabistro.com caught a story on Artnet with the grim news that Lehman was selling its art-collecting unit and gives a long list of well-known museums — The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOCA in Los Angeles and the Art Institute of Chicago among them — as Lehman beneficiaries now facing a funding gap.

ABC News reported on its Web site that most colleges and universities have diversified their endowment investments enough to protect them and even see them make a profit in hard times. But because endowments rely on donations, they are expected to take a hit.

Even New York City hotels are going to suffer. Business Travel News Online reports that the crisis on Wall Street is “is almost certain to deal a blow to a hotel demand that has seemed an invincible juggernaut in recent years.”

But there is one kind of institution seeing better business because of Wall Street’s troubles — the church. Reuters says religious leaders in the neighborhood are seeing increased attendance at lunchtime meetings.

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