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January 5, 2011 
 
 
Know Your Billionaires

 
This woman gave the largest single donation from an individual last year. Can you guess who she is?
 
Alice Walton
OK, time's up. This is Alice Walton, heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune. (Didn't know? Time to start reviewing your multi-billionaire flash cards.) Her $800 million gift to the just-opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (where she grew up) topped the Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of the biggest gifts from individuals announced last year. (The list excludes people who made in-kind donations and anonymous donors.) Alice, whose net worth is nearly $21 billion, is #10 on the Forbes 400 Richest People in America.
Raymond Perelman and his wife Ruth
Photo: University of Pennsylvania
The majority (8 out of 12) of the top donations from individuals went to universities. (The other four donations took some time off to go hiking across Europe and find themselves.) Atlantic Philanthropies founder and Duty Free Shoppers Group co-founder Charles Feeney pledged $350 million to Cornell University. The late William Dietrich II, chairman of Dietrich Industries (the world's largest producer of metal framing and finishing products), bequest $265 million to Carnegie Mellon University and an additional $125 million to the University of Pittsburgh. And RGP Holdings chairman Raymond Perelman and his wife Ruth gave $225 million to the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. (Note to future billionaires: the proper pose for major philanthropists is staring off in the distance with heads turned slightly to the side.)
Lady Gaga
Maybe you didn't recognize the first photo, but you shouldn't have any difficulty with this one. Lady Gaga topped DoSomething.org's list of 20 celebs "gone good" in 2011. Gaga, who's pet cause has been anti-bullying, announced in November that she's launching her own organization called the Born This Way Foundation, which will support programs that empower young people. Also in the top five: Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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DC Nonprofit Corporation Act is Here
 
Venable partner George Constantine (right, here with colleague Ronald Jacobs)
The new DC Nonprofit Corporation Act, the law governing the inner workings of non-profits incorporated in the District, is in effect as of Jan. 1. If you haven't reviewed your articles of incorporation and bylaws and made any necessary changes, don't freak out just yet. As Venable partner George Constantine (right, here with colleague Ronald Jacobs) pointed out to us last month, "When the clock hits midnight on Dec. 31, 2011, there's not going to be some incredible cataclysmic event that occurs if the organization doesn't have its documents 100% in concert with the language of the statute." That said, it's a good idea to conduct a review of your documents early this year to make sure your organization is up to date with the law. While the whole structure of the act has been updated, George says the requirements are not drastically different. In fact, the new law offers more opportunities than restrictions. Many of the changes have to do with bringing the law up to date with the digital age.

Bisnow
What Are Your Buzzwords For 2011?
 
United Fresh Produce Association VP of convention and industry relations John Toner (here withFixation Marketing's Sharyn Collinson)

Following our round-up of association and non-profit buzzwords yesterday, United Fresh Produce Association VP of convention and industry relations John Toner (here with Fixation Marketing's Sharyn Collinson) sent us a buzzword of his own: connecting. "It’s not enough to be friends on LinkedIn, but really connect with those around you and those who you talk to on a deeper level," he tells us. "It’s all about the power of relationships to accomplish goals and objectives." Send us your buzzwords for 2012 and we may also include them here!


Bisnow
Top Chef's New Restaurant
 
Bryan Voltaggio
Last year was a pretty good year for former Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio. He came out with a cookbook, opened a new cafe called LunchBox, and even helped create his own Flying Dog beer (with his likeness on the bottle). But 2012 is shaping up to be even better. In April, Bryan opens East Street Diner, a classic American diner located in a former Nissan dealership (880 N. East St., Frederick, MD) that will feature his take on dishes like meatloaf, fried chicken, and pancakes. Bryan is also planning a meat-focused bistro in Chevy Chase called Range later in the year. For more on new restaurants in the Washington area, subscribe to Dining Bisnow. (Read about 10 hot new spots here.)
 
Send news and story ideas to reporter Jessica Sidman, jessica@bisnow.com.
 
 
 
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