Weekly News Recap: October 19, 2018

Amanda Lindhout, a former freelance journalist from central Alberta, made international headlines when she was kidnapped in Somalia in 2008. HANDOUT/POSTMEDIA

You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

On libraries

On grandmothers

  • How a bench and a team of grandmothers can tackle depression (BBC) Depression is NOT just a first world problem. "Since 2006, Chibanda and his team have trained over 400 of the grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities in Zimbabwe. In 2017 alone, the Friendship Bench, as the programme is called, helped over 30,000 people there. The method has been empirically vetted and have been expanded to countries beyond, including the US." 10/16/18


  • 4th Annual Capital for Cause (Karma and Cents) CALGARY CONTENT We, at ViTreo, are huge fans of Karma and Cents. "4th Annual Capital for Cause summit is a half-day event for impact investors, portfolio managers, family office executives and family foundation investment committee members. This year we are focusing on the role that platforms play in supporting impact investing efforts. We have also added a new component – the voice from our First Nations investment community." Tickets are on sale here. October 2018


  • New food bank run by veterans, for veterans opens in Calgary (CBC) CALGARY STORY Good news! "Calgary now has a new food bank run by veterans, for veterans after their old food bank unexpectedly closed months ahead of schedule. The Veterans Association Food Bank officially opened its doors on Monday. The shelves were empty, but spokesperson Marie Blackburn said they don't expect them to stay that way for long." 10/17/18
  • Shaunavon in running for $250,000 windfall to fix up football field (CBC) SHAUNAVON STORY Sending you good vibes Shaunavon! "Shaunavon, Sask., could score $250,000 to upgrade its high school football facility. The town has been named one of four finalists in the Kraft Heinz Project Play 2018, which will award one community $250,000 toward recreational facility upgrades." 10/16/18
  • Edmonton food bank sees demand rise dramatically (CBC) EDMONTON STORY "The Edmonton Food Bank is seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people who need food hampers, says executive director Marjorie Bencz. This July, almost 21,000 people required food hampers, a 50-per-cent increase from the almost 14,000 individuals who needed hampers in July 2015." 10/16/18
  • Calgary's Genesis Centre should have an artificial turf field, says city councillor (CBC) CALGARY STORY "A city councillor in northeast Calgary says it's time for a small but important upgrade to sports facilities in that quadrant of the city. Coun. George Chahal will ask his colleagues Monday to vote in favour of putting $2 million toward an artificial turf sports field next to the Genesis Centre on Falconridge Boulevard N.E." 10/15/18
  • Calendar girls in the Kootenays: Golden oldies drop their clothes for firehall fundraiser (CBC) EDGEWOOD STORY As a fundraising idea, this really never gets old. "A group of senior women are baring (nearly) it all to come to the rescue of a struggling firehall in the Kootenays. Volunteers in Edgewood, a small town east of Kelowna, have been fundraising for more than a year, but the firehall is still thousands of dollars short to connect to the water and septic systems." 10/13/18
  • Doctors to prescribe museum visits to help patients 'escape from their own pain' (CBC) MONTREAL STORY Works for me. No, I mean it. This actually WORKS for me. Love it. "A group of Canadian physicians will be writing a new kind of prescription starting next month — a trip to the museum. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and a Montreal-based doctors' association are launching a pilot project Nov. 1 to treat patients to a day of paintings, sculpture and relaxation." 10/12/18
  • With 25% of downtown office space still vacant, council faces a taxing problem (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "The city needs a more permanent solution to the tax shift caused by depressed property values downtown, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said at a city budget meeting [...]. Over the past two years, the city has spent nearly $100 million to head off massive tax increases to suburban businesses caused by the decline in tax assessments from the city’s downtown office towers." 10/12/18
  • Kettering College forms partnership with Canadian school (Dayton Daily News) LACOMBE STORY Congrats! ViTreo is proud to be working with Burman University. "Kettering College, part of Kettering Health Network, has a new partnership with a university in Alberta, Canada. Burman University said in a news release that the agreement creates a pathway for students to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Kettering College." 10/12/18
  • Lakeland to rollout Vermilion renewal (Meridian Booster) VERMILION STORY Lakeland College plans to roll out the first phase of a multi-phase renewal project at the Vermilion campus this year to renovate and update classroom and lab spaces following another year of enrolment increases.10/11/18
  • The 'Butterfly model' transforms this dementia care facility into a real home (CBC) CALGARY STORY This is beautiful. "'The language of dementia isn't literal, the language of dementia is feeling,' said Sheard. 'It's about realizing that those basic human needs remain with us always.' Sheard developed the Butterfly Care Home Program — a new model of dementia care that tries to inject compassion and humanity into the often severe and clinical long-term care setting. The care home at Journey Club Seniors' Residence in southeast Calgary opened this week." 10/10/18

Canada's First Peoples

  • A hereditary chief opens up about supplying his nation with free cannabis oil (CBC) GITAYOW STORY "Hereditary chief Wil Marsden has made a name for himself in his community as the guy you see if you need access to cannabis oil. He's been providing it, free of charge, to people in Gitanyow, B.C., for the past six years — stocking fridges with a supply of syringes filled with the dark, molasses-like oil, instructing people on how to medicate themselves for a whole range of illnesses." 10/14/18
  • Urban reserve commemorates 30th anniversary with a tipi donation (CTV News) SASKATOON STORY "The Muskeg Lake Cree Nation urban reserve will donate five tipis to some of their collaborators to celebrate working together for 30 years. 'The theme of the celebration was 30 years collaborating with the City of Saskatoon,' said Mike Icton, CEO of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Investment Management Corporation. 'This urban reserve never would have happened without their collaboration. So, in honour of truth and reconciliation, we thought what better symbolism than a tipi – something that we use in ceremonies, something that we use culturally.'" 10/11/18

Books to read

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic personalities

  • Amanda Lindhout reveals the Calgary benefactor who paid her ransom in Somalia (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY Anyone who has ever worked with this donor is not the least bit surprised. Ms. Lindhout’s story is one of amazing courage in the face of unimaginable circumstances. This donor’s response was one in keeping with a lifetime of care and philanthropy. Thanks to Scott Decksheimer for sharing this story. 10/16/18
  • Paul Allen’s $2 Billion in Lifetime Gifts Went to Eclectic Mix of Causes, From Brainy to Whimsical (Chronicle of Philanthropy) RIP Mr. Allen. Thank you. "Paul Allen, who died Monday at age 65, was one of America’s most prolific and eclectic donors. In his lifetime, Allen gave a total of more than $2.3 billion starting in 2002, the first year he landed on the Chronicle’s annual Philanthropy 50 list of the biggest donors. He appeared on the list annually over the next 16 years for the large sums he gave to nonprofits, including, in recent years to his own grant maker, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation." 10/15/18
  • PHILANTHROPY FUELS STUDENT'S EXCELLENCE—AND HIS EMPATHY (HUB) "As a Johns Hopkins University undergraduate, Suleiman Abiola began preparing for a career as a medical missionary by majoring in public health studies, pursuing a pre-med track. The coursework allowed him to shadow doctors in Johns Hopkins Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit and learn from Hopkins experts about global health care delivery, but he says it was a summer 2013 internship with Strong City Baltimore that taught him 'how to practically approach a community when you're trying to partner with it.'" 10/12/18

Philanthropic controversy

  • Craig Kielburger Founded WE To Fight Child Labour. Now The WE Brand Promotes Products Made By Children. (CANADALAND) CANADIAN STORY "A CANADALAND investigation reveals that WE is connected to no fewer than three companies known to use child and slave labour in their supply chain. In fact, WE logos can be found promoting products made in part by children, including Hershey’s products that contain cocoa farmed by child labourers in West African countries, and Kellogg’s products that contain palm oil farmed by child labourers in Indonesia. WE also has a large partnership with Unilever, which has been a major purchaser of palm oil produced with child labour." 10/15/18
  • OPINION: The Underlying Attack in the Harvard Admissions Lawsuit (The New Yorker) "A lawsuit claiming that Asian-American students were victims of illegal discrimination in the Harvard College admissions process goes to trial in Boston this week. The plaintiffs assert that Harvard uses what amounts to an unlawful quota system, which results in qualified Asian-Americans being denied admission, in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." 10/15/18
  • UNPROTECTED (ProPublica) "An acclaimed American charity said it was saving some of the world’s most vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation. But from the very beginning, girls were being raped." 10/11/18

Trends and shifts

  • Government Has a Role in Strengthening Canada’s Charities and Non-Profits: Senators Mercer, Omidvar (The Philanthropist) CANADIAN STORY "Canada’s charitable and non-profit sector is the second largest in the world [...]. But [...] there are still underlying challenges in the charitable and non-profit sector, which is in danger of failing the most vulnerable populations. The number of donors in Canada is on the decline. Charitable and non-profit organizations are struggling to retain enough employees and volunteers to function day-to-day." 10/15/18
  • Canadian Charities Balk At Proposed Liberal Tax Changes (Huffington Post) CANADIAN STORY "Canadian charities whose status was targeted by prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives say they are concerned that changes the Liberals are proposing won't prevent a future government from going after them again." 10/13/18
  • How Fundraising Leaders Can Stop Perpetuating Abuse (Chronicle of Philanthropy) Great article. "Two issues are top of mind for all development leaders: how to meet fundraising goals and how to recruit and keep the best talent. Here’s another for the priority list — one that cannot be ignored given the rise of the #MeToo movement: how to squelch pervasive sexual harassment that has become so much more visible at nonprofits in recent years." 10/11/18
  • Understanding Trust in the Charitable Sector: An Exploration (Imagine Canada) CANADIAN STORY "The discussion on trust is not new in the charitable sector, as many have studied its meaning, implications, and impact. Imagine Canada and The Muttart Foundation’s 2013 report Talking about Charities, identifies levels of public trust in the charitable sector as high and stable, especially in comparison with the business sector and government. However, trust in certain charities, such as international aid, environmental and religious organizations, has been on the decline since 2000." 10/1/18
  • Power in Philanthropy (Stanford Social Innovation Review) "Grantmakers that effectively advance equity hit the 'sweet spot' on three dimensions of power: building power, sharing power, and wielding power. Funders build power by catalyzing equitable long-term solutions instead of temporary fixes [...]. Funders share power by nurturing trusting relationships and co-creating strategies with stakeholders; by doing so, they earn the trust of peers, partners, and the communities they care about. Finally, funders can be a legitimate, influential, and relevant voice on issues communities are grappling with, but wielding this power entails exercising public leadership to create positive, long-term change." October 2018

Reports and studies

Large gifts

  • $2M donation to aid in new building, research at Kettering University (MLive) "A $2 million donation to Kettering University will help to pay for a new building and scholarships for students in the greater Chicago area hoping to attend the Flint institute. The money from Lisle, Illinois-based Navistar International Corporation will be used for the construction of a commons space in the new Learning Commons building on campus, supporting research initiatives, and scholarship support for students." 10/15/18
  • Catholic Charities USA presents $1 million donation to Hurricane Michael victims (ABC) "While Hurricane Michael has left devastation across the Florida Panhandle, religious groups are lending a hand to help hurricane victims get back on their feet. Catholic Charities USA presented a $1 million check to Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida [...] at the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee." 10/14/18
  • $1M donation launches Boys & Girls Club of Hartford’s new fundraiser (HartfordBusiness.com) "Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford (BGCH) announced a new fundraising campaign Friday aimed at financing a new facility in the Capital City's South End. BGCH said the fundraiser has been kickstarted by a $1 million pledge from property and casualty insurer The Hartford, with its CEO and chairman, Christopher Swift, serving as the campaign's chair." 10/12/18
  • Canadian Olympic hopefuls get a 'game-changing gift' in $2.5M donation (CBC) CANADIAN STORY A bold gift. Amazing. "The David and Ruth Asper family donated $2.5 million to the 5to8 campaign, representing the largest donation to Olympic sport in Canadian history by a factor of 10. The 5to8 campaign was created to help the generation of Canadian athletes who are believed to be five to eight years from the podium." 10/11/18
  • 'Underdog disorder': Kipnes chair to boost lymphatic research at U of A (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY A truly fantastic gift by two outstanding Edmontonians. Thanks! "A $7-million donation is poised to make the University of Alberta a leader in lymphatic disorder research. The money — to establish the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Lymphatic Disorders, the first of its kind in Canada — will help drive research to support the care of patients suffering under-reported, under-recognized, and under-diagnosed medical problems in the lymphatic system such as lymphedema. [...] The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation has committed $5 million to the effort while the University Hospital Foundation (UHF) and its donors matched a gift of $1 million made by the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation through the University Hospital Foundation." 10/10/18
  • SCSU Receives $1M Donation for Nursing Program (WJON) "St. Cloud State University received a $1 million donation for their nursing program. Jim Maciej and his wife Anna Marie Maciej decided to make the donation [...]. The funds will be used to help create the new nursing simulation labs and provide other technology for the nursing program." St. Cloud State University is a public university founded in 1869 above the Beaver Islands on the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota. 10/10/18
  • Peabody set to expand following $160 million donation (Yale Daily News) Wow! "In August, Edward P. Bass ’67 donated $160 million to Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. His gift — one of the largest in Yale’s history and the single largest donation to a U.S. natural history museum to date —will allow the museum to expand its classroom, exhibition, research and collection storage spaces." 10/10/18

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