Weekly News Recap: November 10, 2017

Lily Morgan, seen in a photo taken during a hospital stay, suffers from congenital heart failure. She has holes in her heart and a blocked aorta. She’s had two open heart surgeries and is fed by a tube. (April Morgan/ Submitted)

Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service. -- Martin Luther King Jr.


  • Free entry boosts attendance at Art Gallery of Alberta (CBC) EDMONTON STORY Nice partnership. Great outcome. "Attendance at the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is up 22 per cent after a cash injection from Edmonton city council helped provide more free admissions to the gallery. Admissions for April, May, June and July 2017 were 24,789, compared with 20,308 for the same period last year, gallery figures show." 11/8/17
  • First Inuk surgeon, National Gallery curator, CEO honoured with Indspire awards (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Wow, what a lineup. Congrats to all. Inspiring you are! "The awards, first handed out in 1994, aim to celebrate Indigenous successes and achievements. The honours are awarded by Indspire, an Indigenous-led charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people. The charity provides millions of dollars worth of scholarships and bursaries every year to Indigenous students across the country." 11/7/17
  • Saskatoon children's hospital gets $1M for spiritual worship space (CBC) SASKATOON STORY Love this. Such a thoughtful and important gift. "The new children's hospital being built in Saskatoon has received a donation for a $1-million space for spiritual worship. The gift from Barb and Gord Broda and the Casimir and Marie Broda Family Foundation will pay for a 24-hour worship space, including added ventilation to accommodate rituals such as smudging and pipe ceremonies." 11/7/17
  • Elton John to be honoured by Harvard for HIV/AIDS philanthropy (Toronto Star) Congrats! Well deserved honour for decades of work for HIV/AIDS. "Elton John is being honoured at Harvard University for his philanthropic efforts to fight HIV and AIDS. The 70-year-old singer will be awarded the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award in a ceremony Monday afternoon. Previous winners include former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Secretaries General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar." 11/6/17
  • Mayor on a mission to end homelessness (St. Albert Gazette) ST. ALBERT STORY "With her dream of becoming mayor realized, St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron said on Monday she has a new dream: to put an end to homelessness in the city before the next election [...]. Suzan Kreczy, executive director for the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village, said the food bank wants a seat at the table once the task force is organized." 11/4/17
  • Fort McMurray United Way struggles with fundraising shortfall (CBC) FORT MCMURRAY STORY "Fort McMurray's weak economy is hobbling a major fundraising campaign that many charities in the oilsands capital depend on, says the campaign chair for the United Way. The Fort McMurray United Way fears it will raise only $5.6 million of its $7 million fundraising goal this year, Steve Yatauro said Thursday." 11/3/17
  • Rocky Ridge recreation centre reaches substantial completion (Journal of Commerce) CALGARY STORY "The Rocky Ridge recreation centre has reached substantial completion in Calgary and has been handed over to the Calgary YMCA. Rocky Ridge recreation centre reaches substantial completion The new facility, Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge, officially opens to residents in January." 11/3/17*
  • Bubb announces plans for new institute of philanthropy at Oxford (Civil Society) Sounds terrific. Looking forward to more information on this initiative in the coming months. "A new Institute for the Study of Charity and Philanthropy is expected to be established next year at an Oxford College, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Charity Futures, announced yesterday." 11/3/17
  • U of C approves Indigenous Strategy, which gets Blackfoot name (The Gauntlet) CALGARY STORY Nice work UofC! Congrats on launching this strategy. "The University of Calgary Board of Governors unanimously voted to approve the Indigenous Strategy at its Oct. 20 meeting. The strategy was first presented to BOG on June 23. As part of its goals, the strategy has a Blackfoot name — ii’ taa’ poh’ to’ p. According to the U of C, the name means a place to rejuvenate and re-energize during a journey. The U of C is hosting an event to celebrate the launch of the strategy on Nov. 16 in MacHall Ballroom." 11/2/17
  • Norquest College opens 'legacy room' to spark conversation on residential schools (Metro) EDMONTON STORY This is a terrific way to honour residential school survivors. "Edmonton’s Norquest College became the first institution in Western Canada to open a “legacy room” honouring residential school survivors [...]. The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy Room, situated on the main floor of the school’s Heritage Tower, will soon be renovated to accommodate learning about residential schools and the story of Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died while running away from his school in 1966." 11/2/17
  • 'No Woman Without. Period': Campaign provides tampons, pads to Edmonton's homeless (CBC) EDMONTON STORY I love this. I am sad that it was not more immediately obvious (to me at least) but I love that Ms. Bjornson saw a need and decided to do something about it. "When Scarlet Bjornson saw a woman begging on the street in Edmonton, she handed over some change, stopping to ask how the money would be spent. 'I'll always give it. I don't really care where the money goes to, but for whatever reason, I was compelled to ask,' Bjornson recalled during an interview with CBC Radio's' Edmonton AM. 'She said, 'Truthfully, I'd like to get some food or alcohol, but I need to buy tampons.'" 11/1/17
  • Wounded Warriors watch sales keeps veterans' programs ticking (Calgary Herald) CANADIAN STORY "Steve Critchely figures time is literally on the side of the injured veterans he and his human and equine companions help back to health. Proceeds from the sale of a wristwatch supplied by Time is Ticking — a Canadian distributor with a long history of helping veterans’ causes — are now boosting the group Wounded Warriors (WW)." 10/26/17

Stats and studies

Life and career hacks

  • How To Learn Languages Fast (The Mission) My goal in this life is to become a polyglot. Right now, I am a glot. I need to get to work. 10/24/17
  • What Is The Anchoring Effect? (Medium) This is a pernicious effect. The best defense is to first, know that it exists and second, how to identify its use. This article can help with both. 10/24/17
  • The Most Precious Thing in the World (Medium) I have known about this all my life. The trouble is, I have not been that good at identifying the 20% I need to spend time on. This article helps. 10/22/17


Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic personalities

Philanthropic controversy

  • A University Nets a Huge Donation and Students Protest. What's Going On Here? (Inside Philanthropy) "To say there's a disconnect between the American public university fundraising apparatus and the students it serves would be a huge understatement. On one hand, administrators, donors and fundraisers pop the Champagne when a massive pledge comes in. Press releases are fired off. Words like "transformational" and "game-changing" are bandied about. The governor might even show up to hail an especially large infusion of alumni cash. Meanwhile, students review their latest college loan balance and contemplate that burden climbing even higher before graduation day finally rolls around. Somehow, despite a drumbeat of massive campus gifts in recent years, the plight of student and parents grappling with tuition bills in the mid-five figures seems only to get worse." 10/31/17

Trends and shifts

  • Donors Use Bitcoin for Tax Benefits and to Keep Tabs on Spending (New York Times) "Why would someone donate with Bitcoin over dollars? There are two reasons: It can be tax advantageous, and the technology the currency is built on could make it easier to see how a donation is being used, forcing charities to become more transparent." 11/6/17
  • Fidelity Charitable Tops United Way for 2nd Year in a Row in the Philanthropy 400 (Chronicle of Philanthropy) "Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund again claimed the top spot on the Philanthropy 400, The Chronicle’s annual ranking of charities that raise the most from individuals, foundations, and companies. It beat out United Way Worldwide for the second year in a row. Fidelity, which manages donor-advised funds, raised nearly $4.1 billion in its fiscal year ending in June 2016, down 12 percent from the previous year. But that performance still put it more than a half-billion dollars ahead of United Way." 11/1/17
  • Innovating Philanthropy (Stanford Social Innovation Review) Interesting definition. "Once considered charity, philanthropy has been redefined as experimentation capital for the public sector. Stanford professor and scholar of philanthropy Rob Reich, who writes about the role of philanthropy in democratic societies, highlighted that one of the most important roles of philanthropic capital is funding 'extra-governmental democratic experimentalism.' " 11/1/17
  • After Universal Basic Income, The Flood (Medium) Lots of talk about universal basic income (UBI) lately. I am a fan but I feel we have not licked the 'lack of purpose' issue. In short, what if people are not looking mostly or firstly for money but they are actually needing or wanting purpose. UBI does nothing to address this. Yet. 10/22/17

Large gifts

  • UT petroleum engineering department renamed after $25 million donation (The Daily Texan) Certainly sets the bar for the naming of an engineering department in the U.S. "UT’s nationally ranked petroleum engineering department was renamed the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering [...] after receiving a $25 million endowment. The gift will be devoted to funding new research and teaching technologies. It was given to the Cockrell School of Engineering by the Hildebrand Foundation, which was founded by Jeffery Hildebrand, vice chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, and his wife, Mindy Hildebrand." 11/7/17
  • HSC renames heliport after $5M donation (Winnipeg Sun) WINNIPEG STORY "Manitoba philanthropist Paul Albrechtsen's $5-million donation has led the Health Sciences Centre to rename its heliport in his name." 11/7/17
  • Donation from law school alumnus funds student commons renovation (Daily Bruin) "The UCLA School of Law is renovating its student commons following a $1 million donation from one of its alumni. Alumnus Arthur Greenberg’s gift will fund a remodeling project to expand and modernize the Arthur N. Greenberg ‘52 and Audrey Greenberg Student Commons [...]. The project is scheduled to take place over the summer and will be finished once classes resume next fall." 11/7/17
  • Fifth Third Bank makes seven-figure donation to Navy Pier (CRAIN'S Chicago Business) "In its largest sponsorship agreement in Chicago to date, Fifth Third Bank has made a seven-figure, multiyear financial commitment to Navy Pier. Neither the bank nor the pier would reveal the exact amount of the donation or years in the commitment, which will be announced this evening at Navy Pier's inaugural fundraising event." 11/7/17
  • Compton Hospice revamp given go-ahead thanks to £1m Goodyear workers donation (Express & Star) "A multi-million pound extension of Compton Hospice has been given the go-ahead, which bosses say will secure its future for years to come. The hospice will be transformed by the works which will start next year. It is being funded largely by a £1 million donation from ex-Goodyear workers and it will see the design of the building in Compton Road West improved to bring staff together and make it easier to get around." 11/6/17
  • Community college in Salinas, Calif., receives donation of 215 acres (American School & University) Nice gift and it looks like the College can sell it after 2019. "Orchid growers Andy and Mary Matsui have donated a 215-acre plot of land to Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif. The Monterey Herald reports that the land has an estimated market value of $20 million and is the largest the community college has ever received." 11/6/17
  • Country Music Association $1 million donation to HISD (CW39 NewsFix) "The Country Music Association Foundation in collaboration with Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation and Music Rising donated one million dollars in the name of fine arts education to the Houston Independent School District." 11/6/17
  • A University Gift to Get the Tech World and Humanity Better Acquainted (Inside Philanthropy) "As the tech industry draws intensifying scrutiny for the power it has over everything from groceries to politics, a $20 million donation to Cornell aims to produce students who have tech savvy, but also a “context and ethical framework. The grant from Howard Milstein and family will establish the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity, which will bridge Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences in Ithaca with the brand-new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island." 11/5/17
  • $7M gift is UNCP’s largest (The Robesonian) "A landmark $7 million gift from [The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP)] Trustee Jim Thomas and his wife, Sally, will transform the campus and have a lasting impact on generations of executives and entrepreneurs." 11/4/17
  • Donation boosted Notre Dame facilities (Steuben Courier Advocate) "Notre Dame High School was able to renovate its auditorium and athletic facilities thanks to a $2 million donation from alumnus Richard Crossed." Notre Dame High School, established in 1955, is located in Chemung County, Elmira, New York. 11/4/17
  • Citadel's Ken Griffin donates $125 million to University of Chicago (CBS) "Citadel's Ken Griffin donates $125 million to University of Chicago [...]. Griffin is founder and CEO of asset management company Citadel. He joined the university's board of trustees in 2014. Griffin earned $600 million in 2016, ranking him No. 6 on the list of the world's top-earning hedge fund managers, according to trade publication Institutional Investor." 11/1/17
  • CAMH builds on radioimaging legacy with creation of the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry (Newswire) TORONTO STORY "The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is home to Canada's first positron emission tomography (PET) centre dedicated to mental illness research, and has a long-standing track record of pioneering new brain imaging agents. CAMH's legacy in this field will now be powered through the creation of a new research centre announced this morning, the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry. Thanks to a transformational $11-million gift from the Azrieli Foundation, CAMH welcomes Dr. Neil Vasdev as the inaugural Director of the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry." 11/1/17
  • The movie ‘Taken’ inspired a $2.5 million donation to fight human trafficking (Miami Herald) "The oversized check John Brunetti held during the ceremony at St. Thomas University was inspired, in part, by the movie 'Taken.' Brunetti, who owns the Hialeah Park race track, first heard about human trafficking, the term for when people are forced into labor or sexual exploitation, years ago during a speech by Miami State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle." 11/1/17
  • Ohio State creates new center to study drug laws after donation from Charles Koch Foundation (The Lantern) "Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law announced [...] it is creating an interdisciplinary center to study the impact of the 'war on drugs' and other drug laws, including marijuana legalization, in the United States. Made possible by a $4.5 million donation from the Charles Koch Foundation, the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center will involve significant collaboration across a few of Ohio State’s different colleges, including the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Social Work." 11/1/17

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