Weekly News Recap: November 23, 2018

The 1970 painting “Homage to Grey Owl” by Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. -- Socrates


  • New Edmonton centre opens dedicated to legacy of Jerry Forbes (CBC) EDMONTON STORY I heart Santa's Anonymous. "The space, once a fabric warehouse, was purchased and renovated for about $15 million, thanks to private donations and support from three levels of government [...]. Jerry Forbes was the station manager at 630 CHED back in the 1950s and he actually started Santas Anonymous [...]. Forbes died in 1981 at the age of 58 but his dream to ensure every child received a new toy at Christmas has grown from helping 600 kids in the first year to now more than 25,000 annually." 11/17/18

  • $1.5M grant to help transform vacant buildings into arts hubs for The Quarters (CBC) EDMONTON STORY "Two vacant buildings on the east side of Edmonton's downtown will be renovated, retrofitted and reborn as permanent arts hubs in The Quarters district, thanks in part to a $1.5 million contribution announced Friday by the federal government." 11/16/18

  • University of Alberta Receives $2.5 Million to Open AI Hub (Techvibes) EDMONTON STORY "Move aside Montreal and Toronto—Edmonton wants in on the AI sector. A new $2.5 million funding grant will allow the University of Alberta to establish an Artificial Intelligence-Supercomputing Hub for Academic and Industry Collaboration. The funding is coming from Western Economic Diversification Canada, a program that seeks to invest in non-profits that will help strengthen the economy of Western Canada." 11/16/18

  • Facebook fundraisers have raised over $1 billion (Engadget) Pretty big deal. Nice work Facebook! "Facebook announced [...] that it's expanding its nonprofit fundraising tool to Canada and Australia, and it also shared that it recently reached a major fundraising milestone. Since it launched the tool that allows users to raise money for nonprofits and personal causes, over 20 million users have raised over $1 billion by starting or donating to a fundraiser." 11/14/18

  • Suncor CEO Steve Williams to retire; Mark Little named as replacement (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Suncor Energy Inc. says Steve Williams will retire as chief executive after the company's annual meeting next May. Williams, 62, joined Suncor in 2002 and took the helm of Canada's largest energy producer by market capitalization from longtime CEO Rick George when he retired in 2012." 11/14/18

  • UCalgary Marketing team wins American Marketing Association award (UToday) CALGARY STORY Congratulations UofC! "On the first day of the annual American Marketing Association (AMA) Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in Orlando, Fla., if you’d asked just about anyone where Calgary was, you would have likely been met with confusion. By the end of Day 2, however, the 1,200 conference attendees had voted the University of Calgary in as 2018 AMA Foundation Higher Education Marketing Team of the Year — the first-ever Canadian team to earn the honour." 11/14/18

  • 'Ellen' show announcement: Iowa's Powerball jackpot winner is making a big donation (Des Moines Register) "Lerynne West of Redfield has made a national splash as the recent winner of a huge Powerball jackpot. On Wednesday afternoon, she appears on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show,' announcing she will give $500,000 to a foundation that assists wounded veterans." 11/14/18

  • Jillian Tamaki Wins A Second Governor General Literary Award (Education News Canada) CALGARY STORY "ACAD congratulates alumna Jillian Tamaki, on her second Governor General's Literary Award. She previously won in 2014 and becomes one-of-83 Canadians that have won a GG Award award twice since they launched in 1936. 'We are so proud of Jillian's continued success and the impact she is making in her field as it speaks volume of her talent and how ACAD was able to nurture her growth,' said ACAD President + CEO Dr. Daniel Doz. 'The recognition for her illustrated book They Say Blue is truly warranted as this work is a true gem.'" 11/9/18

  • Canada's Vertical $10 Note CANADIAN STORY A beautiful tribute to Viola Desmond and a cool way to view the note at the Bank of Canada site. November 2018

Books to read

  • 100 Notable Books of 2018 (New York Times) Big list. I have clearly had a bad reading year as I have read none of these books. Looking it over, the biographies of Ali and Sally Field, the Churchill history, and a book about a woman who is 2,000 years old all caught my eye. What's catching yours? November 2018

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic controversy

  • Washington State coach Mike Leach's Obama tweet cost school $1.6M in donations, official says (Fox News) "Washington State football coach Mike Leach’s tweet of a fake video of former President Barack Obama cost the school more than $1 million in donations, a school official said last week. Donors altered future estate gifts after Leach tweeted and then defended the fake video in June, university President Kirk Schulz said. A school spokesperson later confirmed that number was around $1.6 million [...]." 11/19/18

  • Couple, homeless man face charges in alleged GoFundMe scam that went viral (CBC) Eek! "A feel-good tale of a homeless man using his last $20 to help a stranded New Jersey woman buy gas was actually a complete lie, manufactured to get strangers to donate more than $400,000 US to help the down-and-out good Samaritan, a prosecutor said Thursday." 11/15/18

Trends and shifts

  • Report Warns of Risks of Top-Heavy Philanthropy (Philanthropy News Digest) "The charitable sector in the United States is increasingly top-heavy, with a growing amount of philanthropic power held by a handful of very wealthy individuals and foundations — a trend that poses risks to the sector's effectiveness and independence, a report from the Institute for Policy Studies finds." 11/19/18

  • The Land That Failed to Fail (New York Times) "They didn’t like the West’s playbook. So they wrote their own." This is a fascinating and informative piece on why China rules. 11/18/18

  • A Local Foundation Embraces Participatory Grantmaking in a Big Way (Inside Philanthropy) I like this trend. "What started as a 'listening tour' led by a new foundation president has now become an ambitious embrace of participatory grantmaking, a growing practice in philanthropy in which a community served is given the power to make funding decisions." 11/17/18

  • Who gets more done — office workers or telecommuters? (CBC) CANADIAN STORY "In a tight labour market, workers with in-demand skills may have the leverage they need to snag coveted telecommuting privileges. But seasoned remote workers and an economist who studies productivity said there's still a negative perception that stands in the way of making those arrangements happen." 11/16/18

  • Africa’s ‘Homegrown Philanthropy’ is Rising, Creating Self-Sufficiency for a New Generation (Good News Network) "In Africa, ‘homegrown philanthropy’ is rising from all parts of the local and national economies there, in countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and others. This episode of a BBC radio documentary series, Africa’s Big Philanthropy, highlights how many of the more fortunate members of the world’s fastest growing economies are not forgetting their often disadvantageous roots, returning to support education and healthcare, with sometimes breathtaking sums of capital. Joining the host is Tsitsi Masiyiwa, who co-founded the Higherlife Foundation based on her passion to provide education to young African men, who can lead the next generation into self-sufficiency." 11/14/18

  • Doctors in Montreal will start prescribing visits to the art museum (Quartz) MONTREAL STORY I love this. "Laughter may be the best medicine but culture works wonders for health as well. That’s the thinking driving a new initiative in Montreal, Canada, where doctors will be able to prescribe free art museum visits to patients with a range of ailments, from depression to diabetes to chronic illnesses." 10/23/18

Large gifts

  • Michael Bloomberg Will Donate $1.8 Billion To Johns Hopkins University (Forbes) This is literally world-changing. "Michael Bloomberg, the technology billionaire and former mayor of New York City, announced on Sunday that he will donate $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University, his undergraduate alma mater. The funds will be used exclusively for financial aid, according to a Bloomberg Philanthropies press release." 11/18/18

  • NFL awarding more than $35 million to brain injury studies (TSN) CANADIAN CONTENT "The NFL is awarding more than $35 million in funding to five organizations conducting research into diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries." Congratulations to all the recipients including the University of Calgary's Dr. Carolyn Emery who will be receiving $9,438,473 ($12 million CAD) to pursue her research project, "Surveillance in High Schools to Reduce Concussions in Youth." 11/15/18

  • Single Parent Programs Receives $1.1 Million Donation (Casper College) "It started like any other day for Student Success Specialist Mary Lewallen [...]. 'I received a call from the donor asking if I could meet with them,' said Lewallen, who has overseen the program since 2012. 'We visited for a while about the single parent program, and then the donor said to me, ‘I would like to do something for you.’' A checkbook appeared, and the donor calmly wrote out a check and handed it to Lewallen. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she looked at the figure: $1.1 million dollars specifically earmarked for the single parent program. Lewallen burst into tears. 'You don’t know how many people this is going to help,' she told the donor who replied, 'You guys are doing a great job.'" 11/14/18

  • Donor gives Mayo Clinic $200 million, its largest donation ever (Post Bulletin) "A long-time admirer of Mayo Clinic is giving $200 million, Mayo’s largest gift ever, to its medical school. Mayo Clinic announced the historic donation this morning from Birmingham, Mich., philanthropist Jay Alix. Alix, a corporate strategist, is credited with saving many companies, including General Motors in 2008, as well as overhauling the struggling City of Detroit." 11/13/18

  • Covenant House Florida gets record $1 million donation for homeless youth (Orlando Sentinel) "Covenant House Florida, a nonprofit agency for homeless and at-risk youth, has received a record $1 million donation from City Furniture — money that will help the charity provide food, blankets, crisis counseling and other aid to teens and young adults who survive on the streets of Orlando." 11/13/18

  • Boston U. Gets $25 Million: Gifts Roundup (Chronicle of Philanthropy) The Chronicle's regular list of significant gifts. 11/13/18

Welcome to our recap of the week's news, articles, and information of note. ViTreo Group Inc. provides this information for the benefit of our clients, associates, staff, partners, and stakeholders. The content is collected and curated by ViTreo partner Vincent Duckworth. If you would like to submit a link for consideration, please send an email to info@vitreogroup.ca

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by ViTreo Group Inc. of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. ViTreo Group does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of meeting the mission of the ViTreo Group Inc. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate.

Vincent DuckworthComment