Weekly News Recap: November 24, 2017

Canada's charitable sector by the numbers. Canada Revenue Agency

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. // Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery


  • GivingTuesday - the global day of giving (GivingTuesday.ca) "Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday … now we celebrate GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017. It is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The 'Opening day of the giving season,' it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday." November 2017

Webcasts to watch


  • Saskatchewan Cancer Agency names new President and CEO (CKRM) SASKATCHEWAN STORY "The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency didn’t have to look far for their newest President and CEO. Dr. Jon Tonita has been with the Agency for over 20 years and served as interim leader since August." 11/21/17
  • Canadian universities pledge to release demographic data (The Varsity) CANADIAN STORY A giant step forward in the commitment to diversity and inclusion in our post-secondary institutions. "On October 26, universities across the country [...] pledged to collect, release, and make publicly available all demographic data on their faculty, staff, and students over the next five years. The pledge is an attempt to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion at these institutions." 11/20/17
  • 'It's crazy fun': U of C librarian fired up as massive EMI music collection arrives in Calgary (CBC) CALGARY STORY We first posted about this gift from Universal Music to the University of Calgary in our April 1, 2016 recap. It is great to see the material starting to arrive from Ontario. "We are receiving it in truckloads from Toronto [...]. It will be about 5,500 boxes of material. So about two-million documents and photos, 40,000 audio-visual recordings." The university is partnering with the National Music Centre to make some of the material available for exhibits and public viewing. 11/19/17
  • New Edmonton equine centre eases waiting list for popular riding therapy program (CBC) EDMONTON STORY I love this interaction between us and animals. "A new equine facility that opened last month is already making a difference in the lives of Edmontonians. Since 1975, the Little Bits Therapeutic Riding Association has used the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre off Fox Drive to give children and adults of all abilities the opportunity to ride." 11/18/17
  • Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre prepares to open (Red Deer Advocate) RED DEER STORY So glad to see this. Nice to see it being modeled after the Sheldon Kennedy Centre in Calgary. "In less than two weeks Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre should be open to help victims of child abuse. [The] centre will have several resources like RCMP, family services, mental health, addictions programs and the Crown prosecutor’s office in one location to avoid duplication and gaps in service." 11/17/17
  • Airdrie Health Co-op hires new CEO (Airdrie City View) AIRDRIE STORY Congrats to AAHBC and to Bruce Graham. "The Airdrie and Area Health Benefits Co-operative (AAHBC) announced Nov. 3 it had hired a new president and chief executive officer (CEO). Bruce Graham takes over the role Nov. 17 from Dr. Tom Feasby who now assumes the role of chief health officer (CHO)." 11/16/17
  • Report on the Charities Program 2015-2016 (CRA) A great overview on the current state of the sector including some timely and useful infographics. Thank you to Andrea McManus for sharing this post. 11/15/17
  • Calgary 2017 Mayor's Urban Design winners revealed (CBC) CALGARY STORY Calgary really is coming into its own as a city with some stunning architecture. "Music halls, public plazas, pedestrian pathways and retail pop-ups among this year's winners." 11/15/17

Lists of lists

For wealth advisors

Mental health

  • Prince Harry: We're 'Shattering The Silence' On Mental Health Issues (The Fix) "'People seem ready for a different kind of conversation on mental health,' Harry said [...]. 'Everyone was tired of stigma and scare stories around mental illness...We were all beginning to grasp that mental fitness was an issue worth talking about, for every one of us.'" I am ready for a different kind of conversation. I hope you are too. 11/15/17


  • Investing in pure research is unpredictable but essential (Edmonton Journal) ALBERTA STORY A joint statement from three Alberta university presidents on the importance of pure research. I know firsthand from working at the UofA and the UofC that without pure research, the oilsands would never have been developed. We need more not less investment in fundamental and pure research. "Where will the next important research breakthrough come from? How will it revolutionize the way we live? It is impossible to predict. We can only be sure of where the journey begins: with a curious researcher testing and analyzing new, untried ideas and theories." 11/18/17

Uncommon knowledge

  • Lighting Bolt Philanthropy: Unpacking a Historic Unrestricted Alumni Gift (Inside Philanthropy) A useful article (planned giving specialists take note) on the recent $100 million unrestricted gift by Ricci to Notre Dame. His gift includes having Notre Dame become his business partnership's successor general partner. A novel way to transfer some wealth to his family, resolved his business succession, and make good on his commitment to Notre Dame. 11/15/17

Life and career hacks

  • This Is How I Improved My Life (Personal Growth) Another great post from John Weiss. Happiness is not an object. It is (or can be) a way of life. 11/21/17
  • Choose An Amazing Boss. Role Is Secondary. (thinkgrowth.org) Great, really great, advice. "Working for a bad boss sucks the life out of you and your career. Working for a good boss is fun and pleasant. Working for a great boss can change the trajectory of your entire career." 11/16/17
  • The Morality of Manipulation (The Mission) An interesting and informative think piece. Are you a peddler or a dealer; a facilitator or an entertainer? 11/13/17


  • Scholars ‘can’t be aloof’ from philanthropy (Times Higher Education) Oh man, this is great. "Academics should embrace philanthropic activities in higher education and recognise that there’s 'a real reward' in getting involved in fundraising, according to a dean at a Canadian university. Edward Iacobucci, dean and James M. Tory professor of law at the University of Toronto, said that scholars 'can’t be aloof' from alumni engagement and fundraising and should not see such activity as the academic equivalent of a 'trip to the dentist'." 11/19/17

Philanthropic personalities

Philanthropic controversy

  • Sackler family donations to U. funded by OxyContin sales (The Daily Princetonian) "The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the University Art Museum is filled with beautiful relics of Asian art: Neolithic pottery and jade, ceramic vessels and bronze figurines, terra-cotta sculptures, and coffin boards from an ancient tomb. But the Sackler name displayed on a sign in the gallery has recently been tainted by press coverage exposing the family’s role in promoting OxyContin, a leading culprit in the nationwide opioid abuse and overdose crisis that takes nearly 1,000 American lives each week." 11/17/17
  • George Takei controversy forces Edmonton Public Library to go boldly into moral morass (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY This is a risk for any organization when booking a high-profile guest for a gala event. What to do if the reputation of that guest becomes 'mired in controversy' during the process? "[While] most Takei fans are dealing with their disappointment, disbelief or disillusionment privately, the Edmonton Public Library and the Edmonton Community Foundation face a public dilemma. Should they cancel Takei’s speech Nov. 29, a fundraiser for the new downtown library?" 11/15/17

Trends and shifts

  • Driverless trucks are coming to Canada and the impact will be profound (CBC) CANADIAN STORY This is not an if, it is a when. "Things are moving fast, and according to experts who study the potential fallout of driverless trucking on the economy, the imminent arrival of autonomous commercial vehicles on Canadian roads will entirely eclipse the impact of electric-powered trucks." 11/20/17

Large gifts

  • $3.5-million alumni gift establishes state-of-the-art University of Calgary Psychology Clinic (UToday) CALGARY STORY An important and timely gift. "The clinical psychology program at the University of Calgary will now house a state-of-the-art, in-house psychology clinic thanks to the generosity of two University of Calgary alumni. The gift commitment from Lori Egger and Steve Laut will provide increased training opportunities for clinical psychology graduate students under the supervision of doctoral-level registered psychologists." 11/22/17
  • Forsyth Tech gets $2.8 million donation, largest in school's history (Winston Salem Journal) "A former chairman of Lowe’s Companies Inc. and his wife have given Forsyth Technical Community College its largest donation from an individual in school history. Robert L. and Elizabeth M. Strickland gave the school $2.8 million to be used for the college’s career center." Forsyth Technical Community College is a two-year public community college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 11/21/17
  • Servus Credit Union announces unique partnership with University of Alberta Faculty of Science (GlobalNewswire) EDMONTON STORY Wow. Great leadership Servus. This is a testament to the braintrust in AI and machine learning at the UofA."Servus Credit Union announces the creation of a new partnership and research collaboration with the University of Alberta Faculty of Science, the first of its kind for an Alberta-based financial institution. Under the agreement, Servus Credit Union will provide nearly $1.6 million in funding over five years to support research projects in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and related areas." 11/20/17
  • Heritage University receives $6.3 million donation for student scholarships (The Yakima Herald) "Scores of future Heritage University students will have most of their costs covered thanks to a $6.3 million donation [...]. The largest single gift the 35-year-old university has ever received came from the Moccasin Lake Foundation of Seattle and is expected to finance tuition, books and room and board for 20 students each year." Heritage University is a higher education institution located in Toppenish, Washington, on the Yakama Indian Reservation. 11/17/17
  • Jamesville couple makes record $8 million donation to Upstate Medical University (Syracuse.com) "A Jamesville couple has made Upstate Foundation history by donating the largest monetary gift the organization has ever seen, according to Upstate Medical University officials [...]. The multi-million-dollar donation will go toward a new hospital complex, expanding its focus to neurosciences -- with a focus on Alzheimer's disease and Dementia. Sam and Carol Nappi, of Jamesville, announced the $8 million donation to the foundation at a gala held Friday night." The State University of New York Upstate Medical University is a SUNY health sciences university located primarily in the University Hill district of Syracuse, New York. 11/17/17
  • $1M Rawlco donation sparks creativity at Children’s Discovery Museum (CKOM) SASKATOON STORY "Kids will get a chance to expand their imaginations while exploring the past, present and future of Saskatoon, thanks to a generous donation to the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum. [The] museum’s capital campaign [has] announced a $1 million donation from Gordon and Jill Rawlinson and Rawlco Radio." 11/16/17
  • WCTC receives $2 million for upgrades to manufacturing center (Journal Sentinel) "Thanks to a generous donation, Waukesha County Technical College will be able to work on upgrades to its Integrated Manufacturing Center (IMC). Walter "Terry" Lutz, the former president and owner of Signicast Corp., donated $2 million to the school to enhance and expand its IMC, according to an announcement by WCTC and the WCTC Foundation." The Waukesha County Technical College is a technical college in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. 11/16/17
  • U of Texas renames nursing school after receiving record-breaking donation (Hospital CFO Report) "Houston-based University of Texas Health Sciences Center renamed its nursing school [...] after a record-breaking $25 million donation, according to the Community Impact Newspaper. The $25 million donation is the largest gift the nursing school has ever received. The school will be named the Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing in recognition of the gift." 11/16/17
  • $1M donation to support WVU men’s hoops team (Dominion Post) "For the second time in eight years, West Virginia University alumnus Herbert Sanger and his wife, Rita, have given a $1 million donation to the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The gift will endow scholarships to support the nationally ranked men’s basketball team." 11/15/17
  • New $500 Million Co-Impact Fund Leverages Collaborative Philanthropy for Systems Change (Skoll.org) This is a cool. And a big deal. More on this from a Forbes article published two days later than this one. "System-level change requires collaboration across a range of partners—social entrepreneurs know this well. [... A] collection of leading philanthropists [has] announced the launch of Co-Impact, which will invest $500 million in health, education, and economic opportunity to ignite systems level change in communities across the developing world. Jeff Skoll joins Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Dr. Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani, and The Rockefeller Foundation in this landmark effort." 11/15/17

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