Weekly News Recap: November 3, 2017


Chew on one thinker. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them. Repeat this as many times as you can. Climb up the tree as far as you can go. -- Austin Kleon


  • National Music Centre makes top 10 in National Geographic list (Metro) CALGARY STORY Congrats! "The National Music Centre has been open in Calgary for more than a year now, and it looks like the international community is taking more notice. The NMC landed itself on National Geographic’s recent list of 10 Must-Have Experiences in Alberta. The list is largely made up of outdoor experiences, like stargazing in Jasper, biking in Kananaskis or visiting Dinosaur Provincial Park." 10/31/17

  • Red Deer College wins marketing awards (Red Deer Advocate) RED DEER STORY Congrats. Nice work! "Red Deer College has been recognized for its excellence in marketing, with the Marketing & Communications department receiving five gold medals, three silver and two bronze at the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations District 7 Medallion Awards." 10/30/17

  • Forbes: Night of fashion, glitz and glamour in Calgary (Calgary Sun) CALGARY STORY "One of the biggest bashes in Calgary is coming our way on Thursday, Nov. 9. Fashion Calgary’s Ania Basak spends most of the year putting this evening of glitz and glamour together and gathers the movers and shakers of the Calgary cultural, fashion and media scene to celebrate and spread the word on Calgary’s vibrant social experience. It’s a night of fun, frolic and food and it’s all for a good cause, with all money raised going to help the children here in town with the fight against Cancer [...]." 10/29/17

  • Cenovus appoints Alex Pourbaix as new President & CEO (Global Newswire) CALGARY STORY Congrats to Mr. Pourbaix and to Cenovus. "Cenovus Energy Inc. today announced the appointment of Alex Pourbaix as President & Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. Pourbaix will start the role on November 6." 10/30/17

  • Field of Crosses honours fallen southern Alberta soldiers (CBC) CALGARY STORY One of my favorite projects. Thank you Murray McCann and the McCann Family Foundation. Again. "Now in its 9th year, 3,410 crosses [have been] erected along Memorial Drive." 10/29/17

  • Jann Arden to receive Bob Edwards Award (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY Congrats Jann! "Singer-songwriter Jann Arden will join the ranks of Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler and W.O. Mitchell in accepting the Bob Edwards Award [...] at a gala presentation in Calgary. The award is named after the Canadian satirist and humourist Bob Edwards, who created the Calgary Eye Opener, a satirical weekly newspaper that was first published in 1902 [...]. The gala is a fundraiser for the Calgary Public Library Foundation. In 2016, the gala raised more than $300,000 to enhance programs and services offered by the Library." 10/28/17

  • Westman receives prestigious honour (Calgary Sun) CALGARY STORY Congats Jay! "Jay Westman, chairman and CEO of Jayman Built, is the recipient of the 2017 [AFP Calgary and Area] Doc Seaman Individual Philanthropist Award, which recognizes the individual who independently contributes to making Calgary stronger and has shown the ability to step up in a time of need." 10/28/17

  • Jason Kenney elected 1st leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party (CBC) ALBERTA STORY "Jason Kenney has been elected the first leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party. Kenney, a former long-time Calgary Conservative MP and cabinet minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, won on the first ballot over opponents Brian Jean and Doug Schweitzer, taking 61.1 per cent of the vote." 10/28/17

  • Cuts loom for Calgary civic partners (Metro) CALGARY STORY "It's time to tighten the belt, and the city's civic partners are the first to get a taste of the city's financial predicament. The city faces a $170 million shortfall [...]." 10/27/17

  • National Philanthropy Day Luncheon: Nov. 15 (CBC) CALGARY STORY Join us on Wednesday, November 15 at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park for stories of those who create hope, passion and courage through their actions. Single tickets and corporate tables are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Association of Fundraising Professionals website. 10/27/17

  • U of L president to chair Universities Canada board (Lethbridge Herald) LETHBRIDGE STORY Congrats Mike. "University of Lethbridge president Mike Mahon is looking forward to taking on another big leadership role. Mahon was elected chair of Universities Canada’s board of directors [...] during the association’s [...] membership meeting in Ottawa." 10/27/17

  • World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn (The Guardian) "The world’s super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, when families like the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast fortunes." 10/26/17

  • Service Club of Chicago celebrates 127 years of philanthropy (ABC) What an achievement. Congratulations. "The Service Club of Chicago has been making Chicago proud for more than a century. Founded in 1890, it's one of the city's oldest all-women's philanthropic organizations. The money they raise helps other groups already making big changes in their communities." 10/26/17

  • Work begins on 'mega' soccer centre in south Edmonton (CBC) EDMONTON STORY "Construction has started in south Edmonton on a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art soccer complex. Known as the Edmonton Soccer Dome, the $7-million air-supported structure will boast the first full-size indoor field for soccer in the city." 10/25/17

  • Karma & Cents (Karma & Cents) CALGARY STORY Congrats to our friend and colleague Gena Rotstein. Announcing Karma & Cents Social Impact Lab: Helping Individuals, Families and Family Enterprises move from Traditional Philanthropy to Philanthropy 3.0. October 2017

Books to read

  • Can focusing your corporate vision help your bottom line? (GenPop) Neil Gaught's new book, Core: How A Single Organizing Idea Can Change Business For Good. "is about how businesses can be a force for good. It’s not just about sustainability. It’s about organization and about human beings and how they interact with each other. How can we do something that is good?" Thanks to Ron Bailey for sharing this post. 10/2/17

Life and career hacks

  • Make your autumn photographs look their best with these tips (CBC) CANADIAN CONTENT Barry Brady, a BC-based professional photographer offers up some great tips for taking fall photos that pop. 10/28/17

  • Why Perfectionism Gets in the Way of Joy (Personal Growth) Such a terrific reminder to stop and smell the roses. We all need to find value in our ordinary lives. As "Iddo Landau’s book, Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World, points out, a valuable life doesn’t have to be a perfect life." 10/26/17

  • 5 ways men can address—and help prevent—sexual harassment at work (CNBC) The advice given here is realistic, approachable and useful. My friend and colleague American Association of University Women CEO Kim Churches is also heavily quoted. Great job Kim! "A group of my best friends from high school were texting about the allegations against Harvey Weinstein when one of the men on the thread, who works in healthcare, raised an issue he recently encountered when discussing sexual harassment at work. 'The most awkward conversation to have in a workplace environment is about sexual harassment,' he texted." 10/26/17

  • How to Avoid a Life of Misery (Personal Growth) I am a big fan of Epictetus. "He was born a slave 2,000 years ago. He lived and died in poverty. He was permanently crippled from a broken leg given to him by his master [...]. He’s remembered as a philosopher. Along with Seneca and the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, his work has done more to spread the wisdom of Stoic philosophy than perhaps anyone else. Even today, the principles he stood for are used by people of all cultures and nationalities." 10/24/17

  • Designers solve problems, they don’t push pixels (muz.li) Good article on why we need to be spending more time on the 'problem definition' phase of our work. Designers solve business problems. And designers exist everywhere. You might be one yourself. 10/24/17

  • A/B Testing - You’re doing it wrong (Hackernoon) We can all use more intel on how to do this better. 10/21/17

  • The 7 Essential Behaviours Of Highly Creative People (Personal Growth) Some great reminders on how we can all be more creative. And... I always give myself permission to suck. 10/18/17

  • Crisis at Work: Why Today’s Organizations Are Failing To Unleash Human Potential (Better Working World Project) Wow. Seriously great content here. I was already impressed up to the quote from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. "I disagree and commit all the time. We recently greenlit a particular Amazon Studios original. I told the team my view: debatable whether it would be interesting enough, complicated to produce, the business terms aren’t that good, and we have lots of other opportunities.” Looking back, he reflected: “given that this team has already brought home 11 Emmys, 6 Golden Globes, and 3 Oscars, I’m just glad they let me in the room at all!" After that, I knew this article was a keeper. 10/16/17

  • This Simple Note-Taking Method Will Help You Read More (and remember what you’ve read) (Thrive Global) This is good. Really good. 10/5/17

  • Design Principles: a guide to less sh**ty feedback (Apegroup) Good solid guidance on the importance of design principles and how to develop them. 8/23/17

Studies and reports

  • Who Silicon Valley’s Givers Are Leaving Out (Fast Company) Of note, from The Giving Code report, "[while] this emerging 'giving code' is not yet set in stone, two things are clear: these donors seek to be 'bigger, better, and faster' in their giving than the philanthropists who came before—and they are inherently skeptical of nonprofits." And from the article itself: "[at] a time when Silicon Valley is flush with newly minted millionaires (and billionaires), it turns out that while many of high-wage workers are become a force in philanthropy, they’re not directing much of that good will toward the people closest to home. The tech region’s donors spent about $5 billion on philanthropic ventures in 2013, according to The Giving Code, a new report by Open Impact, a social change advisory firm that received funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation." Thanks to Michelle Regel for sharing this post. 12/16/16

Stats and facts

  • Canada at a Glance, Environment edition (Statistics Canada) CANADIAN CONTENT If you are looking for data related to the environment, climate change, recycling, energy use, etc. start here. 10/26/17

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic personalities

  • 'Recovering Philanthropist' Andre Agassi Talks Impact Investing And Childhood Education (Forbes) "Focusing on the ball allowed Andre Agassi to become the No. 1 tennis player in the world. He’s applied that same focus to childhood education, the cause that’s driven the tennis star in his philanthropy and impact investing since he was in his early twenties." 10/30/17

  • How Singer Josh Groban's Philanthropy Was Set In Motion By His Fans (Forbes) "Groban decided to change the name of his foundation to Find Your Light Foundation in 2011 and focus exclusively on funding arts programs for kids around the United States. 'I’m a product of an arts education, which saved my life in so many ways,' Groban said." 10/28/17 Removed extra period and added space between end quote and date.

Opinion and commentary

  • Helping the homeless (St. Albert Gazette) ST. ALBERT STORY Good overview on homelessness, specifically in St. Albert. Thanks for this Suzan. 10/28/17

  • What Is Philanthropy Doing to Challenge the Power of Tech Giants? What Can It Do? (Inside Philanthropy) "[When] it comes to philanthropy and the power of big tech, the challenge going forward is two-fold: First, finding new resources for anti-monopoly work; and second, preventing corporate funders from co-opting or silencing their critics in civil society." 10/24/17

  • Inclusion or Illusion? A Look At Google's $1 Billion Philanthropic Game Plan (Inside Philanthropy) "Skeptics rightly wonder whether corporations ever really live up to their big charitable promises. That question can be very hard to answer, given how opaque corporate giving tends to be. But based on closely reporting on recent seismic shifts in business philanthropy, we can say that many companies clearly do get the need to build more inclusive economies around the world. And while their bottom-line practices still often work at odds with that goal, their philanthropic arms are getting increasingly sophisticated about advancing inclusion." 10/18/17

Philanthropic controversy

Trends and shifts

  • The Best Research Available for Fundraisers: A Roundup (Chronicle of Philanthropy) This is an awesome resource. Thanks to Scott Decksheimer for sharing this post. "Fundraisers are constantly on the hunt for an edge that will help them raise more money from their current donors, and spur new ones to give. [This article] is a roundup of incisive research findings we’ve featured in recent months, available to our subscribers." 10/26/17

  • A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work (Harvard Business Review) Makes you think. Thanks to Leah Eustace {fro} for sharing this post. "Gender equality remains frustratingly elusive. Women are underrepresented in the C-suite, receive lower salaries, and are less likely to receive a critical first promotion to manager than men. Numerous causes have been suggested, but one argument that persists points to differences in men and women’s behavior." 10/26/17

  • Canada's fossil fuel use to peak in 2019, National Energy Board now projects (CBC) CANADIAN STORY "The National Energy Board now projects fossil fuel use in Canada will peak in 2019, a major downward revision of similar estimates it has made annually for the past decade. It's the first time in the 11-year history of the NEB's annual reports on the topic that a peak in fossil fuel demand has been included in the baseline projection." 10/26/17

Large gifts

  • $50 Million Donation to Fund Cooper Field Expansion (The Hoya) "Renovations for Cooper Field’s new 3,000-seat facility featuring new restrooms, locker rooms and other features will begin December 2017 [...]. The project is a result of a $50 million donation in 2015 to Georgetown University from the Cooper family, announced Oct. 6. 2015." 10/31/17

  • MATC scales up plans for South Madison campus after donation (Wisconsin State Journal) "[Madison Area Technical College (MATC)] President Jack E. Daniels said that the philanthropic arm of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates has pledged $3 million for the South Side campus, plus another $3.5 million in a matching donation. If MATC can raise $3.5 million to complete the match by the end of March, it would mean a total of $10 million for the project [...]." 10/31/17

  • Unity Christian High School receives $2 million donation for building project (MLive) "Unity Christian High School is much closer to paying off loans from a major building campaign. An anonymous donor has contributed $2 million towards the approximately $3.8 million balance for the Building Unity Project." Unity Christian High School is a private high school located in Hudsonville, Michigan. 10/30/17

  • CAMH announces McCain Complex Care and Recovery Centre (Torontoist) TORONTO STORY Thank you to the McCain Family for this magnificent gift. "'I don’t think there’s a family anywhere in North America that hasn’t been touched in some way, directly or indirectly, with the challenges of mental illness,' says Michael McCain, a decade-long donor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). McCain and his family recently announced a $10-million commitment to CAMH with the announcement of the new McCain Complex Care and Recovery Centre, a 371,545-square-foot space, slated to open in 2020 that will emphasize re-integration over institutionalization." 10/26/17

  • J.C.C. Manhattan Gets $20 Million Gift and Jenny Holzer Artwork (New York Times) Nice gift! "The J.C.C. Manhattan on the Upper West Side will be renamed the Marlene Meyerson J.C.C. in honor of a $20 million gift from the Meyerson Family Foundation, which is believed to be one of the largest donations ever made to a Jewish Community Center in the United States." 10/26/17

  • Record $1.8-million donation to OCC Foundation will fund philosophy scholarship (Los Angeles Times) Be kind to your profs. "The Orange Coast College Foundation recently received its largest donation ever — a $1.8-million gift from the estate of David Johnston, a philosophy professor at the Costa Mesa campus from 1960 to 1998." 10/26/17

  • Billionaire Businesswoman Elaine Wynn Makes a Major Donation to Alvin Ailey (Town & Country) I just love that this gift was made to a dance school. I really love this. "Elaine Wynn admits she knew nothing about dance the first time she saw the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 'It made something come alive in a way for me,' Wynn recalls. 'I saw the extraordinary work of the brilliant Alvin Ailey and I thought, look at this unique, new, American, authentic dance form. I was inspired, and from then on I tried to find the company whenever I could.'" 10/26/17

  • Alumna makes $2 million donation for scholarships (The Setonian) "Last year, the estate of Patricia O’Callaghan contributed a generous donation in memory of O’Callaghan’s brother, Tim. Her will noted a wish to donate to the university. Patricia and Tim O’Callaghan, both were teachers who never married and both graduated from Seton Hall. Ms. O’Callaghan graduated in 1953 and Mr. O’Callaghan graduated in 1951." Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey. 10/26/17

  • Couple donate $150 million to University of Illinois in its largest gift ever (Chicago Tribune) That is a lot of zeros. Nice gift. Congrats to all. "The University of Illinois has received its largest-ever donation — a $150 million gift — from the head of a Chicago private equity firm [...]. The gift from Larry Gies, chief executive of Madison Industries, and his wife, Beth, means the university’s business school at the Urbana-Champaign campus will now be known as the Gies College of Business. School officials confirmed the $150 million gift was the largest gift in Urbana-Champaign history." 10/26/17

  • Stratford Festival in Ontario Gets Record Donation (New York Times) STRATFORD STORY Wow! Just double wow! This is stupefyingly cool. It is not often that the New York Times posts on a Canadian philanthropic story. What a wonderful gift. Thank you! "The Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, announced Wednesday that it has received its largest single donation, a pledge of 10 million Canadian dollars, or about $7.8 million, from its board chairman, Dan Bernstein, and his wife, Claire Foerster. The donation is intended to help pay for a new theater space to replace the 46-year-old Tom Patterson Theater Center." 10/26/17

  • Parents of backpacker who died on hike in Italian mountains launch charity in his memory with £1m donation (Manchester Evening News) "The parents of tragic backpacker Keaton Emery have launched a charity in his name – with a £1m donation. Popular young student Keaton, 23, died while on a hike in the mountains near Lake Como, Italy." 10/26/17

  • Adirondack Aquatic Center receives $1 million donation (The Post Star) "The Adirondack Aquatic Center received a $1 million pledge from an anonymous donor for its proposed $22 million, 80,000-square-foot facility." 10/25/17

  • College scholarship donation to benefit Gillett, Suring students (WeAreGreenBay.com) "Two farm kids from northeast Wisconsin who worked hard to succeed at their careers have left behind a $2.4 million gift to a Shawano Area Community Foundation (SACF) charitable fund that, by 2019, will be awarding $100,000 a year in college scholarships to six Gillett High School graduates and five from Suring High School. Loraine Dittman established a permanent endowment with SACF in 2007, putting in place a giving plan that the couple, who had no children, had decided on after attending a financial planning seminar. Kenneth died in 2001. Their fund has been providing smaller scholarships over the past decade. With Loraine’s passing at age 82 in 2015, a bequest sent $2,357,000 to the Kenneth C. Dittman and Loraine M. Dittman Scholarship Fund at SACF, a regional affiliate of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region." 10/25/17

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