Weekly News Recap: December 14, 2018

Sheldon Kennedy is shown speaking on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 5, 2018. The former NHLer and abuse survivor announced Tuesday that he is removing his name from the child advocacy centre in Calgary he founded. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

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  • Pictures of the year 2018 (Reuters) A lot happened in 2018. Not all of it was good. A lot was. Inspiration, fury, heartbreak, joy and much more. All here. You might cry. But you will definitely smile. 11/30/18

  • 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest: WINNERS (National Geographic) NatGeo is one of the world's greatest treasures, for many things, but photography above all. Enjoy. 2018


  • Sheldon Kennedy steps down from child-advocacy centre named after him (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Sheldon Kennedy is taking his name off the advocacy centre he helped create. The former NHL player issued a statement Tuesday announcing that he's asked to have his name removed from the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, saying he needs to refocus on his own mental health at the moment [...]. Kennedy said the centre will be renamed the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre, but Mauro said the centre will keep Kennedy's name for now until it announces a new name soon." 12/11/18

  • 'Something special about libraries': Hopes high for OPL fundraising campaign (CBC) OTTAWA STORY "The Ottawa Public Library hopes to raise $10 to 15 million over the coming years as part of a major fundraising campaign for the new central library — not to pay for the bricks and mortar, but to ensure interesting things take place inside once it's open." 12/10/18

  • Top 5 Acts of Philanthropy in 2018 (Borgen Magazine) "According to UBS’ global report, acts of philanthropy are ever-expanding with 72 percent of global organizations forming in the last 25 years. They have made a substantial impact, as have individual philanthropists whose simple acts of kindness have enabled global communities to thrive. In order to highlight these global philanthropic achievements, here are the top five acts of philanthropy in 2018 [...]." 12/9/18

  • Fort McMurray college has 1.3-million-pound classroom on wheels (CBC) FORT MCMURRAY STORY "Imagine a college classroom that has wheels and weighs more than one million pounds. Students enrolled in the haul-truck programs at Fort McMurray's Keyano College don't have to imagine. The college received a massive delivery recently when Suncor donated a mammoth truck, so future drivers and mechanics can get a sense of what it's like to work on the giant machines." 12/9/18

  • Philanthropists pay for Montreal's CO2 reduction planning (National Observer) MONTREAL STORY "The city of Montreal has teamed up with philanthropic organizations to work on a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. A two-year agreement announced Monday features $250,000 from the David Suzuki and Trottier Family foundations toward creating an action plan to help the city fulfill the goal." Thanks to Janice Paskey for sharing this story. 12/7/18

  • Doctors can now prescribe a visit to the ROM through a new initiative to combat anxiety and loneliness (Toronto Star) TORONTO STORY This is a trending idea worldwide. More please. "The Rexdale Community Health Centre [...] is among Ontario community health centres taking part in a pilot program that offers social and artistic remedies — including choir classes, fishing lessons, knitting and a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum — as an alternative treatment for certain health issues such as anxiety and loneliness. The ROM announced Thursday it would be offering 5,000 free passes, each valid for four people, as part of the project." 12/6/18

  • Lockheed Martin invests $4M in Forge Hydrocarbons; lipid to hydrocarbons technology (Green Car Congress) EDMONTON STORY "Canada-based Forge Hydrocarbons Corporation, a spin-off from the University of Alberta (earlier post), has received a US$4-million from Lockheed Martin under the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. This investment enables Forge, a Canadian small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) to further development of its Lipid-to-Hydrocarbon (LTH) technology and to construct a first-of-kind, commercial plant with a production capacity of approximately 19 million liters per year (ML/y) (~5 million gallons US)." 12/4/18

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge

  • Royal philanthropy (Alliance Magazine) "At a time when the charitable giving of the world’s rich is under public scrutiny, royal philanthropy rarely makes the headlines. The two have much in common – both involve the use of private money, influence or prestige for ostensibly public good – but royal giving slips under the radar in a way that large-scale donations by billionaires do not. This is partly because the ties between philanthropy and royalty are often seen as symbolic and largely ineffective – another day, another ribbon-cutting – and also because it is a partnership that has hummed along quietly for so long, we barely recognise it as a distinctive phenomenon." 12/4/18

  • Billboard Hot 100 Analytics (Towards Data Science) For music nerds only. Are you a "String Lover" or a "Poetic"? 12/15/18


  • 5 Lessons to Guide the Transition to a More Just Philanthropy (Nonprofit Quarterly) "As we prepare to close out 2018 and reflect upon the past year, it’s overwhelming to think about the countless crises that have erupted and disrupted communities around the country, including the growing incidence of extreme climate events, mounting wealth and income inequality, increasing urban displacement, gentrification, and families separated at the border. The rising tide of crises demonstrates the need for massive and systemic change." 12/4/18

  • Philanthropy's responsibility to place (Philanthropy Daily) "It’s one of the enduring themes of American literature. If I grow up in a small town, should I stay there or move to a big city? But this is also a theme in the history of philanthropy. If a foundation is based on a fortune built in one city, should the foundation support that city or should it be a national organization with no ties to a particular region?" 12/4/18

Trends and shifts

  • Millennials Are Ready to Give More, and 6 Other Takeaways from a New Donor Survey (Chronicle of Philanthropy) "The latest Burk Donor Survey, produced by Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research, a consulting firm, offers both bright signs and warning lights for fundraisers and their charities. Among the bright signs: Young donors are starting to step up, and are most likely of all age groups to give more this year. Forty-six percent said they’re ready to dig deeper this year." Note: Ms. Burk's survey is a paid product. 12/11/18*

  • Clouds on the Horizon: Lessons for Canada from Clampdowns and Cuts in Europe’s Philanthropic Space (The Philanthropist) "The shift in the political environment has cast a pall over non-profits and the philanthropic organizations that back them, said Gerry Salole, CEO of the European Foundation Centre (EFC). 'Everyone thinks a seismic change is on its way,' he explained during a plenary at the October 2018 Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) conference in Toronto, which focused on the state of European philanthropy. Among Europe’s civil society groups, Salole noted, 'I’d say this is a big, unifying conversation.'" So would we. Thanks to Ron Bailey for sharing this article. 12/10/18

  • United Way may miss goal for first time in decades (Blackburn News) SARNIA STORY "The Sarnia-Lambton United Way is struggling to hit this year’s fundraising goal with time running out. Executive Director Dave Brown said two weeks are left and they’re at 80 per cent or $1.6 million of the $2 million target." 12/10/18

  • Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials. (The Atlantic) "When a staid American institution is declared dead, the news media like to haul the same usual suspect before the court of public opinion: the Millennial generation [...]. But according to a new report by economists at the Federal Reserve, this genre of news analysis is pure fiction." 12/6/18

  • We Asked 105 Experts What Gives Them Hope About the Future (Motherboard) "The expression 'may you live in interesting times' can be interpreted as both a blessing and a curse, which makes it seem especially resonant these days. As humans stare down multiple threats to our civilization—biased algorithms, climate change, political extremism—it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the 'interesting' developments taking place around us. That’s why we asked 105 thinkers two questions: What gives you the most hope about the future? What worries you most about the future? Their hopes are listed here." 12/5/18

  • We Asked 105 Experts What Worries Them Most About the Future (Motherboard) "Humans love to imagine the apocalypse. Biblical revelations, asteroid strikes, Ragnarök, robot rebellions, collapsed civilizations—we’ve envisioned it all. These stories are filled with moments of redemption and revolution, but their troubled worlds are also expressions of valid fears about the future. Of course, nobody knows exactly what brand of dystopia—if any—will emerge in the decades to come, but Motherboard wanted to collect some educated guesses." 12/5/18

Stats and facts

Reports and studies

  • Disaster relief squeezing charities: new study (Imagine Canada) CANADIAN CONTENT "Canadian companies donate generously to help those coping with natural disasters and community tragedies, but few are increasing budgets to meet these unexpected needs, according to a new study from Imagine Canada." 12/418

Large gifts

  • Dunedin Fine Art Center receives largest donation in its 43-year history (Tampa Bay Times) "The Dunedin Fine Art Center recently unveiled a new name for its west wing in honor of Nancy and David Bilheimer, prompted by the couple’s $2 million donation." 12/11/18

  • Salesianum receives $16M donation to rebuild Baynard Stadium in Wilmington (Courier Express) "The Rocco A. and Mary Abessinio Foundation announced Monday it will donate $16 million to Salesianum School toward the construction of a new stadium and to fund the school’s endowment, which supports financial aid." 12/11/18

  • Vietnam veteran's family gives largest donation ever to Minnesota veterans home for Montevideo (Star Tribune) "A nearly $3 million gift from a Vietnam War veteran — the largest donation ever to a state veterans home in Minnesota — is helping to make a new veterans home in Montevideo, Minn., a reality. Before he died in March at his home in Nevada, Steven Williams, 70, who grew up near Montevideo, told his family he wanted to donate almost his entire estate to charities. After serving in Vietnam as an Army Ranger in the 9th Infantry Division, Williams never got much attention for his military service beyond a 2-inch notice in the local newspaper when he hitchhiked home to surprise his parents after the war." 12/8/18

  • Former Uber engineer donates $5M to Calgary Public Library Foundation (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "Before becoming lead engineer for the world’s most recognizable rideshare company, Conrad Whelan was just a kid growing up in Calgary who loved visiting the library. After making his fortune at Uber, he left the company in 2016 and has been looking to begin his 'philanthropy journey,' deciding the best place to start is his old hometown by donating $5 million to the Calgary Public Library Foundation." 12/7/18

  • Virginia Tech receives $50 million donation (CBS) "The Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust and Heywood Cynthia Fralin are donating a record $50 million to support the newly renamed Fralin Biomedical Research Institute within the evolving Virginia Tech Carilion Academic Health Center based out of Roanoke." 12/6/18

  • Michigan Law School Gets $33 Million Donation (Law.com) "The gift from Chris Jeffries and his wife, Lisa, is the sixth-largest ever to a law school, according to the University of Michigan Law School. The funds will go toward student scholarships and other financial support." 12/6/18

  • Why Haim and Cheryl Saban’s $50 Million Donation to Academy Museum Almost Didn’t Happen (Variety) This is a story with a number of important teachable fundraising moments. "Haim and Cheryl Saban’s $50 million donation has landed them their name on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures building on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, but the billionaire philanthropists’ contribution to the project almost didn’t happen." 12/5/18

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