Weekly News Recap: December 7, 2018

Northern Lights Health Foundation receives $3 million from Suncor. Photo: Northern Lights Health Foundation

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. -- Steve Pressfield


  • The Way Home (The California Sunday Magazine) Beautiful. Haunting. "Where do you feel most at home? Maybe you’re nostalgic for where you’re from. Maybe you couldn’t wait to leave. Maybe home is where you’ll sleep tonight. Maybe you’re still searching [...]. We asked 34 photographers to travel across the West, capturing stories about home for our first all-photography issue." December 2018


  • Calgary's set aside $7.5M for this new $40M opera centre (CBC) CALGARY STORY Woot! "City council has stepped up to ensure there's a happy ending to Calgary Opera's plan for a new community arts centre in Victoria Park. The city's new four-year budget includes a $7.5 million contribution toward the $40-million project." 12/5/18

  • Local gamer donates $164K to Kelowna SPCA, gets kittens named after her (KelownaNow) KELOWNA STORY I am adding a gamer segment to my database right now :-) "In the Fortnite Pro Am Charity tournament in Los Angeles earlier this year, [Kristen Valnicek] teamed up with Walking Dead actor Chandler Riggs and the pair earned \$125,000 USD ($164,000 CAD) for a third place finish. Being a charitable tournament, all contestants had to pick a charity to donate their winnings to and Valnicek chose the Kelowna SPCA." 12/4/18

  • Salvation Army Kettle Campaign now takes debit and credit in Calgary (CBC) CALGARY STORY Awesome! "The Salvation Army is taking a high-tech approach to raising funds in Calgary this year through its annual Kettle Campaign. This year, kettles will accept debit and credit card donations as well as cash. 'I think it really is necessary, a lot of people don't carry cash, so it's just another opportunity, an option for people who want to make a donation right there in the malls as they're walking past,' said executive director Karen Livick." 11/30/18

  • New TTC art campaign reduces stigma and raises money for mental health (TorontoNow) TORONTO STORY I heart this. "Ranging from original oil paintings and screenprints to ink drawings, a new TTC art series hopes to reduce the stigma and raise money for mental health in Canada. Organized by Twentytwenty Arts, a non-profit that organizes art projects for charities, the Life On The Line series features prints of original artwork by 20 local artists that will be displayed inside subway trains and available to purchase on the TTC’s web shop." 11/29/18

  • Calgary Public Library budget cut could mean hours get trimmed, too (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Council voted to trim the Calgary Public Library's budget on Wednesday, which could see operating hours at some branches cut down, too. City council is in the midst of deliberating on its proposed four-year budget and decided to trim next year's library budget by $1 million, then cut an additional $1.8 million for the next three years." 11/29/18

  • No money in Calgary's 4-year budget to fix Arts Commons (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Calgary's proposed four-year budget has allotted no money to fix the 87-year-old building. The $35-million estimate is a part of a mid-range renovation plan. To fully fix the problems and preserve the heritage elements of the building could cost up to $50 million." 11/29/18

  • Picture of Calgary's future mental health centre for kids, teens takes shape (CBC) CALGARY STORY "The vision for a new mental health centre for kids, teens and young adults in Calgary is starting to take shape. Alberta Health Services has released artist renderings for the planned Calgary Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, scheduled to open in late 2021 in the northwest community of Hounsfield Heights." 11/29/18

  • University of Calgary announces new Life Sciences Innovation Hub (UToday) CALGARY STORY I was particularly pleased to see how they recognized Shell for its previous commitment to this facility and the University. A nice teaching moment on how to properly steward and recognize past donors when moving towards the re-purposing of an important space. "To further reinforce our commitment to establishing University Research Park as a catalyst in driving innovation and economic diversification, the University of Calgary is purchasing the Shell Technology Centre Calgary (STCC). The former STCC will be converted into the new Life Sciences Innovation Hub at UCalgary in early 2019." 11/28/18

  • Calgary cancer charities under pressure as corporate donations fall (Global News) CALGARY STORY "Several Calgary-area cancer charities say they’re noticing a drop in the amount of money coming in from corporate sponsors. 'We’ve had a few partners that had to drop off that have been really dependable partners for years, but I think the economy has just taken a toll,' said Genine Neufeld, development manager for Kids Cancer Care. Calgary’s Prostate Cancer Centre says for the first time in its history, it’s had to dip into reserve funds to make ends meet." 11/27/18

First Peoples of Canada

  • Map showing Métis homeland boundaries sparks online conversation (CBC) CANADIAN STORY "A new map outlining the Métis homeland drew criticism online this week from First Nations living within the boundaries that include three entire provinces, parts of two and part of the Northwest Territories." 12/1/18

  • Exchange Exhibition to celebrate new Relationship between ACAD and Portage (Education News Canada) LAC LA BICHE STORY "In the spring of 2018, Portage College and the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) solidified program transfer from the Native Arts and Culture (NAC) program into ACAD's Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Design programs. Now Portage College NAC Certificate and Diploma alumni students are enjoying a collaborative exchange exhibition with ACAD students. The paired exchange exhibitions named Our Stories showcase the work of seven Indigenous artists from ACAD and 8 Indigenous artists from Portage College and highlights the importance of storytelling within their community. The contemporary Indigenous art and craft pieces complement each other as the artists re-tell the stories from their battles, life, and their own people's traditions." 11/30/18

  • Teaching math through cedar weaving, trade beads and oral history (CBC) PRINCE RUPERT STORY "At the math workshop the tables were full of materials: faux cedar strips, dry erase markers, dice, scissors. Educators streamed into the Vancouver conference room to learn how curriculum specialists in Prince Rupert, B.C., are developing Ts'msyen teaching materials for math classes. 'A lot of teachers are wondering how they can use the culture in teaching math, so that's one of the biggest things we wanted to do is come and share that with everyone,' said curriculum specialist Tina Demings [...]." 11/29/18

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge

  • The Friendship That Made Google Huge (The New Yorker) This is a terrific read about one of the world's greatest collaborations. No, this is not about one of the other ones (also at Google), this is about Jeff and Sanjay. Enjoy. I did. "Today, Google’s engineers exist in a Great Chain of Being that begins at Level 1. At the bottom are the I.T. support staff. Level 2s are fresh out of college; Level 3s often have master’s degrees. Getting to Level 4 takes several years, or a Ph.D. Most progression stops at Level 5. Level 6 engineers—the top ten per cent—are so capable that they could be said to be the reason a project succeeds; Level 7s are Level 6s with a long track record. Principal Engineers, the Level 8s, are associated with a major product or piece of infrastructure. Distinguished Engineers, the Level 9s, are spoken of with reverence. To become a Google Fellow, a Level 10, is to win an honor that will follow you for life. Google Fellows are usually the world’s leading experts in their fields. Jeff and Sanjay are Google Senior Fellows—the company’s first and only Level 11s." 12/5/18

  • When There's A New Chapter At Carnegie Public Library Buildings (Forbes) In Canada, Mr. Carnegie was responsible for the birth of many of our libraries as well including, the Calgary Public Library. "Andrew Carnegie took the reins of a nascent public library movement and scaled up. From 1886 to 1919, Carnegie funded the design and construction of nearly 1,700 public library buildings in over 1,400 cities and towns in the United States alone." 11/30/18

Philanthropic personalities

  • Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta talks health, hospitality and philanthropy (TMC) "Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta, ranked 153 on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, runs a vast entertainment empire that includes restaurants, hotels, casinos, boardwalks, an aquarium and the Houston Rockets. The 61-year-old also stars in 'Billion Dollar Buyer' on CNBC and chairs the University of Houston System’s Board of Regents. From his Houston office, next door to the luxurious Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston that he opened earlier this year, Fertitta spoke with Pulse about health, hospitality, philanthropy and amusement." 11/30/18

Philanthropic controversy

Trends and shifts

  • The Richest Americans Are Sitting on $4 Trillion. How Can They Be Spurred to Give More of it Away? (Inside Philanthropy) "That the richest Americans aren’t giving away as much money as they could or should is hardly news, especially to readers of Inside Philanthropy. We’ve commented often on the gulf between the actual giving of billionaire donors and their publicly declared aspirations to make the world better place. This gulf is both puzzling and maddening. Even America’s leading role models of big philanthropy, it turns out, are hoarding vast wealth for reasons that are unclear." 12/4/18

  • New Philanthropic Organization To Boost Civic Tech As Part Of $60 Million Commitment In 2019 (Forbes) "The Guardian has recently published the results of an extensive study showing that European populist parties have more than tripled their support in the last 20 years. In the most recent national elections, one in four Europeans voted for a populist party. Europe is not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. At the beginning of 2018, the Economist’s Democracy Index recorded the 'worst decline in global democracy in years' [...]. As a response to these worrying trends, Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, has launched Luminate, a global philanthropic organization focused specifically on supporting technology that '[empowers] people and institutions to build just and fair societies'." 12/4/18

  • What the dip in US life expectancy is really about: inequality (Vox) This is super not cool. "Living in the US increasingly looks like a health risk. Average life expectancy in the country dropped for the third year in a row, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the longest downturn since the Spanish flu wiped out more than 50 million people a century ago. The grim trend stems from a toxic mixture of more drug- and alcohol-related deaths and more suicide in many parts of the country. And it puts Americans at a higher risk of early death compared to their counterparts in other wealthy countries." 11/30/18

  • Contactless donation points unveiled by London Mayor (BBC) I so heart this. "London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched contactless donation points to help charities combat homelessness. The 35 terminals, run by not-for-profit TAP London, which take £3 donations by card were unveiled earlier." Thanks to Ron Bailey for sharing this article. 11/28/18

  • Movember trials wearable contactless donation badges (Third Sector) This is cool. "This year’s Movember campaign introduced wearable contactless donation badges for the first time across the UK, Canada and Australia. Moustachioed fundraisers have been given the option of the lapel badges to raise funds as the charity moves away from the declining market in cash collection. This is the first time the technique has been used, so 600 badges have been issued in a trial run." Thanks to Ron Bailey for sharing this article. 11/27/18

  • How to advise HNW clients about high-impact philanthropy (Financial Planning) "In the United States alone, more than 140 billionaires have signed the Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge, committing to give half of their wealth to philanthropy during their lifetimes or upon their death. Despite such aspirations, our analysis shows that ultra-wealthy American families donated just 1.2% of their assets to charity in 2017 [...]. The clear-eyed math shows that if an ultra-wealthy family wanted to spend down half its wealth in a 20-year time frame, the family would need to donate more than 11% of its assets per year — a tenfold increase over average current levels of giving." 11/21/18

Reports and studies

Large gifts

  • Health Foundation gets largest ever donation of $3 million (Fort McMurray Today) FORT MCMURRAY STORY Woot! Nice gift Suncor! Thanks. "A $3-million donation from Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation is the largest one ever given to the Northern Lights Health Foundation. The donation was made Monday morning to support the foundation’s annual Gratitude Campaign. The money will help support two major projects at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, which include Minimally Invasive Surgical Suites and renovations to the building’s lobby." 12/4/18

  • St. Jude announces largest one-time donation: $50 million (Lexington Herald Leader) "St. Jude Children's Research Hospital says a $50 million donation from a research-based pharmaceutical company is the largest one-time gift in its history. The Memphis, Tennessee-based hospital said [...] that the donation from the AbbVie company will support construction of a treatment-free floor where families can 'relax, recover and connect in a centralized location.'" 12/4/18

  • Jefferson City accepts $3 million donation for bridge to Adrian's Island (ABC) "The Jefferson City Council is set to receive a donation of over $3 million to build a walking bridge to Adrian's Island [...]. Family of the donor, Betty Jo 'BJ' DeLong, told ABC 17 News she is giving the money because she believes in 'giving back.'" 12/3/18

  • Nevada hospital gets record-breaking $10M donation (Becker's Hospital Review) "Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nev., received the largest gift in its history — a $10 million donation from the Engelstad Foundation [...] The donation will support the hospital's R.E.D. Rose program, which offers breast cancer detection and treatment options for underinsured and uninsured patients. The gift is from the family of Ralph Engelstad, a former casino owner and co-developer of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway who died in 2002." 12/3/18

  • Kansas State Vet Medicine College receives large donation (The News Tribune) "Kansas State's College of Veterinary Medicine has received a $2.2 million donation from Hill's Pet Nutrition. The $2.2 million gift is the largest corporate donation in history for the college." 12/2/18

  • A ‘Transformative Gift’: business honors alumnus gives back with 20 million donation to program (The Daily Texan) "More than 400 people attended a ceremony at the McCombs School of Business [...] to recognize a $20 million donation from Philip Canfield, Business Honors Program alumnus, and his wife Mary Beth Canfield, to the program. The program will be renamed the Canfield Business Honors Program in recognition of the multimillion dollar donation." The McCombs School of Business, also referred to as the McCombs School or simply McCombs, is a business school at The University of Texas at Austin. 12/2/18

  • Pennsylvania Receiving $10 Million Donation From Michael Bloomberg To Fight Opioid Epidemic (CBS) This guy deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Pennsylvania will be the first state to receive a big donation to help fight the opioid epidemic. Calling it a national crisis, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a huge investment in fighting the drug crisis, and Pennsylvania is getting the biggest chunk of the money. Bloomberg is donating $50 million to 10 states to fight the drug epidemic, with Pennsylvania getting $10 million." 11/30/18

  • Patagonia’s CEO is donating company’s entire $10M Trump tax cut to fight climate change. (Upworthy) "Patagonia is having a very good year. And under our new corporate tax code passed by a Republican Congress and enthusiastically signed into law by President Trump, they’re paying a lot less in federal taxes. $10 million less, to be exact. In letter posted to LinkedIn, Patagonia’s CEO announced her company is donating all $10 million to non-profit groups who work on issues related to climate change and the environment." 11/28/18

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