Weekly News Recap: February 1, 2019

A conceptual drawing of a proposed interior for a revamped Arts Commons in downtown Calgary. (City of Calgary)

People are unhappy in large part because they are confused about what is valuable. -- William Irvine

Association of Fundraising Professionals

  • AFP Launches Women’s Mentoring and Development Program (AFP) Well done AFP! "As part of its Women’s Impact Initiative, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has launched a new mentoring and development program for highly talented women in the fundraising field. With women composing about 70 percent of the profession, but only holding approximately 30 percent of senior-level fundraising positions, the Women’s Impact Initiative (WII) was created in 2018 to address the specific issues and challenges that women in the fundraising profession face." 1/23/19

  • The AFP Top Ten Fundraising Tips for the Week: Email Delivery Rates, Instagram, Listening to Donors & More! (AFP) My favourites: "Burnout, Resilience and Nonprofits: The Latest Research, Trend, and Insights" (Beth's Blog); "The four questions to ask when serving on a nonprofit board" (McKinsey&Company), and "Imagine If We Talked to Other Professionals the Way People Talk to Nonprofit Folks" (Nonprofit AF). 1/23/19


  • Sidewalk chalk full of good vibes thanks to Vancouver man's 'Positivity Zone' project (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY "You know you're entering Patrick Klough's 'Positivity Zone' on Vancouver's Robson Street as soon as you see the message written in colourful chalk on the sidewalk: 'You are entering the Positivity Zone.' What follows is about 25 metres of sidewalk covered in the 42-year-old's chalk-written messages — all colourful, and very positive." 1/29/19

  • Fieldhouse plan pitched by former Calgary mayoral candidate (CBC) CALGARY STORY "A new plan to replace McMahon Stadium with a fieldhouse is being pitched to city council and a former mayoral candidate is behind it. The proposal would see a stadium/fieldhouse combo built right next to where McMahon Stadium is now, adjacent to Foothills Athletic Park. It would also come with a couple of hockey rinks, a pool, and some indoor sports facilities." 1/28/19

  • Bowen Eyre takes reins of Calgary’s Alex Community Health Centre (LiveWire Calgary) CALGARY STORY Congrats! "Joy Bowen Eyre says the Alex Community Health Centre has an amazing story to tell and she’s up to the challenge of sharing it with Calgary. Bowen Eyre, former Calgary Board of Education trustee and board chair, took over as CEO of the Alex in mid-January and has been overwhelmed to see the depth of services offered at the city non-profit." 1/27/19

  • Thousands write Millarville woman giving away $1.7M home in contest (CBC) MILLARVILLE STORY "Since mid-January, Alla Wagner's inbox and mailbox have been flooded with thousands of letters. The Millarville, Alta., woman is giving away her $1.7-million luxury home to the winner of a creative writing contest. So far, she says, thousands of people have written to tell her why they should win — and how being the next owner of the lakefront property would change their lives. 'I've received letters from Russia ... letters from Turkey ... letters from China,' she said. 'I've received letters from all over the world.'" 1/26/19

  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism plans 'new phase of growth' after landing £800,000 grant (Press Gazette) "The grant from global philanthropic organisation Luminate will total £800,000 over two years. Bureau editor Rachel Oldroyd (pictured) said the new money was 'very significant' for the non-profit investigative journalism outfit, which cost £1m to run in 2017, and had come at a 'crucial moment.'" 1/25/19

  • New arena, as part of an entertainment district, will attract investment, report says (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Officials with the firm Ernst and Young (EY) presented a report to a city council committee [...] assessing the economic impacts of a possible entertainment district in and around the Stampede grounds. It's a district that could include a much-debated new arena. The assessment concludes there is a positive economic case to be made for a trio of major projects in the heart of Calgary: a new event centre to replace the aging Saddledome; a major expansion of the BMO Centre at Stampede Park; and a large expansion of Arts Commons." 1/25/19

  • Councillor says new arena would 'transform Victoria Park,' but public dollars needed (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "As council prepares to decide on which major capital projects to prioritize, the chair of Calgary’s event centre assessment committee says a new NHL arena — with public dollars attached — would catalyze private development of the surrounding area." 1/24/19

  • Should Calgary spend $412M upgrading Arts Commons? (CBC) CALGARY STORY "If you've been to Arts Commons recently, you know the space is looking tired and dated. The theatre and music venue was built in 1985. That's why Arts Commons is asking the city for a $412-million upgrade — complete with three new theatres, the latest in production equipment and a much brighter, more modern look." 1/24/19

  • RDC names Performance Fitness Zone after supportive family (Lacombe Online) RED DEER STORY Congrats to RDC and thank you to Steven and Lorna Collicutt. "Red Deer College is proud to announce the permanent naming of the Collicutt Performance Fitness Zone. Steven and Lorna Collicutt’s support for RDC in the 1990s contributed to our College’s trades programming and facilities, enhancing the learning and experience of hundreds of learners in the School of Trades and Technologies." 1/24/19

First Peoples of Canada

  • New music, art programs in Calgary set out to share Indigenous culture (CBC) CALGARY STORY The Calgary Public Library is killing it! (As in AMAZING). Can't wait to hear and see more of this work. "The Indigenous Resilience in Music group launched the Isitsiipotaako music and art program this week at the Calgary Public Library." 1/26/19

  • Indigenous Languages Resource Centre to be created at Central Library (Calgary Public Library) CALGARY STORY Woot! "More Indigenous language resources, as well as programming that preserves Indigenous culture and heritage will soon be available at the Calgary Public Library. The Indigenous Languages Resource Centre will help protect, preserve, and promote Indigenous culture, thanks to $1 million in funding from the Government of Alberta." 1/23/19

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge

  • Meet the man behind a third of what's on Wikipedia (CBS) I bow down to your greatness Mr. Pruitt and we thank you. "Steven Pruitt has made nearly 3 million edits on Wikipedia and written 35,000 original articles. It's earned him not only accolades but almost legendary status on the internet [...]. Pruitt is deeply obsessed with history, and his love of opera inspired his Wikipedia username: Ser Amantio Di Nicolao, his favorite opera character." 1/26/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Government revokes charity status of Canadian Jewish group that supported ‘foreign armed forces’ (Global News) CANADIAN STORY "A Canadian Jewish organization has been stripped of its charity status following a government audit that found it had provided support to 'foreign armed forces,' according to documents obtained by Global News." Thanks to Ron Bailey for sharing this story. 1/28/19

  • Facebook settles lawsuit over scammy ads with $3.9 million donation and a new reporting tool (The Verge) I love this story for a few reasons. First, Facebook actually appears to have owned this and is doing something about it. Second, the settlement went to charity. The world is better all around on this one. "British financial journalist Martin Lewis is dropping a lawsuit against Facebook after reaching a settlement with the company. Last year, Lewis alleged that Facebook defamed him by serving numerous ads that used his face and name to market sketchy financial products like cryptocurrency get-rich-quick schemes. Today, he announced that he settled the lawsuit in exchange for two commitments from Facebook: a £3 million (around $3.9 million) donation to the Citizens Advice charity organization and a new tool for reporting scam ads backed by a dedicated team to handle complaints." 1/23/19

  • The Intersection of Corporate Philanthropy and Private Sector Lobbying (Nonprofit Quarterly) "A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research last month demonstrates that corporations may be strongly influencing public policy through their charitable giving to nonprofit organizations. While companies lobbying the federal government to inform policy that positively influences their business and bottom line is ages old, what this study demonstrates is that a company’s grantmaking may enhance those lobbied messages through nonprofits that are designed to be objective and represent the rights of their constituents." 1/17/19

Trends and shifts

  • Google will conquer the world one charitable donation at a time (The Outline) "[This] year alone, Google spent over $21 million on lobbying, and yesterday, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the company announced a $3.1 million dollar donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit behind Wikipedia. These don’t sound like huge amounts of money for a corporation as massive as Google, but it’s business decisions like these – a donation here, a law passed there — that have allowed tech companies to slowly lay the foundation of our entire internet experience, and they deserve the same scrutiny as data collection policies and privacy scandals." 1/23/19

  • What Will Fundraising Look Like in 2019: Overrated Trends (AFP) "Not every idea is a winner, and not every charity is ready to take on the latest trend. We asked AFP members what trend or issues they think are overrated for 2019 or are ones that fundraisers need to approach with more caution, understanding and/or nuance. Here’s what they said!" 1/23/19

Reports and studies

Large gifts

  • McMaster University receives $15-million donation for its commerce program (Globe and Mail) HAMILTON STORY Congrats to McMaster and thank you to Mr. McLean. "A $15-million gift from a private donor to McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business [...] sets the stage for an ambitious redesign of undergraduate commerce education based on fostering close collaboration among students from multiple faculties. The donation, to be spread over several years, comes from financier Paul McLean and his family and will be combined with funding from the Hamilton university and others to construct a $50-million, seven-storey building that is scheduled to open in 2022 to house undergraduate business education." 1/25/19

  • Documents Reveal Elon Musk’s Huge Donation to OpenAI Research (Inverse) "Elon Musk is linked to a large donation of $10 million to OpenAI, new documents revealed Wednesday show, illuminating the extent of the tech entrepreneur’s funding to aid research into advanced artificial intelligence. Musk, who co-founded the firm but left its board last year, has regularly warned about the dangers of super-smart machines enslaving humans if not properly regulated." 1/24/19

  • Albany Law School Celebrates $15 Million Donation (WAMC) "The $15 million donation is the largest in the school’s nearly 170-year history. Schanz says it will largely go toward endowing the school’s law clinics and Justice Center, which will be collectively renamed The Justice Center at Albany Law School [...]. While she won’t release much regarding the anonymous donor’s identity, President Ouellette says the donor is particularly motivated by the impact the clinics have on the community." 1/23/19

  • Sustainable Ocean Alliance nets $1.5 million donation from Benioffs (TechCrunch) "Healthy oceans are on the minds of Marc and Lynne Benioff, and they showed it today with a $1.5 million donation to the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), a new nonprofit attempting to promote and incubate conservation-focused startups. The money will considerably expand the organization’s upcoming Ocean Solutions accelerator." 1/23/19

  • UCA announces $20 million donation, plans for new art center (CBS) "The biggest donation in [University of Central Arkansas] UCA history will change the way the university looks and sounds. The school announced a $20-million dollar gift today that will create a brand-new art center. 'I’m thrilled to announce a transformative gift from the Windgate Foundation, a gift of $20 million,' UCA President Houston Davis said." 1/22/19

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