Weekly News Recap: February 22, 2019

Artist, dancer, choreographer and two-time McMaster graduate Santee Smith will be McMaster's next Chancellor. MCMASTER UNIVERSITY

Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn't. -- Karl Lagerfeld (RIP)

AFP Global

  • Are Donors ‘Taking Liberties’—Or Worse—In Their Relationships with Fundraisers? (AFP Global) "New research by UK fundraising think tank Rogare aims to uncover power imbalances in the relationships between donors and fundraisers—so-called ‘donor dominance’. Donor dominance is any serious form of undue or inappropriate influence that a donor or group of donors can exert over a nonprofit organization. It can include inappropriate behavior, influence over a nonprofit’s mission, or claiming entitlement to unwarranted benefits. Fundraisers around the world are being asked to take part in a survey that explores donor-fundraiser relationships in five areas. The survey can be accessed here." 2/13/19

  • Calm Wisdom from Weathering Five Recessions! (AFP Global) Great reminder from Bob Carter, Past Chair, Association of Fundraising Professionals. Thanks for this Bob! 2/12/19

  • Canadian Charities See Mixed Results For 2018 Fundraising (AFP Global) CANADIAN CONTENT "Just 43 percent of Canadian respondents to AFP’s Year-End Fundraising Survey raised more funds in 2018 than in 2017, with the economy, the Canada Post strike and donor retention affecting giving throughout the year." 2/4/19

  • AFP Ready Reference Series (AFP Global) Oh my, there is some really good (and updated) stuff here. If you are looking for references on policy, asking for major gifts, special events, and much much more, start here. These ready references are now available for free to AFP members as downloadable PDFs. You're welcome. February 2019.


  • Vancouver Aquarium to return to court over city bylaw banning cetaceans (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY "The British Columbia Court of Appeal has sent the Vancouver Aquarium back to court over its attempt to quash a park board bylaw banning whales and dolphins in city parks. The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation passed a bylaw amendment that banned cetaceans being brought to or kept in city parks in May 2017 after two beluga whales died in captivity at the aquarium. The aquarium, which is located in Stanley Park, launched a judicial review seeking to set aside the amendment on four grounds, including that the park board's licence agreement with the facility prevented it from applying the change." 2/19/19

  • Doctor donates $800K to upgrade neo-natal intensive unit in Prince Albert (CBC) PRINCE ALBERT STORY Amazing human. "A physician who has helped in the births of more than 10,000 babies in Saskatchewan has delivered a different bundle of joy. Dr. Lalita Malhotra has donated $800,000 to the Victoria Hospital Foundation in Prince Albert to upgrade the community's neo-natal intensive care unit. Malhotra has practised medicine in the region for more than 42 years." 2/15/19

  • Business students eligible for piece of McGill’s record-breaking donation (Globe and Mail) MONTREAL STORY "[John and Marcy McCall MacBain] hope that the McCall MacBain Scholarships will create global leaders, not just Canadian ones. The program is set to be composed of two-thirds Canadians and one-third international students at any one time, once applications open to international students within three years of operation." Thanks to Ron Bailey for sharing this story. 2/15/19

  • New $1.9B St. Paul's Hospital gets green light (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY "The new St. Paul's Hospital planned for East Vancouver near Main Street and Terminal Avenue is now expected to open in 2026 and cost an estimated $1.91 billion, according to an announcement by the B.C. government." 2/15/19

  • More space, new exhibits coming to Telus World of Science (CTV News) EDMONTON STORY "Nearly 2,000 square metres of extra space is being added to one of Alberta’s most popular attractions. Construction on The Aurora Project at Telus World of Science began in October, which will mean room for new exhibits [...]. The total cost of the project is $40 million, funded by various levels of government and through donations." 2/14/19

  • ALBERTA COMMITS $100 MILLION TO AI COMPANIES (Betakit) ALBERTA STORY "[The] Alberta government announced a $100 million investment, over a period of five years, to attract more artificial intelligence-based high-tech companies to Alberta. The five-year plan will support both Alberta Innovates and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) to leverage partnerships with Alberta’s research universities, while also creating jobs." 2/14/19

  • U of L arrives at Destination (Lethbridge Herald) LETHBRIDGE STORY Congrats to all. "With keys now in hand, the University of Lethbridge is looking forward to moving into its new $248-million Destination Project Science and Academic building by May." 2/13/19

First Peoples of Canada

  • McMaster University names Indigenous artist Santee Smith as next chancellor (CP24) HAMILTON STORY With this appointment, McMaster joins the University of Lethbridge in appointing an Indigenous person to the office of chancellor. "The first Indigenous person to be appointed as chancellor at Hamilton's McMaster University says she's proud of the school for being a leader in the reconciliation movement. Santee Smith, an Indigenous artist, dancer and choreographer who runs her own performance company, was named the next honorary leader of the university this week." 2/14/19

  • First Nations University of Canada becomes first urban reserve dedicated to education (CBC) REGINA STORY Congrats to all. "Dignitaries from far and wide congregated at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) campus in Regina to mark a historic event Wednesday. The lands where FNUniv resides are now an urban reserve, thanks to a signing ceremony and nearly 20 years of hard work by various parties." 2/13/19

Books to read

Life and career hacks

Uncommon knowledge


  • There is no digital revolution in charities*. And probably never will be. (nfpSynergy) This is going to polarize many. Some nodding heads. Some shaking. "There has been much talk about the digital revolution in charities recently. There is a new code of practice on using digital in charities amid much hand-wringing about how far or how little digital has progressed in charities. The reality is more simple. I think the digital revolution has passed charities by almost entirely. While our personal lives and the business world have been transformed by digital, charities remain largely untouched. A few enhancements and improvements for sure, but revolution or even transformation certainly not. Let me justify that with a few simple acid tests." 2/14/19

Philanthropic personalities

  • Our 2019 Annual Letter - We didn’t see this coming (gatesnotes) "Bill: I wish more people fully understood what it will take to stop climate change [...]. It’s not realistic to think that people will simply stop using fertilizer, running cargo ships, building offices, or flying airplanes. Nor is it fair to ask developing countries to curtail their growth for the sake of everyone else. For example, for many people in low- and middle-income countries, cattle are an essential source of income and nutrients." 2/12/19

  • The coming of hope: A vision for philanthropy in the new year (Ford Foundation) "A generation ago, Henry Ford II named philanthropy 'a creature of capitalism'—and called on its practitioners to contemplate how, as 'one of [our] system’s most prominent offspring,' philanthropy might help to 'strengthen and improve its progenitor.' It is beyond the capacity of philanthropy to fix our economic and political systems. But as beneficiaries of the biases and flaws of these systems, I believe holders of wealth and influence today—whether individuals, corporations, or foundations—share an urgent obligation to try." 1/9/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Nan Goldin Says She’ll Boycott National Portrait Gallery If It Accepts £1M Sackler Donation (Hyperallergic) "In recent years, renowned photographer Nan Goldin has made waves in the museum industry for her protests inside of high-profile museums with financial ties to the infamous Sackler family. The Sacklers own Purdue Pharma, which produces the highly-addictive opioid OxyContin, and are prolific art philanthropists with ties to dozens of museums across the United States and Europe. Goldin, best known for her landmark series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, has warned the National Portrait Gallery in the United Kingdom that she will boycott if they decide to accept a £1 million (~$1.3 million) gift from the branch of the Sacklers still connected to Purdue Pharma." 2/19/19

  • Wascana park architect booted from review committee after not approving Conexus building (CBC) REGINA STORY "Len Novak says he was 'terminated' last June from the Wascana Park Architectural Advisory Committee (AAC) after he and the other committee member refused to even consider a proposal from Conexus Credit Union to build its head office in the park." 2/14/19

  • Texas zoo overwhelmed by vengeful Valentines who want cockroaches named after their exes (CBC) This is a follow-up on our story from last week's recap. "Zoo staff thought the project might appeal to the lovelorn locally, said Borrego, but she didn't expect such an overwhelming response for revenge: 6,000 entries from all over the world. The zoo even had to stop accepting submissions as of Feb. 10, the Associated Press reported." 2/14/19

Trends and shifts

  • Foundations Established by US Artists Have Become a $7 Billion Philanthropic Force (artnet news) "Amid the continuing boom for contemporary art, [husband-and-wife artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik] are emblematic of the growing number of artists who have been fortunate enough to see the benefits of commercial success during their own lifetimes, rather than gaining acclaim decades or centuries later. That trend has generated a spike in artist-led foundations that have become a growing force in cultural philanthropy as more and more artists put the money they’ve made from their work back into cultural initiatives while they’re still alive to see the impact." Thanks to Ron Strand for sharing this story. 2/13/19

Large gifts

*Dear Reader: One of the outcomes of our recent survey of recap readers was that you liked the curation but, in general, you also wanted a smaller number of overall articles. We are working on this. One of the first changes related to this that we put into place at the start of 2019 was to tighten our curation 'rules' around large gifts. Our new rules require that a gift made in the U.S. be $5 million or more before we will include it in the recap. Gifts of $1 million or more made in Canada are included in the large gifts area. Other gifts that we find interesting in their own right may be included at any time. Gifts smaller than $1 million that we find interesting will be shown in the News section. All this to say that with these rules and the gifts caught in our curation net this week, we have only one to report. Never fear, I have no doubt that there will be more in the coming weeks.*

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