Weekly News Recap: February 9, 2018

A polar bear stands on a ice floe in Baffin Bay above the Arctic circle as seen from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent. CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift. -- Mary Oliver

Uncommon knowledge


  • Presidential Recruitment Process begins (UToday) CALGARY STORY Just in case you ever wondered how they recruit presidents at our most important institutions, read on. I have been through a few and it's an amazing and inspiring process. 2/7/18

  • The Maple breaks ground as part of the Resolve Campaign (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "Homes by Avi Group of Companies has turned shovels for a development that will provide 26 homeless and vulnerable Calgarians with the permanent, supportive housing they need. An event was held recently to celebrate the builder breaking ground for the Maple, an apartment building in the inner-city neighbourhood of Renfrew [...]. This is the latest development underway by a home builder for the Calgary Homeless Foundation through the Resolve Campaign." 2/5/18

  • Regina women's shelter struggling with money crunch as Men of the Strip fundraiser cancelled (CBC) REGINA STORY "Sofia House has faced a few knocks in the past few months, with charitable drives that have fallen short — and now, comes another hit for the Regina women's shelter, with the cancellation of an event featuring male strippers that was intended to act as a Sofia House fundraiser." 2/3/18

  • Grande Prairie college expanding its curriculum to meet needs of a changing city (CBC) GRANDE PRAIRIE STORY "A northern Alberta college is expanding its curriculum offerings, adding more professional programs to its blue-collar curriculum, in a bid to keep pace with the needs of a rapidly growing city. Grande Prairie Regional College is expanding its health-care, education and business management programs to capitalize on changes in the city, including a new hospital and a school building boom." 2/2/18

  • SAIT employees offered voluntary buyouts as school deals with budget constraints (Global News) CALGARY STORY "Employees at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) are being offered what is being described as a 'one-time voluntary departure incentive program' to take an early exit from their jobs as the school looks to deal with budget constraints." 2/2/18

  • CAGP Announces $500,000 gift from Allied Professional (CAGP) CANADIAN STORY Mr. Donald K. Johnson has made a pledge of $500,000 over 5-years to the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) Foundation. Speaks volumes about the value of CAGP to allied professionals. Nice work CAGP! Thank you Mr. Johnson. February 2018

  • Lacombe teen makes Top 30 under 30 (Red Deer Advocate) LACOMBE STORY Congrats David. "Lacombe teen David MacTaggart is among the Top 30 Under 30 for 2018 who are working towards a just and sustainable future for all. Sponsored by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, the Top 30 Under 30 are chosen through a competitive nomination process that’s judged by leaders in the field of international development." 1/31/18

Books to read

  • Books & MOOCs I recommend (Medium) What is a MOOC you ask? So did I ... It's a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people. -- a Massive Open Online Course. Thank you Wikipedia. 1/25/18

Life and career hacks

  • Statistical Significance Explained (Towards Data Science) There are some things in math that we should all know a little about. This is one of them. 2/2/18

  • Five Elements of Collective Leadership (Nonprofit Quarterly) "What is collective leadership? How does it compare to a more traditional concept of leadership? Why would anyone want to use it [...]? In this article, we outline key aspects and benefits of the process." Thanks to Andrea McManus for sharing this post. 2/1/18

  • Information Overload? Overcome It with Minimalist Journaling (More or Less) This is a pretty cool idea. "...Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky, Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes all the same..." 1/31/18

  • How to be great at almost anything. (Thoughts and Ideas) It's all about the moments between the moments...learn, build, experience, share. 11/8/17

Philanthropic personalities

  • Midea Founder Finds Golden Touch in China Philanthropy (Caixin Global) "Midea Group founder He Hengjiang led the list of China 100 biggest philanthropists in 2017. The individuals on the list gave away 23.3 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) last year, a drop of over one-third year-on-year. Founder of home appliance-maker Midea Group Co. Ltd. He Xiangjian donated 6.8 billion yuan ($1.09 billon) to charity last year [...]." 2/7/18

Philanthropic controversy

  • Steve Wynn Resigns From Company Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations (New York Times) "The casino mogul Stephen Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive of his company, Wynn Resorts, in response to sexual misconduct allegations spanning decades." 2/6/18

  • Journalism as Charity? How For-Profit Media May Undercut Nonprofits (Chronicle of Philanthropy) Sorry guys, if you are a charity, fine. Some journalism outlets are. The Seattle Times is not. "Seattle residents opened their email in-boxes last year to find an earnest plea for financial support. It began: 'We can’t do our job without you.' An earlier note spoke of the 'public-service mission we take so seriously.' Charity appeals, right? Wrong. The curious who clicked on the provided link were taken to a web page loaded with subscription offers for The Seattle Times." 2/3/18

  • UNLV will keep Wynn donation, urge students to learn from revelations (Nevada Independent) "Even as there is heightened awareness of sexual harassment on campus, UNLV has decided to keep a $25,000 Wynn Resorts donation while encouraging students to learn from the revelations." 2/2/18

Trends and shifts

  • Giving to Colleges Up 6% in 2017 (Chronicle of Philanthropy) "Giving to America’s colleges rose 6 percent in 2017, lifted by a surge in giving by alumni [...]. In total, higher-education institutions raised $43.6 billion, the largest amount ever counted by the annual survey since it began in 1957." 2/6/18

  • Could Self-Driving Trucks Be Good for Truckers? (The Atlantic) "That’s what a new study from Uber’s self-driving-truck team says, and a variety of trucking experts think they might be right." 2/1/18

  • This High-Dollar Prize Finds its Limit—the Moon (Inside Philanthropy) "In the 10 or so years since Google and XPrize launched a $30 million contest to reward privately funded lunar missions, we’ve seen the concept of the high-dollar prize extend into pretty much any field you could imagine [...]. But after a decade and multiple deadline extensions, the Google Lunar XPrize, still one of the most audacious and prominent of the whole bunch, may have found a limit to what the spirit of competition and a big check can accomplish. Last week, the XPrize Foundation announced that none of the five remaining teams was close to hitting the March deadline, and Google would be withdrawing its award money. There would be no winner." 2/1/18

  • Philanthropy In The Post-Tax-Overhaul World (Financial Advisor) "After months of speculation, philanthropists are beginning to grapple with what the new tax law will mean for charitable giving in the coming year. The verdict: The new rules could have an impact—both good and bad—on both donor-advised funds and private foundations, according to sources in both camps." 2/1/18

  • WHY MORE SUPER BOWL ADS ARE TOUTING PHILANTHROPY (Ad Age) "Is it the Super Bowl, or the Do-Gooder Bowl? Hyundai is using an expensive 60-second ad spot in Sunday's game to plug an organization dedicated to fighting childhood cancer, the automaker said today, following the decision by Anheuser-Busch InBev to dedicate two big-game berths to its philanthropic efforts involving water." 1/29/18

  • WINGS launch Global Landscape of Philanthropy Report (European Foundation Centre) I recommend reading at least the executive summary -- very interesting trends. "WINGS (Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support) have recently released the Global Landscape of Philanthropy Report. This report aims to give a voice to the diversity of philanthropy, recognising and identifying trends and cultural aspects that affect giving in different parts of the globe. It will also highlight the challenges that hinder a more efficient and sustainable philanthropy, offering ways to improve and build a more interconnected sector. " January 2018

Large gifts

  • Houston billionaire couple gives Memorial Hermann $25 million (Houston Chronicle) "Houston billionaires Fayez and Susan Sarofim have donated $25 million to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, the largest gift in the hospital's history. The donation, in the planning stages for several years, [...] will go toward a massive upgrade of key critical-care facilities at the system's flagship hospital." 2/6/18

  • Mississippi Valley Conservancy gets $1 million anonymous donation (News8000) "The Mississippi Valley Conservancy says a person who wishes to stay anonymous recently gave them a donation of $1,000,000 [...]. The donor gave them the money to help them set up an endowment and challenged them to match the total through other donations." 2/6/18

  • Kohl’s continues support of Penfield Children’s Center with $2.4 million donation (BizTimes) "Kohl’s announced [...] it will donate $2.4 million to continue a program that provides education and development services at the Penfield Children’s Center in Milwaukee." 2/6/18

  • Denzel Washington honored, renews $1 million donation to Wiley College (KLTV) "Actor and two-time Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington, was recently recognized for his contributions toward raising awareness around the world about the value of debate education at Wiley College in Marshall. Washington was honored during the awards ceremony [...] for the nation's first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Speech and Debate Championship Tournament, which was held over three days on Wiley's campus. [Washington] pledged to renew a $1 million gift to the college to continue his funding of the debate program, according to Wiley College." 2/6/18

  • Philanthropist Death Inspires Family To Make Largest Donation Ever To JCC (Forward.com) "[The] JCC of Manhattan, located on the Upper West Side, was renamed the Marlene Mayerson JCC Manhattan in honor of a multi-million-dollar donation from the Meyerson Family Foundation. Marlene Meyerson, a longtime supporter of the JCC Manhattan, passed away last year. The gift of $20 million is believed to be one of the largest donations ever made to a Jewish Community Center in the US." 2/6/18

  • Rutgers University receives $15 million donation for academic center that will serve athletes (Planet Princeton) "Rutgers Athletics has received the largest gift in its history, a $15 million donation to build an academic center for student athletes." The gift is from Gary and Barbara Rodkin. 2/6/18

  • Star power helps UNICEF gala raise $1.3 million (Dallas Morning News) "A little star power from Rob and Sheryl Lowe and Sarah Ferguson helped the Great Plains Regional Office of UNICEF USA gross more than $1.3 million at the inaugural UNICEF Gala Dallas on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton." 2/6/18

  • Syracuse University announces ‘historic’ $20 million donation for veterans complex project (The Daily Orange) "Almost one-third of the total estimated cost of Syracuse University’s $62.5 million National Veterans Resource Complex project will be covered by a single donation. SU alumnus Daniel D’Aniello and his wife, Gayle, have donated $20 million to the complex [...]." 2/5/18

  • MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute Receives $1.5 Million Anonymous Donation to Renovate Catheterization Labs at Long Beach Medical Center (Memorial Care) "The Memorial Medical Center Foundation, who is the fundraising arm for Long Beach Medical Center, received a generous, anonymous donation of $1.5 million to renovate the catheterization (cath) labs in the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute." 2/5/18

  • Canadore's 'The Village' project receives a major donation (660CKAT) NORTH BAY STORY "One million dollars has been donated to the $20 million The Village project. It’s a unique health and wellness centre at Canadore College. David Ding and Sapna Thakur from Toronto donated the money to the centre, which is currently under development at Canadore’s College Drive location." Canadore College is a college of applied arts and technology located in North Bay, Ontario. 2/2/18

  • Artists Repertory Theatre Rescued by Largest Donation in the Company’s History (Willamette Week) "[Artists] Repertory Theatre announced that they received the largest donation in the theater's history. The $7 million, given by an anonymous donor, comes at a crucial time for the theater. [The] company was so deep in debt, they decided to sell half their building." 2/3/18

  • Anonymous bitcoin philanthropist donates $5 million to medicine foundation (Reuters) 'Pine' is at it again. "An anonymous benefactor has donated $5 million (3.53 million pounds) in bitcoin to the California-based Open Medicine Foundation [...]." 2/2/18

  • SENS Research Foundation Receives $2.4 Million Ethereum Donation From Vitalik Buterin (GlobalNewsWire) "SENS Research Foundation, a leading Silicon Valley nonprofit focused on diseases of aging, announced [...] the receipt of a $2.4 million Ethereum donation from Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum and the co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine." 2/2/18

  • Yakima Rotary Club makes a splash with $3.3 million gift to YMCA aquatics center project (Yakima-Herald) "To celebrate its upcoming 100th anniversary, the Yakima Rotary Club on Thursday announced it had raised $3.3 million in donations for the planned YMCA Aquatics Center — now to be called the Yakima Rotary Aquatics Center — at Chesterley Park." 2/2/18

  • $3 million Buffett donation could help Crossing Healthcare expand services, officials say (Herald-Review) "Since Crossing Healthcare opened at its new location in Sept. 2015, [...] the federally qualified healthcare provider has dealt with narrow margins [...]. But thanks to a $3 million donation from the private foundation of Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett, [...] the center can now pay off its significant debt and start to look at expanding the care it provides to the community." 2/2/18

  • ‘It’s all we really have’: Canadian couple donates $60M fortune as Arctic prize (Global News) CANADIAN STORY Love this. "A Canadian couple says their decision to donate $60 million — the bulk of their wealth — to a fund aimed at promoting Arctic innovation was inspired by a deep love for the Far North and the people who live there. Seven years after founding the Arctic Inspiration Prize, Arnold Witzig and Simi Sharifi are handing over what they say is their entire fortune to a trust fund that distributes millions of dollars every year to northern groups whose work improves the quality of life for their community members." 2/1/18

  • Dartmouth Tuck Gets Largest-Ever Donation (Poets & Quants) "Paul Raether’s father, Arnold Raether, was a big booster of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College [...]. Arnold Raether died in 1987, but his legacy of giving to Tuck students lives on. [That] legacy [has been] emblazoned permanently on the school when Dartmouth announced that Paul Raether and his family had donated $15 million in support of scholarship funding — matching the record for the largest gift ever given to Dartmouth Tuck." 2/1/18

  • Washburn indoor facility project gets $1.5 million matching donation challenge (CJOnline) "Washburn University has announced a $1.5 million matching gift challenge for its fundraising efforts for the new indoor practice facility. In a press release, the WU Alumni Association and Foundation announced a gift from a local family foundation of dedicated Washburn alumnus will match new or increased gifts to the practice facility up to $1.5 million." 2/1/18

  • Donation of nearly $1 million will fund temple for Tampa’s Hindu youth (Tampa Bay Times) "The green house at 5801 Lynn Road in Tampa doesn’t look like much now, but a generous donation from a successful Tampa hotelier is about to change that. Raxit Shah and his wife, Ketki, have donated $930,000 to the Tampa branch of VYO-USA, a national Hindu organization, to demolish the green house and build a new temple in its place." 2/1/18

  • Scripps Research Institute Receives Graduate Program Donation (NBC) "Skaggs family foundations contributed a lead gift toward a $100 million campaign to establish fellowships for all students of The Scripps Research Institute’s graduate program. The institute did not disclose the donation amount, only that it’s an eight-figure (at least $10 million) sum." 1/31/18

  • UNC Paws, Brushes with Life receive $8-million donation (UNC Healthcare) "Atlanta native Joanne Ackerman visited her alma mater UNC-Chapel Hill last week and made an $8-million legacy gift to the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health (CECMH) within the department of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine." 1/31/18

  • University Receives Largest Donation in its History (Bridgewater State University) "An outright donation of 25 acres of land and buildings on Plymouth’s Industrial Park Road – valued at $8 million – has been made to the Bridgewater State University Foundation by the university’s most benevolent alumni – Bruce R. Bartlett [...] and Patricia A. (Quinn) Bartlett [...] of Duxbury." Bridgewater State University is a public university located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. 1/31/18

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