Weekly News Recap: April 15, 2016

Helene Weir, CEO and President, YMCA Calgary, Dr. Colin DelCastilho, Alberta Health Services, and Laurie Stang, Senior Vice President, Prairie Region, Scotiabank (left to right), launch new sports pad at the South Health Campus YMCA with a ceremonial ball drop - part of a combined $250,000 donation towards YMCA Calgary programming for young people from Scotiabank. Photo courtesy of Scotiabank

Just beautiful

News and events

Books to read

Philanthropic personalities

Philanthropic Controversy

  • How Philanthropy Contributes to Wealth Inequality Pablo Eisenberg, a veteran nonprofit activist and longtime Chronicle columnist, worries that philanthropy is exacerbating wealth inequality in America. "Academics have said that probably no more than 5 to 8 percent of all the money that philanthropy doles out actually goes to the neediest populations." I agree with Mr. Eisenberg, this is a troubling indicator. (4/11/16)

  • Former student slams university over philanthropy checks I was wondering when the fallout from the Panama Papers would show up in philanthropy. Here we have an alumnus of Oxford University (yes, that Oxford) slamming his alma mater for its lax due diligence processes that led to them accepting a gift from businessman Len Blavatnik. (4/9/16)

Opinion and observations


  • The Billionaire Philanthropist Teaching Fundraisers How to Ask for Money Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford talks to Forbes about the growth of his university-level training program for nonprofit fundraisers. The billionaire banker launched the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy in 2014 in partnership with National University in San Diego. Interesting to see a philanthropist getting this involved in the work of fundraising. (4/8/16)

  • Elon Musk’s gamble on transparency is totally paying off I have a huge man crush on this guy. In the last few weeks, he has released an affordable (and stylish) electric car (yes, the Tesla) that over 250,000 people have put a $1,000 deposit on and his other company, SpaceX, successfully completed one of the most amazing technological feats of our time by landing the booster stage of his rocket on a moving drone barge. Truly our own real-life Tony Stark. (4/6/16)

Large Gifts

  • Sparking transformation across campuses: Richardson Foundation makes largest single philanthropic donation to Front and Centre campaign Now, this is a big deal. $10 million to the University of Manitoba to support classroom and laboratory upgrades across our campuses. CANADIAN STORY (4/14/16)

  • Tufts gets $15M donation to bolster students’ civic lives The donation comes from business leader and Tufts trustee Jonathan Tisch, and his wife, Lizzie. It will support research in civic studies, and create professorships and student internships at the private university of 11,000 students in Medford, Massachusetts. (4/14/16)

  • Livestrong receives $1 million donation This is a gift from Jeri and Jeff Mulder who are long-time Livestrong supporters. The Foundation has been under siege since 2010. Nice to see it receive a large gift again. (4/13/16)

  • Billionaire announces $250 million in cancer immunotherapy funding Sean Parker made this gift to support cancer immune therapy because it is at a turning point and would benefit from research that is done without regard for the costs. You might recognize Mr. Parker as the founder of the music file-sharing service Napster and the founding president of Facebook. His gift is one of the largest ever made to support cancer research. (4/13/16)

  • $1.4 million donation for new mosque in Monash, Canberra The construction of a new mosque in southern Canberra is set to ramp up after a $1.4 million donation from the Kuwaiti government. (4/13/16)

  • CHOP Receives $5 Million Donation From Wawa Foundation The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will recognize Wawa by renaming its existing volunteer program and dedicating a newly constructed, 1,500-square-foot building. The new development to be named the ‘Wawa Volunteer Center’. Wawa Inc. is a chain of convenience store/gas stations located along the East Coast of the United States. (4/12/16)

  • UCLA Athletics receives $5 million donation for soccer venue The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) received this gift from the Annenberg Foundation. This gift will be the lead gift toward the planned transformation of the North Athletic Field into the new home of UCLA men’s and women’s soccer as well as UCLA’s club sports programs. The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Walter Hubert Annenberg (March 13, 1908 – October 1, 2002) was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. (4/12/16)

  • Charter school network lands $25M donation from hedge fund Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter school network in New York received this gift from hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson. (4/12/16)

  • Major donation for Lakeland College Fillmore Construction, a long-time collaborator on capital projects with Lakeland College, has made a $250,000 donation to the college. Fillmore Construction is an Edmonton construction company. Lakeland College is a ViTrēo client. ALBERTA STORY (4/12/16)

  • Mega donation for Royal Danish Opera AP Møller Foundation has pledged an undisclosed figure of more than DK100m (€13.4m, USD $15.2 million) to Royal Danish Opera (RDO). This is the single biggest gift in its history. While the exact amount is not known it is far in excess of the DK35m cut in government funding that the company has recently experienced and is believed to be several hundred million Danish Krone. AP Møller Foundation was established with the funds from two Danish steamship companies. (4/11/16)

  • $1 million anonymous donation helps fund scholarships An anonymous donation has helped to start a new college scholarship program in the Ann Arbor area. The gift was made to the Ann Arbor Community Foundation. (4/12/16)

  • Niagara College receives largest-ever private donation The estate of Eva M. Lewis has made the $2.6 million donation to the College to expand the Learning Commons. Eva Lewis was a school teacher, born in Sudbury and raised in Welland. She donated $500,000 to the college previously making her personal donation to the college just over $3 million. Niagara College is located in the Niagara region of southern Ontario. *CANADIAN STORY (4/11/16)

  • Kapiolani Medical Center receives $1M donation from Nan. Inc Kapiolani Medical Center for women and children got a huge donation from Nan Inc. on Friday. The construction company made their gift to help pay for the hospital's expansion. The donation will be used to fund building a new auditorium and a new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Kapiolani Medical Center is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. (4/11/16)

  • Local sport receives $250,000 boost from Scotiabank Children in southeast Calgary have a new sports pad, thanks in part to a donation from Scotiabank. The sports pad will be part of the South Health Campus YMCA. Thanks Scotiabank. ViTrēo is proud to be working with YMCA Calgary. CALGARY STORY (4/11/16)

  • University of Mary gets $1M donation for new Campus Center American Bank Center is making this gift to the University of Mary’s Campus Center and will open a branch inside. University of Mary is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. (4/8/16)

  • Google Funds to Expand Nonprofit Pushing Renewable Energy This is part of Google's strategy in Asia, specifically in Taiwan. (4/8/16)

  • Donation honoring Beau Biden helps scholars in danger An anonymous gift, in Beau Biden's name, will enable the Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund to rescue one scholar in danger each year, as part of the organization's work to ensure there is always a place where persecuted academics can find safe haven. This is such an important fund to have. (4/8/16)

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