Weekly News Recap: March 17, 2017

Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré (left), Kivi Park leader Melissa Sheridan, Mrs. Lily Fielding, Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh and Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger at Kivi Park to celebrate her $3 million donation. Supplied photo

If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any. — Jim Collins


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Philanthropic personalities


  • City art conservators take great steps to save a 50-year-old Norman Yates mural in Milner Library (Edmonton Examiner) EDMONTON STORY "The colourful and explosive mural known as West and North, which adorns the University of Alberta’s Education Building, is one of Norman Yates’ most treasured gifts to the city. But the beloved artist and teacher, who died at age 90 in 2014, created another mural 50 years ago, which the City of Edmonton commissioned as a Centennial project. This one is lesser-known, but characteristically striking and evocative of Alberta’s landscape. The blue-and-yellow mural was located in the Edmonton Room on the main floor of the library, but in recent years it has been in the lower level of the library, largely out of public view." 3/16/17
  • Calgary's National Music Centre launches NMC Collections Online (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "The National Music Centre on Wednesday launched a new online platform, connecting music lovers from around the world to NMC’s extensive and rare collection of musical instruments and memorabilia at the click of a mouse. The new digital platform will kick off with 150 of NMC’s top collection items viewable online in celebration of Canada 150." 3/15/17
  • IUPUI Launches Online Philanthropy Master's (Inside Indiana Business) Ever wanted to do your masters in philanthropy but did not want to travel? Now is your chance. "The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is taking a degree digital. The school will launch its master of arts in philanthropic studies online this fall." 3/15/17
  • Calgary YMCA president steps down (Metro) CALGARY STORY Helene Weir has been an inspiring leader at YMCA for a long time. We should be (and are) flattered that YMCA USA has taken her from us but we will miss her at the helm of one of our most important institutions. Thank you Helene! 3/10/17
  • 10 Canadian finalists named in Google's $5M innovation challenge (CTV) CANADIAN STORY Vote (click on Vote link on the left) for your favourite. Google will be announcing the winners on March 30. "Google is asking for Canadians' help to choose the best homegrown technology for solving problems around the world, as part of its $5-million Impact Challenge contest in Canada. Canadians are encouraged to vote on the project most likely to affect major change at home and abroad, with 10 options on the table. Google's charitable wing announced the finalists this week. The list includes a wide range of high-tech solutions, such as a tablet app for educating Indigenous high school students, a drone project for surveying disaster areas and a pneumonia diagnosis app." 3/10/17
  • The 100 Best Companies to Work For (Fortune) Congrats to Fortune on the 20th anniversary of this list. The top companies on this list have strong crossover with philanthropy. 3/10/17
  • Phoenix Rising (Canadian Architect) TORONTO STORY Eva's Phoenix is a former client of ViTrēo. "A former water pumping station is transformed into a village-like transitional housing and job-training facility for homeless youth." 3/9/17
  • New name announced for botanic gardens (Devon Dispatch) EDMONTON STORY The name of something matters. Renaming the Devonian Botanic Gardens to the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens will help cement the garden's association with the University of Alberta. Nicely done UofA. 3/9/17

Trends and shifts

  • Crowdfunding Will Change Philanthropy—But How? (Nonprofit Quarterly) "As reported on Crowdsourcing.org, crowdfunding generated more than $34 billion in worldwide donations, equity funding, and person-to-person lending in 2015. In North America, it’s estimated that number was $17 billion, an 82 percent increase for the most recent year’s statistics available." 3/15/17
  • How Will The Rise Of Crowdfunding Reshape How We Give To Charity? (Fast Company) As this article points out, "[...] traditional cause groups should relax. Donations don’t seem to be shifting from places like the United Way or Salvation Army." Instead, "[...] the true power of the giving layer may be less about sheer money than what it can do for brand awareness." 3/13/17
  • Charities told to merge in order to survive (RadioNewZealand) "Charities are being told they may need to merge to survive and prosper." An interesting report from New Zealand based investment firm, JBWere. 3/13/17


  • Longer deadlines lead to higher donation (Business Standard) I wonder how much of this is cultural..."To evaluate how deadlines affect charity, the researchers sent emails and text messages to over 50,000 people in Denmark who had donated money to DanChurchAid -- a Danish humanitarian NGO aimed at supporting the world's poorest people -- at least once within the past six years. For the approximately 20,300 email recipients, the deadline was three days, ten days or until the first day of the following month respectively. For the approximately 33,000 text message recipients, the deadline was shorter - midnight on the following day, three days or until the first day of the following month respectively. The results, [published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics] showed that the donations increased when the deadline was longer." 3/12/17
  • Philanthropy to Developing Nations Totaled $64 Billion in 2014 (Philanthropy News Digest) "Based on an examination of private giving to the developing world from twenty-eight members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and eleven non-DAC emerging economies, the 2016 edition of The Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances (48 pages, PDF) found that global philanthropy hit a record $64 billion in 2014, with the United States contributing two-thirds of the total ($44 billion), followed by the United Kingdom ($4.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), Germany ($1.9 billion), and Canada ($1.7 billion)." 3/9/17

Life and career hacks

Philanthropic controversy

  • Report questions payments tied to donation to the University of Utah (Salt Lake Tribune) "Earlier this week, STAT — a news organization affiliated with The Boston Globe — reported that Patrick Soon-Shiong and his philanthropic foundations in 2014 donated $12 million to the U. for research. But under the contract governing the gift, the U. later paid $10 million to NantHealth, a company founded by Soon-Shiong, an arrangement questioned by some tax experts." 3/8/17

Large gifts

  • Dot Foods donating $1.3 million to QU recovery plan (Herald-Whig) Financial recovery is not typically a strong attractor for gifts but..."Dot Foods is donating $1.3 million toward Quincy University's financial recovery plan. The gift from the Mount Sterling-based company puts QU more than half way - $3.6 million - to its $7 million fundraising target." Quincy University is a private liberal arts Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition. It is located in Quincy, Illinois. 3/15/17
  • Holders' $1.2M donation funds educational resources, education scholarship (PennState) "John and Barbara Holder, 1965 alumni of Penn State’s College of Education, have made a $1.2 million estate commitment to be shared equally between the University Libraries and the College of Education. Half of the funds will endow an educational resources collection, and the other half will support an undergraduate scholarship for education majors." 3/15/17
  • French Hospital Medical Center receives $5.5 million donation (NBC) "French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo received the largest financial gift in its history on Tuesday. Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer donated $5.5 million to the hospital.The money will go toward renovating and expanding the emergency room." 3/14/17
  • Major donation: Former professor leaves millions to Helsinki University (YLE) "A former professor at Helsinki University, [Literature and aesthetics professor Maija Lehtonen] posthumously donated more than four million euros - her entire estate - to the institution. [...] In her will Lehtonen stipulated that the donation is used to fund research in Finnish and French literature, the French language and history." 3/15/17
  • Kivi Park donation triples to $3 million (The Sudbury Star) SUDBURY STORY Warms my heart. I was born in Sudbury. Also of note, it is not often that a citizen will make a gift directly to a municipality. Mrs. Fielding is clearly one in a million. I mean....three million. "As hundreds of Sudburians and visitors came out to enjoy Kivi Park's first annual Winter Carnival on March 3-4, lifelong Sudbury resident Lily Fielding (nee Kivi), announced that she will be donating $3 million to the City of Greater Sudbury for the Kivi Park outdoor space. This donation triples her original commitment of $1 million, which was announced in June of last year." 3/13/17
  • Dartmouth receives $10 million donation (ABC) "Dartmouth College will [...] be getting a $10 million gift to support off-campus and foreign-study programs for undergraduate students. [...] Frank Guarini, a former New Jersey congressman and U.S. representative to the United Nations, is making the donation." 3/11/17
  • Scotiabank gifts NAIT with $400,000 (EPT) EDMONTON STORY Congrats NAIT. Thank you Scotiabank. "A $400,000 donation from Scotiabank will benefit students at The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. The gift will help the polytechnic continue to grow to meet the needs of Alberta, and will also be used to fund campus expansion, student scholarships and the NAIT International Student Centre." 3/9/17

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