Weekly News Recap: March 31, 2017

Jimmy Pattison thanks St. Paul's hospital and staff for their hard work. Picture by @FarrahMerali, CBC Vancouver.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step — Lao Tzu

Philanthropic personalities


  • MEET THE WINNERS (Google.org) CANADIAN STORY Woot! Food Banks Canada has been selected as the People's Choice winner of Google's Impact Challenge (The Impact Challenge awarded $5 million to Canadian nonprofits with innovative ideas for a better world). Food Banks Canada will receive a grant of $750,000 from Google to develop an app that diverts quality food away from landfill and towards people in need. 3/30/17
  • B.C. charities turn to online fundraising to keep up with demand from asylum seekers (CBC) BC STORY "Some Vancouver charities are banding together and turning to crowdfunding to cover the costs of assisting the rising number of asylum seekers arriving in B.C. 'It's hard for us to help these people properly,' says Mario Ayala, the executive director of the Inland Refugee Society, which relies on a grant from the City of Vancouver and donations. That's why his group is joining with three other nonprofit organizations — Inasmuch Community Society, Journey Home Community Association and Kinbrace Community Society — to form the Asylum Seekers Community." 3/29/17
  • Conservation agreement protects historic southern Alberta ranch (CBC) ALBERTA STORY This is why we need organizations like the Nature Conservancy. Thank you to the Barr family and to the Nature Conservancy. "One of Canada's oldest working ranches will be protected as a result of a conservation agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The 900-hectare Oxley Ranch in the southern Alberta foothills is owned and operated by Jennifer Barr and her family. The ranch was established in 1882 and will still function as a cattle operation." 3/29/17
  • Art Gallery of Alberta waives fees for children and students to boost visitor numbers (CBC) EDMONTON STORY This largesse is due to a grant of $250,000 from the City of Edmonton. "The Art Gallery of Alberta is waiving admission fees for children under the age of 18 and students in an effort to drive up visitor numbers. The AGA has experienced rising operating costs since it opened in 2010. The gallery hosted 108,000 visitors in its first year, but it's averaged little more than 50,000 people annually since." 3/29/17
  • Youth Hiring Fair attracts thousands to Stampede Park (CBC) CALGARY STORY "With tens of thousands out of work in Alberta and the oil sector still slumping, finding a job can be a tall order for people out of work. And it can be especially tough for teenagers and young adults, who might have the motivation, but not the experience or connections. That was evidenced Tuesday as more than 5,000 job seekers between the ages of 15 and 24 lined up outside the Big Four Building at Stampede Park for the 19th annual Youth Hiring Fair, hoping to find work with one of around 90 employers inside." 3/29/17
  • MakeFashion brings science and technology to the Telus Spark Science Centre runway (The Gauntlet) CALGARY STORY "Wearable technology is a new trend in the fashion industry as more advanced technology develops each day. This year’s MakeFashion gala will showcase the works of several engineers and robotics enthusiasts who paired with artists and fashion designers from across the globe to make wearable technology. The gala will take place on April 1 at the Telus Spark Science Centre. Tickets are $30 for students." 3/28/17
  • A night for reflecting and fundraising (Lloydminster Meridian Booster) LLOYDMINSTER STORY ViTrēo Associate Larissa Groch was in attendance. "It was a black and silver night, as the fifth annual Lakeland College President’s Gala took place on Friday night. [...] 'Every year it has been growing,” said Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. 'This last year we had about $31,000 worth of proceeds to go to student awards, and this year we are hoping more.' The money raised goes towards Lakeland’s student awards program, which had a record year for the college. 'Last year we raised $1.3-million and this year we have hit a new milestone. We will be up to $1.5-million, pretty exciting for our students and the opportunities for students to have support.'" 3/28/17
  • 'We're all hurting': Calgary arts cut to the bone as corporate funds dry up (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Calgary's performing arts scene has become a casualty of corporate cost-cutting as the city's economic doldrums drag into a third year, prompting organizations to band together to seek more municipal support. The energy sector has long been a stalwart patron of the arts in the white-collar heart of the oilpatch. But weak energy markets have forced firms to tighten their spending, leaving less for sponsorships." 3/26/17
  • It took 5 years and some bake sales, but this rural Ontario area now has 911 service (CBC) ONTARIO STORY I love this story. Talk about seeing a problem and rallying the community to fix it. Terrific. "Niobe Lake, an unorganized area 180 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont., officially launched its new service at the beginning of March. Residents raised the money to set up the service themselves, at a price tag of a little more than $100,000." 3/24/17
  • TELUS Spark | March 2017 Lighthouse Award (Calgary Board of Education) CALGARY STORY Congratulations to Telus Spark on receiving the Calgary Board of Education's Lighthouse Award. Well deserved!. "The Calgary Board of Education’s (CBE) Lighthouse Awards program recognizes an organization’s contributions to the CBE, its schools and its programs." 3/22/17

Philanthropic controversy

Trends and shifts

  • How Charity: Water Uses Data To Connect Donors And The People They’re Helping (Fast Company) Charity: Water is a $40 million per year charity with a singular mission -- providing water to those who need it. When you choose to live stream the outcomes of that mission to an audience of donors at a $2,500 per plate fundraiser, you had better know what you are doing. Turns out they do. 3/23/17


  • Kindness, respect at the heart of philanthropy (Hamilton Spectator) Great article Roger! Roger D. Ali is the president & CEO of OneFoundation, Niagara Health System and Chair-elect (volunteer) for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Foundation for Philanthropy Canada. He is a longtime resident of the Hamilton community for over 30 years. 3/27/17

Life and career hacks

  • Less Is More: The Minimum Effective Dose (The Mission) Find your sweet spot. "To boil water, the minimum effective dose is 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) at standard air pressure. Boiled is boiled. Higher temperatures will not make it 'more boiled.' Higher temperatures just consume more resources that could be used for something else more productive." 3/26/17
  • Deliver Quantity & Quality (Muzli) What!? It's ok, this is worth the read and, for the most part, I agree. "Throughout life, you hear the cheesy saying, “quality over quantity.” In most situations this is good advice. Not in the design world." 3/17/17

Philanthropy in the era of Trump

Large gifts

  • 10 million dollar insect collection donation demonstrates a legacy of love (TreeHugger) I hope this gift does not not bug you. "Ten million dollars worth of bugs. [...] The open access to the O'Brien insect collection online and to the actual specimens on site served as one of the main reasons the O'Briens selected Arizona State University (ASU) as the ultimate home for their collection." 3/28/17
  • $1 million donation gives Valpo alumna writing center naming rights (NW Times) "Valparaiso University is renaming the University Writing Center after an alumna who donated $1 million to the school. Valparaiso University alumni Judith Rockett Beumer and Richard “Dick” Beumer gave $1 million to the Judith L. Beumer Endowed Writing Program Fund and the Beumer College of Engineering Fund at the private Lutheran university." Valparaiso University is a private university located in Valparaiso, Indiana. 3/27/17
  • George Lucas Family Foundation Gives USC Film School New $10 Million Endowment (Variety) It is not often that I get to quote Variety as a source. While Aaron Sorkin was apparently blissfully unaware of Hollywood's diversity issues, George, apparently, is not. Thank you Mr. Lucas. "The George Lucas Family Foundation has granted the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a second endowment of $10 million to provide financial support to African-American and Hispanic students, raising the foundation’s student diversity support effort to $20 million." 3/27/17
  • Olds College receives $16 million donation (The Western Producer) OLDS STORY I find this gift particularly heartening as it involves not only an outright gift but also a matching gift and an estate gift. Now this is effective philanthropy "Olds College has received a record $16 million donation to create the Werklund Agriculture Institute to specialize in smart and sustainable agriculture and business solutions. Calgary oilman and philanthropist David Werklund and his partner, Susan Norman, have provided a tiered donation with a total cumulative impact of $32 million when all leverage opportunities are realized." 3/27/17
  • Facebook pioneer donates $75 million to UCSD for data science (San Diego Union-Tribune) "UC San Diego’s push to raise a record $2 billion in private donations got a big lift Saturday when a scientist who helped turn Facebook into a social-media giant gave the campus $75 million.Taner Halicioglu’s gift is meant to make the campus a national leader in data science and to launch the public phase of a capital campaign that’s already produced almost $1 billion." 3/27/17

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