Weekly News Recap: April 14, 2017

Darren Biedermann, right, helps Chris Miller choose a suit. Miller is a graduate of the Fresh Start addictions recovery program. (Jean-Charles Lanciault/Radio-Canada)

No person is free who is not master of themselves. — Epictetus

Our brand new podcast, BrainTrust Philanthropy Powered by ViTreo! launched last week. Many of you have subscribed. Our second podcast with panel guests Bob Carter, Jocelyn Daw, and Sharron Batsch will be posted on April 20 (next week). Listen or subscribe on our website to never miss an episode.

Books to read

  • Books that Changed My Perspective (The Year of the Looking Glass) Andy Grove (founder of Intel), Marie Kondo, Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook); these are just three of the amazing authors on this list. 4/6/17


  • Food offerings at Telus Spark heat up with Social Eatery by Roger Mooking (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "The newly opened Social Eatery by Roger Mooking is now a bright and open space meant to encourage socializing and meandering as patrons pick and choose dishes and interact with chefs and staff. The goal of celebrity chef Mooking – known for his TV show and eponymous book, Everyday Exotic, as well as Man Fire Food and his recurring stint as a judge on Chopped Canada – was simply to make it fun." 4/11/17
  • Aga Khan gift creates spectacular new garden for research and learning (UofA Botanic Garden) EDMONTON STORY "A spectacular new garden will bloom in 2018 at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden [...]. The Aga Khan Garden [...] was made possible by a contribution in excess of $25 million by His Highness the Aga Khan, Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community." 4/7/17
  • GPRC celebrates 50 years (Daily Herald Tribune) GRANDE PRAIRIE STORY Congrats! "The institution will celebrate 50 years of making dreams come true when it holds its Celebrating Dreams anniversary party on May 27[...]." 4/6/17
  • Five Questions with new Calgary Health Trust CEO Dr. Chris Eagle (Calgary Health Trust) CALGARY STORY "In the future, the campaign model of fundraising will become a much larger focus for the Trust. Philanthropists are investors, and they want to see what the return on investment is. People want to see what difference they are making, and they want to see where their contribution is going. There is a real opportunity for the Trust to focus on this and to excel in this realm."4/4/17

Trends and shifts

  • Can the Arts Counter Islamophobia? This Funder's Making That Bet (Inside Philanthropy) Interesting approach. I hope it works. "[Through] its Building Bridges grants program, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is committed to finding common ground between American Muslims and non-Muslims through the arts." Doris Duke (November 22, 1912 – October 28, 1993) was an American heiress, socialite, horticulturalist, art collector, and philanthropist. Her philanthropic work continued into her old age, some of it unknown to the public during her lifetime, and her estimated $1.3 billion fortune was largely left to charity. 4/12/17
  • PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES: MENTAL HEALTH AND YOUTH HOMELESSNESS (Eva's) "There’s a growing awareness about the importance of mental health along with more investment in services. Yet this meaningful attempt to bring awareness often neglects the complex mental health needs and concerns of youth who are marginalized. What about youth experiencing homelessness?" Excellent points. 4/7/17
  • When the Ford Foundation Leads, Do Others Follow? (Inside Philanthropy) Like the author of this article, I don't know but, I do agree the Ford Foundation is still incredibly influential. "Ford is the largest and most iconic of all legacy foundations. While it’s no longer the same 900-pound gorilla it once was—not after King Kong showed up in Seattle—it’s still enormously influential, thanks to its size and brand identity." 4/7/17

Uncommon knowledge

  • WTF is Artificial Intelligence? (Machine Learnings) Want to have your job (or, your children's jobs) survive the AI revolution? Soft skills are the most likely to be augmented vs. replaced. 4/5/17

Philanthropic personalities

  • 8 Lessons From My Grandfather David Rockefeller (Thrive Global) We forget, sometimes, that our very public philanthropists are also sons, fathers, uncles, and grandfathers. This lovely and authentic tribute by Adam Growald reminded me (and I hope you too) of this fact. 3/27/17

Life and career hacks

  • Typography can make or break your design: a process for choosing type (freeCodeCamp) Great advice for all of us who have to design without the benefit of art school. "[If] you are designing a greeting card that’s illustration heavy, choose a font that fits the style of your illustration. Harmonize your type with the rest of your design." 4/11/17
  • Why is genuine teamwork elusive? (The Mission) An article that summarizes Patrick Lencioni's '5 Dysfunctions of a Team'. A great reminder of how to make teams work. 4/8/17
  • I haven’t cussed in 5 years. My willpower has skyrocketed. (freeCodeCamp) At first, this article's title did not grab me. In fact, it did the opposite. I am not a fan of censorship. I am, however, a fan of willpower, discretion, discernment, and professionalism. So, I decided to give it a go. I read the article. It's worth reading. It is not anti-cussing. Instead, it is pro-willpower. I am going to give it a try. 4/8/17

Philanthropic controversy

  • Controversial Nonprofit Removes Board Names From Website. Find Them Here. (Chronicle of Philanthropy) "A controversial charity-leadership group that has blanketed nonprofit workers nationwide with emails soliciting membership for its Board of Governors recently removed the list of governors from its website and suggested it would take legal action against The Chronicle if it published a saved version of the list."4/7/17
  • From the White House, a Case Study of How NOT to do Philanthropy (Inside Philanthropy) "Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in March that the president would donate his entire $400,000 presidential salary at the end of the year, and that he wanted the press corps to help decide what charity would benefit. That way, Spicer said, Trump would avoid scrutiny when the day comes. [...] But alas, it was all for naught, as the president either never meant it, forgot he said it, or it was yet another epic troll. The president scrapped the press corps idea without explanation, and based on White House Counsel suggestions, decided to give his salary from the first quarter of his presidency to the National Park Service, for a total of $78,333." 4/6/17


  • The Problem With Modern Philanthropy (The Atlantic) Interesting thought piece. 'Disruptive philanthropy' defined as philanthropy that tries to compete with government is seen by many as a problem. 4/9/17

Large gifts

  • Sask. Municipal Hail Insurance celebrates 100 years with million dollar donation (620 CKRM) REGINA STORY Congrats to both! "One-million dollars was donated to STARS Air Ambulance by Saskatchewan Municipal Hail Insurance[...]. Wayne Black, President of Saskatchewan Municipal Hail said they wanted to do something special to celebrate 100 years in business, and felt STARS, who is celebrating their fifth year in the province has a special connection to them through the people they work with." 4/13/17
  • Southeastern receives $10M, largest single donation in its history (CBS) "Southeastern Louisiana University received [an] endowment totaling $10 million[...]. Seth W. Ryan, a 1953 Southeastern business graduate, [left] a significant portion of his estate to Southeastern’s Foundation in the name of his wife, Thelma McNamara Nicaud Ryan. [The] donation will become part of the Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation Scholarship Endowment. In honor of his wife, who was unable to attend college, Ryan outlined that income from his donation should be used for scholarships for female students in specific academic disciplines." 4/12/17
  • Carroll Hospital launching Swedish-inspired baby care program with $2 million donation (Baltimore Business Journal) "A philanthropic organization with local ties has donated $2 million to the Carroll Hospital Foundation for the creation of a new family-centered neonatal care program. [The] gift comes from the Kahlert Foundation, which was established in 1991 by William "Bill" E. Kahlert, the co-founder of Evapco Inc. in Taneytown." Carroll Hospital is a nonprofit hospital located in Westminster, Maryland. 4/7/17

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