Weekly News Recap: April 21, 2017

Amrita Sohanpal and Carol Jane Campbell volunteer in the wig salon of the basement of the Cross Cancer Institute. (John Robertson/CBC)

Either you run the day, or the day runs you. -- Jim Rohn

Books to read


  • Oldman Watershed Council signs 2017 charter of action (Pincher Creek Echo) LETHBRIDGE STORY "The Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) held the signing of their Southern Alberta Water Charter at city hall in Lethbridge on April 7. Thirty-five organizations and government bodies have currently signed the charter, with each one pledging a plan of action over the summer to help with water conservation and awareness according to OWC communications specialist Anna Garleff." This! This signing is a big deal. Water, in case you have not noticed, is or very shortly will be, the currency of the 21st century. The Oldman Watershed Council is a ViTrēo client. 4/18/17
  • Volunteers at the core of Edmonton's Cross Cancer Institute (CBC) EDMONTON STORY "He's one of an estimated 375 volunteers who last year contributed 46,080 hours at the institute, according to Deborah McTaggart-Baird, manager of volunteer resources. McTaggart-Baird believes the state-of-the-art technology and leading research is a source of pride, but so are the volunteers in maroon vests, who fill more than 40 roles throughout the four-storey hospital. On the 50th anniversary in 2012, the volunteer association was honoured with a prime minister's award and a healing garden as a lasting legacy of their commitment."4/15/17

Philanthropic controversy

  • ČRo: Oxford University rejects coal baron Tykač's donation (Prague Daily Monitor) "Oxford University rejected a donation of 1.4 million pounds from Czech coal baron Pavel Tykac because the Swiss police investigated Tykac over suspicious financial transactions and blocked his bank accounts a few years ago [...]." 4/19/17

Uncommon knowledge

  • The case for being grumpy at work (Quartz) I am often grumpy at work. This is a research-laden article on how showing your true feelings at work can actually increase overall productivity and creativity. Scowl freely. 4/20/17


Trends and shifts

  • The Ford Foundation Just Made A Billion Dollar Bet On Impact Investing (Fast Company) "To that end, Walker announced plans to use up to $1 billion of the foundation’s endowment over the next decade on more mission-related investments, investments in projects that generate the return Ford needs, but also support things like affordable housing or better financial services for the poor. The logic is explained in detail in a post entitled “Unleashing the power of endowments: The next great challenge for philanthropy” on Ford’s Equals Change blog. The commitment makes Ford the largest private foundation playing in this space." Hurrah for this. 4/17/17

Philanthropic personalities

  • Pittsburgh Businessman, Philanthropist Henry L. Hillman Dies At 98 (CBS) "He was described by Forbes Magazine as Pittsburgh’s richest man, with an estimated worth of $2.6 billion [...]. Henry created The Hillman Company as we know it today, having reshaped it from its roots in industrial businesses to diversified investing [...]. Although known in Pittsburgh mainly for his generous philanthropy, Henry was respected around the world as a pioneer in private equity and venture capital." 4/14/17
  • Eugene Lang, millionaire who financed college dreams, dies at 98 (The Washington Post) A true philanthropist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, he gave away over $70 million during his lifetime. He is perhaps most famously known for his promise made to 61 students at Public School 121 in Harlem as they graduated from sixth grade in 1981. He promised a scholarship to every member of this class admitted to a four-year college. This promise blossomed and eventually, he ended up helping over 16,000 children with their college costs. Eugene Lang died in Manhattan on April 8. Thank you to my friend, James Paras, for sharing this story. 4/11/17

Life and career hacks

  • Good Giving from the Grave (Philanthropy Roundtable) "How donors and charities can plan wisely to avoid posthumous punch-ups - Ideas from Spring 2017 issue of Philanthropy magazine By Doug White." 4/20/17

Writing hacks

Design hacks

  • The difference between Equality and Equity in design (uxdesign.cc) "Diversity is enabled by inclusion. Inclusion is enabled by equity." There are two great graphical depictions in this article relating to equality and equity. Both are useful but the second one is transcendent. 4/16/17
  • Designing Accessible Products (uxdesign.cc) This is a narrow but important design topic. And, it is incredibly well described. If you design user interfaces or work with those who do, this is a worthwhile read. 4/14/17
  • Design principle: Consistency (UX Planet) "Consistency is one of the design principles that we like to violate frequently. I am also guilty of doing that and I am not proud of it. Going all creative and artzy can easily break this design principle." I do it too often. 4/8/17

Large gifts

  • OSU announces arts center plans, $25 million donation (Corvallis Gazette Times) "Bolstered by a $25 million donation, Oregon State University officials [announced] plans for a performing arts and education complex. [The] $25 million gift comes from an anonymous donor in the Portland area. The total project is estimated to cost $60 million. OSU officials said they would launch a campaign to raise an additional $5 million and plan to approach a future Legislature for approval of $30 million in state bonds." 4/20/17
  • Online gaming foe Adelson made big donation to President Trump inauguration (NorthJersey.com) "The $107 million raised for President Trump’s inauguration in January included one donation that was the biggest of them all – a $5 million check from Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino billionaire." In case you are wondering, this is one of the largest, if not the largest amount raised for a presidential inauguration. Really. 4/19/17
  • Hokie Club Reports Record Donation and Membership Numbers (Tech Sideline) Go Hokies! "Thanks to the generous support of Virginia Tech alumni and fans, the Hokie Club has hit multiple all-time records in terms of total giving, unrestricted annual (scholarship) giving and total number of donors. Overall giving to the Hokie Club approached $33 million based on the most recent benefit giving cycle that concluded March 31." Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, is a public, land-grant, research university with the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. 4/19/17
  • Butler Bowl to be renamed after $9 million donation (ABC) "After a multi-million dollar donation to Butler University, the Butler Bowl will be renamed. The Butler Bowl is used for the team's soccer and football games. The Butler Bowl will be renamed the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl. The Champions Room in the Sellick Bowl will be the Bud and Jackie Sellick Room, and the Registrar's Office will become the Jacqueline Blomberg Sellick Registrar's Suite." Whew, the naming wizards were busy on this one. 4/20/17
  • LDS Church's donation to new Museum of the American Revolution totals 'roughly $2.5 million' (Deseret News) "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated a temple in Philadelphia, but Wednesday another building opened in Philadelphia that was built in part thanks to a donation by the LDS Church. The Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR) stands just blocks away from the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and minutes away from the LDS Temple. According to The Washington Post, the MoAR is the 'first museum devoted to the country’s earliest years.' The Post explains that while other museums explore aspects of the American Revolution, this is the first devoted specifically to the American Revolution." 4/19/17
  • Donation to Minnesota State will help bring new students up to speed (Twin Cities Pioneer Press) "A $1 million donation will help eight Twin Cities colleges make sure students are ready for their freshman year. A gift from Beverly and Richard Fink will help Minnesota State two-year colleges in the metro create the “Summer Scholars Academy” to tutor new students who are not ready for college-level work. The program will focus on math, reading, writing and study skills during the summer months before the fall semester." 4/19/17
  • SNF makes large donation to St. Demetrios HS and St. Michael’s Home (tornos NEWS) "The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has informed The National Herald that it will make a significant donation of several million dollars both to the St. Demetrios High School in Astoria – which is the only Greek high school in the United States – and toward the construction of a new St. Michael’s Home in Uniondale, NY." 4/19/17
  • McKendree University receives $4 million real estate donation (St. Louis Business Journal) "McKendree University received a gift of property that's valued at nearly $4 million [...]. Locust Hills Village LLC donated the property [...]." McKendree University, formerly known as McKendree College, is a private liberal arts university located in Lebanon, Illinois. 4/18/17
  • Wallis Annenberg announces donation (Daily Trojan) "Philanthropist and USC Trustee Wallis Annenberg announced a $10 million donation to the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism [to] celebrate journalist Willow Bay’s appointment as dean of the school." The University of Southern California is a private research university founded in 1880 with its main campus in Los Angeles, California. 4/18/17
  • Sanford donates $28M to National University (San Diego Union-Tribune) This guy is the energizer bunny of philanthropists. He keeps giving and giving. "Billionaire T. Denny Sanford announced Monday he is donating $28 million to the National University system to promote programs he helped create aimed at creating more harmony, inspiration and philanthropy in the world." National University is a private, nonprofit institution of higher education founded in 1971, and is headquartered in La Jolla, California. 4/18/17
  • $6M donation will create Institute for Environment at UVM (University Business) "$6 million gift from the Gund family – with a challenge to raise even more from other donors – will create the University of Vermont’s first university-wide sustainability institute that will accelerate UVM’s longstanding commitment to the environment. [This] extraordinary gift to UVM comes from Gordon Gund and his wife, Llura; Grant Gund ’91 and his wife, Lara; and Zachary Gund ’93 and his wife, Lindsey." 4/17/17
  • Auburn University receives $12M donation for new culinary science center (ABC) "A $12 million donation will be used to create a new culinary science center at Auburn University. The donation was made by James 'Jimmy' Rane. The board of trustees approved to name the center ‘The Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center’ in honor of Rane's parents." Auburn University is a public research university in Auburn, Alabama. 4/14/17

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