Weekly News Recap: May 11, 2018

Chief Lee Crowchild (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great art [idea].[…]If you hang in there, you will get somewhere. -- Chuck Clos, Painter

Books to read

  • 8 Books That Teach You To Be Rich (Darius Foroux) I have to admit. The title of this post kinda turned me off. But...becoming better at managing one's finances (vs. trying to get "rich") is a worthy exercise for anyone. Good list. Dig in. 4/23/18


  • New Edmonton school names honour women, cultural education (Edmonton Sun) EDMONTON STORY Loving this. "Dr. Anne Anderson High School will be where students walk the halls of the first new Edmonton public high school to open in more than a decade. A new junior high in southeast Edmonton will be named after Senator Thelma Chalifoux, and educator Soraya Hafez will be honoured as the namesake on a new northeast Edmonton elementary school." 5/8/18

  • Montreal's La Presse to become non-profit entity (CBC) MONTREAL STORY This is an emerging trend across North America. "A bastion of Quebec journalism, La Presse, is undergoing a major change, severing ties with the powerful Desmarais family and becoming a non-profit entity [...]. The family will donate $50 million to the new entity." 5/8/18

  • Calgary Zoo's new pandas get celebrity treatment (CTV News) CALGARY STORY And...they're out! "The zoo spent $14.5 million on its new panda exhibit, which attracted about 2,800 visitors on its first day. The two adults, Er Shun and Da Mao, were loaned to Canada from China for 10 years. They spent their first five years in Toronto, where cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue were born." 5/7/18

  • Global philanthropy expert Pamala Wiepking selected as first scholar to hold Stead Family Chair in International Philanthropy (Lilly Family School of Philanthropy) "Award-winning researcher will expand understanding of global philanthropy, increase international engagement in Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy role." 5/7/18

  • Oil price hits $70 a barrel for first time since 2014 (CBC) ALBERTA STORY Woot! "The price of the North American oil benchmark has topped $70 a barrel for the first time in more than three years on Monday, as a looming decision on whether the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran is hanging over the market." 5/7/18

  • After eight lean years, Calgary’s arts groups are chasing dollars to keep the lights on (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "After nearly a decade of making cuts, arts organizations are operating “close to the bone” — and local groups say Calgary needs to catch up to funding levels in other municipalities to sustain the sector." 5/4/18

  • Tsuut'ina chief hopes traditional dinner, tour will build bridges with Calgary neighbours (CBC) CALGARY STORY It was a great event. ViTreo is proud to be working with Michelle Stanners and the Tsuut'ina Nation on this project. "The Tsuut'ina First Nation welcomed Calgary-area business and community leaders [...] for a traditional dinner and guided tour of the Nation's current and future development plans." 5/4/18

  • DEAN OF LAKELAND’S SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE SCIENCES WINS NATIONAL AWARD (My Lloydminter Now) LLOYDMINSTER STORY Congrats Josie! Congrats Lakeland College! "Dean of School of Agriculture Sciences Josie Van Lent has received the 2018 Gold Award of Excellence for her leadership in agriculture for Lakeland College." 5/4/18

  • Albertans' opinions differ most sharply along religious, educational lines (CBC) The interactive charts with the questions are fun to play with and the questions need to be asked. That said, I found few surprises here. Calgary and Edmonton are relatively consistent with more 'liberal' views (Edmonton slightly more liberal than Calgary but only slightly) while rural Alberta is consistently more 'conservative'. All three areas believe that Alberta's future is brighter than its past (i.e. the population is optimistic). I would love to hear what others think about this data. 5/4/18

  • 30 years of building philanthropy (Indiana University) Congrats to Gene Temple and everyone else. "This past year, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has celebrated its 30th anniversary as a center and school with multiple events, memorable quotes, words of inspiration, and more." 5/3/18

  • Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski expelled by Oscars academy (CBC) "The organization that bestows the Academy Awards announced Thursday that it has voted to expel two prominent members convicted of sexual offences, Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski, from its membership." 5/3/18

  • Sudbury Secondary School students giving back to community with philanthropy projects (CBC) SUDBURY STORY "Some teenagers in Sudbury have been learning about giving back to their community. They are learning about social issues and how charities can help address those problems. [...] The winning team [...] handed over a cheque of $5,000 to [...] the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth [SACY]." 5/2/18

  • Iconic Fort Calgary corporate Stampede event taking a ‘raincheck’ this year (Calgary's Business) CALGARY STORY "An iconic corporate Calgary Stampede event that has taken place at Fort Calgary for years is taking a 'raincheck' this year[.] 'One of the reasons is that the site at Fort Calgary needs some work. A few years ago we had rain and we had to cancel the event because of the conditions. We’re kind of at the stage where we’ve got to kind of fix this place up or work on it. So we’re working with Fort Calgary to remediate the site and that’s kind of where we’re at right now.'" 5/2/18

  • Honorary degree and Order of the University of Calgary recipients announced for June convocation (UToday) CALGARY STORY Nice list. Congrats to all but especially to Hayley Wickenheiser and my friend, Chan Wirasinghe. May 2018

Life and career hacks

  • The Crossroads of Should and Must (Medium) Oh my. This is really good. I won't give it away. You'll have to dig in yourself. Well, at least...you should. Or, maybe...you must. 4/8/18

  • How to Create Rare And Life-Changing Relationships With Anyone (even your heroes) (Thrive Global) I have a few transformational relationships and they are everything to me. I protect them. I want more. 4/5/18

  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Creative People (Arts + Marketing) I always give myself permission to suck. (Well, not really...but I will now). 4/4/18

  • How To Have Amazing Meetings (Better Humans) Like you, I have sat in hundreds (maybe thousands) of meetings and I have led about 25% of them. I learned a ton reading this article. I hope you do as well. 4/3/18

  • AirPods and the Three Stages of Apple Criticism (ReThink Reviews) Leave aside whether you love or hate Apple or its products, this article is an instructive reminder to all of us who create. Our creations, our ideas, often go through at least the first two stages. Regrettably, most do not survive the first stage. I was reminded that sometimes (maybe often) our ideas are actually ahead of themselves. If we can just stand firm long enough, the world will catch up. 4/2/18

  • On Writing Copy. (The Startup) Writing copy is a real skill. Like all skills, it can be learned. "If you can say it in less, say it in less." 3/30/18

  • The benefits of working out (it’s not what you think) (The Startup) Discipline. Focus. Metabolism (my favourite). Sleep. Repeat. 3/24/18

Studies and reports

  • New Report: Nonprofits—America’s Third Largest Workforce (GuideStar) After retail and manufacturing, nonprofits employ the largest number of Americans. Important report. "Employment in America’s nonprofit organizations continued to gain ground on other major industries in recent years according to a new report just issued by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies." 5/3/18

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic personalities

  • Calgary-based firm reinvents charity with tech efficiency (CBC) CALGARY STORY "As the founder and CEO of Calgary-based Benevity Inc., the 58-year-old wants to help as much as he can by providing his multinational corporate clients like Nike, Coca-Cola, Google and Apple with software solutions that more efficiently extract money, volunteer hours and general 'goodness' from employees. But he really wishes there were fewer than two million charitable organizations from around the world in his cloud-based database. And that they could be a little more organized in how they collect and spend money." 5/6/18

  • "Unique Needs." Chan Zuckerberg's Latest Move to Advance Personalized Learning (Inside Philanthropy) "It's no secret that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have made personalized learning the centerpiece of their education philanthropy [...]. Most recently, CZI further cemented its position as a leading backer of personalized learning with a $14 million donation to Chicago Public Schools and LEAP Innovations in support of the practice." 5/6/18

  • Dallas philanthropy titan, bridge namesake Margaret McDermott dies at 106 (ABC) RIP Mrs. McDermott. "Dallas is mourning the loss of a woman who was implemental in making the city's arts district what it is today. Margaret McDermott, a champion of the arts and education, philanthropist, and civic leader, died on May 3 at the age of 106 [...]." 5/3/18

Philanthropic controversy

  • Anti-LGBTQ group freaks out after Amazon blocks it from using donation system to raise money (Think Progress) "One of the nation’s largest anti-LGBTQ organizations claims that it’s been treated unfairly because of its homophobic, transphobic, and other derogatory positions. This week, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) became upset after learning that Amazon would not allow customers to make donations to the group through the AmazonSmile program, which gives a small percentage from the purchase price of eligible products to a customer’s chosen charity." 5/4/18

Trends and shifts

  • Off the Beaten Path: With Another Mega-Gift, the Regional Philanthropy Boom Rolls On (Inside Philanthropy) "We've come across many compelling examples of exploding regional philanthropy in 'flyover country' as of late, but recent news out [of] Wisconsin takes things to a whole new level. [The] recipient organization isn't a university or cultural institution as one might initially suspect. Rather, in a sign that the regional giving boom has the potential to lift many boats, the recipient is Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, which received a $100 million estate gift from David and Rita Nelson." 5/6/18

  • UNICEF Australia to Allow Donation Through Webmining (Cryptoslate) "UNICEF Australia is helping to pioneer a new advertising and donation revenue stream by allowing users to donate their computational power and mine cryptocurrency through their browsers." 5/4/18

  • AFP Statement on Principles and Values of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) and the 2018 International Conference on Fundraising (AFP) Well done AFP. Keep this up! "Through the IDEA Impact Program, AFP's goal is two-fold: eliminate the leadership gap in our profession by engaging, training, and supporting diverse communities; and ensure that everyone in the profession—EVERYONE—thrives in a professional culture of equity, equality, respect and fairness." 5/4/18

  • "A Powerful Connection." Behind Another Public Radio Mega-Gift (Inside Philanthropy) "The gifts to NYPR and KEXP speak to a growing donor desire for substantive, honest-to-goodness human interaction in a world dominated by algorithms, Russian bots, fears of A.I., fake news, and social media that seems to manipulate rather than connect us." 5/2/18

  • A Bold Vision for Philanthropy in 2038 (Ford Foundation) "In a blog post from the Grantmakers for Effective Organization’s (GEO) conference, Kathy Reich, Director of BUILD, maps out a vision for philanthropy for the next 20 years. Reich counts racial equity, collaboration with other funders, flexibility, and learning among the top practices critical to reaching philanthropic goals." 5/1/18

Tips and tricks

Large gifts

  • Rancher donates $2 million to take beef industry where it ‘needs to go’ (Alberta Farmer Express) CALGARY STORY This is a terrific gift. Thank you Mr. Simpson. "The cattle sector has made big advances in livestock health and wellness, but needs to do more, says a rancher who donated $2 million for a new research chair to make that happen. 'This has nothing to do with bad treatment of animals — it has to do with better treatment, better protocol, better records, and better looking after of the animals so when they get to market, they will be better for people to eat,' said John Simpson, who operates Simpson Ranching near Cochrane with his daughter Christie and son Luke." 5/8/18

  • Amazon offers $1 million donation match to Mary’s Place (Puget Sound Business Journal) "This is the third straight year that Amazon has made the donation to Mary's Place, which plans to hold the organization's annual fundraising luncheon Wednesday, May 9." 5/8/18

  • Humane society gets a $1 million donation for facilities update (Kent County News) "The board of directors of the Humane Society of Kent County recently received a gift of $1 million for the purpose of designing and building a new facility [...]. Michael R. Lawrence, of Philadelphia and Chestertown is the donor." 5/7/18

  • 96-Year-Old Secretary Quietly Amasses Fortune, Then Donates $8.2 Million (New York Times) What a great story! "Even by the dizzying standards of New York City philanthropy, a recent $6.24 million donation to the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side was a whopper — the largest single gift from an individual to the social service group in its 125-year history. It was not donated by some billionaire benefactor, but by a frugal legal secretary from Brooklyn who toiled for the same law firm for 67 years until she retired at age 96 and died not long afterward in 2016. Her name was Sylvia Bloom and even her closest friends and relatives had no idea she had amassed a fortune over the decades. She did this by shrewdly observing the investments made by the lawyers she served." 5/6/18

  • Extraordinary Donation of $1 million for Chez Doris Day Shelter (NewsWire) MONTREAL STORY "Chez Doris women's day shelter is to receive an exceptional donation of $1 million from Mr. Andrew Harper, a retired Montreal businessman [...]. In honour of this gift, Chez Doris' building situated at 1430 Chomedey in Montreal, now bears the name of Carole and Andrew Harper." 5/6/18

  • $15M Donation Spurs New Name For Downtown Med Center (Inside Indiana Business) "The $70 million medical facility being built in downtown Evansville has a new name. The Stone Family Center for Health Sciences, named in honor of Connecticut-based SS&C Technologies Inc. founder Bill Stone following a $15 million donation, is a collaboration among Indiana University, the University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana." 5/4/18

  • Donation of $15 million becomes largest in Southwestern’s history (Austin New-Statesman) "Jack Garey, a philanthropist and retired businessman, has donated $15 million to Southwestern University in Georgetown for need-based scholarships, faculty chairs and other purposes, delivering the largest cash gift in the school’s 178-year history." 5/4/18

  • Bill Gates pumps $158 million into push to combat US poverty (AP News) "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it will spend $158 million combating American poverty over the next four years. It comes as the foundation moves deeper into U.S. issues after largely focusing on global health and development." 5/3/18

  • Westmont College Receives $2 Million Donation (Santa Barbara Independent) "An anonymous $2 million donation to Westmont College will help the private Christian school establish its Center for Student Success." Westmont College, founded in 1937, is an interdenominational Christian liberal arts college in Montecito near Santa Barbara, California. 5/3/18

  • Thompson gets $4M donation for new ICU (Finger Lakes Times) "The Sands family and Constellation Brands are pledging $4 million toward a new intensive care unit at F.F. Thompson Hospital." 5/3/18

  • $1 million donation breathing new life into Paine College amid financial troubles (CBS) "Peter Knox handed over a one million dollar check to the private school [...]." 5/2/18

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