Weekly News Recap: May 19, 2017

Arlene Adamson, CEO Silvera for Seniors, is awaiting funding from the RESOLVE campaign and provincial government to start work on another residence. Submitted photo.

Happiness leaves no bad after-taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it brings no regret, entails no remorse. True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of pleasure may leave a barbed sting, [as] an ever-present source of anguish. -- Geologist James Talmage

Books to read


  • Homeless have chance to 'start over' in Radisson Heights apartment (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY What a great story! ViTrēo is proud to be working with RESOLVE on this campaign. "After being homeless for a decade, Dan Zeus will soon celebrate almost three years off the streets. 'I thought it would never happen. I thought I would be one of the few that fell between the cracks,' said Zeus. 'It’s one step toward regaining my life and focusing on which way to go next.' Much like Zeus, 23 vulnerable Calgarians will get a chance to “start over” at Prelude, the latest supportive house built through the RESOLVE Campaign, a collaborative initiative between nine partner agencies dedicated to ending homelessness." 5/16/17
  • Canada’s top charities for high-net-worth donors (Globe and Mail) CANADIAN STORY Another great story featuring Calgary's own Gena Rotstein. "With so many worthy charities out there, how do you pick one, or several, to support? Feeling an emotional connection to a cause is one thing, but you want to ensure that your dollars are being used effectively." 5/15/17
  • Parker: Resolve ramps up fundraising for final year of housing campaign (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY ViTrēo is proud to be supporting Resolve as they move into their final year of their campaign. "The Resolve campaign to end homelessness has entered its final year of fundraising. It will officially end March 31, 2018, although pledges can extend until the end of March 2021." 5/12/17



  • Joe Oliver: Green political activists will be helping themselves to your taxes, thanks to the Liberals (Financial Post) Joe Oliver believes that charities should not be able to make political statements because of their tax status. "Last week brought another reason for the chattering class to celebrate. The federal Liberal government removed a gag order on all those pristine charitable organizations that had their freedom of expression suppressed by the previous, controlling Conservative government. The reign of fear and repression is over. Charities are free at last. But free to do what? Well, activists will be free to pursue their political objectives, while avoiding taxes and attracting donations subsidized by the taxpayer. And here I was worried something inappropriate was going on!" Thanks to Scott Decksheimer for sharing this story. 5/9/17
  • Marni Soupcoff: I ran a charity for years. Joe Oliver is wrong about the damage his government did (National Post) Marni Soupcoff disagrees with Joe Oliver. "I think his piece does a disservice to anyone who would like to give thoughtful consideration to the most effective and ethical way of overseeing the funding of charities in Canada. Given what a precarious position free speech already holds in this country, particularly when it comes to politically unpopular views and ideas, it’s especially unfortunate that Oliver and others have chosen to characterize the Liberals’ proposed changes to the CRA’s charity rules as being the handiwork of offensive leftie activists." Thanks to Scott Decksheimer for sharing this story. 5/15/17

Uncommon knowlendge

Life and career hacks

  • Winning the Clients You Want (uxdesign.cc) Something in this for everybody but especially those of us who make our living at pitching what we are great at to amazing clients. "Being good at everything means you’re probably not great at anything. So don’t pretend to be the jack-of-all-trades. Know who you are and who you’re not."5/11/17

Trends and shifts

Philanthropic personalities

  • Technology for the People: What's Microsoft Philanthropies Been Up To? (Inside Philanthropy) I have to admit, I was not aware. "It may come as a surprise to some, but Microsoft Philanthropies is a fairly new outfit. While the tech giant has a long history of corporate giving, it launched Microsoft Philanthropies less than two years ago with the goal of building a powerful organization within the company to chart more ambitious philanthropy on a worldwide basis." 5/14/17
  • A Look At George Soros’ Global Philanthropic Efforts (Paths of Illumination) Without a doubt, one of the most prolific and important philanthropists of our age. "George Soros is a world-leading philanthropist having donated over $12 billion to various charitable initiatives. Over the years, the hedge fund expert has supported numerous people and organizations across the globe. The recipients of the money have been fighting for various causes such as freedom of expression, government accountability, transparency, equality, and justice promotion. Soros’ donations are mainly channeled to people facing discrimination." 5/11/17*

Studies and reports

Philanthropic controversy

  • Former treasurer of Edmonton children's charity charged in $200,000 fraud (CBC) This is a follow up to a story we first shared in our February 3, 2017 recap. "Edmonton police have charged the former treasurer of the Children's Heart Society charity in connection with fraudulent transactions totalling more than $206,000. Asa Wedman, 40, has been charged with two counts of theft over $5,000 and two counts of fraud over $5,000[...]. The charges follow a six-month joint investigation by the Edmonton Police Service and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission." 5/17/17
  • Nenshi defends tax receipts for donors helping repay city for his legal fees (CBC) CALGARY STORY That Mayor Nenshi does not see anything challenging about this is problematic. In fundraising, the appearance of impropriety is as bad as impropriety itself. To be clear, raising funds to support his legal bills is not the issue. Using the charitable status of the City to enable and, in effect, use the charitable tax incentives to support what is clearly not a charitable activity, is. 5/12/17
  • Should Williamson Schools accept a $1.2 million donation to Franklin High? (The Tennessean) "Franklin High School could receive $1.2 million for athletic facility improvements — but the donation comes with a catch. To receive the money, Williamson County Schools would have to ensure families in Stephens Valley — an upcoming mega-housing development near Natchez Trace Parkway — can attend Grassland Elementary School, Grassland Middle School and Franklin High School for the next 10 years." 5/12/17

Large gifts

  • Ledcor Donates $250,000 to Innovative Safety Program at University of Alberta (Canada Newswire) EDMONTON STORY Having worked with David while he was dean of engineering, I am so pleased to see gifts flowing to this school named in his and Joan's honour. "The Ledcor Group of Companies is proud to be donating $250,000 to the University of Alberta's new David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management (ESRM). As the first of its kind in Canada, the University's new program integrates safety and risk management into the curriculum of all its engineering students." 5/17/17
  • Donation helps Wanuskewin edge closer to $40M campaign goal (Saskatoon Star Phoenix) SASKATOON STORY Great story. Thank you Deloitte! "A campaign aimed at making Saskatchewan’s Wanuskewin Heritage Park an international cultural landmark is on its way to meeting its $40 million goal, and a donation of $500,000 has helped edge it even closer to the target. [Representatives] from the Thundering Ahead campaign, the Saskatoon Tribal Council and Wanuskewin Heritage Park [announced] the donation from professional service firm Deloitte." 5/17/17
  • Maine family gives $50 million ‘transformational’ gift to Bates College capital campaign (Portland Press Herald) "A Maine family with fourth-generation ties to Bates College has donated $50 million to the Lewiston school, the largest single gift in its history and probably the largest cash gift to a college in Maine [...]. The donation came from Alison Grott Bonney and Michael Bonney, who both graduated from Bates in 1980 [...]. The gift was announced as part of a five-year, $300 million capital campaign[...]." Bates College is a private liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine. The college was founded by abolitionist statesmen and established with funds from textile tycoon, Benjamin Bates. 5/16/17
  • St. Mary’s business school welcomes $2 million donation (MySanAntonio.com) "The Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s University will soon bolster its risk management program, thanks to a $2 million gift from a pair of alumni [...]. Tom and Leti Contreras, who respectively earned degrees from St. Mary’s in 1988 and 1989, made the donation, bringing their contributions to their alma mater to more than $3 million since 2014." St. Mary's University is a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution located in downtown San Antonio, Texas. 5/15/17
  • $1M donation will turn school into community center (MLive) "Bonna Vanderlyn is well known for lending a helping hand when the community needs it. But a $1 million donation to turn an elementary school into a community center came as a surprise to many in the Hartford, including Andrew Hubbard, superintendent of Hartford Public Schools." 5/13/17
  • Billionaire Michael Dell Announces $1 Billion Commitment To Support Social Entrepreneurs, Nonprofits (Forbes) "Michael Dell is committing an additional $1 billion to the endowment of his Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the nonprofit announced Thursday. 'We want to accelerate the impact that the foundation is having,' Dell said during an online broadcast Thursday, discussing the both the donation as well as new research published by the Dell Foundation entitled, 'A Philanthropist's Guide to the Future.'" 5/13/17
  • Aldo shoe empire founder donates $25-million to McGill (Globe and Mail) MONTREAL STORY "In receiving one of its largest donations, McGill University announced plans [...] for a new retail management school with global ambitions through a $25-million gift from the family foundation of a Moroccan-born immigrant who came to Montreal in the 1960s and built an international footwear empire. The proposed school, which comes amid technology-driven turmoil in retailing, is expected to combine cross-disciplinary studies that tap on-campus expertise in artificial intelligence, psychology and business with a commitment to hands-on learning for students, starting in the fall of 2018." 5/12/17
  • $1 million donation to help end homelessness in Virginia (Wavy.com) "[Virginia Supportive Housing] announced it received an anonymous $1 million donation. It’s the largest donation from an individual in the organization’s 29-year history. [It] will help them reinvent the historic community. Eighty-percent of that money will be used for the expansion and renovation efforts at New Clay House." 5/12/17
  • NAIT receives $1-million donation from computer tech alumnus (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY "Northern Alberta Institute of Technology is establishing a new centre for entrepreneurship thanks to a $1-million donation from a distinguished alumnus. 'NAIT is where I learned my entrepreneurship skills,' Ashif Mawji said at the school’s Centre for Applied Technology on Friday. 'It’s helped me learn how to run a business, how to manage my finances, manage a budget … and also to learn to give back to the community.' The donation is the largest gift made by a NAIT graduate in the school’s history and will launch the Mawji Centre for New Venture and Student Entrepreneurship." 5/12/17

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