Weekly News Recap: June 28, 2019

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, speaks at a press conference to announce the expansion of mental health and addiction recovery supports across Alberta Friday, June 21, 2019. Dean Pilling/Postmedia

What we think, we become. -- Buddha

This week's highlights

  • Another research study to participate in #EngagingWomenDonors #TwoJunipers
  • Melinda Gates comments on a video by ViTreo Associate Melody Song #Wow
  • A "Jeopardy!" champ makes a classy move, Canadian universities ranked, and Recovery College becomes (rightfully) a thing #WeHeartMentalHealth
  • Statistics Canada opens up a permanent portal into Indigenous data #BookmarkThis
  • Gossip is bad, sharing is good and five other life hacks
  • The CIA acting ethically...no way! #Way
  • A profile of a leader in Canadian philanthropy #OneOfTheTwoJunipers
  • Facebook launches a currency and a warrior heals its own wounds #Libra #Redemption
  • Entrepreneurs give more than non-entrepreneurs #FourTimesMore
  • An Indigenous nation in Cape Breton and a gold mine in Nunavut each make $1 million gifts to their communities #Nunavut!
  • A $50 million gift to support the creative industries #MitchellTrusts
  • ...And so much more

Research study participation

  • Innovative practices in donor engagement of women (AFP Canada Foundation for Philanthropy) CANADIAN CONTENT The Foundation is funding a research project on engaging women donors and feminist approaches to fundraising. My friend, Juniper Locilento (highlighted later in the recap) sent me the request. The principal researcher is Juniper Glass. The likelihood that two Junipers would be involved in this adventure seems extremely low. But, clearly, not impossible :-) Ok, back to the topic. "[Juniper Glass] is looking for fundraisers to interview and recommendations of great women donor engagement programs at nonprofits in Canada. If you are interested in contributing your knowledge and views to this project, please share a bit about yourself in the form at this link." Note, the deadline to indicate interest is July 8. Get on it! June 2019

Right place, right time

  • VIDEO: Melinda Gates, Julia Gillard and Winnie Byanyima talk gender equality | The Stream (YouTube) CANADIAN CONTENT This video shown on Al Jazeera, features an introductory video by ViTreo's own Melody Song. This video is then commented on by these four amazing women. Very cool. "Against the backdrop of the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, Canada three high-profile women delegates join the programme for a candid conversation about leadership, their careers and the importance of mentorship." 6/4/19


  • Second act: Countdown begins for return of Roxy Theatre on 124th Street (CBC) EDMONTON STORY Nice. Can't wait. Love the Roxy. "The return of the Roxy to 124th Street is a step closer following Monday's official ground-breaking for a new $12.5-million facility on the on the site where the old theatre burned down in 2015." 6/24/19

  • Williams Lake running out of park spots for memorial benches (CBC) WILLIAMS LAKE STORY "For now, the memorial bench program will continue, but city staff are hoping to find alternatives so they can accommodate people who still want memorials [...]. A second option the city has been offering is memorial trees, where a tree is purchased in a park or on city property and has a plaque placed on it." 6/24/19

  • Trico celebrates 10,000 homes by giving back to the community (Calgary Sun) CALGARY STORY Trico, you are a great philanthropic leader. Thanks! "In recognition of building more than 10,000 homes for families in the Calgary area and as a way of saying thanks and giving back to the community, Trico Homes launched its 10,000 Homes Giving Back campaign on June 15. The campaign runs through to July 15, during which time the builder will be donating $1,000 from every home sold to five local charities, with a goal of raising $50,000 over the 30-day period." 6/22/19

  • After heart surgery, Jagger rocks Chicago's Soldier Field (CBC) To quote one of ViTreo's associates, "He is amazing." I could not agree more. Wishing you continued health and energy Mick! "An energetic Mick Jagger skipped, spun, sprinted and pranced Friday night as the Rolling Stones launched their North American tour at Chicago's Soldier Field. The 75-year-old showed no sign of ill health three months after the tour was postponed because a doctor said he required medical treatment. By all visible indications, Jagger was Jagger." 6/22/19

  • Alberta invests $3M to expand mental health drop-in, counselling programs (National Post) ALBERTA STORY Kudos to Calgary's CMHA and its leader, Executive Director Laureen MacNeil, for developing and promoting the "Recovery College" concept. "Alberta is investing $3 million to expand free courses and drop-in help for those struggling with mental health and addictions. Associate Health Minister Jason Luan says the money will expand Recovery Colleges to five locations across the province." 6/21/19

  • University of Toronto ranked best university in Canada (Daily Hive) TORONTO STORY Congrats UofT! Well deserved. "According to the QS World University Rankings, U of T took the first place ranking in Canada, and 29th place in the world." 6/20/19

  • 'Jeopardy!' champ James Holzhauer makes pancreatic cancer donation in Alex Trebek's name (NBC) Awesome move James. "'Jeopardy!' champion James Holzhauer made a donation to a pancreatic cancer research walk in his hometown in honor of Alex Trebek. Holzhauer recently donated $1,109.14, to the Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk in Naperville, Illinois, where he used to live. His donation was accompanied by the message, 'For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors.'" 6/20/19

  • Young, educated and growing: Group coins YEG region brand in bid to attract business (CBC) EDMONTON STORY I like the new consortium name and love the play on words. Good work Edmonton! "In a survey that asked 22 international companies what they knew about Edmonton, 80 per cent said they'd never heard of the city. Those who did recognize the name thought of it as a cold place, disconnected from the rest of Canada. Edmonton Global, a newly formed economic group composed of 15 area cities and municipalities, is launching a new campaign to change that and put the capital region on the map." 6/20/19

  • U of A holds strong amid tougher global competition in latest QS rankings (Folio) EDMONTON STORY Congrats! "The University of Alberta held fast as one of the top universities in the country but joined its Canadian peers in losing ground internationally, according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings. The annual ranking placed the U of A fourth nationally, but saw Alberta’s flagship university drop slightly from 109 to 113, while maintaining its rank of 37th among the best 183 post-secondary institutions in North America." 6/19/19

  • U of A among world’s top 90 in research output and impact (Folio) EDMONTON STORY Nice work! "The University of Alberta cracked the top 90 in a world ranking of research output and the resulting impact thanks to strength in agriculture, medicine and social sciences, as well as an upward trend across the rest of the six considered fields." 6/19/19

  • Philanthropists George and Kathy Dembroski donate $500K to new Canadian Canoe Museum (Global News) PETERBOROUGH STORY Canada's love of the canoe just got stronger. Nice gift. Thanks! "Longtime philanthropists George and Kathy Dembroski have made a $500,000 commitment to the construction of a new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough." 6/19/19

  • UofL Appoints New Dean of Health Sciences (Lethbridge News Now) LETHBRIDGE STORY Congratulations Dr. Wood. "Dr. Robert Wood has been appointed as the Dean of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Health Sciences." 6/19/19

  • Kingston receives the Order of Hockey in Canada (GoDinos.com) CALGARY STORY Congrats to all! "Former University of Calgary Dinos men's hockey coach George Kingston was one of three Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada for 2019, recognized [...] at the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf. Kingston joined the University of Calgary men's hockey team as an assistant in 1967 before taking over the program the following year. He served as head coach for the next 16 years, posting a 245-128 record and leading Calgary to five Canada West championships." 6/19/19

First Peoples of Canada

  • Statistics on Indigenous peoples (Statistics Canada) CANADIAN STORY Oh, StatsCan, we adore you! This data portal is a godsend to anyone who needs to access data on the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Woot! Bookmark this! 6/25/19

  • Blackfoot Oral Stories Database brought to life by ii' taa'poh'to'p grant (UToday) CALGARY STORY I heart this. Nice work UCalgary! "In the Blackfoot tradition, stories are shared as a way to document history and to teach important life lessons. Siksika Elder and Horn Society member Natóóhkitopi Fred Breaker tells us, 'Our culture is centred around an oral tradition, and our people learn orally, through storytelling. The stories were given to us, passed down through generations, sometimes from the animals we used to converse with, and sometimes from the Creator.'" 6/24/19

Books to read

  • Medicine Makes a Wonderful Life (University of Calgary) CALGARY STORY I am putting it on my reading list. "Likely no Albertan has spent more time studying and writing stories about the history of medicine in the province than Dr. Robert Lampard, MD. The author and co-author of several published books is back with a new passion project, his latest book highlighting the life and career of Dr. William Cochrane, MD." 6/24/19

Seven life and career hacks -- one for each day of the week

  1. David Langiulli: Fundraising Leadership - Have You Heard? They're Ending Gossip. No Way! Way. (AFP Global) I hate gossip. I also love gossip. Great article with some excellent suggestions. 6/23/19

  2. The Power of Sharing Your Creative Process (Better Humans) Show and tell for adults. Turns out, it works. 6/19/19

  3. Five Myths that Are Holding You Back from Success (Personal Growth) We do tend to think we live in a black and white world. Turns out (no surprise) we don't. 6/19/19

  4. Why Good Enough Is Better than Perfect (Personal Growth) It took me a while to come to terms with this. Luckily, early in my career, I did. Excellence occurs in both realms. 6/11/19

  5. The Secret To Being Helpful While Not Sacrificing All Your Time (The Post-grad survival guide) I really like the 'indexing your advice' idea. 6/5/19

  6. The Psychological Reason You Need to Spend Time Distracted (The Ascent) Counterintuitive? Yep. But the best things often are. 4/26/19

  7. Control Less, Trust More (The Liberationist) I have seen others do this. I want to do this. 3/19/19

Uncommon knowledge


  • Giving with trust: how philanthropy can transform power relations (Open Global Rights) "There has been a lot of talk recently about decolonizing wealth and how philanthropy keeps repeating patterns that are rooted in oppression. If we want philanthropy that is not merely transactional but transformative, we need to pass on the decision-making power along with the money." 6/20/19

  • How much wealth should billionaires donate? All of it (Salon) "Billionaires are a hot topic today because their rapidly rising wealth is seen as a threat to our democracy. But the problem may be bigger than the solutions currently being debated and our expectations around billionaire philanthropy may need to change as a result. For example, even if both the proposed wealth tax from Senator Elizabeth Warren and the income tax from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were passed into law, billionaires would almost certainly see their net worth stay the same or even continue to rise." 6/19/19

Philanthropic personalities

  • 20 Minutes With: Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki on Experiential Philanthropy (Barrons) "Under his leadership, Montblanc has strengthened its experiential philanthropy by translating doing-good business into social and economic objectives. Such programs include promoting innovative thinking and arts through the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, assisting in the fight against HIV/AIDS through the sale of the limited edition of (Montblanc M) RED pens, as well as donating funds to the Research Center For Alpine Ecosystems for climate change, communication, and education initiatives." 6/24/19

  • Member Profile: Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE (AFP Global) Juniper is a leader, a talented fundraiser, and a colleague of mine. She is already a superstar. I expect more of the same. Nice work Juniper! "Trained as an opera singer, Juniper began her fundraising career in the arts, working with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Tapestry New Opera Works, and the Canadian Opera Company to nurture new audiences and secure public sector, and philanthropic support." 6/25/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Notre Dame reconstruction on track despite delays in donation (Asian Age) "The billionaire French donors who promised flashy donations to rebuild Notre Dame after a devastating fire haven’t paid a penny yet toward the restoration of the French national monument. Instead, it’s been mainly American and French individuals, via charitable foundations at Notre Dame, who have made the first donations, paying the bills and salaries for the up to 150 workers employed by the cathedral since the April 15 fire. This month, the foundations are handing over the first private reconstruction payment of $4 million." 6/21/19

  • Regina YMCA considering closing 1 of 3 locations due to debt (CBC) REGINA STORY Eek! We shared the first part of this story in last week's recap. "YMCA of Regina says it is considering closing one of its three locations due to accumulated debt. The organization says if a change is not made, the YMCA will become insolvent in 12 months." 6/20/19

  • FACEBOOK’S LIBRA REVEALS SILICON VALLEY’S NAKED AMBITION&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl) (Wired) "AS DAVID MAMET once wrote, 'Everybody needs money. That’s why they call it money!' And when you have more money than anyone could ever need, you call it Libra. Facebook [...] introduced a comprehensive, borderless economic system for its platform, which is based on a new cryptocurrency, Libra." 6/19/19

  • Corporate Wolves in Academic Sheepskins, or, a Billionaire’s Raid on the University of Tulsa (The Nation) "This sordid tale of crony capitalism under the guise of public philanthropy is another chapter in the corporatization of higher ed." 6/18/19

  • Wounded Warrior Project Heals Relationships and Reaps Fundraising Rewards (Nonprofit Quarterly) This is an excellent story of nonprofit redemption. With leadership, intention, honesty and humility, almost any wrong can be righted. "[The] Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) ran into a buzzsaw of its own making in 2015 when its constituency became disenchanted with the way it was being managed—specifically, with evidence of 'lavish spending.' This threw what had been a remarkable multi-year growth trajectory not just into a stall but into reverse [...]. However, in contrast to Susan G. Komen, which continued to lose revenue even as it denied any wrongdoing, WWP made a variety of changes, including a virtual clean sweep of leadership, and by the end of FY2018 its donations, were beginning to climb again, ending the year at $246 million donated, a 16 percent increase." 6/17/19


Trends and shifts

  • BitPay Supports Over 100 Non-Profits Processing $37 Million in Donations Since 2017 (Yahoo) For any who believe that cryptocurrencies might be a fad, $37 million is not nothing. "BitPay, the largest global blockchain payments provider, today shared the company processed more than $37 million in cryptocurrency-denominated donations since 2017. " 6/24/19

  • Slow out of the gate, university grads fare better than other Canadians: study (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Education is and remains one of our most important values. "Young people entering the job market straight out of university may hit a bit of bumpy road at the start. But while university grads may find the job hunt slow out of the gate, they fare better than average in the labour market just a few years down the road, according to a new report." 6/22/19

  • Gender Norms Don’t Get Enough Attention from Funders. Here’s How Philanthropy Can do Better (Inside Philanthropy) Diversity is a very broad spectrum. And it needs to be. "In many ways, social justice funding stands at a crossroads. The field has traditionally been animated by a strong impulse toward racial equity, using philanthropy as a means to challenge the infinite ways that that opportunity in America continues to be stratified by race and class. At the same time, funders themselves are increasingly aware that race and class are 'not enough,' that to really address complex and intractable issues of equity, there must be more. But what might that be?" 6/20/19

  • VIDEO: Donation Station meters in downtown Las Vegas help fight homelessness (Fox News) Pretty cool! "Since their inception in 2010, Donation Station meters have been placed in and around Fremont Street in an effort to inspire change with your change." 6/20/19

  • Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists: How They Give (AFP Global) "The average household donation of an entrepreneur is more than four times that of a non-entrepreneur, according to a new report released by Fidelity Charitable. With more than 27 million privately-held businesses in the United States, business founders, owners and investors make up much of the economic fabric of the country. However, little is known about how entrepreneurs approach giving." Thanks to Andrea McManus for sharing the article. 6/13/19

Reports and studies

  • Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector (Senate of Canada) CANADIAN STORY Great work by all. Special thanks to our friend and colleague, Senator Terry Mercer. "Why is it so hard to do great works of charity? This was the question the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector (the committee) set out to answer. Struck in January 2018, the committee was asked to examine and report on Canada’s charitable and non-profit sector. The task was daunting, but urgent. While the sector is resilient and innovative, its potential is limited by what are seen by many stakeholders as complex, outdated rules and a lack of coordinated support within the federal government." 6/20/19

Large gifts

Welcome to our recap of the week's news, articles, and information of note. ViTreo Group Inc. provides this information for the benefit of our clients, associates, staff, partners, and stakeholders. The content is collected and curated by ViTreo partner Vincent Duckworth. If you would like to submit a link for consideration, please send an email to info@vitreogroup.ca

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