Weekly News Recap: June 7, 2019

Multimillion dollar boost for CAWST from David O'Brien and Geoffrey Cumming. Left to right: Geoffrey Cumming, Shauna Curry (CEO, CAWST), David O'Brien (Board Chair, CAWST). Photo: CAWST

In a world awash in information, the curator is king. -- Eliot Peper

Recap Highlights

  • Winter is done but some gorgeous photos bring us back. #OnlyForAMoment
  • AFP is bringing AI to your career.
  • Harold Ballard in lego and the Belzbergs remind us why we need the arts.
  • A new name for the University of Calgary's Native Centre. #ILoveIt
  • A killer summer booklist and how to de-bureaucratize your office.
  • An Alabama school gives back $21.5 million and a donor advised fund gets sued. #Ouch
  • An e-sports bar (not kidding), why warmer offices are more productive and Canada's new digital charter. #WeHeartTrends
  • What a week for Canadian gift-giving: $12 million matching gift to CAWST, $100 million to Sickkids, $3.9 million to Calgary Health Trust, and Langely Memorial Hospital goes over the top with it's $15 million fundraising gala. #HubbaHubba


AFP Global

  • AFP360° Launch Your Career in the Right Direction! (AFP Global) 80 minutes of artificial intelligence career coaching! I'm in! (I'm serious) "AFP360° is an online career builder and management tool provided to all AFP members through our partnership with Korn Ferry and its Advance program. The Standard set of services in AFP360° is provided free of charge to members!" May 2019

  • AFP Insights: Curated information on fundraising and philanthropy. (AFP Global) CANADIAN CONTENT Yep, at ViTreo, we are pretty happy with these insights. "AFP Insights is a searchable, browsable repository of knowledge about fundraising and philanthropy. The collection attempts to consolidate the best local, national, and international thinking in areas that impact our work – demographic changes, digital transformation, innovation, and diversity & inclusion." May 2019

  • AFP Faculty Training Academy (AFP Global) This course fundamentally changed how I present and share knowledge with my peers and adults in general. Dr. BJ Bischoff is the gold standard trainer of trainers. She teaches the CIA and she teaches AFP (I was one of her students). If you want to be a better fundraising leader, consider taking this course. There are courses in July and November. "This 2-day course is AFP's 'train the trainer' program that helps ensure quality in education by providing formal training for prospective faculty and instructors of AFP's professional development programs." May 2019


  • Edmonton turning downtown parking lots into Central Park (CBC) EDMONTON STORY Joni Mitchell would be proud. "The City of Edmonton plans to do the opposite of paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. It's going to transform four existing downtown parking lots into a 1.25-hectare park." 6/4/19

  • Former Leafs owner Harold Ballard's colourful life transformed to Lego legend by Alberta family (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Leaf fans rejoice! Hockey fans enjoy. "Now that [Joel] Cadieux and his children have built dioramas of those iconic Ballard stories, he's releasing pictures of them, one a day, for 100 days, on Twitter and Instagram." 6/4/19

  • University Of Calgary’s School Of Architecture, Planning And Landscape Opens Downtown Design Lab (Canadian Architect) CALGARY STORY Fantastic repurposing of the former Central Library. Nice work UofC! Nice work CMLC! "The hub was made possible through a partnership between the school, formerly known as the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS), and East Village master developer Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), announced in December. The downtown location is in the Castell Building, the city’s former Central Library, with a five-year lease agreement generously provided by CMLC." 6/3/19

  • Patron's donation means major renovation, and name change, for Eric Harvie Theatre (Calgary Herald) BANFF STORY What a phenomenal gift to us all. Thank you to Jenny Belzberg and to the entire Belzberg family. "'Once you’ve had food on the table and shelter, everybody needs the arts. It just makes for a better world.' Those words, spoken about her beloved Banff Centre, could just as well explain Jenny Belzberg’s longtime involvement in a variety of arts and culture in Alberta. In honour of that commitment — which includes being a former chairman of the Banff Centre — her children have made what is said to be one of the largest private gifts the post-secondary arts institute has ever received. The centre and the family have declined to publicize the amount but Banff Centre’s vice-president of marketing and communication Rosemary Thompson calls it 'transformational.'" 6/2/19

  • Calgary's Bonnie DuPont, Frances Wright to receive Alberta Order of Excellence (Calgary Herald) ALBERTA STORY Congratulations to all. "Two Calgarians are among a list of eight people who will receive the Alberta Order of Excellence later this year. Bonnie DuPont and Frances Wright will both receive the province’s highest honour in a ceremony in October. Olympian Beckie Scott of Canmore is also one of the Albertans being recognized." 5/31/19

  • Canada Life makes major donation to Montreal Heart Institute (Insurance Journal) MONTREAL STORY "Canada Life has donated $800,000 to the Montreal Heart Institute. The money will be used in the construction of the final phase of the Institute's EPIC Center – one of the largest cardiology prevention and cardiovascular disease rehabilitation centers in North America." 5/31/19*

  • Data showing no rise in life expectancy due to opioids need to be Canadian election issue, B.C. doctor says (CBC) CANADIAN STORY This trend occurred in the U.S. last year. It is chilling to realize that our life expectancy rates have flattened overall due to opioid-related overdoses. "Life expectancy rates in Canada have stopped increasing for the first time in four decades, says a Statistics Canada report that blames opioid-related overdoses for deaths in British Columbia, followed by Alberta." 5/30/19

  • New Brunswick's 'quiet' soldier honoured in Heritage Minute (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Maj. MacNaughton, thank you for your service. "A new Heritage Minute honours the wartime contributions of New Brunswick's storied North Shore Regiment just in time for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. The short film, by Historica Canada, focuses on the story of Maj. Archie MacNaughton, a Black River Bridge farmer who twice left home and family to serve in battle — first as an enlisted man in the Great War and then again as a commissioned officer in the Second World War." 5/30/19

  • Extensive collection of Canadian children’s books now available at U of A (Folio) EDMONTON STORY What a treasure! "A collection of almost every children’s book published in Canada since 1976 is now available through a library at the University of Alberta. The books are part of a collection curated by the Toronto-based non-profit Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC), which has books in regional collections in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax along with the one at the U of A. The collection at the U of A is made up of 15,800 items and has been, since its creation in 1976, a depository collection: its items could only be accessed within the library and couldn’t be lent out. But now, that policy has changed." 5/30/19

  • Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke sends personal thank you to Redditors who raised over $63,000 for brain injury/stroke rehabilitation (Celebgum) For the record, I happen to like Reddit and Redditors. "For those of you who think Reddit is nothing more than a wretched hive of scum and villainy and its users, Redditors, no more than a bunch of basement-dwelling bellyachers and ineffectual flunkees — you’re not entirely correct. This was recently evinced by a fundraiser for SameYou, a charity which seeks to improve rehabilitation services after brain injury and stroke for young adults, which started on Game of Thrones-oriented subreddit r/freefolk. The fundraiser has (as of this writing) recently reached £60,018 or $75,694.10 US dollars on JustGiving.com." 5/30/19

  • INFOGRAPHIC: Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector e-consultation findings (Senate of Canada) CANADIAN STORY Yes, the Senate of Canada is using an infographic! How great is that? "The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector was established to examine the impact of the charitable and non-profit sector, and the rules that govern it. As part of its study, the committee held an e-consultation in the fall of 2018 to provide an opportunity for additional stakeholders to contribute to the committee’s study. The findings offer insights into the sector’s makeup, work and contributions." 5/17/19

  • WATCH: R440 000 and counting - Nkosikho Mbele 'overwhelmed' by crowdfunding campaign (News24 - South Africa) Paying it forward is always a great idea. Sometimes it even results in stories like this. And this is a great story. "When petrol attendant Nkosikho Mbele assisted customer, Monet van Deventer with a mere R100 he had no idea that his one act of kindness would return tenfold as a half a million rand [$45,000CAD]. The 28-year-old who inspired many South African’s to dig deep into their pockets towards his crowd fund had no idea that his benevolence would soon turn him into a national treasure. In addition to the almost half a million rand he received from his crowd fund, he also received R500 000 from Shell to donate to a charity of his choice." 4/6/19

First Peoples of Canada

  • Class of 2019: Native Centre gifted a new name (UToday) CALGARY STORY Congrats! Beautiful name. "The official unveiling of the new name for the Native Centre was a pivotal moment held during the Circle of Honour. The new name, Writing Symbols Lodge, had been gifted in a naming ceremony on April 16 by Traditional Knowledge Keepers from Treaty 7 Territory and beyond." 6/3/19

  • B.C. museum returns Indigenous poles in spirit of repatriation (CBC) VICTORIA STORY Many of us have visited these poles. I love that they are being repatriated. Nice work Royal BC Museum! "Two Indigenous poles that have long stood at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria are being returned to the communities that inspired their creation. The replica Haida and Kwakwaka'wakw poles have been part of the museum's Thunderbird Park for decades." 5/30/19

  • Louis Levi Oakes, last WW II Mohawk code talker, dies at 94 (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Elder Oakes, thank you for your service. We will not see your like again. RIP. "Louis Levi Oakes, the last Mohawk code talker — using the language to encode messages for Allied forces during the Second World War — died Tuesday at age 94. The veteran was one of 17 Mohawks from Akwesasne, which straddles the Quebec, Ontario and New York state borders, who received code-talker training while stationed in Louisiana. Kanien'kéha, the Mohawk language, was one of 33 Indigenous languages used during the war to send encoded messages between Allied forces so enemies could not understand what was being said." 5/29/19

Books to read

  • Best Books Summer 2019 (The What) It has been a while since I put in a list of books but when Gina Pell's list comes out, it never disappoints. I read and curate from Gina's husbands daily NextDraft newsletter (it's also brilliant). I am fascinated by all of these books but a couple stand out. First, "The Parade" -- I read this in two days while at a conference in San Antonio earlier this year. Fantastic concept. I am intrigued by "The Museum of Modern Love" and "The Plotters". Honestly, I think I am going too read them all. 6/6/19

Seven life and career hacks (one for each day of the upcoming week)

  1. Design principles are dead (UX Collective) A short and useful read. Differences between laws, rules, and principles and the "Essential three". 6/3/19

  2. For a Genius Brain, Focus on How to Think, Instead of What to Think (Personal Growth) It was the part about "thinking productively, not reproductively" that sold me on this article. Good read. 5/31/19

  3. Superbosses Playbook: Bureaucracy Busters (BetterHumans) I know. I know. Seems obvious. Why don't we do more of it then? 5/30/19

  4. You Need These People In Your Life (Persona Growth) Another John Weiss masterpiece. What are you doing to make room for "beautiful interruptions"? 5/16/19

  5. PDF: PRIMER ON DONOR ADVISED FUNDS AND CURRENT ISSUES (Carters Charity Law) CANADIAN CONTENT Brilliant primer from one of the top law firms specializing in charity law in Canada. "The topic of donor advised funds ('DAFs') has generated a considerable amount of attention in the past few years, receiving both praise as well as criticism. While some of this criticism may warrant further review and consideration, many of the concerns regarding DAFs, particularly here in Canada, are either unfounded or exaggerated." 2019

  6. How to Tell Powerful Personal Stories That Will Captivate Your Readers (Copywriting Secrets) Timeless and practical writing advice. Next time you need to write a case for support, this just might be the "inspo" you are looking for. 3/13/18

  7. Space Invaders (Slate) Yes, this article is from 2011 but, it's still VERY relevant in my life. "Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong." 1/12/11

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic personality

  • Genocide, Melinda Gates, The Band Played On (The Current) Fantastic interview with a fascinating human. Thanks to Mick Mulloy for turning us onto this interview. "Start with women's empowerment, says philanthropist Melinda Gates." The interview starts at 22:50. 6/3/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Has the Giving Pledge Changed Giving? (Chronicle of Philanthropy) "A proposal unveiled nearly a decade ago was intended to turbocharge philanthropy. There’s little evidence so far it’s doing that." 6/4/19

  • University of Alabama could return $21.5 million, its biggest-ever donation, over abortion controversy (Market Watch) You knew this was going to happen. "The chancellor of the University of Alabama system has asked the institution to return $21.5 million donated to its law school by Florida businessman Hugh Culverhouse, Jr., who called for a boycott of the school because of the state’s new abortion law." 6/2/19

  • Lawsuit Could Cool a Fast-Growing Way of Giving to Charities (New York Times) Not everything is roses with donor advised funds. "When Emily and Malcolm Fairbairn decided to make a $100 million gift in 2017 to organizations that combat Lyme disease, they chose Fidelity Charitable, the country’s largest charity by assets, to distribute the money. But the Fairbairns contend their donation was mishandled, costing the charities they wanted to support millions of dollars." 5/31/19

  • 5 MISTAKES MACKENZIE BEZOS AND OTHER MEGA-DONORS SHOULD AVOID (Wired) "INDEED, AS BIG givers from Andrew Carnegie to Warren Buffett have observed, it can seem easier to accumulate resources than to give them away wisely. Yet many new mega-donors arrive on the philanthropy scene with much bravado, sure that whatever acumen helped them get rich will make them better philanthropists than those who came before them. The philanthropic road is littered with the carcasses of those who thought that 'disrupting' poverty would be as simple as disrupting the taxi industry or that 'transforming' education would be as easy as giving every student access to some new app or device." 5/31/19

Trends and shifts

  • 'It's growing really fast worldwide': Calgary esports bar will be 1st in Alberta (CBC) CALGARY STORY Sometimes I feel old. Usually it's when my kids kick my butt at Assassin's Creed. Now you can feel that same feeling...in a bar. "Alberta's first esports bar is set to open in Calgary this week. One of the bar's owners said it's a sign of the growing popularity of competitive gaming." 6/4/19

  • Dying for some privacy in an open-space office? This Alberta company may have the answer (CBC) ALBERTA STORY Hey, we could use one of these..."It's not just Superman's change room anymore; the phone booth could be coming to your workplace as a solution to the loss of privacy endemic to open-concept offices. An Edmonton-based company is creating what they call a 'modern take on private space' for public areas." 6/3/19

  • Why companies are now helping staff pay for their vacations (CBC) CANADIAN STORY Win-win! "A growing number of Canadian companies are upping the ante when it comes to providing employees with holiday time — by helping staff pay for vacations. It's the newest effort to combat the perplexing problem of employees who don't use up their vacation days, as well as a way of diversifying benefits — a useful hiring and retention tool in a tight labour market." 6/3/19

  • Men in business attire may be bad for women and the climate (CBC) CANADIAN STORY I am going to do my part for the climate. Down with the suit! "Now science has confirmed the anecdotal evidence. A study released this month with the title, Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance, shows that not only do they dislike chilly indoor temperatures, cold settings tend to make women less mentally acute." 5/30/19

  • These are the companies where Canadian students most want to work (CBC) CANADIAN STORY We are going to have to work harder if we want to keep talent in Canada. "Only two Canadian companies — the Canadian Space Agency and Bombardier — cracked the list of top 10 companies considered most attractive by Canadian students studying the in-demand fields of engineering and information technology, according to a survey by employer-branding company Universum Global. Google topped the list, followed by Tesla, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon." 5/29/19

  • Commuting in Calgary shifts out of the city core, StatsCan study says (CBC) CALGARY STORY Downtown continues to empty and not just because of job losses. "Calgary has seen a dramatic shift in its daily commuting pattern away from the traditional suburb-to-city-centre model as more people both live and work in the suburbs, according to new data from Statistics Canada. On the other hand, among Calgarians who both live and work in the inner city, many more of them are biking or walking, according to the report on commuting within Canada's largest cities released [recently]." 5/29/19

  • Imagining New Institutions for the Internet Age (OneZero) I love this quote, 'In a world awash in information, the curator is king.' Ha, I am KING! Just kidding. Sort of. "Feeds shape our world. Google uses hundreds of variables to determine the search results you see. A complex statistical engine produces your personalized Netflix queue. Facebook uses everything it knows about you and your friends to build your timeline. Your credit score is compiled from third-party data brokers. Taylor Swift uses facial recognition software to identify stalkers at concerts. Even these Herculean efforts are dwarfed in scale by the Chinese social credit system that will integrate data from many disparate public and private sources." 5/21/19

  • Canada’s Digital Charter in Action: A Plan by Canadians, for Canadians (Government of Canada) CANADIAN CONTENT This plan should be required reading by all Canadians. The future. She is digital. "Minister's Message: In 2016, we started a conversation with Canadians on how to foster innovation to build a stronger, more competitive Canada. Together we developed the Innovation and Skills Plan. This plan reflects our commitment to a partnership-driven approach to build innovation ecosystems in Canada and deliver simpler, more efficient and more coordinated supports to firms at all stages of growth and Canadians at every stage of their lives. It is with this same mindset that we move forward on how to make Canada a leader in today's data-driven, digital global economy." 5/21/19

Reports and studies

  • How Organizations Are Investing in Women and Girls (AFP Global) This is important research. "Education initiatives receive the most funding from women’s foundations and funds, followed by economic empowerment, security, and self-sufficiency, according to new research from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy." 5/28/19

Large gifts

  • CALGARY-BASED GLOBAL WATER CHARITY RECEIVES MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BOOST FROM TWO CANADIAN BUSINESSMEN AND PHILANTHROPISTS (CAWST) CALGARY STORY Wowza. Nice gifts! Clean water is a human right. Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Cumming agree. "CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, announced [...] two significant gifts from David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming that will see all new donations matched, up to $12 million." 6/6/19

  • Mattamy founder donates record $100M to Toronto's SickKids, and sounds off on government (BNN Bloomberg) TORONTO STORY Sonic boom! What a gift! "The founder of Mattamy Homes has made a $100-million donation to the Hospital for Sick Children, the largest single donation in the hospital’s history. The donation by Peter Gilgan will support the SickKids VS Limits campaign, which will include building a new patient care tower on Toronto’s University Avenue. The facility will be home to critical care and inpatient units, and named the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care [Tower]." 6/3/19

  • The Chicago Public Library just got a $5 million donation to build a branch at the Obama Presidential Center (Chicago Tribune) "The MacArthur Foundation is planning a $5 million grant to create a new Chicago Public Library branch at the Obama Presidential Center, the foundation announced [...]. The money will help pay for construction at the planned site of former President Barack Obama's $500 million presidential center in Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side, the Chicago-based nonprofit said. The 5,000-square-foot public library will house multimedia collections, have community programs, a children's area and offer space for reading and studying." 6/3/19

  • Cornell Receives $10 Million for Molecular Engineering Labs (Philanthropy News Digest) Seems to be a trend. Big gifts to study tiny things. I like it. "Cornell University has announced a $10 million gift from trustee and alumnus Sam Fleming ('62) and his widow, Nancy, in support of state-of-the-art molecular engineering labs." 6/3/19

  • Somebody paid $4.5 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett — the cost of 15 shares in his company (Financial Post) I would love lunch with Warren Buffett. If only I could put my hands on a few million... "The winning bid, which was submitted during a five-day online auction on eBay that ended Friday night, was nearly one-third higher than the previous record US$3,456,789 bids in both the 2012 and 2016 auctions. Proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a charity in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district that serves the poor, homeless or those battling substance abuse." 6/3/19

  • VIDEO: $15-million fundraising goal for Langley hospital shattered this weekend (Aldergrove Star) LANGLEY STORY Well done everyone and a special shout out to our friend and colleague, Vivian Smith! "Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation had a goal to raise $15 million towards building a new emergency department and a MRI suite for the local hospital, and [...] blew that goal out of the water. They came into the evening with $12.8 million in the bank (85 per cent of the way to their goal) thanks to multiple small contributions and a few key big donations [...]. By the time the guests began funnelling out just before midnight that same night, the goal had been shattered – and more – boasted an exuberant Vivian Smith, the foundation’s executive director." 6/2/19

  • South Health Campus to open pediatric emergency care space (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY "The South Health Campus is a big step closer to opening a pediatric emergency care space because of an anonymous donation of $3.9 million. The campus has witnessed a growing need for a pediatric pod as one in every five patients in the emergency department is a child [...]. Mike Meldrum, Calgary Health Trust president and CEO, said the pod will be a customized and comfortable area in the six-year-old hospital, with nine beds and bright murals on the walls." 5/31/19

  • Horry County library system director calls $9 million donation 'an amazing opportunity' (CBS) "The Conway Library can boost their book collections and give kids more hands-on experiences, all thanks to half of a $9 million library donation. [John and Barbara Thompson] left $9 million to the Conway Library under the Horry County Memorial Library system and the Coastal Carolina University Library, after they died in 2016." 5/31/19

  • UVA announces anonymous donation to Athletics Master Plan (247 Sports) "The University of Virginia, the Department of Athletics and the Virginia Athletics Foundation today announced an anonymous gift of $5 million today (May 30) to support both the Athletics Master Plan and the new Student Health & Wellness Center. The commitment includes a $4 million gift to the Athletics Master Plan and a $1 million gift to the Student Health & Wellness Center." 5/30/19

  • Wharton Beefs Up its Data Analytics Offerings After a $15 Million Donation (Top MBA) "11 years ago, the University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School was among the pioneers highlighting the emergence of big data and the need for future leaders to understand data analytics [...]. While Wharton’s efforts in this area of study was already quite active, it recently received a major boost thanks to an anonymous $15 million gift. " 5/30/19

  • Honda Canada invests in Georgian College partnership with $1.8M donation (CTV) BARRIE STORY Nice work Georgian College. Thanks Honda! "The five-year agreement includes $900,000 in cash and in-kind for research and innovation quality, $193,500 in student recruitment and scholarship funding, and another $750,000 to purchase leading-edge equipment over the next two years for both the Barrie and Orillia campuses." 5/30/19

  • $5M donation to create children's play garden in West Riverfront Park (Detroit News) "Delta Dental on Wednesday announced a $5 million gift to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to construct a five-acre playground on the [West Riverfront]. The Delta Dental Play Garden will be a part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a project estimated to cost $60 million." 5/29/19

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