Weekly News Recap: July 14, 2017

Julie Payette describes her mission to the International Space Station in 2009 in Longueuil, Que. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced Payette as Canada's next governor general Thursday outside the doors of the Senate. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.— Meredith Willson

Episode 4 of our podcast BrainTrust Philanthropy Powered by ViTreo! was posted on June 29. Titled Don't Be a Jerk! The Key to Retaining Great Staff, this episode features Tania Little, Susan Mullin, and Darcie Acton. Listen or subscribe to our podcast on our website to never miss an episode.


  • New award recognizes seniors over 70 who are still 'part of the scene' (CBC) CALGARY STORY Jim Gray. I love this guy. In his 30s, he helped make the Calgary Stampede great again when it was flagging by bringing us what is now called the Global Petroleum Show. Today, in his mid-80s, he is still building our community. He is instituting a new awards program, the Top 7 Over 70 awards, which will highlight the efforts seniors have made in seven categories. 7/10/17
  • Rec centre to be named for war hero Prince (Winnipeg Free Press) WINNIPEG STORY I love this story. One of the ways to enshrine our heroes is to name important public spaces after them. Well done Winnipeg. 7/9/17

Trends and shifts

  • UBS Raises $325 Million for Bono-Backed Impact Investment Fund (New York Times) Boom! "UBS has raised $325 million (252.71 million for a private equity impact investment fund), as the world's biggest private bank looks to meet wealthy clients' growing appetite to combine philanthropy with money making. The Rise Fund, which counts Irish rock star Bono among its co-founders, aims to achieve 'measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns', UBS said in a statement on Monday." 7/10/17

Allied professionals

Life and career hacks

  • 5 Best Ways to Eliminate Bad Habits for Good (Better Humans) We all have bad habits. Here are some great (and proven) strategies to get rid of them. I smoked for over 37 years. For me, quitting cold turkey was ultimately the only way. For other bad habits, different methods are needed. 6/21/17
  • 20 BEST NONPROFIT WEBSITES – 2017 EDITION (Top Nonprofits) Need to overhaul your website? Looking for some inspirational tweaks? These examples are truly leading the way. Infographics, "less is more" and animated backgrounds are all current and user appreciated trends in website design. Thanks to ViTrēo's Katia Asomaning for sharing this post. June 2017

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic controversy

  • Lawsuit demands Florida pay up on $1 billion in donation matches to state schools (Miami Herald) Ouch! That is a bit of a backlog. "In the 1970s, Florida joined a wave of states that encouraged private philanthropy to public universities by matching donations. Following the housing market crash and economic downturn, the Legislature put the matching rules on hold “temporarily” in 2011. Temporarily has turned into six years. Now, a state lawsuit has been filed against lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott to pay out the money — all $1 billion of it. That’s $600 million in backlogged matches and the rest in estimated potential donations if the automatic match is reinstated." 7/6/17
  • Partnership Loses Out On $33M Donation Tax Deduction Claim (Law 360) "A real estate partnership has lost out on a $33 million claimed property interest donation to the University of Michigan after a U.S. Tax Court ruling that the partnership overstated the value of the donated property by more than $30 million." That is one heck of an overstatement! A reminder that appropriate and at arms length valuations are critical. 7/5/17

Philanthropic personalities

  • Warren Buffett makes $3.17B donation to charities (UPI) It is hard to keep up with this guy. "Warren Buffett donated $3.17 billion to charity on [July 10], the most the investor and philanthropist has given in a single day, a company statement said. For Buffet, chairman of holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a massive donation is an annual summer event. On Monday he gave 18.6 billion Class B shares in the company [to] a number of organizations: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Buffett's education-focused charity, named after his late wife Susan; the Sherwood Foundation, whose chairman is their daughter; the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, led by his eldest son Howard; and the NoVo Foundation, led by Buffett's youngest son Peter." 7/11/17
  • Broad Interests and a Passion for Science: What This Mega-Donor Is Into (Inside Philanthropy) "Lyda Hill has been one to watch in philanthropy for the past five years or so, with some big donations coming from the Dallas oil heiress and her Lyda Hill Foundation. We don’t know how much money Hill has, but she says she intends to give it away in her lifetime, indicating there’s more high-dollar philanthropy to come. " 7/10/17

Large gifts

  • $6-million donation creates largest ever endowed scholarship at UBC (UBC News) VANCOUVER "The University of British Columbia has created its largest ever endowed scholarship, thanks to a $6-million donation from the Constance Livingstone Friedman and Sydney Friedman Foundation. The foundation’s most recent donation more than triples the size of the endowment for the Friedman Award for Scholars in Health, which provides opportunities for graduate and medical students studying health sciences to learn from global experts in their respective fields. This donation is in addition to $3 million donated earlier this year by the foundation to establish this scholarship fund. In total, the Friedman family has donated more than $11 million to UBC." 7/12/17
  • Fulbright donation leads to new entrepreneurship chair at Carleton University (Ottawa Business Journal) OTTAWA STORY Nice! Fulbright scholarships are some of the most prestigious scholarships in North America. "Four visiting academic and research chairs will come to Carleton University, including an entrepreneurship chair at the Sprott School of Business, as part of a $16-million, 25-year partnership with Fulbright Canada. Fulbright Canada is a binational, non-profit organization mandated to promote academic collaborations between the United States and Canada. The organization’s $8-million donation will be matched by the school." 7/11/17
  • Gustavus Adolphus gets largest donation in school’s history (Pioneer Press) "Gustavus Adolphus College has received a $40 million donation from an alumni couple who asked to remain anonymous. The donation is the largest in the school’s 155-year history. The money will go toward scholarships, the school’s endowment and campus renovations." Gustavus Adolphus College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college in the town of St. Peter, Minnesota. 7/11/17
  • Webster woman leaves her legacy with $4.2 million donation (ABC) Bless this woman. "It's not every day someone leaves millions of dollars to a small town they grew to love. Phyllis Hanse, a piano teacher in Webster, did just that after she passed away last year at the age of 98." 7/10/17
  • $50m Hospital Donation Welcome (Scoop) "The incredibly generous $50 million donation by Mark Dunajtschik to build a new children's hospital highlights the value of allowing immigrants into New Zealand to thrive and become valued members of our communities." 7/10/17
  • A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation Provides $10 Million Transformational Donation to Heal Combat Veterans and Their Family Members (PR Newswire) "Boulder Crest Retreat announces a $10 million donation from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation. This is the largest gift in Boulder Crest Retreat's history. The gift provides the capacity to expand its programs to the western United States for veterans and families who are healing from combat-related stress. After 16 years of war, the longest in American history, it is estimated that 2.1 million combat veterans and family members struggle with invisible wounds. With only 50 percent of those struggling willing to seek help from the mental health system, Boulder Crest Retreat offers a non-clinical, accessible, acceptable, and effective approach that ensures veterans and their family members can make peace with the past, live in the present, and plan for a great future at home." 7/6/17
  • Wounded Warriors Canada receives single largest donation in charity's history (Crossroads Today) CANADIAN STORY Congrats! "Wounded Warriors Canada is proud to announce it has received the single largest donation in the history of the charity. The 36th Ulster Division Old Comrades Association of Ontario has generously donated $440,000 as part of the proceeds from the sale of their downtown headquarters." 7/6/17
  • Donation Will Benefit Planetarium (Orange County Business Journal) Cool funding intention; a pendulum. "Orange Coast College Foundation received a gift of $1 million from retired Spanish Professor Mary McChesney. The donation will fund a Foucault Pendulum for the Costa Mesa college’s planetarium, which the college said it expects to complete in the fall of 2018." 7/6/17
  • Tycoon Lloyd Dorfman gives seven-figure donation to Royal Academy of Arts (Evening Standard) "Millionaire London philanthropist Lloyd Dorfman has given a seven-figure donation to the Royal Academy of Arts to help promote contemporary architecture. The gift will pay for the refurbishment of the Piccadilly building’s senate rooms, which will become home to a cafe and an exhibition space dedicated to architecture. It will also fund the launch of two international awards for excellence in the field." 7/6/17
  • Vet school to benefit from £1 million donation (Midlothian Advertiser) "Research at Edinburgh University has received almost £1.2 million from the estate of a former staff member on what would have been his 100th birthday. Funds from the Robert O. Curle Charitable Trust will support medical and veterinary research, including the creation of a £1m high-tech research suite for studies into eye diseases at Edinburgh Bioquarter." 7/6/17
  • Agnes Gund Donates $100 Million From Lichtenstein Sale to Start Social Justice Fund (NBC) What a fantastic way to leverage art for justice. "Art can be a powerful force for justice — that's the message Agnes Gund appears to be sending in a big way. The prominent art collector recently sold a Roy Lichtenstein painting for a reported $165 million, and the Ford Foundation announced [...] that $100 million of that would go to establish The Art for Justice Fund, a criminal justice organization focused on reducing mass incarceration. The sale marks one of the highest prices ever paid for a painting." 6/13/17

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