Weekly News Recap: July 29, 2016

Alberta Ballet has had success with many pop ballets, including a collaboration with Alberta-born singer, K.D. Lang. (CBC)

Circling back

  • Fort McMurray donation update The Canadian Red Cross says it has raised $136 million to date with $165 in total commitments. Good work everyone! ALBERTA STORY (7/27/16)


  • Why black lives matter to philanthropy This. Foundations are about more than just giving out money. Or, at least, they should be. Important opinion piece from the Ford Foundation out of Detroit. I heart this foundation. (7/19/16)


  • Why are so many Canadians using food banks? Turns out, food is expensive in Canada. So much so that that over 850,000 Canadians are estimated to use a food bank on a monthly basis. To put that in perspective, that is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3% of our population. CANADIAN STORY (7/26/16)
  • Alberta Ballet trying to recover from financial misstep Still reeling from a financial stumble that started three years ago with a cancelled Joni Mitchell ballet, the Alberta Ballet has slid into a substantial deficit. We love this company and we will all be working to help them through this. ALBERTA STORY (7/25/16)

Philanthropic and nonprofit controversies

  • U. of Michigan Board Chair Pulls Donation in Naming Flap The deal is that you can't just push around historical namings to make way for new ones. The Chairman and his wife have withdrawn their $3 million pledge after the naming rights they were promised became an issue on campus. The issue involves the downgrading of naming of the current facility, named for William Monroe Trotter, an early-20th-century black newspaperman and civil-rights activist. (7/22/16)

Life and career hacks

  • A New Kind of Journaling For those of you who would love to try journaling but just don't see the point, this might be for you. For others, who hate the idea of being introspective when journaling, this is definitely for you. (7/20/16)


  • Philanthropy: The American Difference American philanthropy differs from European or Asian philanthropy in a number of important and striking ways. One of the big differences is that American wealth tends to be transient. Only 20 of the individuals on Forbes list of Richest Americans inherited a substantial portion of their wealth. (Summer 2016)
  • A Trusted Role: The challenges of creating an effective trustee board&mc_cid=85d90cf4b7&mc_eid=caab31a552) This link points to a PDF that contains, in the words of our own Mick Mulloy, "a good review of the role of board members, lots of interesting ideas and some fun definitions of different kids of board members." My two personal faves are "financial and fundraising wizards" and "trophy trustees". Worth a read. (October 2014)

Philanthropic personalities

Large gifts

  • $1 million Besse donation makes fire truck possible Who doesn't love a fire truck? A brand new 105-foot ladder fire truck has made its home in Escanaba Township courtesy of a $1 million donation from the John and Melissa Besse Foundation. Escanaba Township is located in Michigan. (7/27/16)
  • U of M Philosophy Department Receives Largest Donation Ever It is not often that a Department of Philosophy gets a $1 million plus gift. Maybe, it should happen more often. The University of Minnesota has received a $1.23 million from PrairieCare President Dr. Stephen Setterberg, who is an alumnus of philosophy and the U of M Medical School. (7/27/16)
  • $1 million donation to College of Health Professions and Social Work Go Eagles! David W. and Alise are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives through therapy and counseling, specifically marriage and family counseling. The couple has given $1 million to the Florida Gulf Coast University's (FGCU) College of Health Professions and Social Work. FGCU is located in Fort Myers, Florida. (7/26/16)
  • University of Notre Dame receives $5 million donation Be kind to your trustees. Kenn Ricci is a 1978 Notre Dame grad and a newly elected member of the university's board of trustees and the Ricci family made the donation. The money will be used to help create an outdoor home for the Notre Dame marching band. Notre Dame University is located in Notre Dame, Indiana. (7/26/16)
  • Big donations to aid Olympic, Rainier national parks $2 million has been received from a retired investment manager in Seattle and $1 million has been committed from the outdoor retailer, REI. These gifts have been spurred on by the National Park Foundation's $350 million campaign for America's parks. (7/24/16)
  • Donation assists Whittell athletic complex A $2.5 million donation from the Lisa and Robert Maloff Endowment Fund has been accepted by Douglas County School District trustees to assist with the building of George Whittell High School’s athletic complex. George Whittell High School is located in Zephyr Cove, Nevada, near the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. (7/22/16)
  • NY public broadcasting station gets $2M donation Go Radio! A public radio and television pledge drive in Rochester, New York hit the jackpot when a listener donated $2 million dollars. The listener is billionaire businessman Thomas Golisano. (7/21/16)
  • Grandview receives $1M donation Grandview Medical Center, in Dayton, Ohio, has received a gift of $1 million from longtime benefactors Harold and Mary Rieck. The gift will be used to help finance renovations of the hospital’s medical education building and library. (7/21/16)

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