Weekly News Recap: August 4, 2017

Rick George. File photo (CBC)

Your calling is the place where your deepest joy meets the world’s deepest need. -- Frederick Buechner


  • Oilsands icon Rick George dies at 67 (CBC) CALGARY STORY I had the privilege of meeting Rick on a number of occasions but I did not know him. His leadership at Suncor was a significant factor in my decision to work as an engineering summer student in the oilsands of Fort McMurray in 1994. Beyond his incredible business legacy, Rick and his wife, Julie, were significant philanthropists in their own right. RIP Mr. George. Way too young. 8/2/17
  • Popular Alberta high school scholarship runs $7.5 million over budget (Edmonton Sun) ALBERTA STORY "One of the province's more popular scholarships ran $7.5 million over budget last year because of a sharp increase in applicants and how the program is administered, the government says. Typically, around 14,000 students receive the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship each year, but 4,765 more students than anticipated received the award in the 2016-17 academic year." 7/31/17
  • Two Calgary students win prestigious Terry Fox Humanitarian Award (Calgary Sun) CALGARY STORY Congratulations to both Sheliza and Bailey. Well deserved."Two Calgarians continuing the legacy of Canadian cultural icon Terry Fox are among 20 scholars who have been awarded the prestigious Terry Fox Humanitarian Award valued at up to $28,000. Sheliza Kassam, from the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, and Bailey Oleksyn, a student at the University of Alberta, both knew at a young age they wanted to give back, and have now donated thousands to charities." 7/27/17


Life and career hacks

  • 7 Ways to Write Better Action Items (Thrive Global) Often, we take things for granted. For example, we all know how to write a proper action item. Right? Nope, I am constantly evolving and perfecting this 'simple' task. Great post on how to do just that. 7/18/17

Celebrating success

Tools and tips

Philanthropic personalities

Philanthropic controversy

  • Campbell County Humane Society under scrutiny after donation debacle (ABC) "Many are asking where donations to the Campbell County Humane Society are going. The Campbell County Humane Society has never had an actual building but they did help home pets and had a cat house in the past. That cat house closed a few months ago and that has raised a lot of questions." 7/29/17
  • Beijing Man’s $18 Billion Donation to New York Charity Raises Eyebrows (Daily Beast) "A Beijing man’s donation of an $18 billion stake in a secretive Chinese conglomerate to a private anti-poverty foundation in New York is raising questions about the generous gift. It is not clear how the donor, a little-known thirty something named Guan Jun, came to acquire the 29 percent stake in HNA Group of China—the single largest investor in the U.S. last year—but the contribution puts him on par with donors like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett." 7/26/17

Lists of lists

  • AFP Top Ten (Week of August 2, 2017): Facebook Engagement, Emotional Intelligence & More (AFP) "Need some tips on how to do your job better? Or maybe just a reminder on some key skills, the insight on the latest research, and the latest, coolest ideas from the best minds in the fundraising profession? Each week, AFP gathers the top blog posts, videos, articles and other resources to help you keep on top of latest trends and reach your fundraising goals." In recognition of Michael Nilson's great curation, we wanted to share. I found the articles on the donor pyramid and how the Boys Scouts of America were and were not 'prepared' for the recent Trump visit backlash very interesting. 8/2/17

Reports and studies

  • Why we need to end the culture of “Cultural Fit” (Nonprofit = Awesomely Fun) "[The] Building Movement Project [recently] released this critical report, Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap, which has profound implications for our sector." The phrase 'cultural fit' is an insidious concept -- one that I want to eliminate from my own thinking. 8/1/17

Large gifts

  • N.Y. Giants owners give The Gunnery largest donation in school history (News Times) "The Gunnery recently received a $10 million donation — the largest single donation in the school’s 167-year history. The donation was made by Steven and Jonathan Tisch, who graduated from the school in 1967 and 1972 respectively. The Tisch family co-owns the New York Giants football team." The Gunnery is a private coeducational boarding and day prep school located in rural Connecticut. 8/1/17
  • George and Amal Clooney Commit $3.5 Million Donation to Aid Syrian Refugee Children (The Intelligencer) I am sure, as new parents, George and Amal have a much more focused interest in the plight of children. Great gift! "George and Amal Clooney have committed to help 3,000 Syrian refugee children go to school in Lebanon [...]. The Clooney Foundation for Justice has teamed up with Google and HP Inc. to help UNICEF and the Lebanese Ministry of Education open seven 'second shift' schools, which offer special afternoon classes exclusively for the relocated Syrian children. Lebanon currently has over 1 million Syrian refugees, with around half of them children." 7/31/17
  • Mobile Loaves & Fishes receives $2 million donation (NBC) "The Downtown Austin Alliance is donating $2 million to Mobile Loaves & Fishes for Community First! Village, a 27-acre, master-planned community geared towards the chronically homeless, on Thursday. It is the largest grant the Downtown Austin Alliance has ever given and the largest grant that Mobile Loaves & Fishes has ever received." 7/27/17
  • $1 M donation to Palomar Medical Center conference center of the future (Valley Roadrunner) "The Palomar Health Foundation has received a $1 million leading gift for a state-of-the-art conference center at Palomar Medical Center Escondido [...]. Palomar Health’s leadership and staff celebrated the donor, Bonsall resident Tom Oeschger, his fiancée Tami Eshelman, and daughters Julie and Cameron Eshelman [...]." 7/27/17
  • $14.5M donation secures affordable housing at Cambridge’s Close Building (Wicked Local Cambridge) Innovative gift. "A former Cambridge chocolate factory turned affordable housing in 1977 has been donated to the current manager of the building, the not-for-profit Just-A-Start Corporation, securing its affordability for years to come. LP Solutions LLC, an affiliate of LIHC Investment Group -- one of the nation’s largest owners of affordable housing, announced [...] it has donated its ownership stake (91 percent, valued at $14.5 million) in the Close Building to Just-A-Start (JAS), a Cambridge Community Development Corporation dedicated to building housing security and economic stability for low- to moderate-income people." 7/26/17

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