Normaly I send the Place2Give Foundation quarterly update out by email to our donors instead of posting it as a blog. I am posting it as a blog this time as I think there is an interesting story behind the numbers.

Place2Give was created to help donors with strategic, tactical philanthropy. A donor advised fund in Canada and the US we designed the foundation to use data as a jumping off point to create giving plans that are impactful. With the sale of Dexterity Ventures Inc. to Good Done Great the need for a technical backend for the foundation became somewhat unnecessary.  Over the summer the Board of Directors for Place2Give have been looking at different opportunities to continue supporting our donors and the charities that they, in turn, support.  More about the new direction will be shared in early 2018.

I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination. I have however, in the past shared some of my spiritual journey within the Jewish community in past blogs.  This post is one such missive.

This evening is Erev Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. This year, as in past years (though not every year) I attended, what I think is the most beautiful service in the Jewish liturgy - Kol Nidre. It is on this evening that, for those who believe, the gates of heaven open and our prayers rise to God for It to determine if we are worthy of another year on earth AND if that year will be a good one or a not so good one.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in the Rainforest Alberta summit.  The Rainforest is a group of entrepreneurs, community economic development experts, academics and government agencies that are looking at how we can improve Alberta's Innovation Ecosystem.  There are six categories of innovation that we are measuring against are: Leadership, Role Models, Activities/Engagement, Culture, Resources, Framework/Infrastructure/Policies.  

As we walked through where we are in the ecosystem development process I looked around the room and it struck me that we are a very privileged and resilient group.  We can "afford" to talk about risk taking and disruption because we know how to access a safety net.  But what about those who don't have that luxury?

**Image Credit: Artist, Mandy Stobo

This October Calgarians are being invited to the polls to vote in their new municipal leadership.  I don't consider myself a political person, but I am engaged in my community and as such municipal elections are important to me.  In previous posts around election time I have written about the role that philanthropists, charities and social businesses can play in supporting and pushing the needle on policy discussions.  Discussions like what George Brookman has been leading around the Penny Tax for the arts, or what a group of technologists and entrepreneurs are doing with #CivicTech and #CodeForCanada and #CodeForAmerica.  This post is about what happens when a city is tied to an industry and thinks that by doing business as usual we will get different results (insanity, comes to mind).  It is also about looking beyond this election cycle and this one politician's role, to that of a multi-generational view, where I am not going to directly benefit from some of the policies set forth in his platform, but my nephews and their kids will.

This past weekend I had the privledge of joining a number of food bloggers and media folks at a very special announcement made by Modern Steak Owner, Stephen Deere.  Stephen along with the owner of Benchmark Farms, Michael Munton shared a new joint venture - Modern Steak has bought a bull! This means that offspring from this bull will be used as one of the meat sources for Modern Steak, tying the consumer directly to the producer.  A cradle-to-cradle consumption model.

No, I am not talking about a Dr. Seuss story.  FISH is an acronym for:

·         Financial

·         Intellectual

·         Social

·         Human

·         [Enterprise]


Photo credit:

Last week I was interviewed on Alberta PrimetIme about the changing face of philanthropy and small business.

You can see the video here.

Capital for Cause: Back to Basics is a must attend event for all impact investors and social entrepreneurs looking to unleash capital for greater social impact as well as financial returns. It will be an engaging and interactive day of discussion and idea generation focusing on the topics of affordable housing and food security.

World Water DayYesterday was World Water Day and I spent it working with clients on two water projects, one locally based and one that has an international mandate.


Through the Place2Give #YMMFireFund donations earmarked for the Red Cross were applied to the small business rebuilding program.  Below is an update on the use of proceeds.


Small Businesses Receive Second Phase of Financial Assistance after the Alberta Wildfires

Fort McMurray, Alta., Feb. 22, 2017 – More than 1,600 eligible small businesses are receiving financial assistance after the second phase of the Canadian Red Cross Support to Small Business Program.

In previous posts I have talked about looking at your charitable giving from the perspective of a portfolio. A diversified a number of organizations within a “narrow giving theme” (i.e. access to water) allows you to see the impact of your donations through quantitative and qualitative analysis, with limited or no cross-pollination of information between the agencies.  It also allows you to compare your funding results with other funders for donation performance (similar to how one would compare mutual funds).

Entering into 2017 we are presented with a number of opportunities that will allow us to “look away.”  This conjures up the image of the Three Wise Monkeys: Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys.  However, in today’s times I don’t think this is a “wise” course of action.  This past weekend I marched in Calgary in solidarity with women around the world in the Million Woman March.  I did not view this as an anti-Trump rally.  I was there for a number of reasons, protesting Trump was not one of them. Protesting the direction that I see society going is 100% why I was there.