**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.

Every year around this time I post a list of the organizations that received funding, volunteer hours or strategic help as a result of services offered through Dexterity Consulting or the Place2Give Foundation

As our reach grows through products like TheCardThatGives, we are unable to list all the charities that have received funding over the year in this one post!  An exciting problem to have.  Below are the ones that we have heard back from, connected directly with, or received feedback from donors about.  

From the staff and volunteers at Dexterity Consulting and Place2Give Foundation in Canada and the United States, we would like to wish you and your families all the best for the holidays and a happy and healthy new year.

Today is #GivingTuesday and charities are out in full-force, cap-in-hand. Place2Give has been a part of GivingTuesday for the past number of years.  In fact, one year we lead a Calgary-based initiative along with 10 other organizations including AFP Calgary.  I quickly became challenged with this model of fundraising, not because I don’t believe that charities should fundraise, but because this time of year people, while they are thinking of giving, are really focused on buying. 

So why not tap into that mindset? 

This week are celebrating National Philanthropy Week across North America.  It is a time to reflect and celebrate those who have positively impacted our communities and is the lead-up to #GivingTuesday events around the world.

As such, I thought it worthwhile sharing some thoughts on a recent event hosted by Imagine Canada on the future state of the Social Sector.  I attended the one in Calgary. It was a panel discussion moderated by Allan Northcott (Max Bell Foundation) and the panelists included Sharon McIntyer (Chaordix), Tracey Vavrek (Community Foundation of Northwest Alberta) and Dan Overall (Trico Foundation).

There were some common thoughts shared across the panel and a few other observations that came from the discussion following the panelists’ remarks. Please note, I have paraphrased the questions and answers.