I took the last couple of weeks off... Well not exactly "off" but I was on a holiday in Guatemala where I was volunteering for a wonderful NGO - Dentistry for All.  You can read about my trip and the people that I met on my Calgary Herald blog.  There are four articles posted in the Calgary Herald along with photos from Brodie Wilkinson and Hope Photography

This is the 1cent post.

I was thinking about how the little penny can do so much when combined with a bunch of other pennies.  Leveraging.  It's what strategic donors want to see happen when they invest their charitable dollars.

Last night I presented at the Calgary Council for Advanced Technologies AGM on how technology is influencing the philanthropic experience.  What follows are the speaking notes, however, I opted to have a conversation instead of a formal presentation so while my notes capture some of what was discussed, it by no means captures everything.  I wish I could remember to bring a recorder, as the dialogue was so interesting and the participants raised really good points and pushed each other to ask further questions about what their role as technologists is in shaping the charitable sector online landscape.

This is the fifth year that we have released a list of organizations that we have worked with and/or evaluated for clients this past year.  For more information about these organizations and to make a donation please visit Place2Give.  This list is in no particular order broken down into subject matter and geographic influence.

I am one... a charity evaluator... so I when looking at the plethora of charity evaluation platforms out there I realize that, just like the number of charities doing similar work, there are so many different ways to evaluate how charities are performing.  In the NY Times the other day there was an article entitled, “Putting Charities to the Test”, it looks at the different types of evaluation platforms and what you will find when you go online to research charities.  In Canada, we don’t have nearly the breadth of charity evaluators, but there are a few.  In an effort to provide donors with relevant information to make informed charitable decisions, below is a description of those platforms that look at the Canadian Charitable Sector.  Whatever you are choosing as your way of evaluating charities, it is important to know what the underlying analysis is.

There's a movement afoot to contrast Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It's called Giving Tuesday

The call to action?

I had the wonderful opportunity to witness grassroots philanthropy  in action this weekend.  And it was fun!  Its Raining Men #NakedEspyThank you to Megan Szanik and the team at Espy for such a wonderful afternoon at the #NakedEspy event in support of Prostate Cancer research and support services.  The short of it – guys raise $100 and they get $500 worth of clothing provided by Fidelity Jeans and Designal.  They were also styled by Espy Stylists – (see photos below of two the best in the city: Clark Whetstone and Jinan).  Joining the festivities were some of the YYC Food Trucks, CTV anchor Camilla de Giuseppe, Molson, and Limitless.

Redefining SuccessDuring the course of my career I have had the privilege of meeting and conversing with some of North America’s leading business people, politicians, actors and philanthropists.  I know that I am lucky.  So when I received an email last month from W. Brett Wilson’s publicist to write a review on his book, Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes I was intrigued and said yes.  I take these opportunities as ways to learn more about what others are doing in the world, but it is also an opportunity to gain professional insights that you don’t often get W. Brett Wilson exposed to.

"I'm not a philanthropist - I just volunteer time."

"I'm not a philanthropist - I only give a few dollars here and there."

"I'm not a philanthropist - I'm too young. That's for people who are retired and older."

"I'm not a philanthropist..."

Are you a philanthropist?

In the conversation about charity transparency and evaluation the way you ask the question is just as important as the data that you are evaluating.  Understanding the context in which the charity operates will influence how you interperet the data.  For any charity analysis to be meaningful comparing like-organizations adds a level of clarity and strengthens the underlying context of