Gena Rotstein's blog

Lean Start-Up Approach to Creating Strong Viable Social Change Organizations

I recently finished reading The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries.  I like how Ries reinforces some of the principals that I undertook when I was building the software side of my company and launching the different products and services around strategic philanthropy on  A few months ago, I had the privilege of hearing a friend and tech entrepreneur, Evan Hu, present at Start-Up Calgary on how he integrated the Lean Start-Up concepts with his tech companies  The way he told his story made me think about how I could apply Lean Start-Up concepts to building social change agencies.

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Notes from Ray’s Desk: GIVE-API V2.0, and a Sneak Peek at Motif Giving

This is the second blog in a new series we are launching called ‘Notes from Ray’s Desk’. This blog series is written by our Systems Analyst and Project Manager Ray Stockford, and focuses Place2Give’s technology, updates to that technology, and general things of interest to our tech team.

GIVE-API V2.0 is ramping up and will be released soon!

Last month we release our GIVE-API, which provides developers, companies, and organizations with access to integrate the data that Place2Give has on North America’s vast charity sector into their own apps, websites, and platforms. We have been busy constantly improving our API to the point where in the next few weeks, we will be releasing Version 2.0 of the GIVE-API.  Updates include:

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Integrating Strategic Philanthropy with your Corporate Citizenship

Earlier this month I presentat at the Phasis Symposium on CSR.  What follows are the slides and presentation notes.


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Place2Give Year End Report

It is my pleasure to share the first year of giving through Place2Give Foundation and the ongoing work of Dexterity Consulting.  I developed this platform with the purpose of helping organizations connect with donors in a more strategic way by profiling the way that people give and the way that organizations implement programs, and then helping donors find their "charity match."

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Notes from Ray’s Desk: Big Data, Tech Updates, and a Sneak Peek

This is the first blog in a new series we are launching called ‘Notes from Ray’s Desk’. This blog series is written by our Director of Technology Ray Stockford, and focuses Place2Give’s technology, updates to that technology, and general things of interest to our tech team.

How can Big Data serve Philanthropy?

‘Big Data’ is probably most widely known for its ability to analyse large and varied datasets to determine a statistically valid answer to a particular problem. So far, corporate entities have used this to track surfing habits to target a demographic with specific browser content or advertising. Or, retailers track buying habits to target customers with specific flyers or coupons (I.E: Target). How does Place2Give fit into this? The technology we are building will tap into this ability and allow the charitable sector to benefit from ‘Big Data’.

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A Shocking Revelation

For the past several years I have been blogging about the challenges facing the charitable sector, in large part, because of the way that it has been structured, and continues to be managed.  The expectation that the CRA or the IRS has any role or responsibility in managing the way that the sector operates is not only foolish, but unrealistic.  Below is a blog post originally written by Nadine Riopel,The Savvy Do Gooder on just how the sector is broken. I will post part two in the coming days. 

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Community Involvement at Place2Give

Guest blogger - Karine Aviv

A strong part of Place2Give’s corporate culture is to encourage community involvement.

To be part of a social enterprise means that we are expected to “give back” in some way, shape or form. 

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Next Generation of Leaders

Aside from consulting to donors, their advisors and charities; there are other things that my company, Dexterity Ventures Inc. and the Place2Give Foundation does within the charitable sector - we collect data in order to conduct academic callibre research.  Every year since 2008 students have been working for Dexterity Consulting and then DVI (when we incorporate in 2010).  These students have come from Royal Roads University, University of Calgary, Mount Royal University (previously Mount Royal College), and University of Lethbridge.  Their academic disciplines include - business schools, social work studies, computer science programs and mathematics.  Having students involved in my company is a core value that will carry forward as things grow.

This year we are starting to create systems for examining the meta-data that has been generated by Place2Give.  This information can be used a number of ways including influencing policy changes.  In November I wrote a piece entitled, A New Charity Tax Credit, in the Calgary Herald.  The information that could shape the ideas proposed in that blog can come from a multitude of sources including Place2Give.

As my company enters into another year of operations and growth, we are continually looking for ways to use our data, expand our services and develop out the platform. I am always looking for ideas, partners and thought leaders who want to shape social and creative economies.

Creating a Corporate Citizenship Program - Oceanside Case Study #1

I recently returned from a trip to Mexico where I was meeting with NGO’s in Oaxaca State, in a town called Huatulco and presenting at the 3rd Annual Congress of Non-Profit Organizations of Mexico hosted at University of Hidalgo in Pechuka, just north of Mexico City.

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Place2Give Flood Relief Update – Winter 2013

The Place2Give Foundation’s Southern Alberta Emergency Relief Fund has continued to hear back from the agencies that received donations and we want to take this opportunity to share the information and provide an additional update.

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