Gena Rotstein's blog

Banking on Shared Value: How Dexterity Ventures can help

Last June, Shared Value Initiative released the report called “Banking on Shared Value: How Banks Profit by Rethinking Their Purpose.” In this study, industry leaders explore ways for banks to create shared value, which happens when they yield business returns through their efforts to contribute to the health of the communities around them.

Banks are entering an age of change, where they have an opportunity to emerge from the financial crisis with a new outlook and strategy on how they can serve society. The report features the many different ways that leading financial institutions have embraced this new way of thinking – creating shared value and going beyond the smaller scale corporate philanthropy and CSR efforts of the past.

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Notes from Ray’s Desk: A lot has been going on

Every month Ray Stockford, Systems Analyst for Dexterity Ventures Inc., shares the latest tech updates to the Place2Give website and the technology solutions offered through Dexterity Ventures.

It’s here: We have fully launched, which provides information about our technology products and consulting services, and also acts as a portal to all of our other offerings.

The big news: We beta launched, a brand new tech offering from DVI. With MyPlace2Give you can create your own MicroFoundation containing a collection of your favourite charities. You assign each charity a percentage of the donations, weighting them according to what you care most about.

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Notes from Ray’s Desk: June means systems updates

Every month Ray Stockford, Systems Analyst for Place2Give, shares the latest tech updates to the Place2Give website and the technology solutions offered through Dexterity Ventures.

New products, new websites, and updates to system backend

Place2Give's 'Easy Donate' button: This new option will allow businesses, individuals and charities to easily insert a button into their website to facilitate donations to their favourite organization(s) directly from their own site.

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Row, Row, Row, Your Boat

Need: Cute Firemen - Calgary's response to the floodIt’s the first anniversary of the Southern Alberta Flood and we have been collecting the update stories on how our community has supported some of the front-line charities during and after the crisis.  Things have settled down, and organizations are getting back on their feet; we now have the space to look back and see what we learned and what we could have done differently during this crisis. (Photo credit:

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Notes from Ray’s Desk: How May Shaped Up

Every month Ray Stockford, Systems Administrator for Place2Give, shares the latest tech updates to the Place2Give website and the technology solutions offered through Dexterity.

There are a few new features and updates on Place2Give this month:

One of the things that we learned from our users is that having some more visuals around how the data is organized on Place2Give.  So we have now geo-tagged all 1.6Million charities, where they operate and where they are headquartered.  The search results can now be grouped by region and displayed on a map. The results are totaled per region (state/province), and if you hover your cursor above the region it shows the total results for that area. 

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Establishing your Legacy - Creating your Charitable Giving Plan

This week I will be presenting at Wink Calgary.  This is a lunch-time session where I walk a woman named Jane through her legacy planning and charitable gift strategies.  As I was thinking about how best to present the information in a condensed amount of time, and still provide enough information for individuals to be able to start the work on their own, or seek out additional resources as needed, I reflected on what my parents and grandparents have taught me.

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

Every month, Ray Stockford, Systems Administrator for Place2Give shares the latest tech updates on the Place2Give website and technology solutions offered through Dexterity.

The GIVE-API has been released and the following features are currently available:

  • Basic (keyword) + Advanced (charity size, charity type) search functions
  • Detailed charity information: from contact info to operating budgets to volunteer turn-over rates, numerous information points are available.
  • Charity financial data: Revenue, expenses, profit / loss ratio, liquidity, long term investments
  • Charity Project data: Project details, expenses, volunteer hours, salary cost, material cost
  • Access to Credit Card donation portal: USD + CAD options

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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