Gena Rotstein's blog

The last week of December is the final push that charities make for year-end donations.  Even with this added push, it does not mean that donors should rush into a major decision because they realize they have to get the tax credit taken care of.  Strategic giving is as much about finding the right charity partner to execute on your social vision as it is about financial planning.


Here are some things to keep in mind for these end-of-year charitable transactions:

I have spent the day cleaning out my inbox and came across this Harvard Business Review article, "Making Charity Pay" from October 2014.  This past Giving Tuesday and, for the past several months, I have been writing and speaking on this idea of #RetailPhilanthropy, or using consumer driven approaches to generating sustainable revenue for charities while at the same time tapping into the consumer mindset.

Based on some of the conversations I have been having at TheCardThat.Gives booth at Sunridge Mall and via the various social media and blog posts, there is a general consensus that the average donor doesn’t know, or understand the costs of doing the business of philanthropy.  

It’s time to change this.  

Dear Editor of the Financial Post and Claire Brownell;

What does it cost to end poverty in a specific city?  How much should we be investing in early childhood literacy? Do we know the economic impact that domestic violence is having in a specific locale and are we spending the right amount with the right charities to address this issue?

When we talk about charity effectiveness and impact we need to look at things in the context of the problem that the charity is mandated to address.  The Financial Post just released their 2015 list of effective charities - of the 86,000+ organizations they identified 25 large, national organizations that meet their grades.  



For the past week the Place2Give team have been at booths around Calgary selling TheCardThat.Gives.  Over the course of these weeks we’ve had interesting conversations with people about their charitable giving and what the holidays mean to them.  In one such conversation, a customer shared what her family does for the eight nights of Hanukkah.

Do you ever have buyers remorse?  What about donor's remorse?

GivingTuesday has come and gone, we were bomarded with solitications, actively participated in sharing on Facebook and Twitter our favourite causes, volunteered at organizations and attended events celebrating philanthropy and the charitable sector.  

After all of this, now what?  GivingTuesday, for donors, is an opportunity to make their annual gift to their favourite charities and in many cases have the funds matched by other donors or corporations.  For charities it is a way to amplify their story on a unified platform.  But what happens next?

Wondering where you should donate this year?  Here is a list of organizations that Place2Give Foundation donors and Dexterity Consulting clients have supported this past year:

Giving TuesdayIt’s GivingTuesday and it isn’t just about giving money.  


This holiday season consider your giving inventory - Time, Talent, Treasures and Ties and how you integrate all four of these.


TIme: Volunteering

#CollectiveImpact is important to our clients and have proven results in our communities.  The #GivetoGrow fund is one such initiative.  We have partnered with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Economic Development and the AddIn Foundation we are working towards addressing literacy levels in future workforces.  Our initiative has set a target of improving literacy by 1% over the next few years by working with Calgary Reads, CanLearn Society, Further Education Society and the Calgary Public Library.  Engaging small and medium sized businesses in this project - join us on December 9th for a Reading Rally at Keeler Elementary School.  It’s a great way to celebrate the holidays with your employees and others, as well as spending some meaningful time with kids who may not have someone who can read to them on a regular basis.

I recently recieved an update from Splash International.  They are one of the organizations that we directed donors to, either through Place2Give or independently.

Here is there update:

Women Moving Millions is a non-profit organization whose mission is to catalyze unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls. To date, we are a global community of over 240 members in 14 countries all of whom have pledged or given $1 million or more to organizations or initiatives focused on ending gender inequality across the globe.