Gena Rotstein's blog

Lest We Forget

Today we remember those who have served our country and died to protect the values that we hold dear.  It is a day that has become more impactful in my world as I witness friends coming back from Afghanistan, as I read about our government’s support (or in some cases lack thereof) of our veterans as it pertains to their mental and physical health, and as I see wave after wave of refugees and immigrants begin the process of calling Canada home.

This month I am criss-crossing Western Canada leading workshops for women on strategic philanthropy and legacy planning alongside TD Private Giving Foundation.  My travels have taken me from NYC where I added a few new facilitation tools into my toolkit from the 2164 organization to sold-out workshops Vancouver, Calgary, and Saskatoon. Victoria will be at the end of the month and spots are still available – www.dexterityevents.com.

Regardless of where these women reside, there is commonality between all of them.  A desire to be able to sit with their families, their partners and in a couple cases, their employees, to explore what their social vision is and how to have it play out during the course of their lifetimes and afterwards.

As Hurricane Patricia rapidly became a dangerous Category 5 hurricane with winds measuring upwards of 200 miles per hour, multiple levels of the Mexican government acted swiftly in order to minimize the fatalities and damage of the impending storm.

 This week Place2Give launched the Give to Grow fund in partnership with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Economic Development and the Calgary Public Library Foundation. We took a collective impact approach to this fund focusing on building a strong, literate workforce for the next generation.  Our goal is to improve the literacy rate of our youth by 1% by layering four charities addressing literacy in different ways.  We have chosen this issue for a number of reasons - Alberta has one of the lowest literacy rates in Canada, the government has under-resourced our education system by $3 to $4Billion compared to similar economies and if we can improve literacy by 1% of the population nationally it could have upwards of an $80Billion economic payoff.

Guest Blogger: Cortney Steinwand is the Community Engagement Coordinator and Place2Give Foundation administrator.  A community development enthusiast, environmental /social justice seeker, wholehearted feminist + lifelong learner. She studied international and community development and is based in Calgary, AB.

What does it take to make a difference? From my experience, the charitable sector is filled with those of us who authentically desire to catalyze positive change in our communities and cities. But despite the purity of our intentions, do we truly know what actions and perspectives need to be fostered in order to evoke the lasting social change that we crave?

Guest Blogger: Nadine Riopel is a facilitator and community organizer.  With a professional background in both the private and social sectors, she helps organizations become more efficient, effective, and sustainable through a greater connection between their people and to their higher purpose. She is the creator of PurposeFuel: a program that helps organizations achieve greater results through connection and purpose. She is also the author of The Savvy Do Gooder: Giving That Makes a Difference: a short guide to effective giving, and co-founder of The Good 100 Experiment.  Nadine lives very happily in a heriatge (read:old!) home in Central Edmonton, Alberta with her young son and husband.  In her spare time she enjoys rescuing fruit and making rugs out of old sheets.

Note - Nadine will be joining us for an In Conversation With... event on January 13, 2016. Registration will open next month and more information will be posted at Dexterity Events.

The idea of each organization needing a ‘social license to operate’ suggests that if an organization doesn’t fill some real need, there’s no reason for society to allow it to exist. Why should we give tax deductions for business expenses, for example, to a business that does us no good, or worse - does us harm? Why should community members frequent an establishment that doesn’t support the community in every way it can, and isn’t providing anything of value?

Over the years Dexterity and

Some major developments have happened with the technology at Dexterity Ventures Inc. (DVI)! Here is the overview of what has been going on:

GIVE_api Version 2.5

We have been busy working on updating our GIVE_api. The latest version will be release early in Q3, and will include the ability to make real-time payments.

Developers Libraries

To aid developers in implementing our GIVE_api in their projects, Dexterity Ventures Inc. has created a series of libraries for some of the more popular development languages.

Developers can download the GIVE_api development libraries for Android, iOS, ASP/.NET, JAVA and also PHP. Each of the packages contains the full library, a detailed readme file and a useable demo. If you have any questions regarding the libraries, please contact us at support@dexterityventures.com.

Today I attended the Toronto Vital Signs event hosted by the Canadian Club, with keynote address by the CEO of the Toronto Foundation, Rahul Bahardwaj.  There were six things that Mr. Bahrdwaj highlighted that Toronto, and in fact, other major cities should focus on when thinking about the social fabric of their communities.  Of the six things that were highlighted, there was one in particular that I want to touch on - that of TRUST.

We are excited to announce that we are finalists in a contest to win up to $25,000 in marketing services from William Joseph Communications’ RPM Project. Now that we have been announced as a finalist – this is where you come in. The winner is chosen by the public through a social media vote to determine the winners.