In July 2008 I wrote a piece for the Calgary Herald on charities and overhead. Then in June 2013 as a result of the Alberta Flood this issue came up again in response to the Canadian Red Cross and the lack of transparency. Fast forward a few more years and once again a natural disaster, this time the Fort McMurray Fire has brought this issue to the forefront of donors’ minds. So I thought I should break down the cost of doing “The Business of Philanthropy.”
Every time you make a donation to a charity there is a cost. Who pays this cost depends on how the transaction is made, what organization it is going to, how that agency is structured and what the internal capacity of the organization is to handle the transaction.
So much emotion has been expressed in my province this past week. From awe at the magnitude of the Fort McMurray Wildfire to shock at people losing all of their possecisions to wonder at how our First Responders from all over managed to successfully evacuate over 80,000 people to safety to saddness and grief at the sense of loss to gratitude at the kindness of strangers and the outpouring of love. Modern technology is an amazing thing - we were able to keep tabs on our loved ones through Facebook and coordinate pop-up supports like YMMHelps.com and a website that is reconnecting families with their pets... all in a matter of minutes (or so it feels like).
I learned a lot when we set up the Southern Alberta Flood Emergency Relief Fund and in response to the devistation facing Fort McMurray we were quick to start our due diligence proccess. We all know that the Red Cross can raise oodles of cash in a short amount of time, and what we learned from the flood they are great at the front end responding, but when it comes knowing our communities and working with grassroots organizations to deploy the funds they fell short.
To this end, and in keeping with our mandate to ensure we can track the funds and work with organizations that will be accountable and able to report back below is a list of charities that will be in the #YMM Fire Fund. You can donate to this fund by clicking this link and selecting "Area of Greatest Need" from the drop-down menu.
Over the past few weeks a couple clients have asked me about how and when to share their family wealth and social capital plans with their children and other family members. This of course is different for each person and each family so there is no hard and fast rule. There is however some general things that all wealth creators should consider when planning for the transition to the next generation or out into community:
1. How much is enough? As Warren Buffet said, "I want to leave enough for my kids so that they will do something, but not so much that they won't do anything." Allison Maher from Family Wealth Coach calls it Knowing Your Number. What do you need to live on and your inheritors to live on to be comfortable, what do you want government to take in taxes and what do you want your community to receive."
This morning I gave the keynote address at the CAGP conference in Banff, Alberta. The presentation is on Next Generation/Rising Generation philanthropists. Below is a copy of the transcript and the slides.
Partners In Health (PIH) is a ground-breaking global health and social justice organization that brings high quality health care to some of the poorest areas of the world. They do this not as an act of charity, but as a fulfillment of fundamental human rights.
For the second year in a row, Dexterity Consulting will be partnering with REAP Calgary to bring a social captial discussion as part of the Down to Earth Week in Calgary, Alberta April 11-15. The Capital for a Cause summit is being brought to you in part by Dolan Wealth Management - Raymond James and Toniic. We started exploring this topic when the price of a barrel of oil was still fairly strong. Since those initial planning days, the Canadian dollar has tanked, oil is still trading at $40/barrel and tens of thousands of people have been laid off. So why are we talking about social capitla management now? It might seem counter-intuitive. It is for this very reason that we are undertaking this discussion at this time.
In Canada it is the Family Day long weekend. Over the past two generations the make-up and definition of family has shifted from a nuclear - Mom, Dad and 2 kids to any combination therein including same-sex couples (thankfully our legislation is catching up with these shifts in family dynamics).