philanthropy

Last week I was interviewed on Alberta PrimetIme about the changing face of philanthropy and small business.

You can see the video here.

In previous posts I have talked about looking at your charitable giving from the perspective of a portfolio. A diversified a number of organizations within a “narrow giving theme” (i.e. access to water) allows you to see the impact of your donations through quantitative and qualitative analysis, with limited or no cross-pollination of information between the agencies.  It also allows you to compare your funding results with other funders for donation performance (similar to how one would compare mutual funds).

Today is #GivingTuesday and charities are out in full-force, cap-in-hand. Place2Give has been a part of GivingTuesday for the past number of years.  In fact, one year we lead a Calgary-based initiative along with 10 other organizations including AFP Calgary.  I quickly became challenged with this model of fundraising, not because I don’t believe that charities should fundraise, but because this time of year people, while they are thinking of giving, are really focused on buying. 

So why not tap into that mindset? 

This week are celebrating National Philanthropy Week across North America.  It is a time to reflect and celebrate those who have positively impacted our communities and is the lead-up to #GivingTuesday events around the world.

As such, I thought it worthwhile sharing some thoughts on a recent event hosted by Imagine Canada on the future state of the Social Sector.  I attended the one in Calgary. It was a panel discussion moderated by Allan Northcott (Max Bell Foundation) and the panelists included Sharon McIntyer (Chaordix), Tracey Vavrek (Community Foundation of Northwest Alberta) and Dan Overall (Trico Foundation).

There were some common thoughts shared across the panel and a few other observations that came from the discussion following the panelists’ remarks. Please note, I have paraphrased the questions and answers.

Guest Blogger: Josh Swallow is an undergrad student at Texas A&M. He is currently in his final year and exploring opportunities in the non-profit sector for his career.  This summer he spent time working at Dexterity, meeting with charities, donors and social entrpereneurs.

I think it is safe to say that technology has had a huge part in my life since the day that I was born. So many aspects of my life have been made “easier” because of it. For example, paying my bills at university is one of the simplest things in the world now (aside from having to let go of them sweet, sweet, dollar bills y’all) that takes a few minutes of my time whereas it used to be somewhat of an ordeal. This is a simple example but the same concept can be applied to charitable giving. So how has technology affected the charitable sector?

Guest Blogger – Josh Swallow: Josh is a summer intern and attends Texas A&M University where he is studying Business Management with a Certificate in Not-for-Profit Business. “I have always wanted to help people but never knew exactly where that would take me in life. When I started to learn more about the multitude of nonprofits around the world and how much good they were doing I knew that was the industry that I wanted to end up in!”

Nonprofit organizations in the U.S. are in a very interesting position when it comes to taxation. If the qualifications are met, an organization can gain tax-exempt status which allows said organization to be exempt from paying some federal income taxes. While this is a fantastic concept that is absolutely helpful to the nonprofits that it applies to, I can’t help but feel that the qualifications for gaining this status may be too lenient. Thus, in this post I am going to talk about some of the baffling organizations who have gained and reatined this status and why I find this is troubling.

Last week I presented at the Rising to New Heights, Rotary District 5360 Conference in Canmore.  Below is the transcript from this presentation:

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 weekend I caught up on my reading.  You know what that is like - the back issues of magazines that you have been wanting to get to, the pile of books that you bought (some because they make you feel smart, other’s because they make you smart, and still others that are brain candy) that are lying on your nightstand or on the table beside your favourite reading area.

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: