Gena Rotstein's blog

2016 Charity Listing

Every year around this time I post a list of the organizations that received funding, volunteer hours or strategic help as a result of services offered through Dexterity Consulting or the Place2Give Foundation. 

As our reach grows through products like TheCardThatGives, we are unable to list all the charities that have received funding over the year in this one post!  An exciting problem to have.  Below are the ones that we have heard back from, connected directly with, or received feedback from donors about.  

From the staff and volunteers at Dexterity Consulting and Place2Give Foundation in Canada and the United States, we would like to wish you and your families all the best for the holidays and a happy and healthy new year.

#RetailPhilanthropy – How Businesses Shake-Up the Charitable Space

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? 

The Future of Philanthropy - Reflections on National Philanthropy Day

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.

Succession Planning v. Continuity Planning

Working with families on their legacy is more than just conversations around estate, endowments, bequests, donations to charities and taxes.  It is about continuing on what was created in previous generations.  This is where succession planning differs from continuity planning.

A Succession Plan is an output of continuity planning.  It includes both the emotional and technical solutions around wealth transfers.  Continuity planning is the journey or process that leads to the successful transition of wealth between family members, owners and operators, friends, community and we cannot forget, government.

#ProBonoCDN Talking Light Media - Videos that Change Lives

Pro-Bono services are not just limited to legal and accounting firms.  In this post, Talking Light Media highlights how they have provided video production and directoral support to charities around the world, thereby saving organizations thousands of dollars in digital marketing expenses.

Talking Light Media is a video production company based in Calgary that believes in doing what it can for communities, locally and around the world. When Steve Mason and Jamie Moorhouse founded TLM in 2003, they wanted to give back, but they were not in a position to offer financial assistance. However, they could tell a story and use their skills to help drum up support for local charities.

Steve and Jamie came to the charity world from their own unique, individual circumstances and experiences.

Last month I attended a retreat on Wasan Island exploring the Pro-Bono Marketplace in Canada.  Following that retreat, I reached out to the small and medium sized businesses and the family enterprises that I work with to hear their stories on what they do for charities and start-ups in Pro-Bono offerings.  The following are two examples of how small businesses are making a big impact in our communities.  This is the second story in the series and is about Ramp Communications, a PR and Marketing firm based in Toronto, Ontario.  The first one you can read about in the Karma & Cents newsletter.

Please email me your story so that it can be shared through the Dexterity network over the coming weeks.  Small and medium sized companies provide 10's of Millions of Dollars worth of pro-bono services annually and very rarely do they get recognized for their contributions and the financial ripple effect it has with organizations across Canada.

Pro-Bono week is Oct. 23-29, 2016.

This year Canadian Thanksgiving and the Jewish High Holy Days are back-to-back;  Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is a time for celebration and reflection on the year that past and what lays ahead.  There are 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we are hopefully written in the Book of Life for another year.  This year, Thanksgiving falls smack in the middle adding another layer of self-reflection and connection with family and friends.

For me, this time of year is always a challenge.  I always find myself entering into a major metamorphosis starting early September and ending sometime around late November.  Perhaps it is the change of season, or perhaps it is culturally ingrained.  

This year is no exception.  I have been reflecting a lot on wealth, happiness and what success looks like; for me personally, and for my company, as well as for my clients.  Below are some thoughts in the context of my work as a philanthropy advisor and facilitator of legacy and succession plans within families.

Some of the most rewarding projects I get to work on, are the ones where donors want to bring in other players beyond the initial fundee.  There are different ways in which philanthropists can engage the broader community (either close ties, or ones that are several degrees removed):

  1. Challenge Grants
  2. Connecting Organizations
  3. Opening Doors
  4. Advocating on Issues

This year we are partnering with Goodpin, Ramp Communications and Kevin Hayes Digital Media Strategist to bring retail philanthropy to the forefront. 

Why is retail philanthropy so important?

Because it drives economic growth, spurs innovation and fosters accountability.

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?