November 20th, 2014 - Presentation at CKX (Community Knowledge Exchange) on how data is influencing individual and family philanthropy as well as the role that advisors and estate planners are having on the discussion.  

Over the past five years I have been writing about strategic giving and social impact investing.  Since starting this blog, Generating Social Capital, and working with clients on the Karma & Cents™ philanthropy planning process the landscape has changed and as a result so too has my approach to strategic philanthropy.  

As we enter into the holiday season, as is typical, we will all be approached to donate.  Some of us will look at this as opportunity to give as part of our tax planning process, others will be looking at the holiday giving season with more of a philanthropic approach.  Either way, giving should be done with mindfulness.

Enter GivingTuesday. A national movement that is leading the charge on counter-balancing Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Please read on, to learn more about how we are encouraging people to use the GivingTuesday movement for strategic philanthropy.

Vehicles for Giving: Donor Advised Fund or Private Foundation

Now is the time that I often get asked about what is the best vehicle for managing charitable funds.  This is very much a question that doesn't have a straight forward answer and is best reviewed in context of your overall wealth strategy which includes your tax planning and your legacy planning.

In order to help you determine the best tool for you to use in managing your charitable dollars there are a few questions you should ask yourself, and it isn't about the money.

Notes from the Tech Team: API Updates

Every month we share the latest tech updates to the Place2Give website and the technology solutions offered through Dexterity Ventures Inc.

This month we have been working hard to implement some updates to our various APIs. New features to our API are created based on client feedback.

The Ebola Emergency Relief Fund was established a few weeks ago with a focus on providing a multi-layered approach to funding the Ebola crisis facing countries in Africa.


Charities in the fund: Doctors Without Borders, SOS Children's Village and Unicef.

Hand in Hand

What would it look like if a community foundation worked alongside city planners?  What kind of cities and communities could we create and build?

Over the past several weeks I have been working in Toronto. It’s been an interesting time to be here, in large-part due to the upcoming municipal election, which has the mayoral seat hotly contested.

Last week I attended the Toronto Foundation Vital Signs luncheon.  Vital Signs is an annual audit exploring the “health” of the city by looking at the social, economic and environmental issues facing communities.  The idea behind it is to provide community foundations and non-profit organizations, as well as government bodies, some meaningful information upon which to plan and make course corrections.

Thanks and Giving

This weekend marks the start of what is typically called the “Season of Giving.” It’s the first weekend where we, as a North American society, start to reflect back on the year and look at our impending tax bills and decide how much to give and to which charities.


We have all heard the phrases shared by the organizations that solicit us -

“A flat gift is a decreased gift as a result of inflation.”

“You can donate securities and receive additional tax credits so it is like your donation only costs you half of much.”

“If you donate a life insurance policy now, you can write off your premiums against your taxes.”


All of these comments speak to the fact that we have incentivized giving to the point of making it purely a financial planning and wealth management transaction.  What if, at this point in time, we started to not just look at our charitable activities as a way to manage our taxes, but also as a way to really illicit change in our communities?

ALS - Now What?

And the money keeps on rolling... 


Notes from Ray’s Desk: Closing In on the Finish Line

Every month Ray Stockford, Systems Analyst for Dexterity Ventures Inc., shares the latest tech updates to the Place2Give website and the technology solutions offered through Dexterity Ventures.

It has been a busy September here at DVI. The Tech Team has been closing in on the finish line for some of the things I have been chatting about over the last few months. Here is a quick rundown of what has been going on:

Show me the Numbers – Can Charitable Giving be Relegated to Tax Credits

Philanthropy - the Greek word meaning the love of humankind.  Over time we have taken this concept and made it into a financial transaction with tax credits and incentives to do what we should do naturally – love each other.

Notes from Ray’s Desk: Ground has been covered

Every month Ray Stockford, Systems Analyst for Dexterity Ventures Inc., shares the latest tech updates to the Place2Give website and the technology solutions offered through Dexterity Ventures.

We've been covering a lot of ground this month; we launched a new Motif Giving fund, GROW: The Whistler Motif Giving Fund, and have done some additional updates to our GIVE-API (bug fixes and search enhancements).

Life Lessons Learned - Saying Good-bye

Today I said to goodbye to my friend, my mentor, my cousin and my fellow Rotarian - Larry Ryder.  It has been an emotional morning, and as I write this post I am considering what I share about one of Calgary's and Alberta's business and community leaders.

Lately, I have been writing and speaking on legacy planning and how it isn't about your "mother's pearls, but rather her pearls of wisdom," as one friend told me.  Larry shared a number of pearls with me, as he did with the other business owners and community leaders and politicians. I could write about what he taught with regards to business and running my company, or what he thought about our mayors (depending on the year... heck depending on the day!), or how he convinced me to buy an Alberta PC Party membership.  But all of that seems rather irrelevant now.  

What I want to share about Larry Ryder is what he taught me about commitment to community engagement.