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It gave me a glimpse into awful environment that so many people, humanitarians and civilians, live through every day.
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We are presented opportunities everyday to make a difference in the lives of those around us, near or far, through our actions, time, or money. Whether we embrace that opportunity is up to us and, evidently, even the smallest of gestures or actions can veritably snowball into lasting results.
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When people talk about disasters, many focus on the earliest terrifying moments -- images of families in Alberta fleeing the wildfires, and wading through chest-high water from flooded homes in High River, or the rubble and wreckage where homes once stood in the days following the earthquake in Nepal. The often misunderstood reality is that the initial days, weeks and even months after a destructive event are just the start of a long, painful recovery.
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Many Canadians gave online to the ACLU to help overturn the Trump administration's de facto ban on travellers coming from several Muslim-majority countries. The unexpected effect of globalization is citizens feel empowered to act and comment on the actions of another country.
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I say "Bah Humbug" to The Fraser Institute for saying an average Canadian is less generous than their American neighbour. Their 2016 Generosity Index makes Canadians look bad because Canadian give much less to charity. Cash gifts are only one part of the generosity story.
Given that donations have grown relatively flat across the country in recent years, with a growing share of total donations coming from a small group of older donors, it's clear we need to do everything we can to inspire a new generation of givers.
I had the honour of speaking with Catherine, and she listened intently as I answered her question about what I think is the most important message to share about mental health. She was incredibly down to earth, and the care and interest that she showed towards me made the situation all the more memorable. To see such high profile individuals -- real life royalty -- advocate for youth mental health... gave me great faith that they will have tremendous success in breaking down barriers.
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Canadian charities have long relied on P2P campaigns to engage their most passionate supporters in attracting donations. But Canada's economic uncertainty and increased competition in the charitable space have dampened results for many of the country's largest and most established P2P programs.
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You see a pamphlet or a charity commercial about suffering kids in third world countries. Do you feel the kind of empathy that facilitates generosity, or do you feel the uncomfortable guilt that you try to avoid? At first, the shocking statistics and graphic photos worked -- the message was powerful and emotive. But after one too many pamphlets and commercials, the message is plain.
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By examining the actual return on investment of our charitable donations, we can better assess the tangible social impact of our donations. To do this, ask yourself, what social impact has my donation made? Or better yet, ask your charity of choice how the dollars you donated made a difference.
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You can try and spin it how you want, but the bottom line is that donors are only as altruistic as much as their socio-economic circumstances allow. A majority for the most part give because of their emotional connection to the cause, but that is only as long as they have additional income to give in the first place.
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Our world has some incredible non-profit organizations that are working to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time. Unfortunately many of these organizations are not equipped to effectively articulate their story to the public, potential donors and supporters, thought leaders, and politicians.
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This desire to 'do good' without any financial reward might help explain why the number of Canadians taking advantage of charitable tax credits plummeted from 29.5 to 21.9 per cent from 1990 to 2013, and why under six million people claim the federal Charitable Donation Tax Credit each year despite the fact that about 24 million of us (about 85 per cent of Canadians) make an annual financial donation to charity.
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In Los Angeles County alone, there are 35,000 youth in foster care right now. At age 18 or 21, state and federal support abruptly ends and the youth who aren't adopted are ejected out of the foster system, many without the support of family or any community networks to help them make a successful transition into adulthood. Many of these young people are smart, driven, kind and articulate, determined to lead fulfilling, productive lives. Something as simple as the kindness of strangers getting together to set up their first pad can go a long way in helping these kids realize their potential.
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It can be an especially challenging time of year when you are not in contact with your family. I spent most of my youth estranged from my family, feeling isolated and living in poverty. Christmastime can serve as a painful reminder of what is missing from your life.
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Unfortunately, it remains part of Canada's culture of philanthropy to think charities should spend all their money directly on programs and that "administrative" spending is wrong and should be discouraged. There's a double standard, with different expectations of businesses than of charities when it comes to investing internally.
Holidays are truly a time of giving in Canada. And this year thousands of businesses, communities and individuals from coast to coast will join together on GivingTuesday (December 1st) for the official opening of the holiday giving season.
After working with multiple non-profits and private sector companies to solve fundraising challenges, I've learned that a little innovation can do wonders. So who better to look to than one of the most valuable and creative companies on the planet, Google.
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A report released today by the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre calls for sweeping reform of Canadian charitable law in line with other jurisdictions such as the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and England. Current rules around "political activity" are confusing and create an "intolerable state of uncertainty," the report says.
Let me fill you in on a secret: It's because you are too busy focusing on you, your company and your brand. You. You. More you. Forget about yourself for a second. Focus on the scintillating stars around you. They are gorgeous, captivating and brilliant! There is so much to discover. It is there waiting, just like you. All you have to do is open years eyes, click and share.
What would happen if the world's 3.5 billion women set out to fix the biggest problems facing their communities? The G(irls)20 Summit is bringing together young women from around the globe to answer that question. The goal: Use bold ideas to improve the fortunes of their home regions and, hopefully, the world.
I've always been aware that these habits probably get on the nerves of anyone who has been on a trip with me, but the hard-copy memories are always worth it. When I heard about Photographers Without Borders -- an opportunity to travel with other photographers while using our talents for good -- I knew this was something I had to pursue.
It is incredible to see how people with disabilities are being included and advocated for now, compared to how they have been treated and excluded in the past. The work is not done yet; there are still many ways to improve the quality of life and opportunities available for people with disabilities in Ethiopia.
At the age of 12, I developed a disorder called Trichotillomania, also known as "Hair Pulling Disorder". Trichotillomania is defined as an irresistible urge to pull out hair from one's scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of the body, resulting in noticeable bald spots/patches. It is classified as a Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviour, and roughly 1 to 2 million Canadians live with one. It's time to spread awareness.
The last thing we needed was a roadblock. I feel exposed -- I am a white woman in the passenger seat of a car in Nicaragua. The people of Barrio Nuevo Amanecer, in Esteli, Nicaragua, are protesting against violence in their community. Their grief is fresh because last week, a 23-year-old mother of three was murdered. Forced into prostitution by her husband, her life was taken by a john.
Here are 10 Questions you should cover off before signing up as a Director with a non-profit Board. As a Director, ignorance is not bliss; it is your job to know about risks. You will demonstrate a lot of sophistication if you ask these questions before agreeing to join.
If you're a parent who is strapped by a limited income but still wishes you could spoil your children with various toys, an alternative solution might be closer than you think. Most family and community centres have toy libraries, where parents can sign out toys for their children for a couple of weeks at a time, then return them for others to use.
Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are governed by a board of highly skilled directors. While significant advances in technology and education have taken place over the past few years, director training has essentially remained the same for the past 20 years.
In Canada, we like to play it safe and for the most part, it's paid off. Tight regulations and the centralization of banking powers helped us weather the economic storm of 2008. But we're a different Canada now. Canada's potential is remarkable, we need to believe in that potential and invest in its development before looking elsewhere for inspiration. It's all right here.
We need to start focusing on investing in the education of the next generation of women. Times change and so do behaviours. People from our generation feel as though they have the responsibility to change how opportunities are presented and make sure that fairness is given to all that follow.
The non-profit organization, just like the technology start-up with a disruptive, yet unproven, new innovation, must sell its vision as much as its financial model and its metrics for measuring impact. But by reducing organizational survival to a simple sales-pitch ignores the fundamental truth that not all organizations are created equally.
Homeownership rates have declined among Canada's lowest-income group. For that reason, today, on National Housing Day, I strongly encourage you to consider donating your next dollar, or volunteering your next hour, to help a family move closer to homeownership. It's to everyone's benefit.