Rawpixel via Getty Images
Feng Yu via Getty Images
With giving back a key theme of Canada 150, it is the perfect time to reflect on our nation's rich history of charitable giving and, in particular, to shine light on small charities that you probably have never heard of that form the backbone of our country and what makes it great. Here are some interesting stats about small charities:
How many of us have seen food banks open their doors in our home towns? The reasons may differ by region -- the decline of manufacturing in Ontario and Quebec, fisheries in Atlantic Canada, farming in the prairies, forestry in the northwest -- but the overall reality is similar across the country. The economic landscape is fundamentally changed.
RomoloTavani via Getty Images
Not only are out-of-province donations OK in Brad Wall's Saskatchewan, but so are corporate and union donations. There are no donation limits of any kind, and out-of-country corporate donations are allowed as long as that corporation has a Canadian presence. It really is the Wild West out in Saskatchewan.
Have you heard about social enterprises? Social enterprises apply business solutions to social problems. They're incredibly hot right now. So hot, in fact, that I've just come back from the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference in San Francisco where there were over 2000 attendees.
If only Zika was a two-week stint like the Olympics. Sadly, after Olympians go home and the buzz in the Olympic village dissipates, mosquitos carrying the Zika virus will remain, and those living in their midst have no choice but to stay.
Mario Ragma via Getty Images
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.
Rawpixel Ltd via Getty Images
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.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Canada's youth are the biggest winners from Tuesday's federal budget, but not in the way you'd expect. Buried deep inside the budget, well below the commendable financial commitments to First Nations, families and young children, is a potential game-changer for young people -- plans to create the first ever Prime Minister's Youth Council.
The Trudeau government seemingly called off the CRA from harassing Canada's charities on January 20. Well, not really, in fact. The Trudeau government's timidity so far in fixing this abuse of power by the previous government will probably result in some of Canada's most popular and important charities heading toward decertification and oblivion.
It wasn't a gala. It didn't happen in tony Toronto. It involved just 16 people, among them one woman. It took place in a suburban strip-mall. The event raised only $20,000. Its name was Operation Bull...
For the past two weeks of school vacation, many Canadian children have enjoyed lingering in bed in the mornings, snuggled under the covers. But for children forced from their homes by violence in Syria and Iraq, warm blankets are more than a holiday luxury. On some mornings, it's just too cold to leave their beds.
Alex Slobodkin via Getty Images
For me, Giving Tuesday isn't a stand-alone event. It marks the beginning of my holiday giving, and fits right in with the spirit of the coming season, alongside sleigh bells, choirs, or the laughter of children as they make their annual wish lists.
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
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.
Charity should not just be about giving away money, rather, one can give away almost anything to anyone in need. I'm not saying don't give -- I'm saying to do your research to find something that has importance and to give with thoughtfulness, true spirit and a genuine desire to help.