As I sit down to write my latest blog post, we in the United States are headed into a holiday weekend and the unofficial start to the summer season. So, I thought I would mark the occasion by doing something a bit different here. I’m going to look back on some of my more popular blog posts and share some updated information with you.
But, before we get to the updates, I do want to directly acknowledge the holiday. In the US, it’s Memorial Day. This holiday commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by over one million men and women who gave their lives in service to the nation. I hope you’ll take a few moments to remember them and to check-out my post: “Philanthropy and the Spirit of Memorial Day.”
Now, on to the updates:
Garth Brooks recently won his lawsuit against Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital. A jury awarded the country-music legend $1 million that includes the return of his $500,000 donation as well as $500,000 in punitive damages. The jury decided in favor of Brooks saying the “Hospital defrauded him by accepting a $500,000 donation and failing to honor his request to name a building for his late mother,” according to a report in The Chicago Tribune.
Fortunately, the experience with Integris has not dampened Brooks’ philanthropic spirit. Earlier this month, the singer along with Troy Aikman dedicated the new Child Life Zone at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX. The project was partially funded through Brooks’ Teammates Foundation. You can learn more about the Child Life Zone in an article and video at the WFAA-TV website.
In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, I wrote a blog piece that contained 10 tips for protecting children from sexual abuse. Child sex abuse impacts one in six boys, and one in four girls in the US; it’s a crime that is blind to race, religion, or economic status.
I was hoping that this post would become my most widely read post to date. At this point, I can report that this post is currently my fifth most read. With your help, perhaps it will reach number-one in the coming weeks.
I recently heard from a state sex-offender registrar who requested permission to post my article on the state’s website. I appreciate the request, and granted permission. If you would like to post the article on your website, please contact me for authorization.
Since I wrote this blog post, I did follow through and apply for my recertification. I’ve been a CFRE since 1994, which makes me one of the old-timers on the CFRE roster. While I have applied for renewal, I still have grave concerns about the future of the credential. However, CFRE International offers a ray of hope with its current strategic planning process that has included a survey of current CFRE-holders.
After I originally posted my commentary, CFRE International hired a new President and CEO. Eva E. Aldrich, MA, CFRE took the reins in February 2012. You can read more about the transition at the CFRE International website.
According to a report issued by The Charities Aid Foundation, the US was “the most giving nation” in 2011. We’ll learn more about the generosity of Americans in 2011 when we hear from the Giving Institute which releases Giving USA 2012 on June 19, 2012. At that time, you’ll be able to order the complete report or download a free summary at the Giving USA website. To read my commentary about Giving USA 2011, read “Giving USA 2011: Good News or More Bad News?”
I was honored when Isabelle Clérié was willing to share her insights about Haiti, including lessons that all nonprofit organizations can benefit from. Isabelle grew up in Haiti, and came to the US to earn her Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management. Following her graduation, she spent a short time working for nonprofit organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Now, Isabelle has taken her knowledge and experience back to Haiti where she is serving as Country Director at the Economic Growth Initiative for Haiti. I congratulate Isabelle on her new position and wish her well.
In this blog post, I wrote about a for-profit run involving zombies called “Run for Your Lives.” I reported that a “portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross.” I’ve since learned that each run partners with the local American Red Cross affiliate. The money donated does not go to the national office of the American Red Cross. The contract is between Reed Street Productions, the event organizer, and the local American Red Cross affiliate.
In the case of the run in Maryland, the American Red Cross Chesapeake Region received $10,000 (about one percent of total event revenue).
In this post, I wrote about the economic difficulty facing the Vancouver (Washington) Symphony Orchestra. Almost one year ago, The Columbian newspaper even ran an article with the headline “Vancouver Symphony’s Future in Doubt.”
Well, I’m delighted to report that the VSO is still with us. The VSO will be marking the Memorial Day Weekend with two concert performances. The VSO has also announced its plans for the 2012-13 season which will include six concert programs. While challenges remain, the community has rallied to allow the VSO to continue to make music.
Since I wrote that blog post, the Philadelphia Orchestra entered bankruptcy. Fortunately, there’s some good news on this coast, too. On May 23, 2012, the Orchestra issued a statement:
Tonight, we share with you a wonderfully important milestone–The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has filed its Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This evening’s filing marks a pivotal turning point as the Orchestra is now poised to exit from bankruptcy within the next 90 days.”
Economic climate and management issues have combined to make this a particularly difficult time for arts organizations. As these two orchestras are poised to turn the corner, perhaps we can anticipate better times ahead for the sector. Maybe.
The year 2011 ended in a very scary way. My wife was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. In the “Best of Times” post I initially shared that information, and I went into a bit more detail in my subsequent post, “The Most Important Part of Any Grateful Whatever Campaign is…”
My wife is continuing her fight, undergoing treatment and following an anti-cancer/pro-chemo diet. She’s now had surgery and five rounds of chemo therapy. She was Stage1-C, so her prognosis is good though her progress is slow. Fortunately, she has been tolerating the treatments very well.
We thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll let you know when we get the all-clear.
That what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?
UPDATE (May 25, 2012):
I know it’s a bit odd to update a post of updates, but I just came across a great poem that is very appropriate for Memorial Day. The poem, by Charles E. Province, was shared on the GIFT-PL listserve by Bryan Clontz, CFP®, President of Charitable Solutions, LLC. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
A Soldier’s Legacy
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the objector, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the freedom of fair trial.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
who’s coffin is draped with the flag,
and who gives freedom to the protestor who burns the flag;
This is a soldier, lest we forget.”