Dan Pallotta on Rethinking How We Think about Charities

Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world.
His context is the United States, but his message is applicable to Canada’s charitable sector. Please take the time to view his video.

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Barbara Poole – Remembering a Great Humanitarian

With the passing of Barbara Poole, the staff and community members at Bissell Centre would like to thank one of Edmonton’s most inspiring philanthropists. Barbara was instrumental in making Edmonton a better community – whether through supporting the arts, educational institutions or human services agencies such as Bissell Centre.

Along with her late husband John, the Pooles have contributed millions of dollars, often anonymously, to countess causes in our area.   Their legacy is testament to the value of social responsibility, supporting communities where wealth is earned.

Thank you Barbara for setting such a high example and improving the lives of so many.

The Ease of Monthly Giving

Now that summer has come and gone it is easy to forget about others and think about  the stress of back-to-school and vacation debt.   For many people  charitable giving is an important part of their life, however they seem to fall into the trap of “getting too busy”.   A great way to ensure you reach your charitable giving goals is to make monthly donations, instead of waiting  until the year-end and giving one lump sum.
Giving this way has multiple benefits for a donor like you as well as Bissell Centre.  

Here are five reasons to give monthly donations:

1. It helps charities to budget.   Imagine you are creating your own budget: would it be easier to have a monthly salary, or simply hope for a bonus in December?
2. It is financially  easier for most of us to part with $25 or $50 every month than give a lump sum of $300 or $600 at one time.
3. If you don’t give monthly, it’s easy to forget to do it completely.
4. Avoid paying the tax man just a little bit more!
5. You can easily set up automatic payments. Once you do this, you don’t need to fit it into your schedule or remember to do it.

To set up monthly donations with Bissell Centre  visit www.bissellcentre.org/donate and fill out the monthly donation form; or call 780-423-2285 ext 123 and speak to Joshua Marshall.

Teens Against Poverty Put on an Unforgettable Concert

March 1st was a night that many students, volunteers, and Edmontonians will never forget.   Grade Nine Leadership Students at Riverbend Junior High School, along with help from Grade Eight Leadership Students and all other class rooms, as well as volunteers, organized and hosted an impressive concert and silent auction – Benefit for Bissell 2012, presented by Lexus of Edmonton – at the beautiful Citadel Theatre.  
As guests arrived they were escorted upstairs to the silent auction tables where 65 items were on display for bidding.   Among the most notable were a signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins jersey, a signed Taylor Hall jersey, a hot air balloon ride, numerous gift baskets and other fabulous items donated by local businesses.

Local performers (listed below) donated their time and talent to ensure the students reached their goal of raising $15,000 for Bissell Centre and in support of our vision to eliminate poverty in our community.  

Maren Ord – Juno nominee
–  Livy Jeanne – award winning country singer/songwriter
–  Madi AmyotteThe Next Star finalist
Martin KerrCanadian Idol contestant
Jeff Ramsey – local musician

The night’s host, Ryan Jespersen from Citytv’s Breakfast Television, was entertaining as always.   Also in attendance was Mayor Stephen Mandel who delivered an inspirational message about youth leadership and ending poverty in Edmonton, and Honourable Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services who gave a speech about addressing the issues of homelessness as a community.

Year after year Riverbend Jr. High continues to raise money for Bissell Centre by organizing coin drives, hot lunches, dances, and much more.  This year they were able to exceed their fundraising goal for the Benefit for Bissell Concert by securing sponsorships, numerous donations, selling tickets to the event, and through a well organized silent auction.   Their hard work paid off and they raised approximately $23,000 for Bissell Centre!

We are extremely grateful and continuously impressed by the kind hearts and leadership skills of the students at Riverbend Jr. High School.   Keep up the great work class, these skills will take you very far in your life!