The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter is a recognized leader in promoting philanthropy and providing education, training and best practices for those in the fundraising profession. With more than 1200 members, the Greater Toronto Chapter is the largest of the more than 240 AFP chapters throughout the world.

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I want to take a moment to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Penny Connors and I am excited to be taking the lead as your new Executive Director at the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter. I am honoured to have been selected from a group of seasoned professionals after a comprehensive recruitment process led by the team at KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) and am honoured to have had the opportunity to meet some of you, our members, at Congress this past November. I look forward to working with our Chapter Board of Directors, staff team, partners and sponsors, volunteers, and you, our members, to continue to build on the success of the Chapter and contribute to advancing new initiatives in the Chapter’s Strategic Plan.

I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work with my predecessor, Cynthia Quigley, these past few weeks in order to begin to familiarize myself with the Chapter’s programs and events and understand that I have some pretty big shoes to fill! Cynthia has been a phenomenal lead for the Chapter for the past 25 years and leaves an inspiring legacy – something that I hope to build upon. I am grateful for all of her hard work and for her transferring of knowledge, so that I can continue to work with you, our members, to take our Chapter to new heights.

I come from a background of extensive experience in the non-profit and regulatory sectors, leading teams to enhance certification standards and processes, working with not-for-profit Boards and Board committees in Finance, Governance and Human Resource oversight and leadership of member service initiatives. You can read more about my experience here.

As a racialized woman with certification and experience delivering workplace discrimination and harassment prevention training through the Employment Equity Office of the Government of Ontario, I look forward to supporting, improving and advancing AFP’s inclusivity, diversity, equality and access (IDEA) initiatives and celebrating new and diverse voices and perspectives within the sector. This includes working with our Board, staff, sponsors, partners and volunteers to build effective and transparent processes to ensure programs are reflective of and responsive to the communities we serve.

Personally, I have lived and worked in the Greater Toronto Area my whole life and enjoy spending time with family and friends. I am a proud mother of three.

I hope to meet you at upcoming Chapter events and in the meantime, welcome you to reach out to me at pconnors@afptoronto.org or to connect with me on LinkedIn.

I look forward to working with you & wish you all the best for 2020!

Sincerely,
Penny Connors, BA, BComm, CRM, CAE
Executive Director
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter

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What fundraisers are thinking and how they are planning for the year ahead

By Gail Picco orginally published on the AFP Canada blog.

As 2020 approaches, many fundraisers are assessing what has—and hasn’t—worked for them in the past, even as they cope with the external dynamics buffeting the sector today and consider the emerging critique of the structure of philanthropy itself. From sector-wide issues to program planning for their own organizations, fundraisers across the country are heading into 2020 with their eyes wide open to the challenges and plans to meet those challenges or, at least, understand them better.

“What does it mean to disrupt our sector,” asks Rickesh Lakhani, CFRE, executive director of a community-based organization working with children and youth in Toronto.  “Whatever is happening now—whether it’s inclusion, harassment or lack of innovation—needs a critical eye. I’ve been looking at Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas and thinking about how people can be incentivized to break down the structure of the power imbalance.”

Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE, chief development director of a national organization of community food centres, agrees. “After spending time in 2019 with the work of Rob Reich and Anand Giridharadas, I’m more oriented than ever before towards social change philanthropy and I’m thinking critically about the balance of power in philanthropy and demonstrating that my organization will strengthen democracy rather than plutocracy,” she says. Read more »