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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The things we think about a lot but need to talk about more.

We’re looking for speakers to navigate the critical conversations fundraising professionals in 2020 need to be having to develop and flourish in our industry.

If you’re ready to talk, we want to hear your ideas.



Submit your speaker proposals for #AFPCongress2020 by January 13!

AFP Congress provides delegates with an immersive, three-day professional development opportunity to learn from Canada’s top educators, explore innovative vendor products and services, and to network with the sector’s most respected leaders.


In 2020, Congress will focus on themes that are not exclusive to the fundraising profession, but have major impact on our work. From money asks (for your organization, for yourself), to gender dynamics, to legacy (your donor’s, your own), Money, Death, and Sex inform how we behave and what decisions get made.


At AFP Congress 2020, we’re bringing these taboo topics to the fore, to engage — respectfully, constructively, and BOLDLY — with the thoughts we’ve all grappled with during our careers.


Up for the challenge? Excited to share your knowledge, passion, ideas and expertise with your fellow fundraisers? Submit your proposal by Monday, January 13, 2019, and let’s start talking.


Laura Champion

Chair, AFP Congress 2020
Fundraising Strategist
Blakely Inc.


First time applying?

Check out our first-timer’s speaker proposal guide here.

This year at Congress, we’re trying something new: the CASE (Cultivating Amateur Speakers to Excellence) Studies session. If you’ve never spoken at Congress before, click here to learn more about this exciting new session and why you should consider participating.

Please carefully review the application instructions – applications submitted in any other way or after the deadline will not be accepted. 


We are always looking for ways to improve upon our speaker selection process and as such, will be ensuring that all submissions are reviewed by a committee of peers based on a systemic evaluation rubric. In order to encourage complete and high-quality submissions, all submissions must include detailed session descriptions, speaker bios and headshots (this requires you to sign-in to a Google account to complete the form in order to upload your materials).

For more information or questions about the conference, proposals or selection process, please contact





By Jennifer Meriano

I have always felt lucky to have a career that has been more of a winding road than a straight climb up the ladder. I began my work life on the for-profit side, doing everything from marketing campaign creation to customer experience mapping to creative direction. I then made a move to nonprofit life, applying my strategic and creative skills to donor engagement. Being a part of so many different industries and projects, one thing has always been a constant – attending conferences. I know whether you are attending your first conference or your first conference on a particular subject matter, conferences can be intimidating, especially if you are attending alone. So, if you are going to be a first time AFP Congress attendee this year, here are few things to help you make the most of your experience.


  1. Get Excited – There is learning afoot!

Congress is about you and your professional development. Preparation for the conference is essential to making the most of this opportunity. Come to the conference with a clear plan for at least one thing you want to learn more about. Focus on leaving the conference with one insight in this area and make a promise to yourself to apply it in your first week back to work. I also recommend attending sessions that are a little out of your wheelhouse – do not feel confined to sessions that cover what you already know.


  1. Talk to People – They will not bite!

Some of the most valuable leanings you will gain at Congress will come from networking. As a proud introvert, I understand this can be tough, but it is so important. Many people find the idea of starting a conversation with a stranger awkward, but just remember meeting people is on their agenda too. One of the best things about a conference is that it brings like-minded people together in one room to share ideas, so don’t let this chance go to waste. Stuck? An easy conversation starter is to ask what sessions they have attended so far. And don’t forget to end every conversation by asking for the person’s business card no matter who they are. If you really want to crush conference networking, follow-up the next day with a brief email letting them know you enjoyed meeting them and connect on LinkedIn.


  1. Exhibitor Booths – More than just SWAG!

Full disclosure, I have been an exhibitor at many conferences and I feel strongly that most attendees do not make the most of this opportunity. It is vital to remember that exhibitor booths are not just about immediate need. Let’s face it, if you had an immediate need you would already know who they are. Visiting exhibitor booths is about gaining a greater understanding of your industry’s landscape and learning what tools are available to you. Talk to the people at these booths and take the time to understand what they can provide. This can be invaluable when creating new innovative strategies in the future.

Attending a conference is a rare occasion to talk to people in your industry, learn from the mistakes and successes of others and better yourself. Embrace it; you are going to have a great time!


Jennifer Meriano is a Brand & Donor Strategist and member of the 2019 Congress marketing committee. She looks forward to welcoming you at Congress and connecting! 


This year’s AFP Congress is a rallying cry for fundraisers to take a step back, recharge, discover new ways of thinking, support each other, and collaborate in elevating the profession.

In this blog entry, the volunteers behind Congress share their perspective on what it means to ‘Raise The Work’ in 2019. Please share your own thoughts in the comments below!


Take Pride

“I think we need to get better at celebrating ourselves. Not everyone gets to fund social good with their day job. That meaningful impact is a benefit of our career choice and we shouldn’t be shy or equivocate about that fact. We should own it.”


– Scott Jeffries, Director of Media & Data Services, Stephen Thomas Ltd

AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee Chair


 Tell the World

“Some may view our sector as small or lacking innovation. But we know better. Fundraisers see the results of innovation everyday in the life-changing impact we have on the communities we serve. Fundraisers change the world in a big way – let’s make sure the world knows it.”


– Molly DeHaan, Manager of Annual Giving, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation

AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee


Going Beyond

“To me raising the work means understanding the challenges faced by your colleagues. Because when you get out of your ‘silo’ in this way, you can discover new ways of working together so that you’re not just serving your own goals but perhaps helping other departments more readily achieve their goals too.”


– Jennifer Meriano, Mid-Level Giving, Canadian Red Cross

AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee

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