Paul Nazareth, Philanthropic Advisory Services, Scotia Private Client Group
Conferences are one of the most powerful ways to learn, grow a peer support network and grow professionally.
How can you take full advantage of your time and organization’s funds invested to send you? Here are some tips we hope you find useful:
1. Know thyself. My favourite authors call conferences the “Olympics of networking“. Extroverts thrive but what if you’re not one? How do you keep your energy up and survive these crazy few days? Here’s a great read for the thinking-class “introverts” who dread these noisy, busy affairs. Don’t focus on the formal program, go off the beaten path. An example of this the great networking dinners being hosted at AFP Congress in Toronto this year. Going ‘off site’ is a way to have deeper conversations with peers one on one, seasoned conference veterans know this is the best way to establish lasting professional connections.
2. Bring lots of business cards! Yes, cards are still importing with networking, even in a digital world. Write down what you spoke about with that person to follow up and if you ask them to send you something – write it down for them on your card. Here’s a great read on business card etiquette. Read more »
Business Development Officer, Harbourfront Centre
It might be just me but I don’t think there are enough hours in the day. As professionals the expectation is that you always deliver your best at work. Ensuring you’re on the top of your game means understanding that the nonprofit sector is increasingly influenced by outside trends. Fundraising is touched and affected by economic, social, technological and political trends in our home country, and increasingly, worldwide. To perform to the best of your ability in the office you need to be aware of what is going on outside of it. So, how do you do it?
Take the time to learn outside the office. Sign up for a webinar once a month. Subscribe to a variety of blogs that focus on different elements of society. Google Currents or Flipboard are great news feed tools to use. They both aggregate news, blogs and websites you’re interested in. Helpful tip, theverge.com is a great site for tech posts.
Attend Congress! Learning in the moment with a live speaker! Don’t forget to make notes while you read and learn, your brain can only remember so much. Read more »
Tony Elischer, FinstF (Cert)
Managing Director, THINK Consulting Solutions
I have been coming to the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter Congress now for over seventeen years and continue to prioritise my invitations in my speaking and travel schedules, but why?
I clearly recall meeting a leading American fundraiser many years ago who declared that “America had basically invented philanthropy and fundraising”. “Excuse me”, I thought, “Shouldn’t we recognise that philanthropy is pretty universal and perhaps has a little more ownership, if not history, in Europe?” On the fundraising call I think I must concede as America did pretty much invent the foundations of what we now know as professional fundraising.
When I started in fundraising, over thirty years ago, I was told to look to America for cutting edge fundraising practice, innovation and inspiration. This I did as an enthusiastic young fundraiser and I learnt a lot. However, since those days the world has changed and now we look around the world to different reference points for insights, learnings and inspiration. So what do we look to Canada for? I hear you ask. Read more »
Malinda DenBok, Online Community Coordinator
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
So I bumped into Paula Attfield recently and was quite excited as we had not met yet. As a new-comer to the AFP Congress Planning Team I thought it was a great time to ask her my many questions and she kindly obliged.
What was one of your most memorable Congress?
My most memorable Congress was in 1999. At the time I was on the volunteer committee and I was probably 30 months pregnant… well more like 8.5 months. So I just remember waddling around the various sessions and it was probably fairly hilarious to watch.
Why is this year’s theme Accelerating Change?
Now more than ever, we’re being asked to succeed in a rapidly-changing and complex environment. It’s easy to feel left behind, or to find it difficult to navigate through increasing amounts of ever-changing information – messages hit us from all sides, email, television, advertisements, online and through the media. Read more »
Online Community Coordinator, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Are you a traveller? This AFP destination may surprise you.
So I’m not suggesting a conference is exactly like a vacation, but after seeing TBEX (The Travel Bloggers Exchange) all over twitter last week it struck me how much conferences can actually be a lot like travelling. Although different from a vacation, they share some of the same benefits:
You leave inspired.
Being out of the office with a change of scenery often causes a change of thinking. My creativity tends to get ramped up because I’m inspired by what is around me. Read more »
Fundraising Innovation Consultant, hjc
Conferences are exciting! You get to catch up with your peers, do some networking, and even learn a thing or two. At hjc, we’re always attending to conferences to stay on top of emerging trends, be reminded of the basics, and connect with our friends in the sector.
Up next is the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter’s Fundraising Day 2013. It’s held on June 5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This is the best one-day professional development opportunity that our sector has to offer.
5 Things We’re Excited About for Fundraising Day 2013
Read more »
Julia Silvestri Wong
Client Success Manager, Artez Interactive Inc.
Fear – such a small word but it holds so much power.
Fundraisers are fearless, right? You have to be able to walk into the office of the CEO at TD Bank asking for a cool million to upgrade the gym so that the “street kids” can play basketball after school; or – stand up in front of your Board of Directors and justify why you spent 21% of the budget on fundraising expenses this year. We muster up the confidence of all of those who went before us, put our heads down, and get our jobs done. It’s just the way fundraisers roll.
But what happens when the fear creeps in? When your idea for a great fundraising campaign is given the green light by the Big Boss and now you have to run with it; or you’ve been called up to the big leagues to share your quirky little presentation on social media and fundraising? Why do we become so paralyzed by fear when the stakes are so high personally?
Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. When we are emotionally invested in something the fear of putting ourselves out there and failing feels very dangerous and painful.
One of my favourite parts in my upcoming AFP Fundraising Day session, Excuse me, did you say social media budget?, is at the very end when we talk about being confident, bold, humble, and fun. When you put those four elements into your work and your life there is no room for fear.
Because let’s face it: fear is nothing compared to that feeling of putting yourself out there and succeeding.
Julia Silvestri Wong is a Client Success Manager at Artez Interactive Inc. She will be presenting: “Excuse Me, Did You Say Social Media Budget?” at Fundraising Day 2013. You can connect with Julia on Twitter @PinksheepTo or LinkedIn Julia.Silvestri.
Director, Community Giving
Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation
One of my staff recently called me her mentor. First off, I think I am too young to be a mentor. Or at least I like to think I am too young. Secondly, I feel I have so much to learn about our shared profession of fundraising that I couldn’t possibly be someone’s role model.
But it got me thinking. What did the me of 10 or 15 years ago aspire to be? Have my aspirations changed over time? Am I there yet?
I didn’t start out to be in fundraising. It sort of found me. But even though I had a few false starts early in my career, I can’t say that my aspirations are any different than when I first entered the workforce to what they are now. Read more »
Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got ~ Mark Twain
This posting is about risk – specifically professional risk and organizational risk. A number of years ago, I decided to leave my position in advertising to take on the leadership role of Camp Oochigeas – a small charity that I had recently volunteered for. At the time, I thought it was a career-limiting move. It turned out to be the best career decision I have made to date. I didn’t know a lot about the sector. In fact, I picked up a copy of Fundraising for Dummies to prepare for my interview. But taking the risk paid off with great rewards.
Many of the successes at Camp Ooch – and the reason I won the AFP New Fundraising Professional Award a while back, was because we decided to take a different approach from the tried and true fundraising methods of that time. A great example of this is the Sporting Life 10k run in support of Camp Ooch. Read more »
by Lois Shaw, amplifi
Charities and nonprofits are facing a changing political and cultural landscape, funding competition, and greater expectations of accountability from funders. Social media, smart devices and mobile networks make available instant updates and real time awareness of their issues, causes and products. Their challenge: to stay on top of this shifting foundation while fulfilling their purpose as an organization and meeting the needs of their community.
How can they achieve success?
On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Toronto Chapter brought together a stellar panel of leaders to explore the unique features of the community and offer some solid tips and tools that would benefit any organization. Read more »