Posted by & filed under Career Development, Congress, Registration.


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 »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Congress.

Malinda DenBok
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 »

Posted by & filed under Congress.




As the new Chapter President for AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with such an outstanding organization. The start of a new year is always a time to reflect on our achievements and the impact we’ve made and to set goals for the year ahead.

Our sector delivers incredible value – as fundraisers, AFP members understand the essential role you have in providing proof of the value of donor support. But collectively, we must continue to focus on defining and illustrating impact – donors, volunteers, government and the general public are expecting it. This isn’t something that rests solely on the back of fundraising professionals, but we can and must do more to broker the dialogue.

As a professional Association, AFP has the same accountability – to define and measure our organization’s impact through the value we bring to you, our members. With that in mind, 2013 will be the year of our Member – we hope to engage you in new ways, expand our reach, and exceed your expectations. Most of all we will seek to define and communicate our impact even more effectively in the coming year.

The year 2012 was one of significant development and change within AFP. We introduced new membership categories to provide affordable opportunities to fundraisers at the early stages of their career and to ensure that cost was not a barrier for small nonprofits to access the resources of our Association. AFP continued to advance relations with government and was called upon frequently to provide perspective and expertise to media and partner organizations. We built out our educational offerings with new creative approaches such as the Fundraising Theatre at Congress and our second D3 conference for senior level leaders. And through the tireless efforts of outstanding volunteers, our Chapter is an international leader in its commitment to understanding fundraising, philanthropy and volunteerism across diverse populations.

AFP is an organization that is evolving. As Chapter President, I welcome your perspective, enthusiasm and advice. I hope to hear from often with your ideas, observations, challenges, solutions and successes.

On behalf of the Board and staff of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, I wish you an outstanding 2013!

Posted by & filed under Congress, Social Media.



Partner, GoalBusters Consulting

Social media is not the best tool to solicit a gift. There. I said it. So what’s all the fuss about? Social media is a very good tool for cultivation and stewardship. It has been said that social networking has created the largest cocktail party in the world and you can interact with any number of people without an invitation!

Here are some quick tips on what to do with your online presence:

  • Plan your content. You don’t want all your messages to be about selling something or about you—the majority of your posts should be information that establishes you as an expert in your sector. Your posts should also, on a regular basis, include references from other content sources so you don’t sound like you just talk about yourself. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Special Events.


President, 145 Live Solutions


Leonard Cohen once wrote that to be a fundraiser isn’t a vocation–it’s a verdict.

Guilty… as charged.

Yet any fundraiser worth his or her gender-specific salt knows very well that fundraising isn’t remotely about a life sentence to the raising of funds. Fundraising, rightly understood, is about transformation. Transforming people to transform people. Transforming people to transform the environment. Transforming people to care for animals. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Marketing/Communications, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.



Chief Mind, Ahern Communications Ink.

Elevator Speech? Ride to Nowhere. It’s the wrong answer to a great question.

You know the premise. You’re on an elevator with someone else. And in the course of a short ride, you explain your nonprofit’s work so well that you convince your listener to embrace your cause.

To steal a line from Aaron Sorkin, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Well, for one thing, the conceit suggests an attentive audience. I.e., the other person shuts up and listens. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress.



President, The Development Group

With so many campaigns on the go, with both individually and cumulatively larger goal amounts to say nothing of the demand for volunteer leadership, we are increasingly hearing  from our donors ‘Why aren’t you working together?”  A fair question and one that should make us pause and ask ourselves “Right, why aren’t we?”

Calgary is a city with a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and, it is one of the few such plans in North America that is actually working!  All three levels of governments have made significant contributions and for the first time over 150 agencies that work in various homeless-related areas, from poverty to addictions to domestic abuse, are cooperating on everything from intake procedures to affordable housing.  Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Direct Mail, Marketing/Communications, Social Media, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.



Consultant, Fundraising & Digital Communication, Norwegian Cancer Society

So, I keep hearing people speak about digital fundraising with a bit of fear in their voice. It’s this new thing, a thing that we don’t really know how to deal with. And we keep expecting it to raise loads of money, and yet it really doesn’t, and we can’t quite figure out why, and then everyone get’s frustrated. I think we’re overcomplicating things. In my opinion, digital fundraising is the exact same thing that we have been doing forever, just adapted to new channels.

If you look at it, what are the elements of classical fundraising?

Telling a story
Making an ask
Using emotions
Being the solution to a defined problem
A well crafted response channel Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Leadership/Management, Marketing/Communications.



President and CEO, TrojanOne Ltd.

Many of the organizations I work with have a beautiful bar of invaluable gold deep inside.

Most of them don’t know where it is. Some know, but they have hidden it away. Others don’t understand its value. Very few do a great job of displaying it.

What is this bar of gold? It’s the equity your organization has to offer to stakeholders. Not just to sponsors, but to volunteers, media, influencers, government officials, foundations, etc., etc.

Equity? Do I mean share price? Stock value? Yes, but not literally. Your equity is the value proposition that you have to offer. What does your organization stand for? How does it contribute to society? How are you making the world a better place? What value can you offer me as a donor, participant, sponsor, or staff person? Read more »

Posted by & filed under Board of Directors, Congress, Volunteers.



Senior Vice President & Partner, KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)

The core responsibility of the fundraising team in any charity, large or small, is to bring in more dollars so that the mission of their organization can be both maintained and hopefully enhanced.

We often think that our biggest challenge is finding those major donors.  Where are they?  The recent information from Revenue Canada has confirmed that although more money is being given to charity (post 2008-09), fewer Canadians are making these kinds of gifts.  In the past, 80% of the giving came from about 20% of the population.  But now the numbers  show that close to 90% of the giving is coming from approximately 10% of the population. Read more »