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 »
Jennifer Auten, Resource Development Communications Amnesty International
I’m the first to admit that fundraising often doesn’t make sense to me. As a professed perfectionist with a Communications background, I tend to get excited about slick-looking, brief creative. In other words, it’s a good thing I’m not responsible for our Direct Mail program.
Fundraising laughs in the face of our assumptions. Here we are in this so-called paperless digital age, attached to smart phones that we rarely use as phones, and yet, where do we find our new donors? On the street, at their doors, in their mailboxes and (gasp!) on the phone. 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 »
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 »
Author, Speaker and Advisor on Media, Technology and Innovation
As we enter the networked age philanthropy is going through a profound change. This has big implications for fundraisers and donors alike. In the old model, not-for-profits sought funds from individuals and institutions. Donors were courted and if successfully seduced, they provided funds, and were thanked. But today because of a number of factors, most notability the Internet’s slashing of transaction and collaboration costs, charities can now build deep relationships with philanthropists.
Donors today can become more deeply engaged with causes. All parties become part of a network and therefore can view themselves differently. Donors become more like investors in social innovation, and are looking for a return on their investment. Charities can view themselves as participants in complete networks for solving problems, with more sustainable funding. Read more »
LAURA FREDRICKS, JD
President, Laura Fredricks, LLC
Collaboration… it sounds so simple but as we get so entrenched in our daily lives to focus on rising trends, raising money, managing our leadership, volunteers, committees and staff, we often want to “just do it ourselves.” But we all know the results if that happens, we dig deeper in our silos and when we surface we don’t feel much satisfaction and in fact if feels pretty empty.
This is why I created the Congress session How to Successfully Involve the Leadership and Volunteers with the ASK. It would be far easier to do the ASK by yourself or with your staff then take the time to work with people who may or may not want to ask for money. I have found a way to “streamline your time and efforts so that you will WANT to involve, no more importantly INSPIRE them to help you. I have tested my simple and fun ways to engage them and I hope you will join me as we share these new concepts together. Read more »
President, The Osborne Group, Inc.
In today’s world, it’s a badge of honor to say, “I’m busy, busy, busy,” like the actor in the Angie’s List commercial. We’re proud of our crazy lives.
That is one side of the coin.
On the other side, we are working ten hour days, neglecting our health or families or friends or passions, trying to make it all happen, be successful and still have a life. Many of our jobs require evening and weekend work. As managers, we really have it tough. What messages are we sending to our teams when they receive emails from us at midnight? “But that was the only time I could send it.” Our staff members take cues from us. Working weekends, last one out the door at night, not setting priorities.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal talked about the “pass” those with children often receive. Flex time, understanding about having to leave early for a soccer match. Does taking care of a sick mother count? How about taking a graduate class? Who has to take up the slack so moms and dads get extra time? Does grand-parenting make the cut?
What to do? Read more »
Jane Griffith, MA
Principal & Fundraising Practice Leader, Odgers Berndtson Executive Search
Many job searches for fundraising executives are now being lead by professional search firms. This is a somewhat new experience for Fundraising executives, and many have questions about how the process works. What are the key skills and experiences that recruiters are looking for in fundraising executives? How do your structure your CV so that it highlights your personal successes, as well as your goals and aspirations? Should you post your information on sites such as LinkedIn? And how do you engage in a conversation with a recruiter – what are the do’s and do not’s? My session entitled “Speaking the Language of the Recruiter” will help answer these, and other, questions and provide some guidance about how the executive search process is completed. In the time leading up to this session, the AFP Congress Blog offers us a spot to start this conversation. I look forward to exchanging ideas with many of you here on the blog, and at my session.
Jane Griffith will presenting “The Next Generation of Non-Profit Leaders: Recruiting and Keeping the Best New Talent” at AFP Congress 2011