By Emily Barrie
“Leave something behind, be curious, and surround yourself with good people”.
These are simply a few of the takeaways I left Fundraising Day 2019 with; and as a first-time attendee I can confidently say that as I boarded the Lakeshore West train I was heading back home with a number of new tools in my fundraising toolkit.
I am early on in my career as a professional fundraiser, and have been a member of the AFP for less than a year. Always eager to learn and improve my skill-set I decided that it was time for me dig deeper and dive into my fundraising education. So naturally I found myself on AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day 2019 website, hovering over the “complete registration” button. At first I was a bit hesitant as not only would I not know anyone, this would be the first time I’ve attended an event like this. Of course, I could hear the little fundraiser voice in the back of my head saying “you won’t know unless you ask”, or in this case, attend. So after debating over which sessions I wanted to participate in I found myself looking at that same registration button, and clicked.
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By Loretta Lam
Understand Your Audience Before You Ask
May 30, 2019 – I was at a conference today filled with around 500 attendees from small to large not-for profit organizations. The conference, called Fundraising Day and appropriately themed “The Fabric of Fundraising” in celebration of its 25th year, was organized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter. I made remarks at one of the sessions at the conference about the importance for fundraisers to understand the changing fabric of Canada.
Canada now has over 40,000 immigrants every year and 7.1 million Canadians’ mother tongue is neither English nor French. By 2036, 34% of Canadians will be multicultural consumers. Charities and not-for-profit organizations have to understand that their current and future donations, sponsorships, volunteers and employees will come from these immigrants. Fundraisers need to adapt their fundraising and marketing strategies to the fast changing demographics. With that being said, I wonder how many of them have hit some roadblocks along the way before they realized they need a different approach to this unique audience segment.
The Chinese, for example, are known for their charitable giving and generosity, but they are not keen to give just because you have a good cause. With so many good causes, how can you push the right buttons to get results? Many organizations make the mistake of asking before the right relationships have been built. From my own personal history and experience, I have learned that doing business with the Chinese requires building positive relationships and trust. This same principle applies to fundraising in the Chinese community (and in the sector at large). While immigrant Chinese are trying to integrate into the Canadian culture, it is important to keep in mind that most were brought up with a very different set of values, which still shape how they think and behave.
So, how do we embrace these values and diversity in our fundraising?
Here are 6 quick tips to get you started:
Where were you in 1994?
Ann Rosenfield shares her thoughts on how the sector has changed over the past 25 years…
You’ve come a long way, baby. Maybe.
“Let’s face it. Women are not major donors.” said the head of fundraising in my first job in 1994. Some things have sure improved since then while other areas are the same, or worse. In honour of this year’s Fundraising Day throwback theme, here’s what’s what in our profession then and now.
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
What’s with us fundraisers and planned giving? In 1994, fundraisers were always trying to carve out some time for planned giving with limited success. The same issue still seems true today. As a sector, we still seem to think this is something to focus on tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. This short-sighted approach is part of a continuing problem with an over-emphasis on immediate revenue over long-term growth and stability.
Meanwhile direct mail has proved the doomsayers wrong! Back in 1994, you would have heard all kinds of workshops on how direct mail was going to disappear. While mail has changed with the times, paper letters in paper envelopes are still an important part of a fundraising strategy.
In 1994 all jobs were permanent, full-time positions with benefits and pensions. The rise of contract employment has meant that young professionals (and even senior leaders) find themselves in unstable employment today. This is bad for us as professionals and bad for the field. In a sector that is supposed to provide solutions to social problems, it is inexcusable that an increasing segment of our employees can’t enjoy stable, secure employment with benefits. Read more »
Happy 2019! And welcome to a new year of Advancing Philanthropy reporting that documents our strong belief in Fundraising…The Impact Profession.
We christened the January 2019 issue “Hard Scrabble” for the specific stories it tells and the difficult challenges our members are tackling across the board. “Unending hard work and struggle”— hard scrabble’s dictionary meaning — are common to the articles you will find here, but so are the words “transformation”, “triumph”, and “success.”
ICON Highlights: Take a sneak peek inside ICON 2019 by reading “An AFP Insider’s Look at Mission City,” as told by former AFP San Antonio chapter leader Lynne Dean. Get to know our terrific 2019 plenary speakers, Spencer West and Soledad O’Brien, in Q & As that dig deep into their remarkable “Life Stories.” And obtain the most for your time and money with productivity guru Chad Barger’s guide to the biggest fundraising conference on earth.
Back to the day-in, day-out nitty gritty, settle down with the special section on “Rethinking Capital Campaigns.” Its twelve pages are packed with insights into the future of capital campaigns, trends you need to know, the new role of campaign consultants, and data-driven fundraising as well as inspiring case studies from Alaska to Delaware to New York City.
Above all, please send your comments and suggestions to me at Susan.Swift@afpglobal.org or call me at 703 519 8489 to engage with AP regarding future issues of your membership magazine and web-only content now under construction. We look forward to hearing from you.
Read the latest issue here.