Posted by & filed under Career Development, Leadership/Management.

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Carolyn Hawthorn

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?

Extracurricular Fun

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 »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Congress, Leadership/Management, Speakers.

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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 »

Posted by & filed under Bursaries.

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Lorraine Crow

Development Officer, The Riverwood Conservancy

Receiving the news that I was the first recipient of the Mo Davies Bursary was a perfect start to my new position as Development Officer of The Riverwood Conservancy (TRC). TRC is a small and vibrant charity located in Riverwood Park in Mississauga and the bursary was a welcomed and valuable gift.

I immediately registered for the Planned Giving seminars at the 2013 Fundraising Day conference, hosted by the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter.  All the seminars at Fundraising Day were delivered by the experts in the field. As a result of attending the conference, I have a clearer understanding of Planned Giving which I will be able to share with our Fund Development Committee as this is an integral part of our fund development strategy to be launched in the fall of this year. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Leadership/Management, Marketing/Communications, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

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 »

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 Career Development.

Tara Irwin
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 »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Social Media, Speakers.

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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.


Posted by & filed under Data Management, Metrics, Speakers.

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Jody Dailey, CFRE, Associate Executive Director, Advancement Services, Ryerson University and Len Gamache, CFRE.

Data Security vs. Data Collection

“Big Data” seems to be all the buzz these days, but what does it mean for our development programs?

Many organizations are using reams of information that they have collected over the past number of years to make strategic decisions and predict outcomes. The growing viewpoint seems to be: “Keep everything because you don’t know when you might need it”.

But we were fortunate to hear a presentation recently from Kirk Bailey, Chief Information Security Officer, University of Washington. He detailed what keeps him up at night. Not least of which is the fact that 70 countries have active cyber-infiltration programs and his job is to monitor activity to ensure they don’t get access to any data systems at his university. His advice was loud and clear — store and use only the data you need and no more!

So what’s an organization to do with these two conflicting views of the world? Here is some practical advice… Read more »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Speakers.

Amy Wilkinson

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AMY WILKINSON
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 »