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

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 »

Posted by & filed under Financial/Legal.



Recently MP Mr. Peter Braid (Kitchener-Waterloo) introduced Bill C-458 on October 31, 2012 and it passed First Reading.  One component of the bill is to amend the Income Tax Act to allow for charitable gifts made by an individual by the end of February to be deducted from their taxable income for the previous taxation year.


Less staff overtime in December? Another donation deadline – where’s the downside? 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 Marketing/Communications, Stewardship/Donor Relations.


KAREN OSBORNE, President, The Osborne Group


You’re really busy. You’re making final calls, visits and appeals as you try to bring in as many end-of-the-year gifts as possible.  Of course, you sent out holiday cards. There are often office parties to go to as well. Whew. I know it’s a lot but I have one more “must do” to add to your list.

Provide meaningful, personal, WOW stewardship to donors, volunteers and internal partners.

Stewardship is more than well wishes. It’s more than thank you. It is sharing the impact of ALL of the gifts of time, talent, treasure, and introductions your peers, volunteers and donors provided. It is connecting them directly to the mission in personal ways. And for those special people who gave so much of themselves, it is making them say, “Wow, I truly feel appreciated and valued above and beyond anything I expected.”

  1. Take a colleague out for coffee to let her know how much she contributed to the year’s outstanding results even though she is not a direct fundraiser.
  2. Give your CEO and chair of the board a list of donors to call to say, “Thank you again for (fill in specifics and tie it to outcomes and impact).”
  3. Interview a beneficiary and film it using your smartphone. Email it to a donor with a note that says, “You helped make this happen. Thank you again for all you do for the people we serve.”

Make a list of all of the “personal capital” (human, intellectual, expertise, networks and financial) a volunteer contributed down one side of a piece of paper, and then the difference that was made as a result on the other side. Drop by or call and share the wonderful list.

Remember to make your stewardship:

~ Personal
~ Meaningful to the donor, colleague or volunteer
~ Specific
~ And focused on IMPACT

Everyone feels good when they know that (a) they made and difference and (b) someone noticed.

Karen is the President of The Osborne Group, Inc., an international management and training consultancy focused on NGO capacity building; all aspects of fund development including campaign planning and implementation; opinion research including donor satisfaction surveys and feasibility studies; and organizational management including board development and strategic planning. Follow Karen on Twitter @kareneosborne. Visit for free podcasts, blog posts, webinars, videos and tools.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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 »