Posted by & filed under Inspiration, Opinion.

By Kristin Savage

Those who are interested in fundraising and want to know all about the important aspects of it can get really valuable information from fundraising blogs. The confusing part is that there are so many blogs which are concerned with this topic that it is hard to pick the best ones.

For this purpose, I have done some research and surfaced 7 best fundraising blogs for 2019 that offer inspiration, good ideas, and informative content. If you want a high-quality education in fundraising these are the blogs you should look into.

  1. The AFP Toronto Blog (the one you’re currently reading) – As the largest AFP Chapter in the world, the AFP Toronto blog hosts content that benefits both members and non-members to provide varied resources for today’s fundraisers and those working in the non-profit sector. The Chapter also frequently accepts submissions from guest contributors to provide an array of diverse perspectives from people working directly in the field! Interested in contributing? Contact to find out more.
  2. The Better Fundraising Blog – A great resource that claims to have the proven formula for effective fundraising.
  3. The Agitator – This blog offers ideas, applications, tools, processes, and case studies of break-through solutions in fundraising.
  4. Analytical Ones –Provides fundraising strategies rooted in insights driven from analytics and research.
  5. Bloomerang Blog – This blog helps nonprofit organizations to reach, engage, and retain the advocates they depend on to achieve their vision.
  6. Communicate! By Dennis Fischman –Aims to teach you how to win loyal friends for your nonprofit organization.
  7. Heroic Fundraising – A go-to blog for fresh industry insights.
  8. Clairification – This blog will motivate you and spark your passion for fundraising.

  Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Board of Directors, Leadership/Management, Volunteers.

Seeking Sector Leaders – Help Make Us Better

The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Committee on Directorship is looking for individuals to join the Chapter’s Board of Directors. We’re looking for members who have a strong commitment to the fundraising profession through service to AFP, other professional associations and the community at large.

These attributes, together with demonstrated leadership skills that reflect the communities we serve, will all be considered by the Committee on Directorship. A candidate should be prepared to discuss their interest in and potential contribution to AFP and the broader sector community.

The Chapter Board of Directors oversees the strategy, business, and brand of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter as it relates to our Strategic Plan, policies and membership needs. We are the largest Chapter in the world and the Board currently has seventeen members.

If you are interested in learning more about this process and the criteria through which applicants are considered, please click here for details and to apply.

Thank you in advance for your interest and involvement with AFP. We wish you continued success in 2019!

Best wishes,

Krishan Mehta, PhD
Chair, Committee on Directorship

Please submit your nomination form by Monday, March 18 at 5:00 PM EST.  
Thank you in advance for your interest and involvement with AFP!


Posted by & filed under Announcement, Case Study, Congress, Inspiration, Next Generation Philanthropy, Opinion, Special Events.

As part of #AFPCongress2018, we stayed true to our theme of disRupTing philanthropy by disrupting the way we deliver some of our unique, one-of-a-kind Congress content. For the first-time ever in Congress history, we recorded sessions live for a special AFP Congress podcast series that you can listen to on-the-go to gain inspiration & motivation as you move through your workday, on your commute to and from the office, and even as you enjoy your weekend…with podcasts, the choice of when and where to listen is yours!


What you’ll hear in each of these episodes is Congress come to life – the real sounds and conversations that our talented presenters and audience members had during the three days of Congress (November 19-21, 2018). Read more »

Posted by & filed under Campaign, Donor communications, Inspiration, Marketing/Communications, Opinion, Social Media, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

By Kayleigh Alexandra


Charities have a harder job than most when it comes to their marketing. While most brands offer their customers something in return for their custom, charities have to appeal to their donors’ generosity to see donations — easier said than done.

Charities need to up their game to see results. As a consequence, their marketing campaigns are often creative, innovative, and truly inspiring. Here are four of the best (and what you can learn from them).


Recommended reading: Developing Your Nonprofit Narrative


Save The Children (UK)

Back in 2014, the UK-based charity Save The Children partnered with creative agency Don’t Panic to arguably create the most hard-hitting marketing campaign on this list. Titled If London Were Syria (or Most Shocking Second a Day on YouTube), the first ad followed the life of a London schoolgirl whose life is turned upside-down when a civil war erupts in the UK. Created to bring the plight of Syrian child refugees to an otherwise distant audience, the ad was followed up two years later by another video following the same girl as she continues to survive in a war-torn UK.



This ad campaign is powerful, heart-wrenching and, above all, relatable. It is this empathetic quality that makes the ads so effective by placing the viewer painfully in the little girl’s shoes.


What you can learn from it: charities often work with terrible events or situations that seem unimaginable to western audiences.

War, genocide, and even domestic issues such as homelessness are incomprehensible to most donors. But by making these things relatable to your audience, even by forcing them to painfully confront these issues as Save The Children did, you’ll create an effective and impactful marketing campaign. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Marketing/Communications.

By Donna Moores


Content marketing has evolved drastically over the years and a new trend of the future has made its entrance in the arena – podcasting. Podcasting is now working its way towards becoming an essential part of the marketing mix and if you are looking for ways to improve your business’ reach and visibility, it is certainly a method worth exploring.

Although beneficial in numerous ways, podcasting is not as simple as it sounds. While some would prefer to prepare podcasts solo, others choose to benefit from the professional services of specialists such as Handmadewriting for expert editing to ensure the best quality of the podcast’s content.

But how can podcasting truly add value to your business? Let’s see what the six main reasons for considering podcasting in 2019 are!


  1. Story Telling Engages Customers Better

One of the most difficult tasks of a marketer is to engage customers in a non-intrusive way. According to research, 57% of consumers end up avoiding a brand if it bombards users with marketing content across channels. Podcasting tackles this problem effectively by providing an alternative to communicating with users in a more delicate manner.

Storytelling is among the most vital elements of consumer engagement and should not be underestimated in digital marketing. Podcasting offers a clever way of engaging with consumers by creating valuable stories.


  1. Mobile Friendly

The immense popularity of smartphones in the era we live in opens a door of opportunities for podcasts as part of content marketing and smartphones certainly drive podcast usage. The most convenient way of listening to a podcast is from a mobile device while consumers are stuck in traffic, working out in the gym or enjoying a walk in the park. In other words, podcasting sets the scene for targeting consumers at times when they are in their natural behaviors, relaxing or spending time off social media.


  1. Easy and Cost-Effective

When comparing podcasting to other marketing methods we can see that its turnaround time is quicker, the investments required are smaller and it is relatively easy to create. Of course, marketers will need some level of preparation in terms of necessary devices and technology for higher quality recordings but the investment is nothing compared to TV or radio advertising in the old days. Once you have recorded the discussion and have provided interesting information about your company’s products or services, you have set the perfect theme music and edited, you are ready to review the final podcast product in an instance.


Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Next Generation Philanthropy.

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 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.

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Career Development, Congress, Speakers, Special Events.

The call for speakers Congress 2019 is officially open!

Conference Dates: November 25-27, 2019
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building – Toronto, ON, Canada
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 18, 2019


We think you should submit. We think the fate of the world depends on it.

Here’s where you’ll find the website and online application.

(Is this your first speaker application? Have a look at our First-Timer’s Application Guide to learn how to craft a winning proposal.)


Back to that bit about changing the world:

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth wrote that “a high level of performance is in fact an accretion of mundane acts.” That’s what Congress 2019 is all about – grit. The little decisions we make every day that shape the trajectory of our careers, lives and the world we work so hard to change for the better.

This is one of those opportunities.


Think of it as the commitment to the extra inch: those daily choices that make you a better fundraiser, one small, mundane act at a time – until, suddenly, the world has changed forever. Isn’t that why you got into this business?


There’s no time to waste – our application window closes January 18, 2019.

Let’s get after it.


Matt Shaw

Chair, Congress 2019

Samantha Barr
Chair, Congress 2019 Education Committee


Posted by & filed under Congress, Diversity, Opinion, Special Events.

By Tricia Johnson


AFP Toronto’s Congress was an empowering and highly personal experience that is changing my outlook towards the fundraising sector. But it didn’t start off that way.


It started with my arms crossed against my chest and my mouth drawn tightly into a straight line. It was a frown to be honest, but it could have been mistaken for concentration.


Hadiya Roderique was giving the first plenary speech at Congress, Canada’s premiere educational forum for fundraisers. Ms. Roderique’s experience as a black lawyer on Bay Street made front page news of the Globe and Mail last fall, and here, her powerful and informed speech tackled the racism and exclusion present in Canada’s corporate culture. Her observations, statistics and personal experience brought the conference’s theme, “Disrupt Philanthropy” sharply into focus. It showed that philanthropic culture in Canada was not immune to the “-isms” that affect other sectors. For me it touched a nerve that I was used to covering up.


“Why is she talking about this?” I thought. “We already know this! Just deal with it and move on!”


Well, that’s exactly what she was doing. Head on. I too am a black woman. I am a fundraiser working in Ottawa since 2005. I know what it feels like to be the only person of colour in a crowded room. But I don’t talk about it. Instead I’ve gotten used to the discomfort and moved on. But am I moving? Really?

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Leadership/Management, Next Generation Philanthropy, Opinion, Special Events.

By John Paul de Silva – originally published on the Social Focus Consulting blog.


Vanity A La Mode, in front of podium, disrupting philanthropy in all the right ways


In my previous article on AFP Congress 2018, we explored how charities can reverse declining revenues by delighting donors, more specifically, by personalizing communications, running experiential events, and designing frictionless webpages. Ultimately, it’s people that drive and nurture such decisions, but how do we facilitate this kind of innovation and disruption? We do it through transformational leadership which requires introspection followed by extrospection.

Kishshana Palmer, presenting on transformational leadership and emotional intelligence


In Kishshana Palmer‘s session, she focused on emotional intelligence (EI) and its ability to help us motivate, inspire, boost, and push others, in turn, helping us become transformational leaders. According to Ms. Palmer, EI can be broken down into four domains or competencies: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management. Although the framework is centred around emotions, I believe it’s a good general framework for all contributing aspects of transformational fundraising leadership. Read more »