At a time when nonprofit leaders find themselves in an increasingly diverse philanthropic environment, understanding how to harness the power of cultural diversity is essential. This session includes:
- Information and insights about the effects of culture and traditions on giving.
- Information on specific population groups and their cultures, traditions, and practices in Canada that affect and influence philanthropy.
- Real-life examples from four representatives from the major cultural groups who will give short examples of what works and why these considerations are important.
- Suggestions for the culturally-proficient professional, particularly in fundraising.
This session presents the how-to, research, and current affairs and issues and is based on our new book, Diversity and Philanthropy, as well as a combined 30+ years of practice, research, and presentations on the topic. Although knowledge on this topic has been discussed and researched since the mid-nineties, we also know from surveys and practitioner feedback that most fundraisers do business as usual when it comes to considering cultural differences in fundraising. In addition to the above, this session will provide suggestions for implementation of practices interspersed with group and individual exercises.

Learning Objectives:

The expected outcomes will be:

  1. A heightened awareness of the effect of culture, tradition, roots and religious influences in giving in North America, especially Canada
  2. A self-examination of attitudes and practices,
  3. Development of a preliminary plan for organizational and fundraising practice change.

Bill Hallett, PhD, ACFRE


Hallett Horlor Inc.

Bill has spoken at numerous conferences, including AFP’s International Fundraising Conference, International Fundraising Congress (IFC), Toronto's AFP Congress and Fund Raising Day, CAGP Conferences, Association of Health Care Philanthropy Conferences, NAYDO Conferences and many others. In 2016 Lilya Wagner asked Bill to write a Foreword for her book, Diversity and Philanthropy.
From 2011-2015 he taught the Major Gifts Course in Humber College’s Fundraising Certificate Program. He was selected as AFP Toronto’s Outstanding Fundraising Executive in 2003 and was the first Canadian to serve on AFP International’s Executive Committee. In 2008 he served as the Chair of the AFP Canada Council.

Lilya Wagner, Ed.D., CFRE


Philanthropic Service

Dr. Lilya Wagner is a first generation American, and was a refugee and immigrant.  Her early life caused her to learn four languages, live on three continents, cross two oceans, and live in as diverse a place as New York City, all before she was 10 years old.  She is Director of Philanthropic Service and is on the faculty of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy as well as St. Mary’s University. Previously Lilya was Vice President for Philanthropy at an international development organization. She is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter in North America and internationally. Her published writings include books, articles and book chapters on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector as well as many other topics.