Gone are the days where corporations give truly ‘charitable’ gifts. Now, contributions are managed like investments made to impact the bottom line. Or are they? Join our curator, Naki Osutei, as she moderates a lively and interactive debate of industry titans as they explore emerging trends in corporate giving and argue for, and against, the death of corporate philanthropy as we know it.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand different motivations for corporate giving
  2. Identify emerging trends to upgrade your solicitation approach
  3. Gain an insight into the funding decision-making process from leading corporations

Curated by Naki Osutei, Director of Partnerships and Engagement, Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank.

Worth 2 CFRE points.

Linda Barlow

Director, Corporate Partnerships

Heart & Stroke

A business development and sponsorship professional, Linda is the Director of Corporate Partnerships for Heart & Stroke, Ontario. With over 14 years of experience with some of Canada’s largest health charities, Linda is currently responsible for providing strategic leadership and management of Heart & Stroke’s corporate fundraising plan. Prior to joining Heart & Stroke, Linda served as the Director of Corporate Partnerships at JDRF Canada, where her team secured the first ever title and national sponsor for the newly rebranded REVOLUTION Ride to Defeat Diabetes in addition to the first national sponsor for the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Linda holds a HBA from University of Toronto and has a certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of St. Michaels College.

Mark Beckles, MBA

Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

With over 25 years’ experience in financial services, Mark has held executive leadership roles in banking, insurance, risk management and the non-profit sector.

Currently, Mark is the Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation and has national responsibility for executing RBC Future Launch, a $500MM investment to ensure that young Canadians are ready for the future of work. Prior to assuming this role, Mark was Head, RBC Insurance Advice Centre, responsible for leading over 500 licensed insurance advisors who provide insurance advice and solutions to RBC Insurance clients across Canada. Mark has served as Regional Vice President, Retail Banking in the Greater Toronto Region at RBC.

Mark is actively engaged in the community and has volunteered on many boards.  He currently serves on the board of Harbourfront Centre, and is an Advisory Board member of the Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organization. In 2011, Mark received the City of Toronto Bob Marley Award for his commitment to diversity and City Building. In 2012, he was recognized with the BBPA Distinguished Men of Honor Award. He was also recognized for his work in support of the Canadian Sickle Cell Network. In 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his community volunteerism. In 2015, Mark received the 2015 Harry Jerome award for Professional Excellence.

Mark holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Bradford and has completed executive programs with Richard Ivey School of Business, and Rotman Business School. Mark is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds the (ICD.D) designation.

Mark is married with three children and enjoys reading, jazz and football.

Shannon Gorman, MBA, CFRE

National Director, Community Affairs


A leader in corporate philanthropy, Shannon Gorman is the National Director of Community Affairs for TELUS, responsible for delivering the company’s innovative community investment strategies. Shannon leads a team of 15 Community Investment personnel across Canada and Internationally. She is responsible for 11 Canadian and four International Community Boards, which engage community leaders in allocating funds to address local needs. Shannon was instrumental in TELUS being the first Canadian company to be recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the most philanthropic corporation in the world.

Prior to joining TELUS, Shannon was a senior executive with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation for more than 13 years, where she played a key role in raising more than $30 million to increase cancer survivorship in Ottawa.

Shannon holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA), is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and has certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility from both Harvard Business School and Boston College.  Shannon is currently a candidate in the Masters of Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership with Carleton University’s Public Policy and Administration Program and is a popular speaker in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility and development. 

Shannon has served as a director on many boards of both local and national charities including; the Ottawa Humane Society, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre Foundation, and Canadian Women in Communications & Technology.  Shannon enjoys volunteering her time at the Ottawa Mission and Youville Centre where she recently developed a mentorship program.

Shannon resides in Ottawa with her husband Mike. 

Naki Osutei

Director of Partnerships and Engagement, Corporate Citizenship

TD Bank

Naki Osutei is a leader guided by a commitment to changing the face of leadership in all sectors to better reflect the reality of the Canadian population. She has advanced this agenda in roles in the not-for-profit, public and private sector. Today she is the Director of Partnerships and Engagement for the Corporate Citizenship department at TD Bank. Naki's team develops partnership and engages individuals and organizations in support of the Bank's purpose to enrich lives. Among her team's responsibilities include: enterprise-wide employee engagement campaigns, including the United Way annual employee giving campaign; the TD Volunteer Network; TD's Arts and Archives department and the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership. Prior to coming to TD, Naki worked in Executive Talent Management at CIBC supporting the development of executives and 'near-executives' while also working to diversify the executive pipeline; was an HR Director, and led the corporate diversity and legacy strategies for the TORONTO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games; and developed several city-building projects and leadership development programs at CivicAction, including co-creating DiverseCity Fellows, North America's first "civic MBA". She is also an avid volunteer and has served on the Boards of Seneca College, West Neighbourhood House, BMW Foundation’s Young Leaders Transatlantic Forum and was a speaker coach for TEDxToronto.
Greg Sarney

Director, Corporate Partnerships

Canadian Red Cross

Greg has spent more than 18 years in marketing, communications and development roles with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Prostate Cancer Canada, Easter Seals Canada and other regional and national health and social service charities. With a love of marrying corporate social responsibility interests and public sector priorities, he has negotiated high value, multi-year partnerships with organizations such as Desjardins Insurance, Bayer Canada, Shaw Communications, Federated Co-Op Limited, Dairy Farmers of Canada and others. As the director of national corporate partnerships for the Canadian Red Cross, Greg works with organizations across multiple industries to drive millions of dollars per year in support of CRC’s disaster appeals and Emergency Management, First Aid, Swimming & Water Safety and Bullying Prevention programs.