For many organizations, the ability to have assigned Major Gifts officers whose sole responsibility is the solicitation of major gifts is quickly becoming a luxury that they can no longer afford. More and more these staff are challenged to handle broad and diverse portfolios that include not just major gifts, but events, mid- level giving, planned giving and specialty annual giving campaigns.

Learning outcomes

  • Map out how to balance it all while still maintaining an effective major gifts strategy

Niambi Martin-John

Director of Fund Development

Diabetes Canada

Niambi Martin-John describes herself as a community mobilizer, advocate, teacher and fundraiser. She has spent the last 23 years working in education, community engagement and fundraising at various levels.

Today, Niambi is the Director of Leadership Philanthropy and Donor Relations at Diabetes Canada. There, she leads the strategic planning process and implementation of a national strategy to raise funds to address the growing epidemic of diabetes in Canada. Her portfolio includes Major Gifts, Special Appeal Campaigns, Planned Giving and Foundations. She uses an integrated, mission centered approach to fundraising, collaborating with interorganizational partners to drive revenue by leveraging organizational advocacy, research and education and program outcomes as donor opportunities.

 Niambi uses her skills and experience to mentor and guide other fundraisers and nonprofit sector staff, as is evident in her recent role as an instructor at Seneca College, Newnham Campus. Niambi taught students enrolled in the Non-Profit Leadership Post Graduate Certificate Program, how to build relationships within the nonprofit sector, focusing on Collective Impact through cross sectoral partnerships to address complex social issues.

She hopes to continue advancing her career through volunteerism and executive level fundraising work focused on social issues including health, poverty alleviation, equity and the environment.