The deep, and often unexamined, tension between raising money and doing good is one of the most persistent challenges within the nonprofit sector. Misconceptions, values, and scarcity mindsets can disrupt not only effective fundraising but also its connection to mission achievement. In this session, we will explore the influence of implicit beliefs and values about money on fundraising strategy and success. We will share our approach for elevating fundraising and mission achievement, and for having more courageous conversations with Boards, senior leadership and other influential stakeholders. By disrupting current mental models and opening up new discussions, we will better engage leaders, see new possibilities, and help make braver and wiser decisions that ultimately, will lead to a bigger social impact.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Explore your own mental models about money and how this influences your own practice and decisions

2. Gain insight and confidence for having more courageous conversations

3. Be equipped with resources for better connecting fundraising to mission achievement

Tanya Darisi



A highly-skilled applied researcher and evaluator, Tanya has close to 20 years’ experience working in the social service, community development and health sectors. Prior to launching Openly, Tanya founded The O’Halloran Group, a social change organization with a mission to ensure inclusion, wellbeing and dignity. For 10 years she was Research Lead at Decision Partners, helping to build their mental models application in the fields of decision-making, strategic communication and risk-management. From 2011 to 2015, she was Executive-in-Residence at Capacity Canada, where she shared her love of research and evaluation to help those in the nonprofit sector work with confidence and impact. Her core areas of contribution include research, evaluation, capacity building, design and strategy development.

Cathy Mann, MA, CFRE


Cathy Mann & Associates

Recognized with the 2018 Outstanding Fundraising Professional award from AFP, Toronto, Cathy is President of Cathy Mann & Associates where she helps clients develop build sustainable development programs.  For a decade, until 2018, Cathy influenced fundraising professionals in Toronto and across Canada in her role as Academic Coordinator at Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management program. As an instructor, Cathy was known for breaking down complex matters into achievable actions.  During her 5-year tenure as Executive Director, Frontier College Foundation received the 2007 Award for Excellence in Fundraising for Small Shops from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals. Cathy is an active volunteer and frequent speaker. With AFP Toronto, she held many roles:  V.P. of Professional Development, mentor and founder of the Diversity Committee which evolved into the Inclusion and Equity Committee. Occasionally, she plays her ukulele in public.

Lisa Watson

Co-Founder & CEO


Lisa Watson is Co-Founder and CEO of Openly, a strategy and analytics company committed to amplifying social good. Lisa is a highly skilled leadership and social impact strategist designing, implementing and evaluating social impact strategies. As a consultant, coach and mentor, her core areas of contribution include strategy design, strategic learning, organizational development and adaptive leadership. Lisa held senior positions leading strategic policy and planning in the Ontario provincial government and United Way Toronto & York Region. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo-McConnell Foundation Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and holds degrees from Dalhousie University in Psychology and Social Work. She teaches at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, and has previously taught at the Schulich Executive Education Centre and the Canadian Organizational Development Institute. Lisa is known for bringing a human-centred perspective to all areas of social change.