Session Description:

There are a myriad of familiar misconceptions about professional fundraisers. These false narratives have eroded the public’s trust in what fundraisers do and why they do it. At worst, this can lead to a full-on crisis in our profession. It’s time to set the record straight...but how?

Based on research led by the Rogare Critical Institute for Fundraising and a group of AFP Canadian volunteers, AFP Canada has created a brand new fundraising narrative.

This session will arm you with the tools and information you need to help you better articulate the importance of your work to the public, the media, your boss, your Board, to those pesky relatives who still haven't quite figured it out, and perhaps most importantly, your donors.

It's time to stop apologizing for our work as professional fundraisers. It's time to stop being defensive about the need to ask for money. Let’s work together to start a new, more positive dialogue.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn how to stop apologizing for their work and how to feel more positive (rather than defensive) about the need to ask for money
  • Participants will learn a new and more positive narrative about fundraisers in Canada
  • Participants will learn how to explain to key stakeholders the work that they do as fundraisers and why it is so important

This Session is ACFRE approved.

Jennifer Johnstone

President and CEO

Central Cities Foundation

Jennifer Johnstone is President & CEO of Central City Foundation, an organization that has been working to improve the lives of people in need in Vancouver’s inner city since 1907. Today, Central City Foundation is a $50 million foundation with 40% of its capital invested in its mission. CCF owns innovative, sustainable social purpose real estate properties that provide low-income housing, integrated family services and early childhood development, youth services, social enterprises and healthcare including BC’s only long-term treatment centre for youth challenged by addiction. Jennifer’s background is in non-profit management and community resource development. Over the past 30 years, she has held key leadership positions with organizations including Vancity Community Foundation, Battered Women’s Support Services, Vancouver Status of Women, and Ballet British Columbia. Jennifer has also maintained a successful private consulting practice in fundraising and organizational development and is an instructor in the Fundraising Certificate Program at BCIT. An in-demand speaker about non-profit management and innovation, philanthropy and fundraising ethics, social purpose real estate, and inner-city issues, Jennifer is also a leader in the community for her continued mentorship of women and youth. Jennifer remains passionately committed to social justice and community investment, serving as a Board member with several local organizations and is a member of the Board of AFP Canada.

Ian MacQuillin


Rogare - The Fundraising Think Tank

Ian MacQuillin MInstF(Dip) is the director of the international fundraising think tank Rogare, which he founded in 2014. 

He’s recognised as a leading thinker on fundraising ethics, having developed a new theory of fundraising ethics that seeks to balance fundraisers’ duties to both their donors and beneficiaries.

Ian edits the Critical Fundraising blog and runs and moderates the Critical Fundraising Forum on Facebook, which has more that 1,1000 critically-minded fundraisers from all over the world. He writes a regular column for Third Sector magazine and regularly contributes to the specialist charity media around the world. Ian is also an in-demand speaker on the global fundraising conference circuit.

Twitter: @IanMacQuillin; @RogareFTT.