The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter is a recognized leader in promoting philanthropy and providing education, training and best practices for those in the fundraising profession. With more than 1200 members, the Greater Toronto Chapter is the largest of the more than 240 AFP chapters throughout the world.
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Written by: Sue Lockett, CFRE
Preferred pronouns (she/her)
Most days my brain is occupied with names of animated characters and a growing list of foods my daughter finds unappealing. Toss in the ever-changing shoe sizes and passwords to multiple early learning websites, and my brain begins to reach capacity. Enter COVID-19 with its host of protocols for work and school and extracurricular lessons – it seems impossible to retain one more piece of information.
As my daughter enters Grade 1, I’m slowly expunging a wealth of infant and toddler information to allow more adult thoughts to regain some real estate in my brain. But it’s a process, and in some cases I still feel as though I’ve had my head in the sand for five years, especially when it comes to what’s happening globally regarding our treatment of each other as humans.
The pandemic has brought to light the bad and the ugly, but also the good. There are groups out there who are learning and trying to do better. I’m proud to see the fundraising sector is one of them. AFP is dedicating resources and asking their members to guide them towards better inclusivity. This year’s NOT Congress includes an array of session leaders who speak passionately and confidently on this topic.
Sarah Kay is changing the world “one step, one poem, one pun at a time” with her popular spoken-word poetry. From a Norwegian fjord to an LGBTQ gathering in India, she has educated and empowered people through her poetic performances in over 30 countries.
Nicole McVan and Tanya Rumble teach fundraisers to better understand positions of power and privilege to become more authentic and effective in their work. Nicole describes themself as a white, transgender, non-binary professional who believes in the goodness of humanity. Tanya speaks from her lived experience as a mixed-race women in an interracial partnership, who is also a third culture kid.
If you’re a parent like me, or simply a fundraiser feeling overwhelmed, I suggest you begin to create some vacant areas in your brain that you can fill with inspiring content from speakers like Sarah, Nicole and Tanya. Their uniquely rich backgrounds and experiences will complement the valuable knowledge they have to share with you. Learn how to lead your team forward and better relate with your donors in an ever-changing world.
All speakers will deliver sessions at AFP’s NOT Congress, a virtual fundraising conference taking place November 23-25.
Written by: Sue Lockett, CFRE
Preferred pronouns (she/her)
As a seasoned fundraiser who has spent most of her career in the healthcare landscape there was a time when I was more laser-focused in my professional development – sticking almost entirely to healthcare sessions. With so many conferences and webinars available, and often a tight budget (and little time!), I felt that hearing directly from my healthcare mentors would help me to stay atop of my field.
I still believe this is a terrific use of time and keeps one relevant and competitive. Passionate donors are shopping around, and they are talking with your peers at other health institutions. Sector-based development and the hopeful validation of one’s best practices adds confidence to your approach. This knowledge allows you to paint a picture for an investor using tools and language they recognize and already understand.
However, once in a while you need to shake things up a bit. To peer into a different realm and see what treasures you might be able to transport back into healthcare.
This is how I felt the first year I attended AFP Congress. There was so much to glean from both healthcare and non-healthcare peers. Innovative donor activities that were happening in social services, arts, education… that could be modified and applied to some of my healthcare donor interactions. I found the content and the presenters fresh and inspiring. There was also a focus on ‘moving forward faster’ through digital engagement and highly personalized stewardship – things that a smaller or younger non-profit can be more nimble with, but could definitely find a place in a healthcare foundation’s plans.
In it’s virtual and affordable format, this year’s NOT Congress is very accessible – even if you can only join in real time for a few sessions.
Most healthcare organizations have a loyal group of donors who have pledged a planned gift – a decision often driven by the family having an affinity with the hospital during their lifetime. But we seem to struggle with marketing this option to those who might not have a direct relationship as a grateful patient. In “How to Build a Branded Legacy Program that Raises Big Bucks: The Amnesty International Case Study” speakers Hala Al-Madi, Bryan Tenenhouse, Lisette Gelinas, and Donna Richardson will share their experience of building a branded program that inspires an emotive response. They will walk us through what it takes to bring our Legacy brand to life with story-telling, in a way that inspires more donors to consider the wise decision of leaving our organization a gift in their Will.
Like many sectors, healthcare is traditionally reliant on special events and sometimes has the advantage of having many attendees located in a fairly close radius of the hospital. The pandemic has made in-person events a sparse option and a great number of staff and volunteers are working remotely. Make-A-Wish® Canada has staff and volunteers across the country and they are already thinking innovatively and practically how to keep them engaged while driving donor revenue. In their session, Gemma Cowan and Patricia Dolla will speak to the virtual tools and techniques they use to engage staff remotely and offer advice (and a plan!) to host staff collaboration sessions in your organization with measurable outcomes.
And for those looking to maintain their laser focus on healthcare content, Tony Myers and Sue McCoy will deliver a session called “Major Donor Transitions: The Most Important 10 Seconds in a Donor Conversation.” Sue McCoy is Director of Major Gifts at Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, where she oversees a team securing $9 million a year in donations. Sue and Tony will pull from their 50 years of combined experience, as they share what they’ve learned about how to “Get to the Point” as you reach the solicitation phase with your prospects.
Ted Garrard, CEO, SickKids Foundation along with Greg Hagin will present an intriguing session titled “The Donor is Dead. Long Live the Donor.” and enlist the shared knowledge of 3 additional panelists to explore and de-mystify the life and death of legacy giving in the age of digital transformation.
So whether you commit to broadening your learning with the allure of fresh ideas, or stay the course to seek emerging trends from health sector masters, register soon for AFP’s NOT Congress taking place Nov 23-25.