Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Board of Directors, Diversity, Leadership/Management.

As we head into our 2020-2021 cycle at the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter and continue to adjust to the unprecedented challenges we face as a society and sector, we want to reiterate our commitment to Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) principles.

 

Within our Chapter, we know that we must continue to have often uncomfortable conversations at the Board and leadership level as well as with our membership and with those within our sector in order to move the dial on issues to ensure we are living up to our commitment to IDEA.

 

We want to thank our colleagues at AFP Global for hosting an important town hall as a first-step of ongoing conversations and IDEA initiatives to address the issues of anti-Black racism and oppression within the fundraising sector. We were happy to see many of our fellow Chapter and Canadian members tune in to learn more about the different ways we can come together to take action to combat systemic racism.
Following this town hall, at the Chapter level we have had ongoing discussions with our colleagues at AFP Global and AFP Canada about how we can continue these conversations to take further action and continue to develop important AFP IDEA programs and initiatives.

 

One of our first actionable steps is to have our Chapter Board and staff participate in formal, ongoing unconscious bias, anti-Black racism and anti-oppression training to ensure we address these issues at a governance level. It is the responsibility of the Board to build the trust of the membership by demonstrating our personal commitment to greater awareness of different experiences and perspectives and our role in speaking out and fighting against systemic racism.

 

Further to that, we have also committed to ensuring our educational programming going forward – starting at this year’s virtual Congress – will include sessions specifically focused on unconscious bias, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism to help raise awareness to stamp out systemic racism within our sector. We look forward to working with our Congress management committee, Chapter volunteers and the larger AFP membership to attract the best representatives of this important field of study to lead these discussions.

 

As a Chapter we want to take a leadership role in ensuring that our members are equipped to work in the sector and organizations in our sector embrace an inclusive workforce and cultivate an inclusive donor community.  To help with this, we will also continue to support AFP Global on evolving AFP IDEA best practices and initiatives and provide regular updates to our members on our collective efforts.

 

 

We will continue our efforts to create an environment and opportunities within our Chapter that support open communication and dialogue to allow our membership to speak candidly about the barriers that exist that prevent them from advancing within our profession. In doing this work we are committed to unlearning outdated systems and practices that no longer serve us and are ready and willing to listen, gather and respond to your feedback.

 

We recognize that these commitments are not the complete solution, however we believe they are important concrete steps towards achieving a Chapter that is responsive to the needs of our members and sector. We encourage you to reach out to us via Penny Connors, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter Executive Director, should you have any questions, feedback or ideas on how we can work together to combat systemic anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and oppression within our Chapter and sector.

 

Thank you in advance for your patience and support as we continue to have these important conversations and work towards the best approaches for sector-wide change. We look forward to building a better, stronger more inclusive and diverse AFP Greater Toronto Chapter and cultivating meaningful change toward ending anti-Black and anti-Indigenous systemic racism within our sector.

 

Sincerely,

Penny Connors
Executive Director, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter

AFP Greater Toronto Chapter Board of Directors:

Amy Pawluk, CFRE                                                                                                    Jennifer Bernard, CFRE
President                                                                                                                     President-Elect

Caroline Riseboro                                                                                                        Seanna Millar
Immediate Past-President                                                                                           VP, Finance & Audit

Sandra Sualim, CFRE                                                                                                 Michelle Vinokurov, CFRE
VP, Governance & Directorship                                                                                   VP, Professional Development

Sasha Manes                                                                                                               Cindy Ball, CFRE
VP, Membership & Marketing                                                                                       VP, Public Affairs

Ken Aucoin, CFRE                                                                                                       Brady Hambleton, CM
Chair, Human Resources                                                                                             Chair, Sponsorship

Paula Attfield                                                                                                                Danielle Mandell, CHRL
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Roselyn Sagar-Lal, CFRE                                                                                            Simone Hicken
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Mary-Lynne Stewart                                                                                                     Sara Ly
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Teresa Vasilopoulos, CFRE, MBA                                                                                Cheryl Denomy
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Dane Shumak, CFRE                                                                                                   Pamela Ross, CFRE
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Stacey Silverberg Carcao, CFRE, BCL, LLB                                                               Aki Temiseva
Member at Large                                                                                                         Member at Large

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Announcement, Diversity, Inspiration, Leadership/Management.

With the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police and the protests that have ensued, many are asking what we can do to end racism in America and across the world. On June 15, AFP Global hosted a town hall for a conversation about the actions AFP and fundraisers can take to bring about a more inclusive and just profession and society. Hosted by Michelle Edgerton and including presenters Kishshana Palmer, Simone Joyaux, Ken Miller and Marco Corona, this town hall conversation is the first of many ongoing discussions between AFP and its members to ensure inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) principles are acted on and upheld within the sector.

Learn more about each of the panelists here & watch the town hall below:

The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter staff and Board of Directors, reiterate our commitment to supporting initiatives that combat anti-black racism and oppression within our Chapter and sector. We know there is more work to be done and we are committed to continuing to working together with each of you, our members and sector partners, to eliminate systemic anti-black racism and oppression and stamping out the inequities faced by Black Indigenous and racialized individuals within our sector as we work towards a more positive and equal future.

Learn more about our Chapter & AFP Global’s IDEA work here.

Please stay tuned for further updates on this work to come. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us at info@afptoronto.org should you have any questions or if you would like to get involved in this important work.

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Announcement, Diversity, Ethics, Leadership/Management, Next Generation Philanthropy.

 

As part of the AFP family and on behalf of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, I want to echo the words and sentiments of Mike Geiger “fundraisers are the voice of those who are not heard. And that point has never been more important than now.”

We all represent different organizations and causes but we must all recognize that racism exists, has existed for far too long and we must come together to fight to end these tragedies and the continued heartbreak.

The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter is committed to our AFP inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) priorities and support efforts across AFP globally with projects such as the recent Our Right to Heal, highlighting the challenges that black women face every day. Thank you to our members and others who contributed to this important project and to our collective continued efforts to eliminate racism and move forward respectfully.

As we move into our 2020-21 Board and Committee cycle, the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter will focus efforts from staff, Board and volunteers on continuing to include IDEA in our discussions, event planning and initiatives. We fully support combating anti-black racism within our sector and communities and we are committed to continue evolving the Chapter’s work to support our members from all racialized communities.

The tragic deaths of George Floyd and too many others under these circumstances must stop. We must work together as fundraisers and non-profit professionals, as informed citizens, and as role models to future generations to end these tragedies and institutional and blatant racism.

As a bi-racial woman growing up in Toronto, I felt personally the sadness and impact of racism my mother experienced coming to Canada and adjusting to life here. The violence, trauma, stress and overall negative impact and inequities experienced by black and other racialized individuals needs to end.

 

Penny Connors
Executive Director, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Career Development, Mentorship, Networking, Next Generation Philanthropy, Volunteers.

Meighan Bell and Kate Black, CFRE first met as colleagues at Plan International Canada in early 2017 working together to pursue ambitious fundraising revenue targets, supporting and bringing awareness to children’s rights and gender equality worldwide – a cause that both are inherently passionate about. They’ve been members of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter for a number of years and have volunteered with our Chapter Education committee to support various professional development programs. Now, Meighan and Kate are giving back in a new way – by offering all-new virtual mentorship opportunities to fellow members who want to get involved, network, enhance their skills and grow both personally and professionally. We asked Meighan and Kate to tell us more about their own experiences with mentorship and about their vision for the program:

 

As two self-driven and highly motivated fundraising professionals, we have had many conversations about career progression, opportunities for growth within the sector and the challenges that young fundraising professionals face within the GTA – opportunities for effective and impactful mentorship among them. After doing our research and exploring different mentorship programs and initiatives that other AFP Chapters across the country have adopted, we are thrilled to Co-Chair the re-launch of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Mentorship Program (2020-2021)! Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Diversity, Ethics, Inspiration, Leadership/Management.

Originally published on AFP Global’s President’s Perspective blog.

 

As we enter another week of fundraising in the COVID-19 era, we again find that the landscape is changing.

We continue to adjust to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus and the resulting impact on the economy. Now though, other events have taken center stage: the anguish and anger over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor—a black man killed by police officers in Minneapolis and a black woman killed by police officers in Louisville, Ky.—and the resulting protests and violence that continue to unfold in cities across the United States and around the world.

I have often said that fundraisers are the voice of those who are not heard. And that point has never been more important than now.

Part of the job of the charitable sector centers on service provision, whether it’s in partnership with the government, or helping out in service areas where the government cannot provide them or has failed to do so.

But we, especially as fundraisers, also play a critical role in creating connections and bringing people together—uniting communities to work on a cause. We provide a safe haven for different perspectives and unheard voices. We work to ensure that the principles we espouse so much in our society—such as diversity, fairness, compassion and justice, to name a few—become a reality.

Even if our causes appear to be unrelated to these issues, we must understand that people will want and need to talk about them. We need to provide a platform so they can express themselves, and we need to be sure to listen, understand and help find solutions to bring about change.

This is the fabric of our world—and frankly, always has been. This is what people are experiencing and living. This is the world in which we raise funds and provide services. If we don’t meet people in that world—and have empathy and seek to create change—then we are doing them, and our causes, a disservice. And we are not living up to the principles and values that undergird our work every day.

At AFP, we understand that the profession and world in which we work are not yet equitable, and that is why we’ve made inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) such a priority. That is why we support the project, Our Right to Heal, which highlights the challenges that black women face every day. That is why we are holding an online panel discussion in the near future to talk about institutional racism, social justice, fundraising and other issues raised by recent events.

Whatever our cause—and AFP members represent thousands of different missions—we can all agree that stamping out institutional racism must be a priority for all of us.

I have termed fundraising the impact profession, and you can see our impact most clearly in the programs and services our organizations provide. But our work is so much deeper and more powerful than just that. You’ve probably all experienced this sense of impact as you’ve talked with donors during the COVID-19 crisis and hearing their need to reconnect and feel part of the broader world. Now, it is even more critical we have these conversations with our supporters and stand up for our values and what is right.

I invite you to share your thoughts with me. Please feel free to email me at Mike.Geiger@afpglobalorg.

Geiger sig

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Announcement, Diversity, Ethics, Inspiration, Leadership/Management.

In 2019, AFP was approached by a group of Black Canadian women fundraisers who wanted to tell their stories, both professional and personal. The project would contain a series of what we’re calling Bright Papers, each written by a member of the group, as well as videos and interviews. AFP is proud to present their project: Our Right to Heal.

“Stories are thus much more than a book or narrative – they are the way our minds make sense of our lives and world….”

– https://nalibali.org/news-blog/literacy-issues/story-meaning-making

 

For the majority of my 20-year career, I have been the only Black woman in the room. I continue to cope and manage that reality, but to be clear, it is work. The impact of this isolation is cumulative and there is much to be said about being “the only or the first.”

Most of the issues facing Black people in our institutions, and communities are systemic and deeply engrained, which is precisely why we are successfully kept from truly belonging.

But the Work of Undoing is about finding people who can identify with your experiences and frustrations, getting together because of this commonality, and unpacking and challenging it together. The Work of Undoing requires that when you get together you name and confront those things using whatever means available to you.

The stories we share unveil our individual experiences; the details of the injustice and inequity we face daily; they also reveal the depth of our individual and collective courage. These stories were written a year ago during times of certainty. And in this time of global crisis due to COVID-19, we believe exposure and understanding of our realities is even more critical.

These are revolutionary times and we know first-hand how Black women are uniquely situated within overlapping systems of oppression to sustain disproportionate losses of both life and livelihood during this pandemic.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Case Study, Fundraising, Inspiration, Leadership/Management, Opinion.

 

We are proud to collaborate with The Fundraising Talent podcast & Responsive Fundraising to bring you stories of fundraising in the time of COVID-19.

In this special 7-episode series, members share their unique experiences with The Fundraising Talent podcast and host, Jason Lewis, about working hard to pivot operations and to secure important funding for front-line workers, community programs, the arts, environment and more. Through these conversations, we hope to continue to strengthen our global fundraising community and to provide valuable insights for continued dialogue and future learning.

Many thanks to our members who spoke candidly on what it means to be a fundraiser during this critical time.

 

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Volunteers.

In celebration of #NationalVolunteerWeek, we want to say thank you to all of those who continue to give back in their personal and professional lives.

Volunteers from across the city have come together during this critical time to care for those in need and have truly proven to be the backbone of society when the most is at stake. This week, we thank and salute you along with our healthcare heroes and those working in essential services during this time.

Our Chapter would not be where it is today without the support of our members who have contributed countless volunteer hours and ideas to help us in delivering quality professional development opportunities and education to fundraising professionals and those in the non-profit sector. This week we want to take the time to recognize just a few of you…

 

Read part 1part 2, part 3 & part 4 of our National Volunteer Week blog series.

 

Our On-site Event Volunteers

 

While our Chapter events would not be possible without the help of our many volunteer planning committees & our volunteer Board members, logistically speaking, we would not be able to put on our events without the hard work and support of our on-site volunteers.

These are the individuals you see greeting you at the entrances, helping to get you checked-in at registration, helping to get you set-up and sorted on our event app, helping to get you to and from each of your sessions (and to many of the off-site receptions and parties), and who do it all with a smile on their faces despite putting in long hours on their feet each day (and not to mention sweating it out with us Chapter staff helping to move heavy bins and boxes around before the doors open and before the sun’s even up). Read more »