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    National Volunteer Week – April 19-25

    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. Together we have been able to successfully grow our membership and further develop our programming to be relevant to, and reflective of the communities we serve. We have been able to advance our mission, deliver on our Chapter Strategic Plan, and in doing so, at a macro-level, advance philanthropy.

    Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed and this week we want to take the time to recognize just a few of you…


    Meet our Fundraising Day Committee

    When not long ago the world was turned upside-down and organizations were forced to pivot their operations to deal with this pandemic, like many others, our Chapter and in particular, our events, were hit hard. While we continue to navigate this crisis and look to bring more virtual program offerings and resources to members, the decision to postpone Fundraising Day wasn’t easy – especially considering all of the hard work and effort that our committee had already put into it. However, we are lucky to have some of the best volunteers out there and when asked to put their ideas on hold for a year, everyone was understanding and in agreement that this would be the best way forward.

    We are excited to work with our Fundraising Day committee next year to see their ideas come to life & hope that you’ll save the date and join us for Fundraising Day on June 1, 2021.


    Aaron Sanderson, MA, ACFRE, FAHP – Chair 


    Aaron Sanderson leads the national fundraising strategy for Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only national, 24/7 mental health support service for children and youth, as Senior Vice-President and Chief Development Officer.

    He is an international award-winning fundraiser with over thirteen years of experience at leading non-profit organizations, including War Child, SickKids Foundation, Plan International and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, he has over a decade of senior volunteer experience with non-profit boards and committees, including the Arthritis Society, Habitat for Humanity, Heritage Toronto, Athletics Ontario, Vantage Point and the University of British Columbia. He also teaches in the Fundraising Management program at Humber College.

    Aaron holds an MA in Philanthropy and Development, an Associates Certificate in Non-Profit Management and a BA in Political Science and International Relations. He is the eleventh Canadian to earn the international Advanced Certified Fund-Raising Executive (ACFRE) designation, and is a Fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP). He was named Top 40 Under 40 in North America by AHP, and a “Difference Maker” by the Rick Hansen Foundation during its 25th anniversary relay.


    What made you become an AFP member?

    I became a member in 2007 when I started my first, full-time job as as fundraiser. I wanted to join a community of practice where I could relate with other fundraisers and learn how the pros achieve success. 13 years later, I find myself renewing my membership for exactly the same reasons!


    What have you learned in your time volunteering?

    Learning is a constant. I’m always meeting a new colleague and I think: ‘how have we not crossed paths before?’ and ‘gosh they’re impressive, I better listen up!’ Mostly, I’m learning how much there is still to know, but the good news is there are so many people and opportunities to learn from.


    Do you have a favourite volunteer / Fundraising Day memory?

    I’m bias, but when we celebrated the New Fundraiser Award recipient last year (Kirstin Ling) at Fundraising Day, who danced her way on stage to Puff Daddy’s It’s All About The Benjamins—I nearly fell over laughing and cheering!


    What words of advice would you give to someone who’s new to AFP and/or thinking about volunteering?

    Jump right on in! My advice is to not hold back. The incredible array of experience and backgrounds of the individuals involved is what makes the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s programming relevant, valuable and fun. I haven’t regretted any of my involvement or time spent volunteering with fellow Chapter members on programs and new initiatives.


    Leonard Nolasco – Vice Chair & Education Lead


    As Manager, Major Gifts & Strategic Projects at SickKids Foundation, Leonard oversees fundraising activities for the Foundation’s international philanthropic initiatives. Prior to joining SickKids Foundation in 2017, Leonard was a Project Manager with SickKids International supporting the commissioning and operationalization of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Leonard graduated with a degree in Political Science at the University of Toronto (U of T) in 2008. He completed a certificate in Project Management through U of T’s School of Continuing Studies and obtained a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation through PMI in 2011.


    Lindsay Preston – Sponsorship Lead


    Lindsay Preston joined Preston Human Capital Group in January 2017, though some may argue she has been part of the business her entire life. Prior to joining PHC, Lindsay spent nearly 6 years in marketing, most recently leading the consumer engagement segment for PayPal Canada.

    Lindsay’s love and genuine interest in people and curiosity toward how organizations function led her to follow in her mother’s and PHC’s founder, Cathy Preston’s footsteps.


    Carol Strauss – Marketing & Communications Lead


    Carol Strauss is a Senior Account Manager at Stephen Thomas Ltd. As a non-profit marketing communications professional, Carol is passionate about providing multi-channel fundraising and marketing strategies for our partners.

    Prior to joining Stephen Thomas Ltd in 2017, Carol managed marketing and communications at The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada for more than 7 years, overseeing national brand and collateral development for core fundraising programs and driving marketing strategies at the regional level.


    Stay tuned to learn more about the rest of the committee & a few of our other volunteers this week!

    On behalf of all of us at the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter,

    THANK YOU! 💖👏👏👏