Posted by & filed under Announcement, Fundraising, Fundraising Day, Special Events, Volunteers.

“Everything in life goes back to basics.” – Kon Gracie


For the first time ever, we are reaching out to the AFP Canada community for speaker proposals for Fundraising Day 2019.


This Fundraising Day is all about going Back to Basics – and when we say that, we don’t mean fundraising for dummies! We mean we want to root ourselves in the foundations of fundraisingthe best practices, the old ideas that have become new again, and the simplest approaches that drive the best donor experiences, and the best results.

New in 2019:
A Summit for Senior Leaders, offering an opportunity for Senior Leaders to join for a morning, afternoon or full day of facilitated discussions on the big topics you are grappling with. If you have a topic idea or are a Senior Leader that would like to facilitate a discussion please let us know. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Board of Directors, Career Development, Fundraising Day, Leadership/Management, Volunteers.

Are you interested in volunteering with AFP?

Do you enjoy leading a passionate team?

Do you love the excitement of planning a large event?


I’m writing to you today as we, the Professional Development Chair Nominating Committee, made up of past AFP event Chairs, start the process to review applicants for the position of Fundraising Day 2020 Chair. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement.

October 23, 2018

Toronto, October 23, 2018 – McCarthy Tétrault announced today that it is donating $5 million to United Way Centraide, over 5 years, to support 5 groups:

  • Women;
  • members of the LGBTQ2S community;
  • Indigenous peoples;
  • newcomers; and
  • people living with disabilities.

This donation will support United Way Centraide’s work ensuring that background and circumstance are not barriers to opportunity. In addition to its 5/5/5 commitment, the firm will supplement its contribution with an additional investment of firm time, through dedicated volunteer and pro bono activities.

This multi-year commitment to United Way Centraide is the first of its kind for Canada’s legal industry.

McCarthy Tétrault has a history of progressive corporate citizenship. In addition to their enthusiastic support of United Way through its annual fundraising campaign, McCarthy Tétrault’s people are active in pro bono work, participate in non-profit boards, and commit much of their personal time to community causes. McCarthy Tétrault was the first Canadian law firm to appoint a Chief Inclusion Officer, currently Barbara Boake, and also pioneered the introduction of a formal and robust pro bono program and committee, now chaired by Gordon Baird. The firm also continues to invest generously in the community through its charitable foundation, led by Chief Community Officer, John Osler.

United Way Event Photo

While inclusion, community giving, and pro bono have always been strategic priorities and a business imperative for the firm, the firm is striving to take its commitment to another level. In an effort to deepen, elevate, and accelerate its commitment to these areas, the firm recently welcomed Nikki Gershbain, Senior Director, Inclusion and Community Engagement. Working directly with the firm’s senior leadership team, Nikki’s portfolio combines diversity and inclusion, pro bono, and corporate social responsibility under one umbrella.

“INCLUSION NOW is McCarthy Tétrault’s renewed commitment to our workplace and our communities,” said Nikki. “Combining equity and social responsibility into one portfolio will not only allow us to knit together all these values, it will engage our people, support our neighbours and drive our innovation and growth.”

“Social responsibility is critical to the long term success of our firm and to the communities we live in and serve,” said Dave Leonard, CEO. “The addition of Nikki, coupled with our strengthened partnership with United Way, allows us to enhance our inclusion efforts within the firm, attract new talent, deepen client relationships, and significantly increase our overall social impact.”

“We are proud that when McCarthy Tétrault wanted to invest in inclusion, they chose United Way,” said Daniele Zanotti, United Way Greater Toronto President & CEO. We know from our research that too many people are facing barriers to opportunity because of background and circumstances beyond their control. That’s why we work hard to ensure that everyone has the supports they need to succeed. Today, the firm is breaking new ground with a milestone five-year $5-million commitment to promote inclusion for people who are getting left behind.”


About United Way Centraide

Since 1919, the United Way Centraide (UWC) Movement has been dedicated to creating opportunities for a better life for all Canadians. The United Way Centraide Movement is a federated network of United Way and Centraide offices serving more than 5,000 communities across Canada. Each United Way and Centraide is registered as a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer-led, local board of directors. Together we are the United Way Centraide Movement working to create sustainable solutions to the social issues faced by local communities across Canada.


About McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault LLP provides a broad range of legal services, advising on large and complex assignments for Canadian and international interests. The firm has substantial presence in Canada’s major commercial centres as well as in New York City and London, UK.

Built on an integrated approach to the practice of law and delivery of innovative client services, the firm brings its legal talent, industry insight and practice experience to help clients achieve the results that are important to them.

– 30 –

Posted by & filed under Donor communications, Marketing/Communications, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

By Freddie Tubbs


How you ask for donations often makes a big difference. You are asking people to donate their money and you have to be compelling when doing this. You also have to be transparent.

Asking in person is difficult, but what may be even harder is writing effective fundraising e-mails. You only get that one chance to make a good online impression and to ask for a donation from your potential donor. There isn’t much space either so you have to be concise.

Here are just a few tips on how to write effective fundraising e-mails:


Tell a good story

In order to get the emotional response you want, you have to tell a really interesting story. Of course, it has to be relevant to your cause. Start your e-mail with a few sentences describing the problem at hand, but in a way that will immerse readers. You’ll probably have to rewrite this section a few times, but it will be worth it when it comes to getting readers to take the next actionable step.

Another thing you should do is be as specific as possible. This means adding real numbers and percentages into your story to make it even more realistic and compelling.


Make it short

Your fundraising e-mail can’t be long. You need to say what you have to say quickly, without flowery prose or elaborating the issue for too long. Dedicate the first few sentences to telling your story, another few sentences to what is being done at the moment to help the cause, and a few more to explain where the money is going. Then, finish strong with a polite, yet compelling call to action. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Congress, Mentorship, Networking, Next Generation Philanthropy, Opinion, Special Events.

With Congress a little over a month away and the latest AFP Speaker Discovery Series (Special Pre-Congress Edition!) just around the corner, let’s talk speaking!


Every industry has speakers who are a staple within the events circuit, familiar figures on the conference stage; but what happens when the industry changes? Or those speakers start to retire? This year has seen a number of speakers new to the non-profit world or, in fact, new to speaking altogether take the stage – and this is in no small part due to the launch of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Speaker Discovery Series (SDS).


Recently, Laura Champion, Chair of the Education Committee for Congress 2018 and Founder and Chair of the AFP Speaker Discovery Series, sat down with Mo Waja, one of our Congress 2018 Speakers, on the Let’s Talk Speaking podcast to discuss what speaking looks like in the non-profit sector, discovering new speaking talent, and how organizations within and beyond the non-profit industry can begin building their next generation of speakers.


Check out the episode below as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher, and don’t forget to buy your tickets for the next SDS – Special Pre-Congress edition happening on October 24!* 



*This edition of the Speaker Discovery Series is free for Congress delegates!

Learn more about our 2018 Congress sessions, speakers, and register here.

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Case Study, Donor Centric, Ethics, Next Generation Philanthropy, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

Originally published on Imagine Canada October 1, 2018.

This summer, I had the privilege of working as the Behavioural Insights Assistant with the Strategic Communications and Research & Evaluation teams at Imagine Canada. We are currently exploring the meaning, influences on, and importance of trust in charities.

I started the summer with curiosity and the desire to further unravel this mysterious concept. As many academics do, I started my search for answers by collecting hundreds of academic articles on the topic. It soon became clear that there isn’t a single unified definition of trust that captures the concept. In fact, a vast majority of articles commented on this lack of cohesion or an agreed upon definition within the literature.

As a thought leader in the charitable sector, Imagine Canada is working on a Trust Project in an effort to better understand the concept and to make it accessible to charity leaders, so they can in turn, work on increasing their trustworthiness with the public and other stakeholders. I invite you to think about how trust impacts your organization and your mission. Here are some key insights from the literature so far. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Announcement.

Advancing Philanthropy – October 2018


Read the New Issue

Search Past Digital Issues

Go Green, Go Digital! Update Your AP Profile to Receive Digital Only

Update AP Profile to Get Hardcopy Version

Halloween is on the horizon and pranksters are suiting up as Wonder Woman, Batman, you name it. But superheroes are also a central feature of our October issue—fundraising professionals like you who overcome challenges, conquer fears, and improve lives. Our October issue also shines a light on philanthropy in small towns and rural areas and shortcomings in America’s charitable system. There is work to be done!

To read the new digital issue of Advancing Philanthropy, simply click here!

What does the digital magazine offer? Briefly, you can:

  • email articles;
  • search the entire magazine and archived issues (back to October 2007—just click on the “Archives” tab) by author or key word;
  • link directly to additional resources from each article;
  • save your digital copy as a PDF; and
  • connect instantly to advertisers and resource partners!

To manage whether you receive the print or digital Advancing Philanthropy, simply visit the “MyAFP ProfileMember Gateway” page ( on the AFP website.

Members outside the United States and Canada automatically have access to the digital edition of the magazine and may select to receive the print magazine if they wish. Collegiate, Global, Young Professional and Small Organizational members automatically receive the digital magazine only.

For additional information or if you have comments, please contact me at


Susan Drake Swift
Editor, Advancing Philanthropy


Posted by & filed under Announcement.

In honour of National Philanthropy Day on November 15, AFP is proud to offer a $50 discount to new members joining in the Professional and Associate Member categories starting today through until November 30, 2018. The discount applies to the $50 off the International portion of the dues. Fill out the membership invitation as usual, but deduct $50 from the total and be sure to include the following coupon with your payment. *Coupon must be included with payment in order to take advantage of this offer.

To join online, please visit the AFP International website and use promo code NPD2018. Please note that only one coupon can be used per new member. Offer expires November 30, 2018.

For more information, please contact the AFP International Membership Department at 1-800-666-3863.

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Congress, Inspiration, Leadership/Management, Marketing/Communications, Opinion.

From November 19-21, 2018, hone your skills, exchange ideas, harness new technologies and build your network at #AFPCongress2018. This is the fundraising event of the year – not to be missed!

Want to come to Congress, but need some help in getting your boss on board with the idea? We’ve got you covered.

The basics:

  • Congress is a three-day conference unlike any other with more than 90 sessions to choose from that explore all areas of philanthropy – whether you’re new to the fundraising profession, are an industry veteran, or somewhere in between, Congress has something for everyone
  • Congress is the largest fundraising conference in Canada that welcomes more than 1,000 delegates from across North America each year
  • Congress is the best way to upgrade your skills and knowledge, network and connect with other like-minded professionals


What’s in it for them:

  • New ideas that you’ll bring back to the office to help your organization grow their programs, maximize their impact and results
  • Solutions that you’ll share on some of the sector’s top challenges
  • The ability to stay ahead of the curve – you’ll share new ideas on sector innovations and technologies that will help your organization thrive
  • An “in” with key funding decision-makers and business leaders – you’ll be able to make the proper introductions after all your networking at Congress

Read more »