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

By Mo Waja

Telling your story is harder for some nonprofit organizations than others, particularly when you, the nonprofit, are working with a vulnerable population.


Why? Because, depending upon the specific characteristics of the population in question, there are often strict ethical, and sometimes legal, guidelines we must adhere to that dictate how a story can (and should) be told – for instance, in the case of an organization working with children. In other cases, perhaps the population that your nonprofit serves cannot be shown in media at all – for instance, when taking into account the safety and security needs of survivors of domestic abuse.


Through the lens of an organization working with a vulnerable population, marketing can seem at best difficult and at worst an insurmountable challenge; for how can you market the good your organization does when you cannot show the positive impact you have on the population you serve? How can you market the good without showing the good? Read more »

Posted by & filed under Fundraising.

By Kayleigh Alexandra

Image source: pexels


Anyone involved in running a nonprofit organization will understand that one of the greatest challenges they face is raising money. Simply asking people to cut you another check won’t suffice – just like negotiating a business deal, there are many ways to engage your donors without resorting to endless pleas. It’s all about playing the long game.


Entrepreneurs form long-term partnerships with investors, and you can do the same when it comes to fundraising for your nonprofit. Here are six unusual fundraising ideas that are surefire ways of compelling more people to donate.

Related: 5 Tips to Plan Your Best Holiday Campaign



The advent of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made it possible for nonprofit organizations to put themselves out there and attract people with a vested interest in their work. You can set up a page that introduces who you are, what you’re doing, and include pictures and examples of your campaign’s achievements so far.

Fundraising has become increasingly digitized, which makes crowdfunding an effective way for charities to have their causes funded by thousands of potential donors online. All you need is a well put-together campaign page. It’s not always easy, and it can be hard to stand out. Here are some useful tips to help you meet your target.

Another great option is to use a t-shirt crowdfunding campaign, which lets you reward donors with custom t-shirts – the perfect way to attract new donors and to offer them something in return.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Leadership/Management, Volunteers.

Do you want to contribute to the AFP’s amazing educational programming?

Driving the planning and organization of this programming are a team of dedicated volunteers, supported by the AFP Staff. As we enter into the Fall of 2018, we are actively recruiting volunteers to join all areas of the AFP Professional Development Portfolio.

Creating a vital, comprehensive and engaging educational experience for fundraising professionals begins with committees that represent the many diverse backgrounds and viewpoints of the wide variety of fundraising professionals. Fundraisers from any area of fundraising practice or experience level are encouraged to apply. 

The roles we are recruiting for are listed here!

To apply, please complete the Professional Development (PD) Volunteer Expression of Interest Form and email to by 5:00pm on August 24th, 2018.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask either myself or Cynthia Quigley at the Chapter office 416-941-9212 or at


Amy Pawluk, CFRE
VP Professional Development
AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, Board of Directors

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Announcement, Case Study.

Originally published on Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada, the national umbrella for Canada’s charitable and nonprofit sector, has reacted to yesterday’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling in the case Canada Without Poverty v. AG Canada.

In his ruling, Justice Morgan declared the sections of the Income Tax Act that restrict registered charities’ political activities to be unconstitutional. The ruling also expands the Income Tax Act’s definition of charitable activities to include political activities. The prohibition on charities engaging in partisan activity was not in question, and remains in place.

“We are very pleased by this ruling,” said Bruce MacDonald, Imagine Canada’s President and CEO“It is in line with recommendations made by charities from across Canada and by the advisory panel on political activities that the Minister of National Revenue appointed in 2016. It also reflects commitments made by the federal government in its 2015 election platform, and in the Prime Minister’s mandate letters to several cabinet members, including the Ministers of Finance and National Revenue.” Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Congress, Fundraising, Next Generation Philanthropy.

by Teresa Cheng, CFRE and Congress 2018 Marketing Committee Chair

Join us in diSrupTing philanthropy Nov. 19-21!


Changes are brewing!

The theme for this year’s AFP Toronto Congress is DISRUPT Philanthropy. Whether you realize it or not, disruption has been happening in various industries for years.


When was the last time you called a cab? Arguably, most individuals now rely on Uber or Lyft to get around town. Uber has forced taxi companies to build apps and be more customer oriented. If you’re travelling for leisure, are you looking for a hotel or are you looking at an Airbnb? I recently went to a wedding in Niagara-on-the-Lake with six friends and it was more cost-effective to make a booking on Airbnb than to reserve 2-3 rooms at a hotel or inn. The Airbnb property we stayed at was well-maintained, it was clean and comfortable, checking in and out was easy, and it was only about a five minute drive to and from the wedding venue. When we surveyed the other options in the area, we felt that we were limited to staying at dinky motel at least a 15 minute drive away for the same price. Uber and Airbnb are just two examples of companies that are shaking up their industries and having a major impact on our day-to-day lives.


So, when our Management Team Committee started to think about this year’s Congress, we thought about how we could make a similar impact for our sector. After many brainstorming sessions, what resulted, was the decision to shake things up this year by highlighting the people and topics that are disrupting the traditional notions of philanthropy to inspire new ideas and create conversation. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement.

July 16, 2018 – Women’s College Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce that Jennifer Bernard will be the next President and CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation, commencing August 1, 2018.

“Jennifer is a highly accomplished and engaging leader with a passion for what she does and a strong personal alignment with our mission,” says Christopher Knight, chair of Women’s College Hospital Foundation’s board of directors. “Our Foundation is coming off two record-breaking years and the momentum continues as Jennifer takes the helm.”

Jennifer has had a highly successful career as a fundraising executive for over 20 years with a track record of outstanding results. Most recently she was Vice President of Development for McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, a part of Hamilton Health Sciences, which also includes responsibility for the Women’s and Newborn programs.

During her tenure at McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation she played a key role in developing new partnerships while doubling the annual revenue and extending the philanthropic reach of the Foundation. As a passionate advocate for healthcare, Jennifer has played an instrumental role in shaping the strategic vision of that Foundation.

“I am thrilled to be joining Women’s College Hospital Foundation as its new president and CEO. I look forward to working with the team of this iconic institution to help create a world where there is healthcare equity for women and for all,” says Jennifer. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Announcement.

AP QuickLinks

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

Think back: 2017 was a story of natural disasters of epic proportion. Wildfires blazed across California and broad stretches of the West. Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey killed thousands and destroyed half a million homes, with much of the damage concentrated in economically strapped Puerto Rico. In Mexico a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the capital along with a half dozen Mexican states.

These and other articles in “A Million Faces” describe the fundraisers, donors, nonprofits, and valiant citizens of all ages who helped transform tragedy into redemption. Their work continues as lessons learned are transferred to new cohorts of fundraisers and nonprofits. This, too, is the story of 2017, of people caring, making a difference, and sharing what they have learned.

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 Campaign, Donor communications, Marketing/Communications.

Going Beyond the One-Story-Fits-All Approach

By Mo Waja


Storytelling to drive “giving” or donations can feel a little repetitive. A common example is the classic profile piece featuring someone whom the nonprofit has impacted. This is the written, video, or audio piece that introduces an individual, describes a barrier, and then states how the organization helped that person to overcome the barrier. It’s straightforward, it’s easy, and it’s a tempting format to gravitate towards. What this generates is a one-story-fits-all approach where the central character may change, but the general storyline remains the same.


The challenge with this approach is twofold. Firstly, on the donor side of the equation, this format speaks only to a specific, results focused donor and often fails to resonate with or impact emotionally focused or outcomes driven donors. Secondly, swapping out the face behind a repetitive storyline fails to embrace what is unique about each story or to illustrate the full breadth of your programs’ impact.


When you’re selling a product, displaying your value proposition by way of a consistent story that showcases the scale of your impact (the number of people that your product helps or has helped) in the most efficient way possible is certainly a strategy that works; however, when it comes to your nonprofit story you’re not simply selling a product. Similar as systems like monthly giving may seem, you’re not even selling a subscription service. What you’re selling is an outcome and the emotion that goes along with it. So, for people to really connect with your organization, empathize with your population, and commit to giving, they need (and want) to understand the full scope of your positive impact – not solely on the direct beneficiaries of your organization’s mission, what we can call your primary population, but on all the people that surround and are connected to them. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Inspiration, Speakers, Special Events.

By Yunis Kariuki


Now in its third edition, the Speaker Discovery Series (SDS) is becoming AFP Toronto’s premiere event showcasing the most promising upcoming speakers in the fundraising profession. Speakers come prepared to tell their personal stories in 8-minute speeches with no slide deck or props, and what transpires are powerful, emotional and dynamic presentations connected to the fundraising profession.


Each Speaker Discovery Series is centered around a theme chosen by the SDS Committee. Dilemma was chosen for this past Speaker Discovery Series, held in May at the Gladstone Hotel, on Queen and Dufferin. The speakers shared the difficult choices they faced in navigating the complexities of their careers and how they dealt with their choices. The presentation topics ranged from the fear of not speaking up, to dealing with racism in the workplace, professional struggles and successes with Asperger’s, making the decision to walk away from a successful career opportunity, and finally, the challenges non-profits face when marketing vulnerable populations. What made each of the presentations so captivating was the speakers’ ability and skill in storytelling. The speakers’ stories contained conflict and struggle that kept the audience curious about what will happen next. Read more »