Posted by & filed under Marketing/Communications.

By Donna Moores


Content marketing has evolved drastically over the years and a new trend of the future has made its entrance in the arena – podcasting. Podcasting is now working its way towards becoming an essential part of the marketing mix and if you are looking for ways to improve your business’ reach and visibility, it is certainly a method worth exploring.

Although beneficial in numerous ways, podcasting is not as simple as it sounds. While some would prefer to prepare podcasts solo, others choose to benefit from the professional services of specialists such as Handmadewriting for expert editing to ensure the best quality of the podcast’s content.

But how can podcasting truly add value to your business? Let’s see what the six main reasons for considering podcasting in 2019 are!


  1. Story Telling Engages Customers Better

One of the most difficult tasks of a marketer is to engage customers in a non-intrusive way. According to research, 57% of consumers end up avoiding a brand if it bombards users with marketing content across channels. Podcasting tackles this problem effectively by providing an alternative to communicating with users in a more delicate manner.

Storytelling is among the most vital elements of consumer engagement and should not be underestimated in digital marketing. Podcasting offers a clever way of engaging with consumers by creating valuable stories.


  1. Mobile Friendly

The immense popularity of smartphones in the era we live in opens a door of opportunities for podcasts as part of content marketing and smartphones certainly drive podcast usage. The most convenient way of listening to a podcast is from a mobile device while consumers are stuck in traffic, working out in the gym or enjoying a walk in the park. In other words, podcasting sets the scene for targeting consumers at times when they are in their natural behaviors, relaxing or spending time off social media.


  1. Easy and Cost-Effective

When comparing podcasting to other marketing methods we can see that its turnaround time is quicker, the investments required are smaller and it is relatively easy to create. Of course, marketers will need some level of preparation in terms of necessary devices and technology for higher quality recordings but the investment is nothing compared to TV or radio advertising in the old days. Once you have recorded the discussion and have provided interesting information about your company’s products or services, you have set the perfect theme music and edited, you are ready to review the final podcast product in an instance.


Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Next Generation Philanthropy.

Happy 2019! And welcome to a new year of Advancing Philanthropy reporting that documents our strong belief in Fundraising…The Impact Profession.


We christened the January 2019 issue “Hard Scrabble” for the specific stories it tells and the difficult challenges our members are tackling across the board. “Unending hard work and struggle”— hard scrabble’s dictionary meaning — are common to the articles you will find here, but so are the words “transformation”, “triumph”, and “success.”


ICON Highlights: Take a sneak peek inside ICON 2019 by reading “An AFP Insider’s Look at Mission City,” as told by former AFP San Antonio chapter leader Lynne Dean. Get to know our terrific 2019 plenary speakers, Spencer West and Soledad O’Brien, in Q & As that dig deep into their remarkable “Life Stories.” And obtain the most for your time and money with productivity guru Chad Barger’s guide to the biggest fundraising conference on earth.


Back to the day-in, day-out nitty gritty, settle down with the special section on “Rethinking Capital Campaigns.” Its twelve pages are packed with insights into the future of capital campaigns, trends you need to know, the new role of campaign consultants, and data-driven fundraising as well as inspiring case studies from Alaska to Delaware to New York City.


Above all, please send your comments and suggestions to me at or call me at 703 519 8489 to engage with AP regarding future issues of your membership magazine and web-only content now under construction. We look forward to hearing from you.


Read the latest issue here.

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Career Development, Congress, Speakers, Special Events.

The call for speakers Congress 2019 is officially open!

Conference Dates: November 25-27, 2019
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building – Toronto, ON, Canada
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 18, 2019


We think you should submit. We think the fate of the world depends on it.

Here’s where you’ll find the website and online application.

(Is this your first speaker application? Have a look at our First-Timer’s Application Guide to learn how to craft a winning proposal.)


Back to that bit about changing the world:

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth wrote that “a high level of performance is in fact an accretion of mundane acts.” That’s what Congress 2019 is all about – grit. The little decisions we make every day that shape the trajectory of our careers, lives and the world we work so hard to change for the better.

This is one of those opportunities.


Think of it as the commitment to the extra inch: those daily choices that make you a better fundraiser, one small, mundane act at a time – until, suddenly, the world has changed forever. Isn’t that why you got into this business?


There’s no time to waste – our application window closes January 18, 2019.

Let’s get after it.


Matt Shaw

Chair, Congress 2019

Samantha Barr
Chair, Congress 2019 Education Committee


Posted by & filed under Congress, Diversity, Opinion, Special Events.

By Tricia Johnson


AFP Toronto’s Congress was an empowering and highly personal experience that is changing my outlook towards the fundraising sector. But it didn’t start off that way.


It started with my arms crossed against my chest and my mouth drawn tightly into a straight line. It was a frown to be honest, but it could have been mistaken for concentration.


Hadiya Roderique was giving the first plenary speech at Congress, Canada’s premiere educational forum for fundraisers. Ms. Roderique’s experience as a black lawyer on Bay Street made front page news of the Globe and Mail last fall, and here, her powerful and informed speech tackled the racism and exclusion present in Canada’s corporate culture. Her observations, statistics and personal experience brought the conference’s theme, “Disrupt Philanthropy” sharply into focus. It showed that philanthropic culture in Canada was not immune to the “-isms” that affect other sectors. For me it touched a nerve that I was used to covering up.


“Why is she talking about this?” I thought. “We already know this! Just deal with it and move on!”


Well, that’s exactly what she was doing. Head on. I too am a black woman. I am a fundraiser working in Ottawa since 2005. I know what it feels like to be the only person of colour in a crowded room. But I don’t talk about it. Instead I’ve gotten used to the discomfort and moved on. But am I moving? Really?

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Leadership/Management, Next Generation Philanthropy, Opinion, Special Events.

By John Paul de Silva – originally published on the Social Focus Consulting blog.


Vanity A La Mode, in front of podium, disrupting philanthropy in all the right ways


In my previous article on AFP Congress 2018, we explored how charities can reverse declining revenues by delighting donors, more specifically, by personalizing communications, running experiential events, and designing frictionless webpages. Ultimately, it’s people that drive and nurture such decisions, but how do we facilitate this kind of innovation and disruption? We do it through transformational leadership which requires introspection followed by extrospection.

Kishshana Palmer, presenting on transformational leadership and emotional intelligence


In Kishshana Palmer‘s session, she focused on emotional intelligence (EI) and its ability to help us motivate, inspire, boost, and push others, in turn, helping us become transformational leaders. According to Ms. Palmer, EI can be broken down into four domains or competencies: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management. Although the framework is centred around emotions, I believe it’s a good general framework for all contributing aspects of transformational fundraising leadership. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Congress, Fundraising Day, Marketing/Communications, Networking.

By Mo Waja


AFP Congress has come and gone but Fundraising Day 2019 seems just around the corner and there are many other conferences on the horizon. Conferences, broadly, are an exciting opportunity to learn and grow through the shared wisdom and thought leadership of speakers, to discover new opportunities through networking, to make new friends with other professionals in the space, and to grow your personal brand as a professional and thought leader within your field.


But conferences can also be challenging, and a lot of that comes down to scale. Yes, you are in this focused microcosm of your industry filled with people of, presumably, like mind and like interest, yet you are also one of perhaps over 1,000 delegates, all of whom are looking for new opportunities and new connections. With that being the case, it can seem a daunting task to cut through the noise and have your voice heard amid the many others all pushing for airtime. Tools like social media have made this interesting because, now, most conferences will have a #hashtag of some kind along with a twitter handle, and so for the days of the conference you’ll see a flood of tweets as people capture images, quotes, and key messages that simultaneously express their interest and broadcast their presence at the conference. The thing is, if your goal is to stand out from the crowd, tweeting along in the same way as everyone else still leaves you lost in the crowd. What you need is a way to differentiate yourself so that, whether delegate or speaker, people can tune out a bit of the noise and tune in to you, specifically.


To do this well, I would suggest a 5-step process:

  1. Choose a theme for your conference
  2. Start talking about it early (2-3 weeks before it happens)
  3. Produce conference content
  4. Make friends and be places
  5. Keep talking about it (1-2 weeks after it happens)


  1. Choose a Theme for Your Conference 

Throughout a conference you will have many conversations. These conversations can take place in person, during workshops, or through the posts you put out via social media. Choosing a theme for your conference means choosing the subject matter that you want to focus on during those conversations, workshops, and posts. This process is very intentional, and the easiest way to understand why is to consider Twitter.


Over the course of the conference, there will be a lot of tweets flying around. The challenge is that if everyone is tweeting scattershot and talking about everything, simultaneously, it’s very easy for your voice to get drowned out. One way to cut through the noise is to have a few focused subjects that you choose to talk about. For example, if you, like me, are fascinated by nonprofit storytelling, attend sessions that speak to that and then tweet about them. Doing this consistently positions you as someone who cares about storytelling (or, otherwise, marketing, donor relations, planned giving, etc., depending on your chosen theme) to the conference at large. This makes it easier to connect with people both within and beyond conference attendees who are either of like mind or looking to learn more about your chosen subject. Taking this outside social media, your chosen theme should echo through all your conversations so that every interaction you have at the conference intentionally positions you as a person who cares about a certain relevant subject and knows things about that subject.


The beauty of choosing a theme for your conference is that, even if you aren’t a speaker, you can still position yourself as an authority on a subject by adding in your own thoughts and opinions and producing related content.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Campaign, Congress, Donor Centric, Donor communications, Inspiration, Marketing/Communications, Special Events.

By John Paul de Silva – originally published on the Social Focus Consulting blog.


Where all my social impact peeps at?!? What! What! I’m still hyped up over attending the astronomically amazing 2018 Association of Fundraising Professionals Congress which had the theme “DISRUPT Philanthropy.”


Why do we need to disrupt this sector? Caroline Riseboro, plenary speaker and President and CEO of Plan Canada, summed it up nicely, “A hyper-focus on major gifts is disguising the problem that we have an erosion of donors in the Canadian market. Philanthropy as a whole is on a decline.” And it’s no wonder given the challenge to get people’s attention, nevermind donations. We see 10,000 marketing messages a day while having an eight second attention span, according to Vanessa Landry, Director of Client Services at Fundraising Direct. That’s why we need disruption. We need new ideas, new ways of doing things, to advance the sector and keep being socially impactful.


Then, how do we become disruptive? We do it by delighting donors and through leadership. Delighting donors involves giving them an experience they can’t stop talking about, according to Jen Love, Partner at Agents of Good. When donors can’t stop talking about a positive experience, that leads to engagement, repeat donations, referrals to others, and ultimately growth for charities.


This first part of a two-part blog will cover how to delight donors. Based on my takeaways from attending some of the sessions and engaging with the #AFPCongress2018 feed, there are three main opportunities to delight donors: personalized communications, experiential events, and frictionless webpage design. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Career Development, Congress, Inspiration, Next Generation Philanthropy, Opinion.

Originally published on LinkedIn by Debra Thompson.


As I sit here on this unseasonably cold November day, I am reflective. This week, I spent 3 days in Toronto, starting very early Monday morning, at my very first AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Toronto Congress and I am in awe. Before I share why, let’s take a step back.


Earlier this year, I embarked on a quest to investigate my next career move. After over 20 years in corporate sales, it was time for a change. A shift in my way of thinking. It had been a rough 4 years, including family health issues, mom’s second cancer diagnosis and the suicide of my dad. I recognized it was time to reflect, recalibrate and regroup to decide on my future career choices. This explorative journey with my career coach, Barbara Wilson, of Thrive Career Coaching, by my side, landed me smack in the middle of the non-profit sector, and specifically, into the world of fundraising. I realized that my corporate sales skills were transferable and in alignment with my values as a lifelong volunteer and I had a strong desire to do good and give back. In conversations with some amazing non-profit sector leaders, all roads led to AFP.   Read more »

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Board of Directors.

As your Chapter President, I am excited to announce the launch of our new 2019-2023 Chapter Strategic Plan.


It is a privilege to work with such an outstanding organization and I am excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. As a professional association, AFP is accountable to its members and those in the sector that we aim to serve. It is important for us to continue to define and measure our impact through the value we bring to you, our members. I am confident that our new Strategic Plan highlights and more clearly defines this value, providing an enriched path forward for our organization.


Developing the Strategic Plan has been a comprehensive and collaborative process, and from early on, we’ve made a commitment to ensuring all members have had an opportunity to feed into the Strategic Plan and provide their feedback and insights. AFP members had early opportunities to participate through an online survey as well as an in-person Town Hall forum. We’ve also connected with members through one-on-one discussions and both formal and informal group conversations. Your Board leveraged and integrated all feedback thoroughly into a very fulsome planning process and as a result, we have developed a very ambitious Strategic Plan to be actioned on over the next 5 years.


We are proud to unveil the final iteration of the Strategic Plan and invite you to review and download a copy here. Read more »