Date: TBD

Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Location: George Brown Residency & Conference Centre - 80 Cooperage St., Toronto

Cost: AFP Members: $100 + HST, Non-Members: $175 + HST

Your leadership journey begins with an assessment of your current talents and skills. Where are you excelling and in what areas could you improve? What are the qualities needed to lead and what are the qualities that hinder success? Hear about the key characteristics of influential leadership and engage in a self-assessment exercise that will help you design your road-map to excellence.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the qualities that contribute to high-performing leadership
  • Assess your current skills to leverage your strengths and tap into your leadership potential
  • Create an action plan to fill gaps in your leadership abilities



9:00 am - 10:15 am - Leadership: Will You Succeed, or Fail?

We start the day examining the traits of successful leaders and the reasons why some fail. Throughout his career, Denny has worked with some exceptional leaders and watched others, who, though experienced and talented, never achieved success. Curiosity led him to study the research of others and now, as a teacher and coach, Denny can define the factors that people acquire, and maximize, to guarantee their leadership success.

We’ll examine how successful leaders:

  • acquire formal and informal power
  • use that power with great care and finesse
  • use delegation to increase their power
  • practice humility and heap praise on others
  • accept the consequences of authority and the challenges it often presents

You will have a chance to consider your current power and learn how to use it to continue growing your career. And you will leave the session ready to take full advantage of the many learning opportunities you’ll experience throughout the day.


10:15 am - 10:30 am - Break

10:30 am - 12:00 pm - Lead Like a Coach: Coaching Essentials for Fundraising Leaders

PRESENTED BY: Janice Cunning, ACC, CPCC and Liz Rejman

As a non-profit leader, you need to excel at frontline work and managing your team. Often it can feel like you are being squeezed between these competing priorities. Coaching is now well established as one of the most important competencies for maximizing and sustaining individual and team performance. The return on investment on coaching is well documented with major improvements in employee morale, effectiveness, and retention. During this workshop, we will focus on practical skills and techniques to help you create a coaching culture within your team. You will learn to lead like a coach by practicing essential skills – curiosity, listening, and intuition - and receiving feedback. Finally, participants will work together to create coaching toolkits for various management scenarios, such as prioritization, accountability, and feedback. These toolkits will ensure you can return to your organization ready to put your learning into action.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how a coaching culture can serve your organization
  • Practice essential coaching skills – curiosity, listening, intuition – and receive feedback
  • Explore how to use open-ended questions to create a culture of accountability and learning
  • Create toolkits that allow you to put this learning into action with your team

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm - Luncheon

1:15 pm - 2:45 pm - Boost Your Financial Literacy – Key Concepts to Enhance this Must-Have Leadership Skill


As a manager, it is critical to gain sufficient financial proficiency to meet the evolving needs of your organization. This session will help you increase your understanding of financial statements, accounting principles and innovations in budgeting and forecasting. By boosting your financial literacy, you will be able to think more strategically, drive performance and make better decisions as a manager and fundraiser.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how to read and interpret financial statements
  • Get the latest developments in budgeting and forecasting
  • A guide to fundraising and administrative disclosures

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm - Break

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm - HR Tools for Fundraising Professionals: Hiring and Managing for Success

PRESENTED BY: Tara George, MBA and Ellie Rusonik

Making a transition to manager is a significant step for any fundraising professional. Indeed, growing into a leadership role takes a baseline set of skills that starts with having the right talent on your team. Yet managers are not always equipped with the required HR-related training. This gap becomes all the more urgent when it comes to hiring, onboarding and evaluating employees, particularly in today’s environment where employee turnover continues to be a challenge. This session will provide you with the tools and tips you need to thrive when hiring, onboarding and evaluating employees. Whether you are currently managing a team or looking to secure a management role, discover how to cultivate HR skills essential to identifying and stewarding the next generation of leaders in your organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Hiring for success: What skills, qualities and values should you look for in a new employee?
  • Fine-tuning your interviewing skills, including the most effective questions to ask, elements to look for in a potential hire, and identifying the right “fit” for your organization’s culture
  • Effective onboarding: setting the stage for success
  • Managing your new hire’s performance: setting expectations, measuring results, and delivering effective feedback. What differentiates high performers from high potentials? And how can you as a manager support the journey to high performance?

4:30 pm - Seminar Adjourns

Worth 6 CFRE points!

Janice Cunning, ACC, CPCC

Executive Coach & Trainer

Fundraising Leadership

Janice Cunning is a certified coach and facilitator with 17 years of experience as a fundraiser. Janice was a Senior Consultant at KCI where she provided coaching to leading prospect research departments with a focus on strategic planning, teamwork, and communication. Janice is passionate about partnering with fundraisers to help them create an inspired vision that transforms lives. She has coached senior leaders at institutions across North America and worked with fundraising teams at United Way Toronto & York Region, TGWHF, and Camp Oochigeas. Janice has served on the boards of APRA-Canada, APRA, and the International Coach Federation – Toronto Chapter.

Tara George, BSc, BEd, MBA

Partner / Lead, Search + Talent

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)

Tara has led or played a key role in more than 320 searches during her 10 years with KCI. These have including CEO searches and other C-suite searches, plus senior fundraising, alumni, marketing communications, and advancement services searches for a wide variety of healthcare organizations, hospital foundations, universities, and other not for profit organizations.

Beyond her executive search work, Tara focuses on organizational development issues, helping clients to define their staffing needs, organizational structure, and recruitment, retention and succession strategies. As a Senior Vice President with KCI, Tara also serves as an internal advisor and consultant for colleagues who focus in other KCI practices areas.  Tara’s outstanding strategic thinking and project management skills, superb communication abilities, and solid business acumen allow her to deliver exceptional services to both clients and candidates. 

A highly respected professional with extensive networks across Canada and around the globe, Tara is a committed volunteer and passionate advocate of the social profit sector. Tara has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles including on Providence Health Care’s Strategic Planning Sub-Committee and Awareness Sub-Committee. An in-demand speaker, Tara has spoken at numerous professional organizations, including the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Tara holds a Masters of Business Administration (McMaster University), a Bachelor of Education (University of Toronto), and a Bachelor of Science (University of Guelph). She has also completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Not for Profit Governance Essentials course.


Chris Pipka, CPA, CGA

Manager, Finance

Michael Garron Hospital

Chris Pipka is a CPA, CGA with a H.B.Comm from Laurentian University. Chris has a background in both corporate and not for profit finance and currently works for Michael Garron Hospital Foundation as their Manager, Finance. Chris also freelances for small organizations in need of occasional finance and accounting consulting.

Liz Rejman

Director, Fundraising Operations

Pathways to Education Canada

Liz Rejman is the Director, Fundraising Operations at Pathways to Education Canada. Prior to her current role, Liz worked as Head of Development for Museum London (Canada) and as a development researcher for London Health Sciences Foundation. She has instructed at Western University and Georgian College on the topics of prospect development, database management and technology. 

She has shared her knowledge and expertise on prospect research, database management, ethics in prospect development and using social media for prospect research at numerous Canadian and International conferences including AFP Congress, APRA International, APRA Canada and AHP Canada.

SHe is a past President of Apra International; is a contributor to the book The Vigilant Fundraiser and co-editor of the book Prospect Research in Canada: An Essential Guide for Researchers and Fundraisers.

Ellie Rusonik

Senior Search Consultant

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)

Ellie Rusonik is a highly experienced development professional with over twenty years’ in the not-for-profit sector.  Ellie brings broad expertise in event and major gift fundraising, marketing, and communications to her role.   

Ellie is known as a dynamic leader and consummate team player who has hired, inspired, and coached many promising and successful fundraisers.  She joined KCI’s Executive Search team to share that expertise with our clients.  Ellie is valued for her strategic thinking, strong project management, and collaborative and communicative style. 

Prior to joining KCI, Ellie held an executive role at Geneva Centre for Autism as the lead for marketing, communications, and fundraising.  Prior to that she spent 16+ years with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada in a range of fundraising and marketing leadership roles. 

Ellie is an active volunteer who makes an impact by sharing her skills and expertise.  She currently serves as a board member with the Ontario Volleyball Association.  Ellie holds a BSc in Kinesiology and a certificate in Sport Administration from York University.

Denny Young, MA

Fundraiser, Executive, Teacher, and Coach


Fundraiser, executive, teacher, and coach, Denny Young’s award-winning career includes roles in new and established, and small and large organizations, like the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, Sherbourne Health Centre, and the National Ballet of Canada. For 10 years, he taught part-time in Humber College’s Fundraising Management Post Graduate program, then served full-time as its Program Coordinator for another four years.

In 2018 Denny entered what he calls his “third act” launching a coaching and training practice and teaching part-time in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management program at Ryerson University.  Denny’s dedication to the profession was recognized in 2014 with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award of the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has published numerous articles in various publications and is a frequent speaker at conferences in Canada and the United States.

Denny has BA in Communications from the University of Windsor, a MA in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, has completed the Ivey School of Business Executive Program, and has a certificate in the Foundations of Coaching from the Adler Graduate Professional School. He proudly serves on the Boards of the Maquila Solidarity Network, the TD Private Giving Foundation, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.