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Recap: 2014 Canadian Retreat

August 13, 2014

by Derek Fraser

The AFP Ontario, Golden Horseshoe Chapter hosted the recent Canadian Leadership Retreat in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was co-convened by the AFP Canadian Council, AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada and the AFP Canadian Government Relations Committee. Eighty-five chapter leaders from across the country attended the retreat which focused on strategic planning for AFP in Canada over the next three-year period.

Input from the recent Canadian membership survey was used as part of the discussions, and the leaders would like to thank all of the members who took the time to participate in the survey. The executive summary of the results can be found here.

During the retreat the leaders were challenged to think about the structure for fundraising professionals in Canada and what the best scenario moving forward would be. From that discussion, an AFP International Chair’s Task Force will be created to further delve into what the best governance and infrastructure for AFP and the profession in Canada will be.

Besides the structure, attendees discussed what new programs and resources need to be developed to assist fundraising professionals over the next few years. An AFP in Canada Strategic Planning Task Force will be chaired by Karen Dackiw, CFRE, chair-elect of the AFP Canada Council (see her article also in this eWire issue). The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada also conducted a similar strategic planning process the day before the retreat, an effort that was led by Leah Eustace, ACFRE, chair-elect of the Foundation.

We would like to thank our many sponsors for their support of the Retreat:

Soave Sponsors

Mackenzie Investments
Miller Thomson

Barolo Sponsors

Crawford Connect
Niagara College Canada
Nine Lions Consulting
AFP ON, Greater Toronto Chapter
AFP ON, Golden Horseshoe Chapter
AFP International Headquarters

Retreat attendees not only worked hard, but also enjoyed some excellent networking and social time together. To view photos from the retreat, please click here.

Warm thanks to our U.S. AFP leaders who travelled to support these important discussions: Patrick Feeley, CFRE, chair-elect; Kevin Foyle, CFRE, chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy; Joe Goepfrich, CFRE, vice chair of membership services and Alice Ferris, ACFRE, director for the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada.

We are always delighted to welcome the AFP Staff who regularly attend the retreat each year, and this year was no different. President and CEO Andrew Watt was accompanied by Lori Gusdorf, Jason Lee, Michael Nilsen, Cynthia Quigley and new staff member Taylor Murdoch, who all assisted in so many different ways to ensure the retreat was successful. Thank you for all you do for your members and our profession.

Thanks also to the Golden Horseshoe Chapter, ably lead by Roger Ali, CFRE, with support from Julie Wirtanen, CFRE and Trevor Clark, CFRE, along with many board members from the chapter. Thank you for your hospitality, our education of Niagara (through the trivia contest) an enhanced appreciation of wine (not freshly pressed by our colleagues) and outdoor fine dining!

The annual Canadian Leadership Retreat always comes at a time of year when we can reflect on recent events in the life of AFP in Canada, including successes and near-successes. Then, we look towards the future with the help of so many who dedicate their time and expertise to move our profession and philanthropy forward in Canada.

Thank you to all of the leaders from across Canada who make time for AFP each summer and dig their heels in to ensure that it is continually moving. We are indeed fortunate to work in a profession that has such impact on our society to ensure it is ultimately civil and caring.

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