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UPDATE: Canada's New Horizons Task Force Envisions the Future of Fundraising

February 10, 2015

Last week, the Canada New Horizons Task Force, tasked to determine the best association structure for Canada’s growing fundraising profession, met for a planning retreat in Toronto.

Facilitated by Hamlin Grange, the retreat initiated a series of dynamic, interactive discussions focused on a vision for the fundraising profession in Canada over the next ten to fifteen year period. The core question posed to the group was, “What is the one most pressing issue that Canadian fundraisers currently face?” This was the query that drove the group’s thought process around the optimal association structure needed to meet that challenge. 

The task force was also joined by a focus group of fourteen Toronto-based sector leaders who were also asked the question about the most pressing question facing the industry. Their thoughtful input allowed the task force to hear from fundraisers with a deep pool of knowledge and front-line fundraising experience, resulting in some common themes and issues emerging:

  • How can the fundraising profession increase its diversity and appeal to younger professionals?
  • How will the profession ensure that its staffing needs are met when philanthropy is needed more than ever, and how will we cultivate new leaders in the field?
  • How can the profession overcome a generally negative perspective held by the public, media and government officials?
  • Fundraisers operate in a critical environment, but are typically invisible in the impact that we make.  It is AFP and the profession's role to take leadership in creating a more positive environment.
  • As leaders in the fundraising profession, one of our responsibilities is personal and professional sustainability for the future of the profession.

Next steps

The New Horizons Task Force’s work has only just begun. It will continue to acquire feedback from the sector, and discussions will continue throughout 2015. The task force will expand its scope of information gathering by having discussions with AFP leaders at both the chapter and national level, inviting members, funders, sister organizations and non-members to offer input into the deliberations.

We want to hear from you!

The task force intends to convene additional opportunities for input, so be on the lookout for your opportunity to get involved.

In the meantime, we encourage you to ponder the same question asked of the task force - “What is the one most pressing issue that Canadian fundraisers currently face?”  Share your thoughts with the AFP Canada New Horizons Task Force by emailing Lori Gusdorf at

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