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UPDATE: AFP Canadian Council Plans For the Future

February 10, 2015

By Karen Mercier, CFRE, Chair, AFP Canadian Council

Karen DackiwOver the past several months since the last update, a dedicated team of AFP members have been working hard to draft the new strategic plan to guide the future of the AFP Canadian Council. Building on the feedback received at the Canadian Leadership Retreat held in Niagara-on-the-Lake this past July, members of the council drafted a realistic yet challenging plan.

While the Canadian Council exists to support the mission and strategic objectives of AFP in Canada, we also know that it is our responsibility to ensure Canadian values and practices are reflected in our work. The new strategic plan will set the stage for the council to further build a strong, unified presence and voice for Canadian fundraising professionals.

Three consistent themes emerged in the planning stages from fundraising leaders across Canada:

1. The need to develop a Pan-Canadian, multi-faceted communications strategy that includes branding, marketing, government relations, public relations and ways to build capacity for chapter-level advocacy and promotion.

2. Chapters are the heart of AFP in Canada. In order to ensure this continues, the council needs to develop a "Chapter Resiliency Model” that supports governance best practices, defines fiscal responsibility and implements strategic planning at the chapter level.

3. Active and engaged AFP membership translates into knowledgeable, collaborative and vibrant fundraisers. The Canadian Council must seek to increase chapter membership engagement.

It is these three themes that serve as the focus for the new strategic plan. Supported by a host of new initiatives and actions, our goal is to ensure that not only is the new strategic direction for Canada reflective of current needs, but also one that will be implemented immediately. 

Throughout the next two years of my term as Chair of Canadian Council I’ll be reporting back to AFP members regularly on our progress, and I’m always happy to hear your thoughts and feedback. Feel free to reach out to me by email at

Karen Mercier is an experienced development specialist with skills in the areas of major gifts, annual giving, gift planning, sponsorship and capital campaigns gained while working for a variety of organizations in the Edmonton and Regina area. For the past six years, Karen has worked as the director of development for the Regina Humane Society. Karen holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation. She also volunteers extensively in the community having served previously as the president of the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, vice president of JCI Edmonton and is the past-president of the AFP, Regina Chapter. In 2012 Karen joined the AFP Canadian Council and in 2015 became its first chair from Saskatchewan.  

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