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AFP Ottawa Fundraising Day – A “Dive In” Experience!

August 30, 2015

By Mena Gainpaulsingh and Jenny Mitchell

Nearly 250 professional fundraisers arrived at the Hampton Inn and Conference Centre for a day of training, networking and personal growth on May 5.  Playing on the aquatic theme of “Dive In,” the event was a resounding success, with organizers ensuring that this sold out event held exciting learning opportunities for everyone.

The attendees

This year’s Fundraising Day reached a broad audience: from development directors and chief executive officers in local hospitals right down to grassroots organizations building their first fundraising plans. We were thrilled to have many attendees who had never been before, as well as more representation from smaller, volunteer-led and emerging nonprofits.   

Learning from the experts

This event provided an ideal opportunity for delegates to engage with the fundraising community, but in particular, they were able to hear from an excellent range of speakers who covered many of the key topics required to build a diverse and robust program. 

The day was definitely an eye-opener” said Kathy Stewart, a board member for the Naismith Basketball Foundation. “It gave me some insights into the baby steps to take around fundraising. It's good to know that there is a network out there that our organization is able to tap into.”

Sessions were tiered to offer learning for everyone, from those starting out in the field to very experienced practitioners. We were also delighted to include some personal development opportunities, via our plenary speaker, Michael Hughes. He shared some valuable tips on how to network more effectively (and got us all networking right there in the session!). Another popular speaker of the day, Anil Dilwari, taught us how to create better presentations. 

A unique donor panel

One of the key features of the day was the chance to hear from some of Ottawa’s leading philanthropists.  The lunchtime panel included David Sweanor, a previously anonymous donor to various Ottawa charities, Coralie Lalonde, an angel investor and passionate donor to health and animal charities, and Sue-Ellen Holst of the RBC Foundation, a funder that has given millions to children and youth charities, sports and the arts in the region.

Moderated by Barbara McInnes, Founder of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, panelists shared their thoughts, experiences and guidance to help us to become better at building strong and meaningful relationships with donors. 

“Wow!  Fundraising Day was amazing!” said Sam Laparade director of development for Ottawa Carleton Lifeskills. “Great content , and it flowed beautifully.  The donor panel was brilliant!  I wanted to jump up on my chair and yell 'AMEN’!'” 

Thank you to our main sponsors KCI, Good Works, Blackbaud, Soshal and the International Fundraising Consultancy, as well as our many exhibitors. Your support made this day possible!

20 years of Fundraising Day in Ottawa

Save the Date: 2016 is AFP Ottawa Fundraising Day’s 20th anniversary!  Mark your calendars for this not-to-be-missed annual event. See you in Ottawa on May 18, 2016.

save the date 2016 Ottawa Day

Mena Gainpaulsingh (International Fundraising Consultancy Canada) is the chair of AFP Ottawa Fundraising Day. Jenny Mitchell (Chavender) handles the communications file for Fundraising Day. Mena and Jenny are both looking forward to celebrating 20 years of Fundraising Day next year!

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