A Letter From AFP Canadian Council Chair Vivian Smith, CFRE
April 12, 2011
There is a certain nuance to the philanthropic sector here in Canada that one doesn't find in other countries. Perhaps it is the so-called ‘safety net' that we have come to expect-and to treasure-that challenges us and our fellow fundraising professionals. It means that there is an element of public education that we must undertake: education around the critical importance of private philanthropy and of the changes that can be enacted by an individual's act of giving.
Ten years ago, an appreciation for that difference led a small group of Canadian leaders in AFP to articulate the need for a strong, unified presence for Canadian fundraising professionals within both the association and Canada. That movement led to the birth of the AFP Canadian Council.
One of the earliest projects of the Canadian Council was to prioritize translation of AFP materials into French. With support from the Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada, that undertaking gained momentum, and we can now offer our French-speaking Canadians materials and educational opportunities in their language.
Today, AFP and the Canadian Council provide a national voice for the fundraising profession and AFP's Canadian members in speaking to government, media and key professional organizations. We also promote the creation of new Canadian AFP chapters while assisting with the strengthening of existing ones. This year, we are expanding that viewpoint to look at collegiate chapters and explore how they might help engage a new generation of fundraising professionals.
It is within the public domain that AFP and the council has encountered some of its greatest challenges and successes, promoting understanding of philanthropy and philanthropic fundraising as well as awareness of the fundraising profession and ethical fundraising practices. Part of this success has been the council's joint effort with the Canadian GR Committee to have National Philanthropy Day® declared by the federal government.
There is an amazing national pride amongst our Canadian AFP members, and the Canadian Council has been challenged by that pride to make this a Ten Star Country. That is to say, to have every chapter in Canada become a Ten Star Chapter in 2011. We have also recognized the need for research that is specific to Canada and are working this year with the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada to identify the specifics of that research and ensure that funding is available.
The structure of the Canadian Council has been designed to facilitate decision-making and communication while providing leadership excellence to the fundraising profession in Canada. The Council is comprised of representatives from each geographic region-Western, Prairie, Ontario, Quebec and Eastern-as well as ex officio members representing AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada, Canadian Government Relations Committee, AFP International's External Relations and Membership Services Divisions, the District B AFP Board Representative and AFP president and CEO. Each of us bring to the table a distinct voice, and as a council, we give opportunities for Canadian leaders within AFP to meet annually to discuss and develop priorities, as well as offer a forum for Canadian chapter presidents and others to support and learn from each other.
How can you help the council and assist us in moving AFP forward in Canada? Share your ideas and thoughts with your chapter president, send me an email or contact one of the other members of the council. And watch this space in the next issue as we talk about assembling nominations for the 2012 council.
Oh Canada, our home and native land!
Vivian Ann Smith, CFRE
President, Liberty Quest Enterprises Inc. in Langley, British Columbia
Chair, AFP Canadian Council
2011 AFP Canadian Council Members
Ron Bailey, CFRE
Mark Climie-Elliott, CFRE
Derek D. Fraser, CFRE
Pati Greenwood, CFRE -ex-officio
Ann M. Hale, CFRE - ex-officio
Paulanne Jushkevich, M.A., CFRE
Ken Mayhew - ex-officio
Luce Moreau, CFRE - ex-officio
Andrew Watt, FlnstF - ex-officio
Jane Potentier, CFRE
Julie K. Wirtanen, CFRE
Lori Gusdorf, CAE
Related AFP ResourcesUPDATE: The Canada New Horizons Transition Task Force
Creating Successful Nonprofit Boards, Staff and Programs—Take a Cue from Successful For-Profit Businesses
What Did You Just Say?! Learn How to Communicate So Your Board Understands You!
Lions, and Tigers, and Boards – Oh My!
How to Build the Winning Team (Board)