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Celebration of National Philanthropy Day® Celebrations a Huge Success!

November 19, 2012

Propelled by legislation making Canada the first country to make National Philanthropy Day®, AFP chapters and Canadians across the nation took their celebrations of giving and volunteering to new heights.

In honour of Parliament permanently marking Nov. 15 as National Philanthropy Day®, AFP worked with TELUS to help increase awareness of the day and the importance of philanthropy in Canadian communities.

NPD.Sig.Hor.Color.jpgA new National Philanthropy Day® website was unveiled ( featuring information on fundraising and philanthropy in Canada, wise giving tips and stories about outstanding donors, volunteers, corporations and foundations and others involved in the charitable sector.

On Nov. 15, AFP and TELUS invited Canadians to tweet their philanthropic ideas and activities to the hashtag #npdTELUS.  The five most innovative and inspiring ideas for changing the world will earn the Tweeters a $500 donation to the charity of their choice. Countless tweets were received, and the winning tweets will be selected in the coming days.

"Canadians are doing extraordinary things every day to help their neighbours, their communities and the world,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “Through the How Are You Changing the World campaign and thanks to our partnership with TELUS, we hope to bring Canadians together through technology so they can get inspired by what others are doing. TELUS was the first ever Canadian company to win the prestigious AFP Award for Outstanding Corporation for their philanthropic efforts, so this partnership was just natural for us."

In addition, AFP continued its partnership with The Globe and Mail on a National Philanthropy Day® supplement focusing on key issues and trends in fundraising and highlighting the good works of many individuals and organizations across the country.

Bill S-201

Bill S-201, the bill to make National Philanthropy Day® permanent, was sponsored and championed by Senator Terry Mercer. The bill received its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Monday, November 5. Royal assent is expected during the next couple of weeks.

“I’m humbled that so many members of Parliament rallied around this bill and the cause of philanthropy and charity,” said Senator Mercer. “I'd like to thank my good colleague, Geoff Regan, for championing the bill on the House side.  His work in pushing the issue was invaluable. I also want to thank members of the Standing Committees on Canadian Heritage and Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I hope this bill will spur more Canadians to see how easy and important it is to give and volunteer, and how fulfilling and inspiring it can be to help our neighbours.”

Canada is the first country to permanently recognize National Philanthropy Day since its creation in 1986. In 2009, the Minister of Canadian Heritage declared Nov. 15 as National Philanthropy Day. Bill S-201 makes that proclamation permanent.

“With the passage of this bill, Canada has taken a leadership role in world philanthropy,” says Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which is the primary sponsor of NPD. “This recognition of NPD underscores just how important giving, volunteering and engagement has become to Canada, and we hope this moment will encourage more Canadians to get involved. We are also grateful for the work of Senator Mercer, who has led the charge on NPD recognition for several years—this is only happening because of his dedication and leadership.”

Senator Mercer and AFP chair Andrea McManus, CFRE, were honored for their work in pushing Bill S-201 during a National Philanthropy Day® celebration on Nov. 15 with the AFP Calgary Chapter.

Also on National Philanthropy Day® this year, noted philanthropist and charity supporter Don Johnson spoke to the Economic Club of Canada about how government should work with charities and donors to help unlock more private wealth for public good. Mr. Johnson discussed several giving incentives that Parliament should pass in order to encourage more charitable giving in Canada.

How was your National Philanthropy Day® experience? Email us and let us know what you did, how you celebrated and/or how your chapter event went!

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