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AFP Releases First-Ever Survey on Fundraising Profession in Canada

July 11, 2003

See also:

  • Download a PDF of the AFP/CPRN study A Portrait of Canadian Fundraising Professionals under Attachments below.

WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - July 11, 2003) - A new survey by AFP and the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) reveals new details about the philanthropic landscape and the fundraising profession in Canada.

The report, A Portrait of Canadian Fundraising Professionals, is the first comprehensive look at the profession in Canada and looked at a number of issues including job satisfaction, workload, training, career opportunities and key challenges. Preliminary findings of the report were released in March during the AFP International Conference on Fundraising in Toronto.

One of the most critical findings in the final report is a gap in efficiency and effectiveness between older, more mature organizations and smaller charities new to fundraising.

'We found that many small organizations new to the field, especially in the social services and arts, culture and humanities subsectors, face tougher challenges than larger, well-established institutions,' said Kathryn McMullen, CPRN researcher and author of the report. 'The rapid growth in nonprofit organizations has created a 'segmented labor market' that can affect the effectiveness and efficiency of charities based on size and maturity.'

The survey also indicated that many of the challenges that fundraisers face are internal to their own organizations. While two-thirds of respondents noted that their organizations had started new fundraising practices or campaigns in the last year, many indicated their organizations were not necessarily fully prepared. Results included:

  • Half of respondents felt that their board of directors had realistic expectations about fundraising.
  • Less than half indicated they had sufficient resources to perform their jobs successfully.
  • One quarter said that a lack of integration of fundraising activities into the rest of the organization made it difficult for them to do their job well.

Report Recommendations

In response to these challenges, the report recommends that:

  • Professional organizations, like AFP, should further expand their outreach and education programs to reach paid fundraisers in small organizations.
  • Professional organizations should develop training packages especially for the needs of new entrants to the field at a reasonable cost.
  • Special outreach and education programs should be developed for boards of directors to allow them to more effectively support the fundraising process.
  • Employers should undertake reviews to ensure competitive pay and benefits.
  • Employers should address intrinsic job conditions like flexible working conditions, communications, good working relationships, fairness and respect, and opportunities for professional training.
  • A human resources sector council should be created for the non-profit sector to address collective challenges.

'There is a real need and opportunity for AFP and other professional associations in Canada to reach out to the smaller organizations with less resources,' said Dianne Lister, former president of The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation and former chair of the AFP Canada Council. 'The survey findings provide a basis for developing policies and strategies to better serve these smaller organizations, as well as to address professional and workplace issues and to strengthen the sector's capacity to attract and retain the professional fundraisers on whom it depends.'

The survey was conducted through the support of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada, AFP International Headquarters, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, AFP Calgary Chapter, The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, DVA Navion, Ketchum Canada Inc., Anne Moore & Associates and an anonymous donor. 

Download a PDF of the report under Attachments below.


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