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AFP Co-Hosts Summit to Strengthen Canadian Nonprofit Sector

(June 16, 2008) On May 27, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Volunteer Canada and Imagine Canada came together to host The Summit, an event that brought together nearly 250 nonprofit leaders with the aim of identifying practical ways to build a more sustainable charitable and nonprofit sector in Canada.

Participants shared ideas for building sector capacity in three areas: finances, standards and self-regulation, and government relations and public policy. The summit also addressed how to optimize the use of volunteers in building capacities in these three areas. Keynote speakers, Mel Cappe, president of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) and former head of the federal public service, and Martha Parker, former executive director of Volunteer Calgary, shared their insight on our capacity as a sector, including both strengths and challenges, in these areas.

The AFP Greater Toronto Chapter played a large role in planning and coordinating the successful event.

“This summit was a true collaboration between AFP, Imagine Canada and Volunteer Canada and started a great initial dialogue with our sector leaders here in Canada,” said Mark Climie-Elliott, CFRE, president of Wyers Direct Inc. in Toronto and president of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter. “A great day has led to a great deal of work ahead that our organizations can share to ultimately make our sector stronger. My thanks to all who came and to everyone who made this possible.”

The ideas proposed by delegates to the summit are being consolidated into a proposed action plan by the chairs of the three national organizations. Summit participants discussed the need for action items on the following topics:

  • Developing common measurements of the effectiveness and efficiency of individual organizations and the sector as a whole
  • Development of a self-regulatory structure in the sector, including a formal body, which addresses ethics beyond fundraising and builds on existing standards and accreditation programs
  • Building capacity in public policy and government relations through investment in human resources, infrastructure and communications
  • The general need to coordinate the sector around central issues and a common purpose

Action items will soon be finalized and made available to the public.

For questions and additional information, contact Jason Lee, director, government relations, at

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