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AFP eWire Canada - September 25, 2012: Print Version

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 50th International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego:
Register by Sept. 28 to Get Your Special Webinar Six-Pack Bonus!!

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 50th AFP Annual International Conference on Fundraising. Act quickly (before September 28th) to take advantage of the Webinar Six (6)-pack BONUS! Register during the discount registration period, and get up to six (6) select archived webinars for FREE (a $945 VALUE). The webinars are given by top conference speakers! Again, register for the International Conference on Fundraising before September 28th to get the full Six (6)-pack BONUS! 

This year, our goal is to engage and re-energize our profession. Join us and be a part of our efforts to create balance, focus on critical priorities, and simplify complexities—we’ll explore what it means to be Doing The Right Things…Right! 

Go to for more information and register TODAY! See you in San Diego in 2013! 

Top Story

Developing Effective Nonprofit – Corporate Relationships

by Mary Deacon

The world is facing challenging economic conditions.  Charities are proliferating to meet the needs created by less funding from governments and traditional philanthropic sources and are faced with more competition for seemingly fewer resources.  Traditional sources for philanthropy are still giving but all are demanding more from the charities they choose to support.  And corporations, one of the “go- to” sources for philanthropic support are giving less and expecting more from their community investments. How can charities maximize their potential for success given these challenges? 

Having worked in both the nonprofit and corporate sectors I have perspective from both sides of the fence – as a fundraiser for over 25 years and now as the Chair of Bell’s mental health initiative – a unprecedented corporate investment in Canada’s $50 M investment in mental health.

While many charities seek and are successful in securing philanthropic support from corporations, most, at best, have a small handful of significant seven figure (plus) gifts.  Securing these gifts require a commitment on the part of the charity to build and sustain multi-layered, multi-dimensional and long-term partnerships.  While these partnerships are envied and sought after, they are few and far between, and require a commitment by the charity to embrace and excel at a number of fundamental practices.


Relationships are at the core of successful corporate partnerships and this means that the charity must invest in understanding the reasons companies give and what their needs are. This can be challenging at times because the nonprofit and corporate worlds are very different.  If a charity wishes to secure corporate partnerships, it is incumbent upon the charity to understand their potential corporate partners and go more than meet them half-way.

Charities need to be business-like in order to successfully partner with business. Nonprofit organizations are powered by passionate people doing important work with dedication and single-minded purpose.   Quite often, people who work in nonprofits have done so all their working lives and therefore may not be familiar with the workings of other types of enterprises.  Similarly, people employed in corporations may have little exposure to the nonprofit world other than as a volunteer. This can create a classic scenario where two parties “just don’t understand each other;” a situation that leads to relationship break-down and with it the failed prospect of funding.

Speed, quality, flexibility and excellent customer service

Understanding why companies give illuminates the road to success. Traditional “cheque book” philanthropy has, for many companies, been replaced by strategic partnerships that do good in the community while also helping the company to do well.

Companies give to build strong and healthy communities. This is good for business. But, companies also (and importantly) give to reinforce their brand and reputation; to differentiate themselves in a competitive market place; to build positive relationships with clients and customers; and to help recruit and retain employees.  At various points in the relationship and over time, the order of priority of these objectives and needs can change.

Outcomes and measurement

In choosing charities in which to invest and partner, corporations look for organizations with excellent reputations and sound financial management as a baseline.  Potential partners also need to:

  • be organized and strategic to deliver high quality work on time
  • understand the importance of, and then actually deliver, benefits to the company
  • be very rigorous in measuring results and impact

Businesses use numbers and data every day to measure progress and results and are very good at uncovering weak, exaggerated and/or unsubstantiated numbers.   Charities will benefit greatly from following suit, tracking performance and returns on investment, be it in number of clients served, patients treated, etc.

Communications and public relations 

For my own nonprofit experience I know that resources are always scarce and often result in available dollars being invested in fundraising staff (sometimes at the expense of communications and public relations capabilities).  Resource allocation will always be a challenge but it is important to understand that if strategic corporate partnerships are one of your priorities for fund development, communications and public relations expertise must be on hand, and of high quality.

Corporations are efficient in executing plans and usually have well-honed sophisticated capabilities in these areas. Making the gift decision is only the beginning of the relationship in a sophisticated multi- dimensional partnership. Much of the ongoing work is in the form of leveraging press conferences, recognition opportunities, meaningful engagement opportunities and much more.  Missteps in these areas can create ongoing points of frustration and friction for your corporate partner.

Ultimately, success depends on the charity understanding and respecting the needs of the corporate partner.  This may sound one-sided but really, with few exceptions, the pool of potential partners for corporations to support is much wider and deeper than the pool of potential corporate partners for a particular charity or charity project.

Charities need to be: organized and strategic, efficient in their communications, able to embrace the pace and quality expected by a corporation and willing to invest in, and value, the public relations needs and expectations of the corporation. When objectives align, when expectations on both sides are clearly defined and when there are clear measurement plans, a strong relationship between the parties can form and impactful things can happen for the greater good.

Mary Deacon is Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative. The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a $50 million commitment that encourages Canadians to be part of the conversation about mental health, while supporting practical projects in the community and workplace leadership.  It is the largest corporate commitment to mental health in Canadian history. Mary holds a BA and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Contact her at


Community News and New Ideas

National Philanthropy Day: Celebrating All Donors Equally Engages New Attendees, Sponsors

by Mike House, MBA, CFRE

For over 10 years, AFP Edmonton & Area Chapter had celebrated National Philanthropy Day (NPD) like many other chapters across North America.  However, over time, the challenges with the historical award format of NPD had begun to diminish the engagement AFP members and the wider community had with the event. 

These challenges included the fact that the awards separated charities into winners and losers, and that successful nominations often had more to do with the resources available to the charities and the writing skills of the nominators, rather than the impact the donors had made.  Organizing the competition into donor category types also restricted donors with multiple interests from being recognized for their true contributions.  As a result, sponsors felt that there was less value in supporting the event, ticket sales started to decline, and the event was becoming dominated by the strongest and best-resourced charities.  In essence, the celebration of impact that was happening in the community was fast becoming less important than the competition for the recognition being provided by the event.

National Philanthropy Day was also a significant financial and reputational component to the chapter’s success.  With NPD being held in November, ticket sales drove overall profitability of the chapter, and these sales were based upon nominations being attracted by late September.  Cash flow for the chapter was often negative until the 3rd and 4th quarters, and depending on the number of nominations, the financial health of the Chapter was often in doubt until the last three months.

In 2011, the Edmonton Chapter decided to take a substantial risk and change the way NPD was celebrated.

The first change was to eliminate the concept of putting one charitable contribution ahead of another.  The vision of the NPD was changed to be more inclusive of all charities and to celebrate all forms of giving regardless of size of gift or resources of the charity. 

The nomination process was simplified so that any charity could nominate someone by submitting answers to general questions on the impact the nominee had, as well as the on the relationship between nominee and nominator.  Instead of charities and their importance to the community being ranked, NPD became an equal celebration of impact.  Philosophically, all charities are important, every donor is valuable and makes a difference, and every nominee deserved to be respected and acknowledged for their efforts.

These changes resulted in smaller charities coming back to NPD and nominations doubling from 35 to over 70 nominations in one year.  New nominees also bought tickets to the event, and they purchased them early in the year, driving sales and highlighting the value of AFP membership in the process.

Nominations were sorted by sector impact rather than donor type.  Categories were created to celebrate the collective impact donors have on health, education, culture, environment, social services (homelessness, women’s shelters, food banks, etc.) and public services (libraries, recreation centres, sports, etc.).  Youth also remained a category to celebrate, and a new category, “Outreach” allowing charities outside Edmonton to also celebrate and acknowledge contributors.

The reorganization of categories meant that corporations could be nominated for their multiple interests, and instead of competing against themselves or being at the mercy of the writing of a nomination, they received more visible profile.   Sponsors saw a greater value proposition in sponsorship of certain sectors that they were already aligned with.  For example, if a company supported health as a general guiding principal, they now could sponsor the entire sector and be exclusively aligned with its impact, even if they were not nominated specifically.

Nominations were requested by June 30 and ticket pricing was changed to incent organizations to take advantage of group discounts, AFP membership discounts, and early bird sales.  This made a significant impact on cash flow for the organization, both in terms of being able to drive table sales but also in enabling us to inform sponsors far in advance on who would likely be in attendance. 

As substantial and important as these changes were, the most important result of these changes was the reaction from nominees, nominators and attendees.  Rather than singling out one exceptional donor, all donors from each sector were collectively celebrated; highlighting how all giving is equally important and contributes to the quality of life in our community.  Philanthropists stood next to children and corporate leaders on stage, unified together in their passion for the sector they care for.  The result was that National Philanthropy Day raised the profile of the importance and diversity of giving that exists, and heightened the leadership role that AFP plays in championing philanthropy within our region.

This year’s NPD celebration continues to attract more organizations, more nominations and greater numbers of meaningful stories of charitable giving.  AFP leads the way in organizing this celebration of giving, and in doing so, charities and donors have a stronger appreciation for their part in building a better community for all.

Mike House lives in Edmonton, Alberta and is the President & CEO of the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. Previously, Mike held the position of Assistant Dean, Development & Stakeholder Relations at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. Mike has an undergraduate commerce degree and an MBA from the University of Alberta, and he has held the CFRE designation since 2003. Mike is also the current President of AFP Edmonton & Area Chapter. Contact him at

Initiatives and Programs Planned for AFP Canada

AFP chapter leaders from across the country convened in Halifax, NS on July 26 – 28, 2012 to discuss strategies and issues affecting the fundraising and philanthropic culture within Canada.  The Retreat planned by the AFP Canadian Council, Canadian Government Relations Committee, AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada and International Headquarters focused on the AFP in Canada Strategic Plan that will take Canadian initiatives through 2014.

The AFP in Canada Strategic Plan, which encompasses the overall AFP Strategic Plan, prioritized areas of focus specific to Canadian needs.  Some of these initiatives include:

  • Creating an inventory of all fundraising education being taught within Canada.
  • Developing a tool kit for chapter leaders and members, providing resources to talk with government officials and the media about fundraising issues.
  • Building meaningful relationships with government through education and two-way communication.
  • Engaging the next generation in fundraising as a career path.
  • Developing member resources and making them easily accessible for Canadian members.
  • Exploring areas where AFP chapters should be formed.
  • Using the Ontario grant to provide education to various diverse constituencies as a model for other parts of the country.
  • Welcoming international fundraising professionals in Canada and creating a guide for chapters to use to make their experience productive.

The initiatives will be further refined with tactics and timelines by various committees and task forces within AFP.  The volunteer structure is robust and opportunities abound at the chapter, national and international level.

If you are interested in getting involved in AFP, please contact Lori Gusdorf, AFP Vice President of Membership & Chapter Services at

Ontario invests in three-year project to strengthen diversity and philanthropy within the nonprofit sector

Ontario’s nonprofit organizations are about to receive a major boost in training and development on diversity and inclusion issues, thanks to a multi-year initiative funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s Partnership Project Office.

From Diversity to Inclusion in Philanthropy: An Action Plan for Ontario’s Charitable Sector is a groundbreaking three-year project focused on understanding the giving traditions and interests of a wide range communities in Ontario. Organized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada, in cooperation with its Greater Toronto and Ottawa chapters, the project will offer in-depth inclusion-oriented education, training and networking activities for Ontario-based nonprofit leaders, fundraisers, volunteers and donors.

One of the goals of this project is to mobilize giving amongst a number of ethno-cultural and immigrant groups, First Nations/Métis/Inuit peoples, women, youth, individuals with disabilities, Francophone-Ontarians and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered populations. The Partnership Project Office has committed up to $300,000 over three years to help with the organization of a series of one-day conferences and the development of an online philanthropy and inclusion “toolkit” for fundraisers and donors.

"This investment from the government will help the non-profit sector prepare for new conversations about giving and volunteering in Ontario,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “In fact, this project is breaking new ground in the sector, and we expect that it will offer some practical insights and strategies for nonprofit organizations that are interested in taking diversity and inclusion issues to the next level.

For more information about this initiative, please contact Cynthia Quigley, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, at

An invitation to participate in a discussion on ethics in the charitable sector

The Ethics Resources Committee of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter continues to reach out to AFP members across the country to invite participation in a special ethics survey. We want to gain an understanding of your needs relating to your knowledge of ethics, top ethics concerns, and how the various AFP Ethics Resources Committees can best serve their membership and the charitable sector.

Terrific feedback has been shared so far, but we want more people to have the opportunity to participate, so the deadline has been extended until Wednesday, October 10.

You are invited to participate because your experiences and observations matter. The more insights we gain, the greater our ability to serve you and your organization.

In a nutshell:

  • Survey link: 
  • You can respond confidentially or share your name. If you share your name, you will automatically be entered to win a free AFP membership.
  • Results will be shared with respondents, all Canadian AFP chapters, at the Toronto Annual Fundraising Congress in November and in future editions of AFP eWire.
  • AFP chapter presidents are encouraged to invite their members to share their thoughts in the survey.

“This is a significant opportunity to gain and share knowledge about the needs of everyone from board directors to CEOs to staff, ultimately, in order to ensure volunteers, donors, and the people charities help can enjoy best-in-class philanthropic experiences,”  -  Sharon Wood, president & CEO, Kids Help Phone, and vice president, governance, of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s board of directors.   

Thanks for enlivening the ethics discussion!


Member News/Announcements

Volunteering Your Fundraising Skills Overseas 
As a Cuso International volunteer, Stratford Festival’s major gift fundraiser and AFP member, Cynthia Benoit-Sarrazin journeyed to El Salvador to lend her skills to a project that trains youth in theatre arts – and life options. Read more!

Understanding Your Deepest Aspirations and Concerns for Charity - Share Your Thoughts and Feelings in AFP Greater Toronto’s Ethics Survey
Give AFP Greater Toronto Chapter 15 minutes of your time. Take this ethics survey and automatically enter your name for FREE AFP membership renewal! Read more.

Deadline Sept. 30 for Voting on AFP Bylaws Amendment and 2013 Board of Directors
All members are encouraged to vote online regarding two important items: 1) the slate of nominees for the 2013 AFP board of directors; and 2) new proposed bylaws recommended by the AFP Governance Review Task Force. The deadline for voting is Sept. 30, and members can vote here.

Avectra to Sponsor 2012 Leadership Academy in Houston
AFP is proud to announce that Avectra is partnering with the association to sponsor its Leadership Academy meetings in Houston, Oct. 18-20. “Avectra is proud to sponsor this year's AFP Leadership Academy,” said Richard Davis, chairman and CEO of Avectra. “Our partnership with AFP is a success because of our mutual desire to support leaders within the AFP community with programs to enrich their career and enhance their leadership skills.” Chapter leaders can still register for the Leadership Academy.

Canada Globe and Mail to Publish NPD Supplement on Nov. 16
The Globe and Mail, which reaches nearly one million readers across Canada, will be publishing in partnership with AFP a special supplement about National Philanthropy Day®. The supplement will highlight donors, volunteers, corporations and foundations across Canada involved in philanthropy, and AFP members can receive special rates on advertising. Learn more.

Sign Up to Serve on AFP’s Committees 
Know someone who would make a great candidate for committee service and help steer the direction of your community? Would you like to serve on one of AFP's committees? Now is your chance to do so! To sign up today, click here.


Fundraising News and Tips

LinkedIn as a Multi-dimensional Fundraiser’s Resource 
Make social media work for you. Paul Nazareth gives you an inside look at how LinkedIn can be a key fundraising resource. Opportunity for major gift prospecting? Networking with board members? Marketing your nonprofit? All this and more is waiting for you. Read on and find out how to get started.

Read more.

Ipsos Reid Fact sheets on “What Canadian Donors Want” Available for Download
The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy - Canada in conjunction with Ipsos Reid conducted a survey in November 2011 on "What Canadian Donors Want." Six fact sheets have been created on Giving Levels; The Giving Decision; Administration/How Charities Operate; Thanking Donors; Boards and Volunteer Leadership; and, the Role of Fundraisers.. 
Read more.

Ten Questions Every Director Should Ask About the T3010 
By now you know that every charity must file an annual T3010 Registered Charity Information Return. But are you aware that if your T3010 is inaccurate, incomplete or late, your organization can be suspended from receipting or lose charitable status altogether? In a blog post for Imagine Canada, Lisa Hartford reviews some of the resources available to help you navigate T3010 compliance and provides ten questions directors should be asking the finance person in your organization. Read more.

Nonprofit Organizations with Active Fundraising Boards More Likely to Meet Goal
In a research first, the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC), of which AFP is a founding member, finds a direct association between active fundraising by nonprofit board members and the organization meeting its fundraising goals. Read more.

3 Ways Nonprofits Build Success with Social Media
Nice blog that provides specific examples of organizations doing an effective job of using social media. (Vivid Image)
 Read more.


Fundraising Quick Links

Compensation in fundraising still important

Carleton University to train nonprofit leaders

Why forcing kids to volunteer is a great idea

Grant opportunity for small to medium-sized Canadian charities


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Intellectual Capital in the Nonprofit Organization - Harvest Development Group, LLC/Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa

The growing power of ideas - as manifested in innovative programs, policies and processes – is the key differentiator for a successful nonprofit organization. This means that the most important resource in your nonprofit is not your donor database, or your special event - it’s the heads that walk through your door every day. These heads make up the differentiator known as Intellectual Capital.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University!This Week We Present an AFP Action University Book Review (Video): Managing (Right) for the First Time, by David C. Baker

Managing (Right) for the First Time is intended as a field guide for first time managers, or for managers who want to begin doing a better job. The author worked closely with 600+ companies and interviewed more than 10,000 employees, then summarized the findings in an interesting and eminently readable form. Read this book and you're likely to understand management and leadership like you never have before, but also learn very practical steps toward becoming a better manager and leader. 

• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

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