Graphic: Arrow Join Now! Graphic: Arrow MY AFP Profile Graphic: Arrow AFP Canada Graphic: Arrow AFP Mexico Graphic: Star MAKE A GIFT


AFP eWire October 30, 2012: Print Version

50th International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego: Advance Registration Has Started– Register NOW and Save BIG!

Advance registration has begun for the 50th AFP Annual International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego, presented by Blackbaud—Register TODAY for BIGGEST savings!

Join general session speaker Bert Jacobs, co-founder and chief executive optimist of The Life is good Company. Life is good® spreads the power of optimism through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories and through its social mission to help kids overcome life-threatening challenges.

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

Mark Climie-Elliott: Born to Be a Fundraiser

Mark Climie-Elliott, CFRE was born to be a fundraiser. After all, he was born on Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day. But the long-time fundraiser and this year’s recipient of the Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Leadership to AFP credits his success to his family, his experience with AFP and the incredible colleagues he’s met throughout this career.

Climie-Elliott’s involvement in AFP encompasses all aspects of the association, including the international board. But he’s been especially active in Canada, serving as chair of the Canada Council, president of the Greater Toronto Chapter (AFP’s largest chapter) and board member of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada. He’s been a spokesperson for AFP on media and government relations issues in Canada and has also been active in the international development area for AFP as well.

During his time with the foundation, Climie-Elliott worked with a team to launch the Every Member Campaign Online Giving Tool and securing the support of AKA New Media and Stratcom as sponsors.  As chair of the Canada Council, he facilitated the strategy and groundwork for Canada to achieve “Ten Star Country Status,” whereby every chapter in Canada earned the AFP Ten Star Chapter designation.

“Mark has been so important for our growth and development in Canada,” said Andrea McManus, CFRE, the chair of AFP. “It’s no surprise that our growth in Canada has mirrored his involvement—he’s been a key leader and always has been ready to support the fundraising community no matter the issue. But at the same time, he’s not just focused on AFP Canada, but all of the profession, and he’s worked around the world on behalf of AFP and the fundraising community.”

Family Roots Leads to Philanthropy

But fundraising wasn’t the original plan for Climie-Elliott, who is the president of his own consulting firm in Toronto. He had his sights set on becoming a pharmacist but realized just as he was about to start his studies that it wasn’t anything he was passionate about.

Pharmacy’s loss was fundraising’s gain, as Climie-Elliott began working as a recreation therapist and then a community developer before transitioning into fundraising.

“My father was very altruistic, and we lived in a small town where there was a strong commitment to the community,” he says. “It grounded me at a very early age, and when I started to work in community development, it just felt right. From there, as I think is the case for many people, you work for a cause, and ultimately you get asked to do some sort of fundraising or development. And my career took off from there.”

Climie-Elliott’s career has spanned more than 30 years and includes service to such organizations as The Canadian Cancer Society, the Alzheimer Society, multiple Humane Societies, The Arthritis Society, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Children’s Health Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation of Canada and North York Harvest Food Bank — to name just a few. While he’s happy to be called a fundraiser, he sees himself as more of a facilitator of philanthropy.

“What I really do is help communities build their capacity through facilitation,” Climie-Elliott says. “I try to move and inspire others to work together—to work in teams and groups—to understand their role in philanthropy and how they can achieve success and build their capacity to create impact. I think that’s what a good fundraiser does.”

Community and Engagement Are Key to Success

One of the keys to Climie-Elliott’s success is remaining engaged with the larger fundraising community. If you want to stay informed and be relevant, he says, you need to remain engaged. That’s one of the primary reasons he has been so involved with AFP.

He recounts the time when he was a new member and had been asked to present at the AFP Toronto Congress in 1994. “I called the Resource Center and asked for some research,” he says. “Being in Canada, I figured I’d get the information in a couple of weeks. I received a huge box two days later with enough data and resources to write a thesis. That was a touch point for me in terms of my AFP involvement, and I’ve always said that if people don’t see the value of being a member, then they’re not using—or aware how to use—the services provided.”

But community and collegiality have also been important aspects of AFP for Climie-Elliott, and he feels lucky to have learned, shared and been mentored by many great fundraisers. “There are some amazing leaders in Canada, such as Anne Moore, Bill Hallett, Dianne Lister, Andrea McManus, Senator Terry Mercer, Krista Thompson, Susan Mullin, and so many others. They had all done such an incredible job of creating AFP in Canada, and being with them really cemented my connections with AFP.

During his acceptance speech at the Leadership Academy in Houston, Climie-Elliott recounted being at a Chapter Leadership Workshop in Edmonton, working with Susan Hosbach and Lori Gusdorf. “That moment—talking with them and seeing everything AFP “beyond the chapter” offered—was when the light bulb came on and I truly understood what AFP was all about and was trying to accomplish. And serving in a leadership position meant so many opportunities to meet great fundraisers and colleagues from across North America.”

Find Your Network—and Your Passion

Joining AFP remains one of Climie-Elliott’s three main pieces of advice for new fundraisers. “You need to join AFP regardless of who’s paying for it,” he says. “I’ve paid personally. I’ve had my employer pay. It’s the single most important investment I make in the profession every year, and the network it provides to you—especially when you’re starting out—is invaluable.”

His second recommendation? Find a good mentor. According to Cllimie-Elliott, fundraising is a continuous learning journey, and every fundraiser should start their journey early—and never stop. Connecting with a mentor can help you overcome numerous obstacles and lead to all new possibilities. “One of my mentors when I started out was Mo Davies, whose memorial I just attended this past weekend.  Mo was passionate about small and mid-size charities, and I will ensure her voice advocating for the “small shop” continues to be heard.”

Finally, it’s all about passion. “Let your passion guide you,” says Climie-Elliott. “Work in organizations you can get excited about, and look to work with people who can mentor you and inspire you about fundraising. Marilyn Marshall and Debbie Comuzzi got me passionate about this profession during my first interview for a fundraising job at the Canadian Cancer Society and I haven’t looked back.”

Passion has certainly guided Climie-Elliott through his work with AFP. “I’ve loved every second of it,” he says. “I’m very proud of the continuous growth of the AFP Every Member Campaign and excited to see that more members are making an annual gift and even more becoming monthly donors – it’s a commitment we can all make to building capacity in communities across the country. ”

Capacity-building has been at the heart of all of Climie-Elliott’s work, both for the organizations he’s worked for and for AFP. “There isn’t a day I don’t look forward going into the office and build that capacity,” he says.

And AFP is grateful for all of his efforts! “Mark’s capacity-building on behalf of AFP have been extraordinary, and our community is so much stronger for his commitment and generosity,” says Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “We’re so fortunate to count him as a colleague and friend, and we’re honored to be able to present him with this year’s Barbara Marion Award.”

The Barbara Marion Award for Outstanding Leadership to AFP is presented to an AFP member who has served the association for at least 15 years in a variety of leadership positions on the international, national, regional and local levels. The award is named in honor of Barbara Marion, the first woman to chair AFP and one of just a few members to chair both the association and the foundation.


Special Announcement

AFP Disaster Relief and Fundraising Efforts Page (Updated for Hurricane Sandy)

AFP’s Disaster Relief and Fundraising Efforts Page provides information not only on how to support relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy, but also how charities can raise funds in the current environment and keep track of ongoing news and events. We know that we have many members who work for organizations involved in the relief efforts. If you don't see a resource or organization listed here and would like it posted, please email the AFP Webmaster ( And please follow the AFP Disaster Relief Blog for all relief efforts and developments worldwide.


Fundraising News and Tips

New AFP Hot Topic: Ethics

Everything you’ve always wanted (and needed) to know on ethics, including information on percentage-based compensation and tons of links to articles on specific aspects of ethical behavior.

Half of American Teenagers Volunteer, Largely Because Their Friends Do

More than half of American teenagers and young adults volunteered last year, and the best way to enlist this group turns out to be peer pressure: Three quarters of people ages 13 to 22 whose friends volunteer regularly also do so, which is nearly twice the number of those who pursue voluntary activities based on their concern about particular social issues. (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

The Forbes 400 Report: How Is Next-Generation Philanthropy Shaping Up?

Insightful look at the numbers from the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy and a survey of 264 of the world’s top philanthropists. (Alliance)


Ten Things You Might Have Missed (and Need to Know)

1. Story Telling: How to Make Your Story Stand Out (Charity Comms)

2. Ethics: Lance Armstrong and the Contagion of Unethical Behavior (Stanford Social Innovation Review) 

3. Online/Social Media: YouTube Launches Digital Thermometer for Non-Profits (Mashable)

4. Cultivation/Stewardship: Be Your Donor Day (Network for Good)

5. Emails: 8 Dangerous (But Common) Misconceptions About Email Marketing (Inbound Internet Marketing Blog)

6. Volunteer Management/Support: A Cornucopia of Ways to Support Independent Fundraising Events (npENGAGE)

7. Stewardship: Re-engaging Monthly Donors (Charity Village)

8. Philanthropy/Inspirational: Fundraisers must take seriously the power of giving (Future Fundraising Now)

9. Mobile: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Get Started with Mobile (and 4 Ways They Shouldn’t)

10.  Grants: Arts Organizations—How Do You Make Your Initial Approach to a Funder? (Foundation Center) (While written for an arts charity, we thought it was interesting information for any charity)


AFP Announcements

AFP Diverse Communities Scholarship Application Form Now Available

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy created a new scholarship fund for members of diverse communities to attend the AFP International Conference on Fundraising.  This fund is broken out into three categories:

  • African American
  • Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender (GLBT)
  • General Diversity Fund

Additional categories will be added as other AFP Diverse Communities reach 100 members.

During AFP’s Diversity Scholarship Campaign, which ended on August 31, AFP raised funds for three diversity scholarships for the 2013 Conference:  one General Diversity Scholarships (available to AFP members from any currently identified AFP diverse community: African America, Asian, Faith-based, GLBT, Hispanic, Jewish, or Rural), one African American Scholarship and one GLBT Scholarships.

AFP is able to offer $1,500 scholarships ($595 conference fee + $905 for travel expenses) for each of the currently identified AFP diverse communities. THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to the inaugural diversity scholarship campaign! Your generosity ensured a successful launch of this new program.

AFP is now accepting applications for these diversity scholarships. Click here for the AFP Diversity Scholarship Application form, which resides in the Diversity section of AFP’s website

AFP would appreciate members distributing this opportunity to the colleagues in your personal and professional networks.

The deadline for application submission is October 31, 2012. Completed applications should be emailed to Lori Gusdorf, AFP Membership Services, at Selected candidates will be notified by email by December 1, 2012.

Should you have questions about the AFP Diversity Scholarships Campaign, please contact Lori Gusdorf, AFP Membership Services, at

AFP Awards for Philanthropy Nomination Period Open—Deadline Nov. 30

You or your chapter can nominate an outstanding philanthropist, volunteer fundraiser, foundation, corporation, fundraising professional or youth in philanthropy for AFP’s Awards for Philanthropy, which will be presented during the International Conference in San Diego on April 6. Nominations are easy to follow, can be submitted online and are due Nov. 30!

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.


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Involving Your Board Members in Fund Development - Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE

It’s your job to help board members do their job in fund development. But who is “you”? The development officer. The executive director. The board chair. The chair of the board’s fund development committee. No one – including your development officer – does this work alone. This is a team enterprise. Volunteers – especially board members – are particularly important.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University!A FP Action University Book Review (Video): Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Social psychologist Halvorson, a blogger for Psychology Today and assistant professor of psychology at Lehigh University, tackles attainment of goals in every area of life from relationships to sports. Halvorson sidesteps conventional notions about achieving success, particularly the idea that one should imagine oneself achieving goals easily. The ideal, Halvorson says, is to think positively about achieving one's goals but to think realistically about the effort that will be required to achieve them.

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

4300 Wilson Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203 • 703-684-0410 | 800-666-3863 | Fax: 703-684-0540
©2009 AFP. This site content may not be copied, reproduced or redistributed without prior written
permission from the Association of Fundraising Professionals or its affiliates.
Privacy Policy | Feedback | Contact Us | Advertise with Us