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AFP Toronto Congress 2013: Beyond Survival to Thriving Amid Rapid Change

Resource Center - Foundation

By Barb Crisp

We’ve listened to your feedback from last year, and AFP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Congress 2013 is gearing every session, plenary and case study to help fundraisers thrive in a climate of accelerating change.

The annual three-day event, widely considered one of the world’s largest and best philanthropy conferences, will run from Nov. 18-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Delegates can choose from more than 100 sessions, ranging from mobile giving and crowd-funding to understanding the latest social, economic and political trends.  In addition, an international roster of highly acclaimed speakers will share their ideas on how to spot opportunities for innovation in the midst of accelerating change.

“Now more than ever, we’re being asked to succeed in a rapidly-changing and complex environment. Congress will give you the tools you need for success,” says Paula Attfield, chair of Congress 2013. “Plus, we have a series of great plenary sessions planned that will send you back to work informed, energized and inspired!” 

Monday’s opening plenary by Alan Clayton, a director of the UK’s Clayton Burnett consulting firm, will explore the science behind “emotional fundraising.” Clayton will prove the philanthropic urge is natural in most people and demonstrate how delegates can use their own emotions to tap into this urge in any setting.

During Tuesday’s innovative plenary, Congress will present the North American debut of “I Wish I’d Thought of That!” (IWITOT). Highly regarded professionals will offer a fast-paced series of five-minute presentations on the one fundraising idea that truly inspired and influenced them. Fresh from its success in the UK, the plenary is the brainchild of the Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration (SOFII).

The closing plenary will feature Hélène Campbell, the 22-year-old recipient of a double lung transplant from Ottawa, whose efforts to promote organ donations have caught the eye of celebrities like Justin Bieber and Ellen Degeneres. Her one-woman awareness campaign has inspired thousands of Canadians to register for organ donations, giving rise to the term, “the Hélène Campbell effect.” This compelling young woman has reportedly left her audiences "dancing, crying, engaged and inspired." 

For information on sessions and registration, visit the Congress 2013 website  or contact Chris Ganowski, program coordinator, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, at

Since launching Crisp Communications nine years ago, Barb Crisp has produced fresh and highly creative copy for a wide range of Canadian charities in the health, international development, social services, environmental and advocacy fields.   A member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Toronto Chapter) since 1998, Barb currently serves on the AFP Congress Marketing Committee (2012 and 2013).

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