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AFP Canada / AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada Report

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Hi, everyone! It’s been a busy and productive 2019 for AFP in Canada, with a number of different projects focused on advancing fundraising and supporting you and your job in so many different ways.

Here’s a summary of the key work being done in Canada. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these projects, contact Lisa Davey, our vice president, AFP Canada, at, or Lori Gusdorf, Executive Vice President, AFP Foundations for Philanthropy, at

Paula Attfield, Chair, AFP Canada
Roger Ali, CFRE, Chair, AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada

ICON Announcements

Mike Geiger, our president and CEO, announced three major new member benefits at ICON in San Antonio:

  1. AFP 360° powered by Korn Ferry launching late May;
  2. Negotiation workshops offered in partnership through the American Association of University Women (AAUW), now available free of charge; and
  3. Ethics Month in October.

Here are more details for each of these announcements.

AFP Canada Website

We launched our first AFP Canada website last November. The site is in English and French, and you can find a wealth of information there.

AFP Global Priorities

AFP President and CEO Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA laid out AFP’s top priorities for 2019:

  1. Technology. Continue to improve the member experience and build on the improvements made in 2018.
  2. Analytics and Metrics. To gain a better understanding of what benefits our members are using (and not using).
  3. Continuing our work on IDEA with a special focus on the Women’s Impact Initiative. We published a new report on the gender salary gap and are planning a Women’s Impact Summit later this year immediately after AFP LEAD (formerly known as the Leadership Academy) in October in Phoenix.
  4. Ethics. We are the only professional body for fundraisers that has an enforceable code of ethics, and we need to educate the nonprofit sector, government and the general public about AFP’s work in ethics. The major project here is Ethics Month (see announcement above).
  5. Leadership development and education. AFP will be developing a variety of different programs on ensuring members have appropriate leadership skills throughout their career.

International Fundraising Meeting

At ICON in San Antonio, Mike Geiger held an informal gathering of representatives from fundraising organizations around the world. In attendance were representatives from England (IoF), Japan (JFA), Australia (FIA), Sweden (SFC), Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The major accomplishment of this group has been to create and ratify a global statement of ethics in London. The next formal gathering will likely be held in 2020 in Baltimore at ICON. One topic for consideration was to engage in global research.

Red and White Reception

This year AFP Canada, with the help of Cynthia Quigley, director of Canadian services, organized another great Red and White Reception at ICON. A special thanks to our sponsors: Blackbaud, Blakely, iWave, Stephen Thomas Ltd, CCS Fundraising, DonorPerfect, DCG Philanthropic Services, Method Works Consulting Inc. and ViTreo Group.

Strategic Plan

AFP Canada and the Canada Foundation are working on implementation of our Strategic Plan. You can find it on our website in both English and French. We are working on measurable outcomes through our Joint Strategic Planning Oversight Committee.  We look forward to finding synergies with the work of the chapters. It will be a hot topic of discussion for the Canadian Leadership Retreat in July.

Government Relations

Our Government Relations Committee has established three goals for the year:

  1. establishing a home in government for the nonprofit sector;
  2. funding for Statistics Canada to collect nonprofit data, and
  3. removing capital gains tax on the donation of private shares or real estate. 

With elections coming up later this year, we will not be holding our Day in the Ridings event in 2019. But we will engage in some sort of outreach involving the chapters after the elections. Meanwhile, we continue to work with the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector (AFP representatives have appeared three times before the committee) and seek a seat on the government’s newly-created Permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector.


We recently launched our “Fundraising is Awesome” document (in English and French) which is intended to highlight how great we are as a profession to potential fundraisers. It is receiving great praise from members and non-members alike. I hope you have seen it! It serves to remind us of why we have dedicated our careers to this profession.

Our Communications Committee has set out several priorities for 2019, including:

  • Develop an overall communications strategy for AFP Canada;
  • Develop and brand a series for our chapters on significant issues that require a Canadian AFP perspective. Building on existing AFP International resources, we will pull in a Canadian context on topics such as ethics, IDEA, gender pay equity, workplace bullying, harassment;
  • Develop an internal and external dissemination strategy;
  • Develop a repository of stories about the impact that fundraising and fundraisers have on our society;
  • Create a national strategy on National Philanthropy Day; an

New Narrative for Fundraisers

We began our work to create a New Narrative for Fundraisers at our Leadership Retreat in Ottawa in 2017. Since then we have been working with Ian MacQuillin of Rogare. The project, now under the leadership of AFP member Jennifer Johnstone, included extensive research and Canadian media monitoring of how fundraisers and fundraising are characterized in our sector.

To date we have produced a white paper on public perceptions to fundraising in Canada. We are now finalizing the New Narrative that will allow us to more effectively shift the public discourse from fundraising and fundraisers as a “necessary evil” (negative) to something that highlights the impact made by fundraisers to the organizations they serve. Our narrative team will recruit and train a group of sector leaders to act as “advocates” for the fundraising profession. They will help deliver the key messages from the Narrative.

This training will take place the day before the Canadian Leadership Retreat in Vancouver on July 24th.You can register for the Canadian Leadership Retreat here.

Every Member Campaign

The Every Member Campaign, chaired by Vincent Duckworth, CFRE, has kicked off the year with a webinar in March. High and low goals have been established for the year, and a new resource guide was created to assist the chapters. You can find the tool kit here.

Foundation Major Gifts Committee:

The Major Gifts Committee is continuing to raise funds for the Foundation’s priorities. These include:

  • National Scholarship Program – with deadlines on September 15 and March 15 of each year. Fundraising professionals can apply for scholarships to attend educational opportunities related to fundraising and philanthropy.
  • Research Committee – is raising funds for the next iteration of What Canadian Donors Want which will be the fifth version of the research and targeted for publication in 2020. There is an annual call for research through the Foundation, and the 2019 grant was awarded to Juniper Glass for her research titled “Innovative practices in donor engagement of women: A Canadian Study.”
  • Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy Program – the third cohort of 18 Fellows graduated on March 31. This latest cohort was expanded across the country through a grant from Canadian Heritage. The Foundation is currently seeking additional funds to continue this important program.

Foundation Annual Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Foundation will take place via conference call on Monday, June 3, 2019 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. eastern. Either your chapter president or president-elect can represent your chapter as a member of the Foundation. Having at least one representative attend would be appreciated.

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