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Measuring Impact, The Donor’s Perspective, And More: Fundraising Day In Toronto—May 28

April 7, 2014

(Apr. 7, 2014) Just one great AFP event to the next—first there was the International Conference on Fundraising in San Antonio in March, and now just head in May: Fundraising Day in Toronto.

There will be a lot of great sessions at Fundraising Day, one of the largest one-day fundraising conferences in the world. Rob Peacock, MA, CFRE, and Matt Shaw discuss two of the most fascinating presentations that will be held in Toronto.

What do donors want, and why do we have to keep asking?

rob peacockRob Peacock, MA, CFRE 

The ability to understand a donor’s philanthropic vision at the most basic and elemental level is the most fundamental tool in the fundraiser’s toolbox. It’s an essential connection to the deep, emotional motivation that drives altruism and philanthropy.

Fortunately, much invaluable research has been done in this area in our sector with every type of academic lens—from the the sociological (why we are compelled to altruism for others) to the neurobiological (why giving feels good!) and everything in between—that fundraisers can harness as fundamental principles in their work.

Even so, there is no substitute to getting the inside scoop directly from the mouths of donors! And yet in the day-to-day grind of fundraising, how many of us truly ask our donors—whether they are individual major gift donors, corporate partners or supportive foundations—what they want and expect from their giving, and what direct advice they might provide to help us fundraisers be better?

Attendees at this year’s Fundraising Day will have the rare opportunity to attend a panel session with three high-profile donors who will take questions on the importance of philanthropic giving, donor interests and the decision-making process they undertake when supporting worthy causes.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get it right and join me in the conversation with:

  • Kelly Meighen, president, T.R. Meighen Family Foundation (representing individuals)
  • Wafa Kadri, senior manager, corporate donations, RBC (representing corporations)
  • Bruce Lawson, president and CEO, The Counselling Foundation of Canada (representing foundations)

An essential prerequisite to being a successful fundraiser is to understand a donor’s motivations, desires and expectations. These are the essential elements to building a relationship with donors. They set the "terms of engagement" for your relationship and provide the building blocks for a meaningful experience with the organization on its philanthropic carpet ride.

I look forward to seeing you at AFP Greater Toronto chapter’s Fundraising Day 2014!

Rob Peacock, MA, CFRE is chief executive officer at Peacock Philanthropic Counsel Inc. He has more than 25 years of professional fundraising experience gleaned from a variety of philanthropic areas and is the author of two books:  Face Time: Relationship Philanthropy, A Resource for Canadian Major Gift Fundraising and Engagement – A Resource for Canadian Volunteer Boards. 




Measuring impact and the search for the Holy Grail

matt shawMatt Shaw 

The success of charities and nonprofit organizations can’t be easily quantified in the measurements of pure capitalism—units sold, quarterly earnings, dividends or profit margins.

This might be obvious to fundraisers perhaps. For most of us, our notion of altruism begins as a soft and fuzzy thing—a compulsion, a desire to help and/or the need to serve. From this beginning the charitable sector has evolved in Canada from nebulous "do-gooderism" to the organized, systematic and impactful sector it is today:  a sector employing more people than the automobile industry, stocked with bright thinkers and problem solvers finding ways to make changes faster, sharper and better. 

We know that the work we do matters and changes lives. Yet the onus is on us to prove to our donors, partners, champions and communities that our organizations are earnestly fulfilling their missions in the most effective way possible. And, selfishly, we know the best way to stand out in the crowded marketplace of charities, socially responsible corporations, social enterprises and foundations is to say: “We achieve our mission faster, sharper, and better than the next guy.”

Sounds great. But how are organizations truly measuring their impact? What are the criteria that truly demonstrate our impact? And what happens when the quest for quantifiable results threatens to distort our impact—or worse, to materially change our mission to focus on things that drive measurements that look impressive, but actually diminish our capacity to drive change?

For the answers to those questions, I am very excited to hear the insights from the plenary lunch panel at Fundraising Day 2014. Our panel will bring together leading Canadian charitable thinkers in a discussion chaired by Brian Emmett, chief economist for Imagine Canada, on how the sector should move forward in addressing the most fundamental challenge we face.

Register for Fundraising Day before April 11, 2014, and not only will you hold your seat for the plenary lunch panel, you’ll also receive an early-bird discount, too.

Matt Shaw is a marketing communications and fundraising professional in Toronto who has worked with more than 30 Canadian businesses and charitable organizations as a consultant and practitioner. He currently serves as national manager, strategic partnerships for Habitat for Humanity Canada.