December 1, 2010


I (heart) myself 500x460
This year, I've focused on helping the philanthropic world by applying the first half of the fifth habit of highly effective people: seek first to understand and then to be understood.

The Nonprofit Management Association at the Schulich School of Business hosted the Philanthropic Leadership Workshop on Black Friday. The speakers were
  • Marcel Lauzierre, President, Imagine Canada
  • Jon Duschinsky, author of “Philanthropy in a Flat World”
  • Susan Storey, Vice President, KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)
  • Kevin Donavan, investigative journalist, Toronto Star
Each had a different perspective and made thought-provoking points.

Loving yourself and what you do is fine unless stakeholders feel cheated. You'll see that charities face major marketing challenges. You may notice parallels with your own industry too.

Marcel Lauzierre, President, Imagine Canada

Marcel identified three major concerns for the charitable sector.
  1. There's public demand for an easy way to rank charities. The MoneySense Charity 100 is considered simplistic, but a start.
  2. The CBC reported that $762 million of donations went to private fundraisers from 2004-2008 and 869 readers left comments. In a poll, 96% said it's very important to know where donations go.
  3. There's a proposal to cap compensation for fundraisers (Bill C-470) — unique in the world.
We're not talking about tobacco here. We're talking about an industry committed to doing good. Yet the demands for transparency and accountability haven't been addressed. That's an invitation for scrutiny and intervention by politicians.

Is your industry proactive in satisfying the demands of stakeholders?

Susan Storey, Vice President, KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc)

Here are the four minimum requirements for fundraising today:
  1. Be compelling: have a sharp, relevant case for giving
  2. Be respectful: the donors are individuals
  3. Be flexible: allow different ways of giving (could be time or referrals)
  4. Be patient: cultivating relationships and getting decisions takes time (also true if you're using the ORDER sales model)
Does your business have the same issues?

Jon Duschinsky, author of Philanthropy in a Flat World

There's so much choice. France has 1.2 million charities. You probably have many competitors too (including client indifference).

Can you organize your business so that the more good you do, the more money you make? If so, you've got a strong incentive to do good. Here's a great example.

How can you argue with a business model like Tom's Shoes One for One? There's appeal even if the shoes aren't comfortable.

Jon, the "Dr. Who of Fundraising", is a powerful, engaging presenter. He'd be a great speaker for TEDx — maybe even TED.

Kevin Donovan, Investigative Journalist, Toronto Star

Kevin has investigated over 100 charities. Thirty lost their licenses.

He identified four problems with charities
  • too many (over 80,000)
  • too easy to start
  • too little accountability
  • too expensive to run (high costs)
There's no umbrella group that publicly addresses misconduct. There's no organization to which charities must belong (the closest is Imagine Canada). Is Kevin a hero or villain? After he spoke, I'd say hero.

Are you part of an organization that supports your industry? Perhaps a board of trade or industry organization?


PS Paul Nazareth is organizing a Meetup for Philanthropic Linchpins on December 7, 2010 in Toronto. Last time we were featured in Linchpin Magazine.

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