Charities’ fading moral high ground

I On April 15th, I was part of a panel at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) international conference in New Orleans. Thirty-five hundred delegates—mostly fundraisers— attended the conference from around the world. The question to our panel was Are charities losing the moral high ground? On April 23rd, the Globe and Mail filled in […]

Ninety Thousand Words To Go

In the past four years I’ve fashioned scores of pieces for a regular blog, produced a daily churn of work-related writing, and written and had published two books, a novel and a work of non-fiction. I am a card-carrying writer. Now, I’ve just returned from St. John’s where I spent a week doing research for […]

Trying to Live Life on Yellow Alert

“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau addressing the Press Club in Washington, D.C. (25 March 1969) on the matter of living […]

It’s Hard To Feel Sorry For A Neighbour Who Keeps Setting His Own House On Fire

The eyes of American lawmakers gazed miserably out from our screens yesterday as television networks provided wall-to-wall news coverage of another mass shooting. Fifty-nine dead and 527 injured this time, the largest body count ever. The response to the carnage? “Heroism,” according to news hosts from Anderson Cooper to Rachel Maddow. “It is tragedies like […]

Charity Talk: How can you compete with changing the skyline?

Charities are entrusted with the lives and wellbeing of the poorest, sickest and most oppressed people in the world. In Canada, the sector generated $246 billion in 2014. How do they view their obligations, chose their priorities and interpret the impact of those choices? In February my book, Cap in Hand: How Charities Are Failing […]

Why AFP needs to be kicked to the curb (and pronto)

If you recall, Wednesday March 8th was International Women’s Day. It was an odd mix this year. As Women’s March organizers were getting arrested in Washington D.C., a WTF attitude and a call to honour the good men in our lives emanated from other quarters. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) with world headquarters in […]

Charity mergers and “wealthy big-name donors”

Truthfully? The world of charities—a world I’ve inhabited for more than 25 years—is beginning to drive me a bit crazy. What are we supposed to think of charities, anyway? Are they a deer in the headlights responding like the proverbial damsel in distress to events beyond their control? Are they made up of scheming profiteers […]

Pink Daffodils or Yellow Ribbons? Questions around the merger of Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

The question of colour is one of many surrounding the merger of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). For now, it seems to be hanging in the air alongside rumination around the appearance of next spring’s tulip. It’s out there, but no one’s really put it into words yet. […]

New book baby is on the way!

Attention Gentlest of Blog Readers! My new book baby is on the way from Civil Sector Press! Received cover mock-ups from the publisher today. Pub date is January 20, 2017. Pre-order publicity starts December 12th. Don’t worry. I will definitely keep you posted when that business goes live.  Here’s a sneak peak at the cover. […]

Latest Sick Kids Campaign Puts Fierce New Face on Acquiring New Donors

On October 14, 2016, the Globe and Mail published a story, New, flashy SickKids advertisement aimed at untapped donors. Where, I thought, as someone who has worked in the charitable sector for 25 years, could the untapped markets for the Sick Kids Foundation be hiding? If Torontonians were asked to name one charity, they would […]