building community through investments, leadership, and philanthropy

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Philanthropy Forum

Philanthropy Forum is an opportunity for charities to come together for one day to learn, network and share experiences so that when they return to work they are empowered with new knowledge and connections.

We hope you will join us for a full day of learning, networking and sharing expertise.


Registration cost is $75 per person and includes a light breakfast, lunch and afternoon break.

Philanthropy Forum Agenda

9:00Registration opens, light breakfast is available for attendees
9:15Opening Remarks

Speaking Without Saying a Word
Valerie Campbell
The Science of Using Body Language to Relate Better with Donors, Volunteers, and Colleagues

Using Social Media Responsibly
Robert Rock
Social media has become more fractured and difficult to know where your audience lives online. Before choosing what platforms, you need to use, take a step back and create a proper digital strategy, understand your audience, and the channels choose themselves. Robert will walk you though the process and help make sure that you use social media responsibly for your organization.

Fundraising Playbook 2020 – Trends in Philanthropy and their Implications on Fundraising Programs
Nicole Nakoneshny
“The future looks nothing like the past.” A pretty bold statement, but when it comes to fundraising, it’s likely also safe to say “truer words were never spoken”. As the world around us continues to change and evolve, driven in part by economic, demographic and cultural shifts, charities are increasingly finding the need to update their fundraising playbook and what has been the recipe for fundraising success for the past several decades is crying out for an update. Nicole Nakoneshny, KCI’s Lead, Knowledge + Insights, will walk you through some of the key factors influencing philanthropy today and, more importantly, will share thoughts about the implications of these trends on our fundraising programs and practices for the year 2020 and beyond.

Working with DC to Enhance your Programs
Linda Flynn & Lisa Shepard
Linda Flynn, AVP of Development and Alumni Affairs will share insights about DC’s community relations portfolio and how to access opportunities for sponsorship and volunteers. Lisa Shepard, Dean of International Education, will introduce you to an engaging group of international students who are ready, willing and able to help with your volunteer needs.
12:30LUNCH (served)

Extreme Makeover – Making the Case for Overhead
Allison Bone
If there was ever something related to our work that would benefit from a makeover, at least in terms of how it’s perceived and valued, it would have to be the case for overhead. Long deemed as negative, overhead and the closely related “What percentage of my donation will go to the cause?” question, are things that charities come up against time and again with low overhead costs, unfortunately, having become synonymous with how a “good” charity is defined. This definition, however, reflects a very grassroots and, in many instances, outdated model of a charity that simply doesn’t reflect today’s reality. In this presentation, KCI Senior Consultant Allison Bone will explore how to “make the case” for overhead, considering everything from ways to message and position overhead to unpacking how our own mindsets and practices may actually contributing to our ongoing challenges.

Planned Giving
Brandon McBride & Darryl Swain
For many charities planned giving is not top of mind, Mason Bennett Johncox Professional Corporation’s, Brandon McBride, will share his legal perspective on bequests and wills and Excel Fundraising Inc’s Darryl Swain,will provide simple 3-step advice on how nonprofits can integrate planned giving into their fundraising efforts.

Growing Partnerships, Building Impact: How to Tap into Corporate Giving
Devon Hurvid
The landscape of corporate giving has changed. Take a look behind the curtain at corporate community investment strategy, and learn why successful non-profit organizations are moving to partnership models. When done right, collaboration between companies and non-profits can deliver not only revenue, but influence and impact. In this session, we’ll discuss findings from our national report on the state of corporate community investment, and provide practical tips you can take back to your fundraising team.
4:30Closing Remarks

Allison Bone

Senior Consultant KCI

Allison Bone is a seasoned development professional with over 20 years’ experience and expertise in the areas of major and annual giving, strategic planning, campaign strategy, donor recognition and organizational development.

Since joining KCI, Ms. Bone has worked with a variety of clients across all sectors on projects related to strategic planning, organizational capacity assessment and fundraising program analysis. Her clients include CAMH Foundation, Oakville Hospital Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Canada, ROM Governors, and University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Prior to joining KCI, Allison served as Associate Director of Development at Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir and also worked in the United States as a consultant with TelAthena LLC, helping clients in the charitable sector to maximize their fundraising results through the strategic use of Customer Relationship Management software.

Allison is active with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), having served as Chair of Congress 2016, the AFP GTA Chapter’s annual conference for over 1,000 delegates. She currently sits on the Board of the StopGap Foundation and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from McGill University and graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Income Manager Certificate program.

Brandon McBride

Mason Bennett Johncox Professional Corporation

Brandon joined Mason Bennett Johncox in June 2012 after completing his articles with the firm. Brandon provides a comprehensive range of legal services in relation to Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Estate Planning.

Whether you are contemplating a simple Will or require more complex planning (e.g. second marriages, cottages, beneficiaries with disabilities, business succession, minimizing estate tax, etc.), Brandon makes the process easy for you and ensures that all of your needs are met and that the proper planning is completed. 

Brandon also provides the following estate administration services: preparing probate applications (Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with or Without a Will), advising executors of their duties and responsibilities, arranging for the transfer of estate assets, preparing releases to protect executors, assisting in passing of accounts, will interpretation, and providing general advice with respect to other estate administration matters. 

Brandon has experience in assisting clients with a variety of business needs including, but not limited to, incorporations, general corporate advice, negotiating and reviewing commercial contracts, purchasing and selling businesses, financings, drafting and negotiating shareholder agreements, and reviewing and negotiating commercial leases. 

Brandon is a member of the Rotary Club of Whitby Satellite Club of Brooklin, a member of the Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals Committee, and a former Director and Secretary of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce. 

Brandon completed 3 years of Commerce at the Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before completing his law degree at the University of Ottawa in 2011. He was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2012.

Darryl Swain

Founder of Excel Fundraising Inc.

Darryl transitioned from the marketing profession to the charitable sector in 2002. He debuted as a fundraiser by leading a mid-sized hospital capital campaign for a consultancy in Toronto. Having success, Darryl followed with second and third campaigns in healthcare and education in Ontario until 2007. These early campaigns revealed the many challenges that charities faced and formed the foundation for Darryl’s personal values and approach to supporting the charitable sector.

In 2007, Darryl founded Excel Fundraising Inc. Drawing on his early experiences, he developed fundraising techniques that scale to help charities launch major gift fundraising campaigns. As the Founder of Excel Fundraising Inc., Darryl is working to transfer knowledge and sustainability to charities across Ontario and Canada. Excel Fundraising Inc’s services are specifically designed to help small-medium charities be as successful as their large and resource-rich counterparts.

Darryl earned his Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) accreditation in 2005 and his Masters in Business Administration in 2008. Darryl is a new member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Ethics Committee and he is looking forward to the challenge.

Devon Hurvid

Imagine Canada

Devon has worked in the nonprofit sector for almost 11 years leading management and business development strategies. Originally an organic farmer from Newtonville and avid volunteer within the Durham community, these days, she is Director of Product Management & Innovation at Imagine Canada. Passionate about change and improvement, she frequently publishes content and speaks at events sharing her experience and tips to help fundraisers at all levels drive change through nonprofit organisations.

Nicole Nakonseshny

Partner and Lead, Knowledge and Insights – KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)

In addition to working with clients to develop highly customized strategies and solutions that meet their unique challenges and opportunities, Nicole serves as Lead, Knowledge and Insights at KCI.

In this role, Nicole curates the knowledge that KCI generates through its various practices and also keeps an eye on the key and emerging trends in fundraising and philanthropy both in Canada and around the world and translates that knowledge and information into insights for charities and fundraisers. Nicole also serves as Editor of KCI’s online publication, KCI Philanthropic Trends and Host of its podcast, The Ask.

An active volunteer, Nicole is a Director with the TD Wealth Private Giving Foundation and is also long-time volunteer with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, serving as a talking books narrator for more than 20 years.

Linda Flynn

President, Durham College Foundation Associate vice president, Development and Alumni Affairs, Durham College

As the associate vice-president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and president, Durham College Foundation since 2015, Linda brings more than 25 years of fundraising and not-for-profit management experience, at both the community and national levels. Her portfolio includes fund development, alumni engagement and community relations.

Prior to joining DC, Linda was the Director of Advancement for the Lakeridge Health Foundation where she was responsible for communications and major gifts.

Linda has also served as the Director of Fund Development for Scientists in School, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and The Children’s Wish Foundation. 

Linda holds a Public Relations diploma from Durham College and a Fundraising Management Certificate from Ryerson University. She has also achieved her Canadian Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) accreditation and is currently working on her Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University.

Valerie Campbell

Valerie Campbell has worked in the charitable sector for more than 25 years as a consultant, executive, and board director. She has supported more than 100 charities across Canada and the Northwest US. Val has a unique blend of experiences in governance, strategy, and operations, leading board development, strategic planning and audits, multi-site capital campaigns, and business planning. She has expertise in charitable mergers, collaboration, and teaches ethics and governance at Humber College. She is creative and thinks out of the box, and loves helping people discover their highest selves. To that end, she is completing her Masters in Counselling Psychology in December to add to the relational focused services she offers clients.

Lisa Shepard

Dean of International Education at Durham College (DC)

As dean of International Education at Durham College (DC), Lisa Shepard is responsible for international student recruitment, student services, creating work and study abroad opportunities, and to continue to expand the college’s international project work in accordance with DC’s Internationalization and Globalization Plan.

Shepard brings more than 13 years of experience in post-secondary education to DC, including 10 years in enrolment and international leadership. She has extensive experience successfully leading international education initiatives globally, including oversight for international recruitment and enrolment, education abroad, overseas curriculum delivery and international and intercultural student support services.

Prior to joining DC, Shepard worked with Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech) as director, Strategic Enrolment and International Education where she was responsible for a diverse portfolio including leading international education revenue-generating strategic partnerships, international relations and building the institution’s brand globally in priority markets across China, India, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

She also developed, operationalized and executed Sask Polytech’s first International Student Enrolment Strategy, emphasizing market diversification, education abroad opportunities for students and faculty, and full student lifecycle supports. Shepard holds both a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts, Honours English from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B.

Robert Rock

Robert has over 25 years of experience in Business Development and Marketing, with deep experience in the financial, technology, and energy industries.
He is a data-driven marketing leader with over a decade of experience creating and executing effective B2B/B2C customer acquisition plans. Highly focused on identifying relevant messages and campaigns targeting multiple audiences across the different marketing channels such as product, digital advertising, content, social, sales, customer marketing, and events. 

He has a sharp ability enabling Sales teams to be more effective at converting leads to customers. Recognized by peers as a leader that motivates and inspires people to do great work.

Frequent conference speaker Including SES and SMX. Former professor of Digital Marketing for Durham College. Host and writer for digital marketing focused TV Show for Rogers Media. 

Presenting Sponsor

Community Champions