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#AFPCongress Sessions you CANNOT miss!

There are 88 sessions you can choose from at Congress.

88+ brilliant presenters, inspiring fundraisers, intriguing topics… how could you possibly pick?!
Well, we’re having a hard time ourselves here at Blakely. But we took a close look at the offerings (with the help of our own Laura Champion – Blakely Fundraising Strategist & AFP Toronto Congress Education Chair) and have picked some of our favourites based on the below categories.

Enjoy – and be sure to come by our booth and say hi!


G-02 – Fundraising in Canada: Past, Present and Future – Paul Nazareth & Jason Shim
Paul Nazareth is a presenting powerhouse. Did you know he queues up tweets before his presentations that align with the timing of his session?! He’s also joined by Jason Shim – a digital giving guru. Check it out!

G-03 – The “Loverizing” Revolution: Why switching to “donor-centricity” reliably improves your bottom line – Tom Ahern
Tom Ahern is one of those presenters that you don’t even need to read the topic he’s presenting on. You know it’ll be good.

R-05 – Organizational Evolution: Managing Change when Humans are Involved – Jim Anderson & Alice Ferris
This sounds like a cool session, but we’d go to any session led by Alice Ferris & Jim Anderson, the super cool people behind GoalBusters Consulting.


Y-03 – How to Build and Lead a Great Fundraising Team – Stephen George
Stephen George is a great friend of Blakely’s and knows a lot about organizational development in the fundraising world. Leadership, organizational development, and culture are hot topics for our team right now (see: Leadership), so we’ll be checking out what Stephen has to say.

Y-06 – Images/Framing/Ethics: The Opportunities and Responsibilities of How We Collect and Use People’s Images and Stories – Derek Humphries & Ian MacQuillin
Derek Humphries is another friend of ours and a great mind in this sector. He’s joined by Ian MacQuillin and they’re talking ethics – hugely important.

Y-11 – Sponsorship Valuation Secrets Revealed – Chris Baylis
Chris Baylis is a great guy, and has really made a name for himself in corporate/sponsorship fundraising. If you work in this space at all, be sure to check Chris out!

Y-19 – Love & Legacies: 12 Donor Love Principles that will Inspire Your Legacy Donors (and raise more money!) – David Love
David Love is a wonderful man, and a brilliant mind with years of experience in the legacy giving space. We always enjoy hearing from him.

Y-18 – Why Your Board Isn’t Fundraising (and What You Can Do About It) – Rickesh Lakhani
Rickesh is one of our favourites in the Toronto fundraising scene! We saw him present with Cathy Barrick at Fundraising Day earlier this year and he’s so engaging!

R-12 – Overhead or Investment: Changing Perceptions around Cost of Fundraising – Ken Mayhew & Kulvir Singh Gill
Ken Mayhew is someone we love to hear from, and this topic is something we really need to sort out in our sector.


Y-05 – How to Make a Successful Call on a Major Gift Prospect: Get In the Door and Make Them Like You and Your Cause – Gail Perry
Major gifts aren’t our world, but we support bad-ass women like Gail Perry who lead in our sector and make female fundraisers look so good!

R-01 – Tough Talk for You and Your Board – Simone Joyaux
Simone Joyaux could fit in pretty much every category here; it was too hard to choose, but we just want to celebrate Simone! We spent a week with her back in September and she has changed our thinking at Blakely for the better. See Simone speak if you want to get riled up and inspired!

G-05 – Making Major Gifts a Priority – Kay Sprinkel Grace
Like with Gail Perry, this session doesn’t pertain to our work at Blakely, but Kay Sprinkel Grace is another professional we deeply respect.

Y-16 – If You Think this Session isn’t for you, then it’s for you (a.k.a. Case for Support: Not Just Big Campaigns) – Leah Eustace
Leah Eustace is an amazing voice in the Canadian – and beyond – non-profit sector, and she’s a bad-ass woman to boot. Extra points go to her incredibly intriguing session title!

G-11 – How to Make Waves without Drowning – Rachel Hunnybun & Maeve Strathy
One of our favourite women from the UK with the best name – Rachel Hunnybun – is joined by our own Maeve Strathy for a session all about how you can make a splash in this sector while managing to keep your head above water. These are two bad-ass women you don’t want to miss.

Y-32 – The Social “Secret Weapon” Fundraisers Need to Talk About! – Claire Kerr
Another session with an intriguing title led by another bad-ass woman. Claire Kerr has been described as the “Carrie Bradshaw of fundraising”, but we also think she’s just brilliant, kicking ass and taking names.

R-14 – Inspiring Others to Not Only Follow but Also To Lead – Marva Wisdom
Marva Wisdom has a Masters in Leadership – and her name says all we need to know. We can’t say it too many times: our sector needs great leaders, so you can be sure there will be Blakely representation in this audience!

G-22 – Expanding our Horizons: Engaging with Diverse Communities – Farheen Khan
AFP Toronto Congress has been focused on diversity and inclusion and we agree that it’s critical to our sector’s success in so many ways. We’re looking forward to finding out what Farheen Khan has to say about engaging people – and perhaps reaching potential donors – from diverse communities.


R-02 – Organizational Leadership: Trends and Solutions – David Hutchinson & Dianne Lister
Dianne Lister is an incredibly experienced fundraiser and we know she’ll have solid advice in this session. We believe Organizational Leadership is a critically important topic in our sector and we intend to soak up as much leadership advice as we can find at Congress.

R-04 – The Disrupters’ Panel: Breaking Barriers, Smashing Ceilings and Changing Minds through Effective Leadership – Sharon Avery, Peter Dinsdale, Sandra Hawken, Caroline Riseboro, Jill Zelmanovits
This sounds like exactly what our sector needs – and Caroline Riseboro is moderating, so you know it’ll be good!

Y-29 – Creating a Culture of Accountability – Janice Cunning & David Langiulli
Accountability and Responsibility have been hot topics for us at Blakely lately. Janice Cunning is another great mind in our sector and we think there are a lot of organizations who could be that much stronger with a better sense of accountability – check it out!

Y-42 – Women & Leadership: Overcoming Gender Bias in Our Sector – Paulette Senior
Approximately 70% of workers in our sector are women, and yet less than 30% of charities are led by women. This is a huge problem, and one we really care about at Blakely. We are curious to hear Paulette Senior’s take!


G-07 – Loving Your Donors with Direct Response: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Your Donors – John Lepp
John Lepp of Agents of Good is a fantastic guy and a friend of our team at Blakely, and he’s got years of experience with direct mail that everyone can learn from.

Y-13 – Monetizing Your Brand: How Heart & Stroke Used their Rebrand to Inspire Donors to Give – Stephanie Cox, Brady Hambleton & Maeve Strathy
We can’t help but promote a session we’re involved with. If you want to learn how to keep your donor at the centre of a big brand campaign – including a full-on rebrand – you can learn a lot from Brady Hambleton & Stephanie Cox of Heart & Stroke, joined by our own Maeve Strathy.

Y-14 – The Evolution of Amnesty International Canada’s Monthly Giving Program – Erin Jones & Cheryl Rooney
Monthly giving is key to a strong fundraising program and we bet the people of Amnesty International Canada have a lot to share!

Y-46 – Maximizing Facebook Advertising on a Non-Profit Budget – Shoni Field & Charly Jarrett
Shoni Field is a friend of ours from the BC SPCA, and she is joined by Charly Jarrett for this session on Facebook advertising. Facebook is one of many key channels us fundraisers have at our disposal and we think everyone needs to know how to maximize ROI in this space.

R-03 – Face to Face Fundraising Today: Crisis or Evolution? – Daryl Upsall
We’re in a totally different marketplace than we were 10 years ago, and no channels are excepted! We’re curious to see expert Daryl Upsall’s take on the