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FOUNDATION The Business & Spirit of Philanthropy in Canada June/July 2020 | Vol. 1 | No. 4

Raising Funds & Consciousness in 2020 Nneka Allen discusses her career

GARY TANNYAN

INSIDE: • What’s Next For Personalization in Marketing? • Inside the Volunteer World PM 4 0 0 5 0 8 0 3


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THE LEAD IN

World Around Us

In the middle of March, to protect residents from COVID-19, Prince Edward Island closed all of its long-term care facilities to visitors. While this reduced the risk of potential infection, residents were affected by the lack of visits, experiencing loneliness and feeling disconnected. Kent Hudson, Executive Director of Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI) , shared that shortly after the start of the physical distancing protocol, a provincial government employee reached out to CFPEI and suggested funding a program that would provide tablets for seniors in long-term care facilities, allowing folks to stay in touch with their loved ones. Following that conversation, the Tablets for Seniors Fund was born with a goal to provide 100 tablets to care facilities. To make this vision a reality, “everyone just jumped in,” said Hudson. Moving from brainstorm to tablet delivery was a team effort. The provincial government kickstarted the fund with $10,000. Fundraising brought another $15,000. When it came time to buy the tablets, prices had skyrocketed due to massive demand, so a local company, Combat Computers, explored their supply chain contacts and secured a supplier who could ship 100 tablets. Local credit unions offered to deliver them, and staff at the care facilities helped train users on how to operate the tablets. To date, 50 tablets are in the hands of local seniors and another 50 are on their way, covering the whole island. CFPEI is working to build on that community spirit and in addition to Tablets for Seniors, the foundation is hosting Stay-AtHome Gala, a free of charge, online gala — all from the comfort of one’s home. Attendees are encouraged to order takeout as a way to support local restaurants in these challenging times. SCENE, Canada's popular entertainment loyalty program, partnered with music label, Universal Music Canada, to showcase top artists and emerging performers through interactive programming. Starting with a live stream music event on August 26, the new initiative introduced and featured a variety of artists and offer SCENE members exclusive content, socially distanced fan experiences and live events. The inaugural SCENE Music event live streamed from The Rec Room Toronto on August 26 just for SCENE members and was The Rec Room Toronto's first live event since closing its doors due to COVID-19 earlier this year, and marked the venue opening for safe music experiences in the coming months. The event supported of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, where nearly $210,000 in donations from SCENE provided kids across the country with unforgettable experiences to enjoy with their friends and families. The impact of these donations were celebrated in a live streamed segment during the SCENE Music event. Fans tuned into the music event through SCENE.ca/music to get close to the action by participating in digital games and polls. Headlining the event was JUNO Award-winning, Toronto-based rock band The Beaches, who have been making waves since their 2018 JUNO award win for Breakthrough Group of the Year. The COVID-19 pandemic brought out the best thousands of philanthropic organizations around the world, who sprang (and continue springing) into action to help at every level and in every sector and nook in every country. Here’s a few headlines of what charities and foundations did in July 2020, culled from a variety of sources: MacArthur Foundation announce $1.6 million in grants for organisations working to ensure that technological responses to the COVID-19 pandemic protect privacy and advance equity (30 July); The Lego Foundation and USAID provide funding to support the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) response to COVID-19 (22 July); Stavros Niarchos Foundation continue to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts with further grants totalling over Grants $2.75 million (18 July); The Barrow Cadbury Trust and National Lottery Communities Fund launch COVID-19 Support Fund worth £5 million to support the migration charity sector in England (13 July); Oak Foundation share detailed summary of programmes and initiatives supported during the COVID-19 pandemic (9 July); IKEA Foundation donate €1.5 million to Start Network to support their worldwide work during the COVID-19 pandemic (9 July); Bozar publish insights into how the cultural sector is responding to COVID-19 around the world (3 July); The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation releases a summary of the foundation’s work to stop the epidemic in Ukraine (2 July); Gerda Henkel Stiftung publish “Coronavirus Logbook, through the lens of the humanities” a document to help better understand the widespread impact of COVID-19 and to provide a record of contemporary thinking on the crisis for posterity (1 July). We could go on and fill a whole issue with stories like these, just by publishing the headlines. The world needs you and you showed you were ready. foundationmag.ca

June/July 2020

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CONTENTS

June/July 2020 | Vol. 1 | No. 4

www.foundationmag.ca

Twitter: @foundationmaga1 PRESIDENT / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Steve Lloyd - steve.lloyd@lloydmedia.ca EDITOR Brendan Read - brendan.read@lloydmedia.ca DESIGN / PRODUCTION Jennifer O’Neill - jennifer@dmn.ca PHOTOGRAPHER Gary Tannyan CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Malcolm Burrows Kathleen Provost Tracey Howard Gena Rotstein Joanne McKiernan Stephen Shaw Joenita Paulrajan LLOYDMEDIA INC. HEAD OFFICE / SUBSCRIPTIONS / PRODUCTION:

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June/July 2020

COVER STORY

16

Raising Funds & Consciousness in 2020

Nneka Allen discusses her career in the philanthropic sector and working to make it more equitable

GARY TANNYAN

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Foundation Magazine is published bi-monthly by Lloydmedia Inc. Foundation Magazine may be obtained through paid subscription. Rates: Canada 1 year (6 issues $48) 2 years (12 issues $70) U.S. 1 year (6 issues $60) 2 years (12 issues $100) Foundation Magazine is an independently-produced publication not affiliated in any way with any association or organized group nor with any publication produced either in Canada or the United States. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. However unused manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by sufficient postage. Occasionally Foundation Magazine provides its subscriber mailing list to other companies whose product or service may be of value to readers. If you do not want to receive information this way simply send your subscriber mailing label with this notice to: Lloydmedia Inc. 302-137 Main Street North Markham ON L3P 1Y2 Canada.

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CONTENTS

FEATURES

21 How to Create an Equitable Organization 23 Competing on Insight: What Major Charities 6

Need to Know

VOLUNTEERS

29 A Perspective of Privilege:

Volunteer Engagement is a Non-Priority

23

29 COMMENTARY 33 Canada’s Charitable Sector is Broken 35 New Survey: The State of the Ontario Nonprofit Sector Three Months into the COVID-19 Crisis

33 3 THE LEAD IN 6 SEEN, HEARD & NOTED COLUMNIST

8

10

What’s Happened to Volunteerism? Wealth Management - Malcolm Burrows

Volunteerism Within the Business of Benevolence Leadership - Kathleen Provost

INSIDE ANALYTICS - BRADY HAMBLETON Will return next issue

MARKETING

13

Will Fundraisers Finally Give Up on Personalization?

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HISTORICAL PLAQUES

36 Robert Holmes 1861-1930 CHAPTERS REPORT

37 37 37

AFP Manitoba

The Profound Impact of Philanthropy in Manitoba AFP Saskatoon AFP South Saskatchewan

COMMENT

38 The Changing Art of Donor-Centred Fundraising

Next Issue… Coming in September 2020: The Future of Corporate Philanthropy...this issue features a special report of how Canada's corporations are making new decisions about donations, sponsorships and community support. Mustreading for corporate marketers, major charities and the financial advisory sector. June/July 2020

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SEEN, HEARD & NOTED Workplace Rivalries Hold Steady Despite Pandemic; charities still on the agenda Though business teams continue to work remotely, a sense of workplace competition is still alive and well, new research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows. And that means charities may still be benefiting from inhouse competition during fundraising initiatives. More than three-quarters of professionals surveyed (81 percent) said the level of competition among employees at their company is the same as it was a year ago. More than 1 in 10 (13 percent) reported an increase in competition, while only 6 percent noted a decrease. “Since healthy competition in the workplace can lead to an increase in engagement and productivity, as well as improved performance, it’s exciting to see it is possible, even when your workforce is not physically together,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half in Canada. “Whether individuals are working on-site or remotely, there are effective strategies managers and staff can implement that will lend to a healthy level of competition among teams while also promoting camaraderie and a collaborative culture,” added King. Healthy competition among dispersed teams can include creating a virtual challenge. Teams still organize a friendly contests where employees can win bragging rights or a small prize, such as a gift certificate or donation to a charity 6

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of their choice. Determine the goal to decide if it will be tied to performance or mainly recreational. In the meantime, if you’re part of a team and are still working remotely, make time to celebrate. Host a video call “party” to recognize team and individual achievements and consider arranging for treats to be delivered to star performers. Rewarding employee wins can boost morale and inspire continued growth. A note of caution though — watch for foul play. Workers may feel more pressure to prove themselves in the current environment, but it should never be at the expense of themselves or others. Negative behaviors — such as failing to communicate and taking credit for others’ work — are signs competition may have gotten out of hand. The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from July 7-30, 2020. It includes responses from more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older and normally employed in office environments in Canada. ••••••••••••••••••• Hockey Leaders Join Forces to Help Kids Get Back on the Ice Kids want their sports. Hockey is back. That combination allowed the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada to pull together a Hockey Equipment Relief Program. As communities begin to re-open and kids look to re-engage in sports,

June/July 2020

this program will help families financially impacted by COVID-19 get their kids back on the ice. “Children across the country are eager to hit the ice, but given our current environment, families will face many challenges to provide resources for their kids to continue to participate in the game they love,” said Rob Knesaurek, NHL Group Vice President of Youth Hockey and Industry Growth Fund. “We are extremely proud that the Hockey Equipment Relief Program will not only help offset some of these costs but will also continue to prioritize making our game more inclusive and diverse for everyone.” The NHL, NHLPA, Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada combined resources to launch the Hockey Equipment Relief Program

with an equipment donation initiative. This includes $2 million of hockey gear, with upwards of 7,000 sets to be distributed to families and communities most in need in the seven Canadian NHL cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and other regions across Canada. In the distribution of this equipment, particular attention will be provided to support minority communities. “We’re proud to partner with the NHL, the NHLPA and Hockey Canada to help our game as regions begin to re-open,” said MaryKay Messier, VP of Global Marketing, Bauer Hockey. “The Hockey Equipment Relief Program is inspired by the realities that many hockey families are struggling financially. We know research foundationmag.ca


SEEN, HEARD & NOTED shows that sports are critical for a child’s physical and mental health, and as a result we want to help struggling families get back on the ice without having to consider equipment costs.” The equipment donation program will be administered through the seven Canadian NHL Clubs, Hockey Canada and provincial governing bodies to determine distribution plans. •••••••••••••••••••

That’s a Lot of Eggs Burnbrae Farms has established a crisis relief program to support Canadian families in need of assistance during the pandemic and onwards. To-date the company has donated more than 3.6 million eggs to over 30 food banks across the country. Burnbrae Farms also donated a total of $55,000 to hospitals in the communities where we do business to assist with ongoing purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital staff and frontline workers during the crisis. “From the outset of the crisis, we took our role as an essential service very seriously. We worked hard to keep our employees safe and to keep supplying Canadian families with nutritious, affordable eggs. We wanted to do more to support those in need as well as the health care workers risking their lives to keep us safe, and foundationmag.ca

we are very proud of our pandemic relief program,” said Margaret Hudson, President, Burnbrae Farms. As a sixth generation Canadian family business that has farmed in Canada for over 125 years, Burnbrae Farms has always supported their local communities. At the onset of the crisis, many of Burnbrae’s foodservice customers were immediately impacted, with restaurants being forced to temporarily shut down. Concerned about eggs and egg products going to waste, the company quickly made the decision to donate the products and mobilized to redirect the eggs to those in need nationwide. In addition to supplying eggs and egg products to food banks, the company and Hudson family also wanted to show their support to frontline workers during the pandemic by donating a total of $55,000 to 11 hospitals across Canada. The donations were made in communities where Burnbrae operates farms and grading facilities, helping hospitals purchase PPE so that the doctors, nurses, and frontline hospital staff can continue to safely take care of those in need. ••••••••••••••••••• COVID-19 Forces One of Canada’s Oldest Holiday Appeals to Stop Collecting Toys Normally, the Tree of Hope supports families serviced by Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, a 125 year old Children’s Aid Society. The toy collection campaign has been providing for kids in need for more

than a hundred years…but all is not lost. Instead, they will distribute gift cards to families to purchase their own needs for the holidays. This will be one of the first times in a hundred years that toy collection will not be a part of the Agency’s annual holiday appeal. More than 500 donors supported the campaign last year with donations of new toys, personal items, baby gear, books and more. An extensive review concluded that the same system would not be safe this year because of COVID-19. The seasonal spaces, people and systems the campaign uses were never designed to handle a situation like a pandemic and cannot be easily adapted. To keep families, staff and volunteers safe the Tree of Hope will be switching to issuing gift cards to families to buy what they need when they need it for the Holidays. The campaign has used gift cards for some families in the past and it has a system in places that works. Instead of asking for toys, the Tree of Hope will be asking people to donate money so it can buy gift cards. It has set a monetary goal of $50,000 for this year’s campaign. ••••••••••••••••••• June/July 2020

Ghost Donations Mean Justice Knocked; Charities Didn’t Get a Cent The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that John Oladapo Oladehinde of Brampton, Ontario, pleaded guilty on June 26, 2020, in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto, Ontario, to one count of fraud over $5,000, under the Criminal Code. Oladehinde was sentenced to a conditional sentence of two years less a day and was ordered to pay a fine of $412,306. A CRA investigation revealed that Oladehinde operated a tax preparation business in Toronto, Ontario, under his corporation Dehinde & Associates International Inc. Oladehinde, acting in his capacity as a director and officer, prepared and filed 1,427 individual income tax returns between 2001 and 2005 using false charitable donation claims amounting to $13 million. As a result of these fictitious donations, the CRA issued income tax refunds or did not assess taxes payable in the amount of $3.9 million. During this period, Oladehinde continued to charge his clients for these fictitious donations that were claimed on their tax returns. A lesson learned in general we hope. FOUNDATION Magazine

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COLUMNIST

WEALTH MANAGEMENT MALCOLM BURROWS

What’s Happened to Volunteerism?

“I

Malcolm Burrows 8

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June/July 2020

GARY TANNYAN

BY MALCOLM BURROWS

t is a very sad day for me when notable figures cannot donate time and energy to charitable causes they believe deserve support.” This indignant observation came from a letter to The Globe and Mail on July 18, 2020 in response to WE Charity scandal that engulfed the Federal Government. The writer, Adele Robertson, described her late actor/writer husband, George Robertson, and a host of celebrities who volunteered for UNICEF in the 1970s and 1980s. She criticized the speaker fees received by member of the Prime Minister’s family to speak at WE Day events. The WE story has brought the question of volunteering with charities into furious focus. When did volunteers start to be paid? Has volunteering in Canada really changed so much? Or is this just nostalgia? foundationmag.ca


COLUMNIST The Volunteer Divide First, it is important to acknowledge the continued importance of volunteers to charities. Almost all 86,000 registered charities have volunteer board of directors. These individuals give untold hours to govern and deliver the mission of their organizations. But there is a difference between oversight and operations. Delivery of services by volunteers is a great dividing line in the charitable sector. I would estimate that 80% of registered charities depend primarily on volunteers to carry out their mission. These entities typically have annual revenue of less than $1 million. These entities may pay a bookkeeper, secretary or clergy, but paid employees are exceptions. And then there is the minority of charities. The bigger ones. The government supported one. Often, the urban ones. Yes, these charities usually have service volunteers, but they would not run without professional staff. Professionals provide expertise, dedicated time, and consistent—ideally sustainable—delivery of services. Despite the glorification of volunteerism, to have real, long-term social impact professionals are required. Don’t believe me? Good luck with that amateur brain surgeon. My point is that there are a lot of large registered charities that would not exist without paid staff. These include schools, hospitals, and universities, as well as social service, arts, environmental and international organizations. Professionals are essential in this space and impact is typically higher relative to all volunteer organizations. Impact means helping more people, more deeply. Fundraising The letter writer is conflating all volunteers with fundraising volunteers. Fundraising continues to be greatest activity of charities where the role of volunteers is essential. Volunteers help raise awareness, identify supporters, build networks, give and ask others to give. A big change in the charity world since the late 1980s is the emergence foundationmag.ca

of professional fundraisers. I was one of them. And it’s generally been successful. Many charities have increased their fundraising dramatically due to better fundraising. Having a bit of grey hair, I remember the transition between the volunteer and professional fundraising models that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I worked with some terrific individuals who had dedicated themselves to volunteer fundraising. They were often business people (men) who viewed volunteering as both a civic duty and a way to network. And, the traditional service volunteer: women who didn’t “work outside the home”.

increasingly focus on special events, peerto-peer fundraising, and major gifts. WE & Youth The other debate that has come out of the WE Charity/Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) program kerfuffle is over the very concept of volunteerism. CSSG was intended to provide students (anyone under 30) with meaningful work experience at not-for-profits and charities. They would get paid $10 an hour for up to 500 hours or $5,000. This pay rate is under minimum wage, but it is not volunteering either. The largest national volunteer organization, Volunteer Canada, refused

“A big change in the charity world since the late 1980s is the emergence of professional fundraisers. I was one of them.” Whether the charity was a church, a hospital, a social service organization or an art gallery, women volunteers — often arranged as auxiliaries — were the labour that raised money and delivered programs. And then society changed. Women’s participation in the workforce increased. One of the growth professions was, you guessed it, fundraising. The majority of professional fundraisers are now women. In the 1990s, the professional infrastructure of fundraising came into being. In Canada, professional fundraising organizations sprung up and offered training, conferences, and accreditation. The ranks of pro fundraiser expanded. Sub-specialties such as direct marketing, special events, major gifts and gift planning blossomed. While many charities still require volunteers to help with fundraising — including celebrity endorsement—many professional techniques work better without volunteers. Volunteers are

as a result to participate on principle. Critics complained about the abuses of the “intern” economy and bogus job opportunities dreamed up on the spur of the moment. So what’s happening to volunteering at charities? It is not going away, but it is evolving. By definition civil society— not business, not government—needs citizen to give their time to society. This is recognized by established volunteer training programs. For example, high school students nationally must do mandatory volunteer hours to graduate. The WE organization has muddied the waters by blurring volunteering and payment, charity and profit. Volunteering at charities will survive. MALCOLM BURROWS is Head, Philanthropic Advisory Services for Scotia Wealth Management of Scotiatrust. He writes this column exclusively for each issue of Foundation Magazine.

June/July 2020

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COLUMNIST

LEADERSHIP KATHLEEN PROVOST

Volunteerism Within the Business of Benevolence

A

COURTESY KATHLEEN PROVOST

BY KATHLEEN PROVOST

s a professional fundraiser, I have always thought that volunteering was part of my responsibility. First, by volunteering, I can better understand the volunteers I need to work with in my profession. Experienced fundraisers know that a collaboration between staff and volunteer yield the best results when attempting to raise funds, sell tickets, or engage other volunteers. But, as important, I always believe I had a responsibility to give back to my community and volunteering provided a number of opportunities to do exactly that. Be it, by volunteering on a church committee, cleaning tables up after an event, or leading a Board discussion, my volunteer mandates have all enabled me to attain a sense of fulfillment. This sense of fulfillment is very different from the sense of fulfilment I obtain when doing my work. Looking at Canadian volunteerism In 2018 Statistics Canada’s Volunteer in Canada, 2004 to 2013 report offered a closer look at the patterns and trends in the Canadian volunteer landscape. Statistics Canada reported that in 2013, over 12.7 million Canadians engaged

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June/July 2020

in formal volunteering, with a total of 1.6 billion hours of their time given to charities, non-profits and community organizations. This represented a slight decrease in volunteer rate of 3 percent from previous years, (12.7 million Canadians who volunteered in 2013 and 13.3 million who volunteered in 2010). Of significance was that 82 percent of Canadians volunteered informally, meaning they were helping people oneon-one without the involvement of an organization or group. Volunteering has not always been so structured and quantified. The concept of volunteering is as old as humankind. It existed when small communities needed to rely on each other’s help to survive. Individuals volunteered to help during conflicts like the Great War, and volunteers have stepped in when a social “safety net” was missing to provide support to individuals in their community. Understanding the business around volunteerism Whether it was inspired by survival, altruism or religious beliefs, volunteering occurred in an informal system, which evolved over time to become much foundationmag.ca


COLUMNIST In 1977, Volunteer Canada was established to provides national leadership and expertise on volunteer engagement and to increase the participation, quality, and diversity of volunteer experiences. This organization collaborate closely with volunteer centres, businesses, non-profit organizations, government and educational institutions to promote and broaden volunteering and offer programs, research, training, tools, resources and national initiatives in Canada’s volunteer landscape. Academia has developed an interest in researching and documenting “volunteering”. One such example (amongst numerous) was done in 2012. The Determinants of Volunteering and Charitable Giving was a study that looked specifically at the determinants of

volunteering and the charitable sector with a focus to examine the overlap between altruism and determinants driving people to volunteer or to donate money. The study revealed a positive relationship between volunteering and donation of money, and some striking parallels between determinants of volunteering and donating were found. Gender, age, having children, religiosity, labor force participation, net monthly household income and receiving domestic help were all salient factors predicting altruistic activity in terms of both volunteering and donating money. Questioning the systematic meaning of volunteering I consider fundraisers active member of this “Business of Benevolence”. We

COURTESY KATHLEEN PROVOST

COURTESY KATHLEEN PROVOST

more structured. When Statistics Canada reported in 2013 that over 12.7 million Canadians engaged in formal volunteering, it also reported that this equated to almost 858,000 full-time year-round jobs. Volunteering has become an essential part of a new business model — “the Business of Benevolence”. Some 80,000 charitable organizations, in Canada alone, have emerged within this “Business of Benevolence”. They all look different, but all have one common focus; altruism. Merriam-Webster defines altruism as “a quality possessed by people whose focus is on something other than themselves, and its root reveals the object of those with generous tendencies”. This means the “Business of Benevolence” can offer volunteers a means to fulfill this generous tendency. In today’s charitable and non-profit sector, volunteers can deliver services and have a sense of impact on the lives of many all through fulfilling a sense of generosity. I know that when I volunteer I do feel a sense of generosity towards someone, or a cause — doesn’t every volunteer feel like that?

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IMAGINE CANADA: NNEKA ALLEN CFRE (JUNE 20, 2020): THE TWO FACES OF CHARITY

COLUMNIST

all work every day in this “business” which is now part of our social mosaic. The “Business of Benevolence” is integrated into our societies, with laws and regulations to manage its economic activities. Governments, at all levels, are involved with the charitable sector to develop and support programs delivering social services. Educational systems have become recipients of this generosity, and they also inform and shape tomorrows volunteers by introducing volunteerism in our educational systems. I always thought that I played a key role in this “Business of Benevolence”. Generosity, as a value, equates to compassion and altruism, and these are all important values to me. But I had never looked at the structured “business” around this value. I had not considered how this “business” perpetuates and maintain a social agreed upon system. Upon further reflection, on this perspective, I need to ask myself, “what does this systematic “Business of Benevolence” perpetuate? Imagine Canada recently published an article by Nneka Allen (who is profiled in this issue), The Two Faces of Charity, in which she wrote the following: 12

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June/July 2020

“The philanthropic sector, by its very nature and definition, purports to serve ‘disadvantaged communities,’ and over the years has presented itself as a more peoplecentered, equity-driven alternative to the cold corporate world. Due to historical racism and systemic inequalities, the majority of ‘disadvantaged communities’ are predominantly lower-income black and brown citizens, who have little social capital and little financial security. The nonprofit industry rakes in billions of dollars annually off the creation of programs and services designed with this demographic in mind.” So, we each must consider if this altruism is perpetuating a system we agree with. Hence, the more profound question for us who play a leadership role in this “Business of Benevolence” is — do we agree with the system in place, or do we want to introduce change? Transforming society one volunteer at the time Fundamentally, volunteering feels good and in whatever community you chose to volunteer, you feel a genuine sense of impact for your community.

So, ask yourself, why volunteer? Am I volunteer, for example, at the food bank to provide food for individuals who need it, and feel I have had an impact with my volunteering? Or am I volunteering because I need to better understand why there is food inequality? Why are so many individuals in need of food? Hence, am I volunteer to be closer to the issues, and get involved in some solution? Am I really trying to effect change? I was inspired by Stephanie Ghoston on a podcast entitled; “How to be the change you want to see at work”. It made me question, my role, as a volunteer and as an active member of the “Business of Benevolence”. How can I use my volunteering to transform something in my community, or my society, that I believe in? According to Ghoston, transformation needs to occur at three levels; personally, within your community, and finally institutionally. Ultimately, transformation start with ME In summary, I need to determine the impact I am trying to have with the work I do, every day. As a volunteer, I must question what outcome I am really trying to achieve. But fundamentally, it is as an individual that I must make choices and volunteer to address social issues I strongly want to have an impact on. As a volunteer, if I can use my talents, skills and privileges to truly affect change, it can lead to communal change and eventually to institutional change. So yes, maybe we can all play a leadership role to transform our society to become the society we aspire to have. So real transformation start with ME; it starts with EACH OF US. KATHLEEN A. PROVOST, CFRE is currently the Campaign Director at St. Francis Xavier University. She brings over 25 years of fundraising experience within the charitable sector. She writes this column exclusively for each issue of Foundation Magazine. 1 N. Kushnirovich, PhD (Economics), D. Ribovsky, Ruppin Academic Center, Israel (2012): Determinants of Volunteering and Charitable Giving Source: Statistic Canada: https://www150.statcan. gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200626/dq200626c-eng. htmVolunteer Canada: https://volunteer.ca/index.php foundationmag.ca


MARKETING

Will Fundraisers Finally Give Up on Personalization?

M

BY STEPHEN SHAW

astering the practice of personalization can seem overwhelming for marketers, leaving them to wonder whether the cost and effort is worth the trouble. But giving up on the dream of one-to-one marketing would be a shame. When the era of Big Data dawned in the early 2000s with the explosive growth in web traffic, marketers swooned at the potential for personalized messaging: at long last, the dream of one-to-one marketing seemed within reach. Yet as the years rolled by personalization remained a buzzword: the practice never caught up with the rhetoric. In a McKinsey survey last year, just 15 percent of CMOs claimed they were “on the right track with personalization”, stymied by a chronic lack of resources. Meanwhile, customers have come to view personalization as promotional gimmickry, urging them to add one more item to their online shopping cart. In recent years, however, a new generation of AI-powered technologies has made it easier than ever for marketers to personalize the customer experience. Which is why in 2019 the Association of National Advertisers named personalization its “Marketing Word of the Year”. But then at the end of last year the research firm Gartner came out with the glum prediction that five years from now 80 percent of marketers will have abandoned their personalization efforts due to a lack of ROI or the “perils of customer data management”. Personalization is hard to get right — even with the latest technology. But the reasons go far beyond the technical complexities of mastering personalization. It has more to do with marketers treating personalization as an afterthought. Viewed as a basic customer expectation, personalization becomes too important for marketers to give up on. Being better Look over the shoulder of any digital native absorbed in their phone these days and it is easy to see why marketers are struggling to connect with them. Headphones on, eyes glued to their screen, they live in their own personal media bubble, frenetically scrolling, tapping, texting and swiping, messaging their friends, checking their newsfeeds, sharing their pictures, maybe even watching a video or playing a game. Jamming sponsored posts in between their social feeds or stuffing e-mail in-boxes with “best guess” offers or blitzing them with push notifications just forces them behind a privacy wall. The same is true of every other invasive tactic — web site foundationmag.ca

pop-ups, infobars, digital ads, video pre-rolls, the list goes on. So people have learned to screen out the street noise — skip and block ads — “cut the chord” — insulate themselves from blatant commercial pitches — and seek sanctuary on ad-free media platforms. As long as marketers persist in making campaigns the basis of their planning, their brand messaging will never be able to compete against the constant barrage of media distractions. Instead, they should find ways to be useful in the moment, whenever personalized assistance is needed, based on individual need and circumstances. And that means shifting the marketing mindset from “What can I sell you today?” to “How can I help you?”. As Seth Godin says, “Marketing is driven by better. Better service, better community, better outcomes”. Personalization should never be considered synonymous with targeting. It should not be limited to “you may also like” recommendations. Instead, it should be woven into the fabric of the total customer experience, helping to make it “better”. Better at delivering advice. Better at answering questions. Better at making the experience seamless across devices and touchpoints. Better at delivering timely service and support. Better at anticipating customer needs.

Personalization should never be considered synonymous with targeting Take the example of the calorie-counting mobile app LoseIt!. It stands out from the galaxy of weight watching brands by offering real-time analytical reporting such as pattern detection. For example, the app will figure out how specific food items influence the amount of weight gain or loss: “We’ve noticed that on days you incorporate muffins, you tend to keep your total calories lower”. The reason LoseIt has grown to 30 million members is its commitment to being “better”. Every new feature is born out of a singular crusade: to fight the obesity epidemic by making people more conscious of their food choices. The biggest barrier to personalization is that so few companies take a holistic view of the customer experience. Most are still organized around product and channel silos. And while customer journey design can make it easier for people June/July 2020

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MARKETING to interact online, a different planning approach is needed to individualize the experience, making it more relevant and useful. Marketers have to give up transactional thinking (“How do we get a user to click and convert?”) in favour of asking, “How do we make the experience better for the user?”. A unified experience The first step in the process is to map out a “value matrix” which defines how the company will apply personalization in the service of customers. That matrix can then be used to prioritize the opportunities based on expected outcomes (such as higher satisfaction and retention). For example, different treatment strategies can be applied to first-time versus repeat customers; frequent versus occasional users; single versus cross-category buyers; passive members versus brand advocates; as well as to different loyalty segments, lifestyle cohorts, demographic groups, and so on. The tricky part is coming up with the right set of nested segments (e.g. high value + long tenure + highly engaged + brand loyalist) deserving of their own personas. Rules can then be created to customize the experience for each segment, knowing their shared attitudes, beliefs, interests and habits. At an individual level, the strategy should revolve around specific moments in time, when a timely intervention — say, a recommendation, an alert, a status update, a reminder, a newsfeed — can make the customer journey friction free. This is where personalization technology can play a huge timesaving role, relieving marketers of the heavy analytical load involved in generating the conditional rules (e.g., “if-then-else” statements, “and/or” logic). The toughest part, of course, is to ensure a unified experience, applying a consistent set of rules, regardless of the device or touchpoint. Once the personalization strategy is set, marketers can move on to cross-channel planning, figuring out how to deliver the best possible experience based on everything they know about customers — their observed behaviour, stated preferences and implicit intentions derived from their web sessions (“How much time did they spend looking at that product page?”). The website is usually the best place to start by showcasing the most relevant products or solutions according to the browsing history of repeat visitors and customers. That can be done by setting up dynamic blocks of content offering individualized product recommendations; swapping out generic text and images in the “hero carousel” to suit each persona type; streamlining the navigation to accommodate a particular segment; promoting relevant content based on reading history; and finetuning search results according to known interests. By factoring in both shopping behaviour and historical buying habits, e-mail content can be fully personalized, informing subscribers of their loyalty status and privileges; introducing ancillary products related to a recent purchase; providing advance notice of local sales events; announcing new merchandise in their preferred categories; or letting them know how soon to expect a resolution to their service ticket 14

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submission. Similarly, a mobile app can use location data to deliver geofenced notifications; support in-store navigation; or use bar code scanning to provide on-the-spot product comparisons and ratings. Zero latency None of this is easy to do without a single unified customer profile — one central place to store all of the data — plus the ability to act on it in real-time. But as Gartner observed, customer data management is usually a black hole for most companies due to systems fragmentation. To make personalization something customers truly value, the individual-level data must be instantly accessible, otherwise the appropriateness and timing of the real-time response is compromised. Too often, when a customer visits a brand web site, opens a follow-up e-mail, uses the mobile app, reaches out to the call centre, subscribes to a newsletter, or clicks through to a landing page, each interaction is captured in a separate database, often without an identifier flagging that individual as the same person. In that all-too-common scenario, personalization is limited to each channel, failing to take into account all of the other interactions, even though one may have led directly to the other. The exact stage of the buying journey is unknown (are they researching, evaluating, ready to decide?) — multiple buying signals get lost — true intentions go unnoticed. This failure to piece together the full picture also causes unnecessary redundancy and frustration (“You’re asking me to give you that information again?”). Identity resolution addresses this blind spot by linking an individual with both their terrestrial and digital identities, associating, for example, a household address with an e-mail, IP address, and one or more device IDs. An identity graph stores all of the possible identifiers in a single database. That way, a persistent customer identifier can be used to link interactions

PERSONALIZATION TECHNOLOGIES ❯❯ CUSTOMER DATA PLATFORM A central data store used to assemble unified customer profiles from disparate sources for ondemand use by real-time interaction management platforms. ❯❯ IDENTITY RESOLUTION SYSTEM Used to create a single, persistent customer identifier by linking multiple online and offline identities through record matching. ❯❯ PERSONALIZATION ENGINE Used to create more personalized messaging and offers based on heuristic rules or machine-learning. ❯❯ INTERACTION MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS Used to support contextually relevant customer experiences across multiple channels.

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MARKETING across channels, helping to connect, for example, a web site visit to a recent call centre inquiry. The graph is constructed with the help of a speciality vendor (like LiveRamp) which uses matching formulas — both deterministic (absolutely positive) and probabilistic (highly likely) — to come up with a universal master key. The other massive barrier to overcome is designing a data architecture which supports zero latency (go back to that digital native with their manic thumbing). It requires converting the “big data” running through the digital bloodstream of the company into actionable prompts like instant call-outs, autonotifications and triggered alerts. But the response cycle time of most companies today is still measured in hours, never mind milliseconds, a relic of an earlier era when daily or weekly batch updating was the usual practice.

“Fast-twitch” ecosystems Today companies at the leading edge of personalization have developed “fast-twitch” data management ecosystems which ingest streaming data in real-time at the moment of interaction. Rather than rely on traditional relational data stores, data warehouses, data lakes or CRM systems, they have opted for Customer Data Platforms to skirt the delays and bottlenecks that can occur pulling data from different “systems of record”. A CDP is a “master data store” which assembles unified customer profiles by pulling together every bit of available data from multiple sources using a single API, including active web session events like “checkout in progress” or “order paid for”, and makes all of it available on demand to “systems of engagement”. For example, a web site visit by an addressable customer, tracked using a JavaScript plug-in, will set off a sub-second chain of commands that lead to a contextualized response as the web session is in progress. The job of message generation is typically controlled by a standalone personalization engine where the engagement rules are stored and activated in real-time. Based on the customer data passed through by the CDP (e.g., CID, segment code, event flag, last order, etc), the associated personalization rules are invoked, instructing the web content management system to serve up a specific page or block of content. To make rule development scalable, machine-learning algorithms are used, which comb the data to find groups of people similar in their choices and behaviour; select offers with the best chance of converting based on known affinities; and recommend content foundationmag.ca

COURTESY KENNA

Companies at the leading edge of personalization have developed “Fast-twitch” data management ecosystems

based on viewing history. The data can be as granular as time spent looking at a specific page or longer- than-usual hovers over content, actions which might reveal possible preferences or interests. As companies grapple with the growing customer demand for more individualized attention, marketers will have no choice but to master the practice of personalization. Some marketers may find it too hard and give up, as Gartner says. But now that one-to-one marketing is finally technically feasible, that would mean giving up on the opportunity to “be better” at meeting the expectations of customers. STEPHEN SHAW is the chief strategy officer of Kenna, a marketing solutions provider specializing in delivering more unified customer experiences. He is also the host of a monthly podcast called Customer First Thinking. Stephen can be reached via e-mail at sshaw@kenna.ca June/July 2020

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FEATURES

Raising Funds

& Consciousness in 2020

Nneka Allen discusses her career in the philanthropic sector and working to make it more equitable

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BY TRACY HOWARD

neka Allen is an accomplished professional fundraiser, but to get an idea of the unique lens with which she views the role requires only a look at the profile summary on her LinkedIn page. Fundraiser is listed but it comes after the titles “Relationship-Builder/Stone-Catcher/ Freedom-Fighter.” A sixth-generation Canadian born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Allen is a descendant of the Underground Railroad, free Blacks, and Ojibwa and Métis people — and this multilayered heritage informs her life and career philosophy. “Based on my cultural experience and heritage, I come from a collectivist community,” explains Allen. “So relationships are integral to the way we live and work, and relationship-builder is the cornerstone of the way I am in my life and the way I operate.” As for “stone-catcher,” Allen says she first read the term in Bryan Stevenson’s, Just Mercy, his memoir of being a lawyer fighting racial and economic discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system. “One of the ways Black or Indigenous people survive is by catching the stones that are thrown at the people in our community,” says Allen. “I positioned myself that way as it relates to the people I love the most, but also in the way I work with the group of Black Canadian fundraisers — I view

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Nneka Allen is an accomplished fundraiser who is passionate about making the Canadian philanthropic sector more equitable. foundationmag.ca

June/July 2020

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Relationships and community are central to the way Allen lives and works. Here she stands in front of a wall of family photos at home in London, Ontario.

“I had a lot of powerful examples around me, yet I still felt confusion around what I wanted to do.” The Nazrey A.M.E. Church, part of the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, was built in 1848 by refugees escaping slavery. Allen joined the museum in 1999, and says it’s where she fell in love with non-profit and fundraising.

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them as my sisters, and so when they’re discriminated against, we all collectively feel it, and we also have a responsibility to help catch some of the stones coming their way.” Allen says “freedom-fighter” is connected to both the values she was raised with and her own focus on making change. Given the recent global protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in the U.S., this title couldn’t be more timely. “I think freedom is the ultimate goal,” Allen states. “It’s the thing we all strive toward in my community, and we’ve been struggling toward that goal for centuries. I feel a responsibility to carry that mantle forward, so we can actually materialize greater freedom.” Allen also demonstrates her commitment to June/July 2020

freedom in her selectiveness about where she chooses to work: initially museums and for the past 16 years in health-care organizations. “I only work for organizations whose mandate I can personally rally around,” Allen explains. “Obviously health care is important for everyone but there’s a particular emphasis on having access to good health care for marginalized communities.” A complicated path Allen’s clarity about her professional priorities doesn’t mean her path has always been clear or easy. This past May, while working from home during the pandemic, she was laid off at the health-care foundation where she’s had a senior role for six years. Professionally, like many other Canadians of foundationmag.ca

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FEATURES

The making of a fundraiser Born in the 1970s at the height of the Black Power movement, Allen grew up in a home infused with cultural pride and dedication to the community. Allen’s mother, Karla Taylor, rented a family apartment to Black mothers in need, her father, Michael Allen, was active in local politics and supported young Black students to help them gain access to education and other resources; her uncle was also in local politics and her aunt was a lawyer (she’s now a judge). “I had a lot of powerful examples around me, yet I still felt confusion around what I wanted to do,” Allen recalls. So she decided to study the closest thing to what she thought were her gifts, and entered a business program at Windsor’s St. Clair College. While Allen liked parts of the curriculum, others didn’t resonate. She went on to work at the college and a few other jobs while figuring out her path. All the while, a direction was being forged below her consciousness. In the last decade of his career, Michael Allen worked as the director of labour for the United Way in Windsor-Essex. Allen spent a lot of time with her father at events and other initiatives he supported through the agency, and was able to network within that realm. “This was sort of the backdrop to my emerging into nonprofit,” she says. In 1999, Allen began a contract at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum (then the North American Black Historical Museum), which is dedicated to the journey and achievements of African-Canadians, including those of Allen’s own family. Amherstburg is a town near the mouth of the Detroit River, and was an important location on the Underground Railroad. Her father had been very involved in a huge public effort to prevent the demolition of the Nazrey A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) Church, built in foundationmag.ca

1848 by refugees escaping slavery, and part of the museum. The resulting restoration was funded by all levels of government, as well as individual and corporate donors, and Allen was hired to conduct research on it for a report requested by the federal government. The church was subsequently named a National Historic Site. “What happened in that time was I fell in love with the museum,” Allen states. “But I also fell in love with non-profit.” She became assistant curator and spent significant time fundraising, although Allen says nobody called it that at the time. Allen left the museum in 2001, but was asked to join the board of directors in 2010, serving for five years as both vice chair and fundraising chair.

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colour, Allen’s faced obstacles that challenge the way this country often views itself as a fair and open society. According to a 2019 article, Diversity, Inclusion and the Foundation, by Gail Picco, featured on the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) website, there are 2.2 million people who work in Canadian charities, and, while 70 percent are women, the majority of fundraising leaders here are white men. And a very small percentage of fundraising professionals in Canada identify as part of a racialized or marginalized group. Allen says in her own career in the sector, she’s often been the only Black woman in the room.

Allen is also an accomplished writer with a special focus on issues pertaining to Black and Afro-Indigenous communities. June/July 2020

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FEATURES After working at a couple of other unrelated jobs, in 2003 Allen joined Amherstburg’s Park House Museum, where she designed and installed a long-term exhibit on 19thcentury medicine. Although her title was researcher and museum technician, Allen also developed sponsorship opportunities and donor relationships.

“I would say a lot of Black fundraisers have a very similar story to share.” Working in health care The next year, Allen interviewed for a nonfundraising role at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Windsor. But during the interview process, the then CEO, Pam Hines, was impressed by Allen’s portfolio, and advised her of a new fundraising position she thought would be a great fit. After additional rounds of interviewing, Hines offered Allen a contract. “She told me, and this is the power of great leadership, if you enjoy this, and, of course, you do well, I’m prepared to invest in you,” recalls Allen. “And I did love it, I was very good at it, and so then I became a permanent employee.” Hines did invest in the new hire, with Allen attending Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management program. During that time, Allen was also qualifying for her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation, which she earned in 2009. Allen says a major highlight while at CMHA was her role in creating a healing garden sponsored by TD Bank, for which she wrote a successful grant application to help secure. One of the first major gifts for it came from a volunteer who told Allen of losing her infant daughter, an experience the woman had previously kept private. Through participating on one of Allen’s volunteer committees, the woman had met Allen’s friend Jackie, who shared the story of her husband being murdered while she was pregnant with her first child, and subsequently receiving support from CMHA’s bereavement programs. Inspired by Jackie’s courage, the volunteer purchased a bench in the healing garden in memory of her daughter. “This was a defining moment in my career and many lessons were learned,” says Allen. “I’ll always remember to be courageous in sharing your story and to never forget how unlikely relationships can inspire giving.” 20

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After nearly nine years at CMHA, Allen left in 2013. At the time, her daughter, Destiny — now 24 and working with Indigenous people for Teck Resources in B.C. — was determined to attend Western University in London, Ontario, and Allen thought it was also the right moment in her own life to explore the opportunities of a larger city. Allen joined a health-care organization in London, but shortly after being hired, her manager told her a major upcoming event was to be held on the property of a donor whom she had deemed to be a bigot. Obviously troubled by this news, Allen asked her boss to advise the donor of her hiring and that she was Black. The manager didn’t do so; instead, Allen was let go without cause shortly afterward, before her probationary period was over. Two months later, in December 2013, Allen received an offer to join another health-care foundation in the city. But on Christmas Eve, she received a call from her prospective new boss, who tearily advised Allen her offer had been rescinded and that she should speak to the CEO for an explanation. After Allen did so, she discovered the CEO had communicated with her former manager at the organization that had let her go, and that person had spoken negatively about her. “I tell you this because it’s all part of my story and my experience navigating the non-profit sector and fundraising in particular,” Allen explains. “I would say a lot of Black fundraisers have a very similar story to share.” Change-making A couple of years ago, Allen wrote a proposal to AFP Global saying that Black Canadian fundraisers are part of their membership, yet she didn’t hear their voices anywhere. The result is Our Right to Heal, a series of essays and videos from Allen and several other women from her fundraising group. (The group meet to share their experiences and support the education of other fundraisers through their Black Philanthropy Fund.) The “bright papers” are featured on the AFP Global website, and Allen says when assigning the project she simply said: “The theme is Our Right to Heal, however that impacts you, however that inspires you.” Most of the essays relate painful experiences of being Black in a sector that largely doesn’t reflect Canada’s diversity. “Nobody spoke to anybody about what they were going to write,” Allen says. “But when you foundationmag.ca


FEATURES read them, there’s a thread of commonality.” Allen said the project proved cathartic for all. “I’m so very pleased AFP Global has done a brave and courageous thing, and allowed us to tell the truth,” she says. As a leading mentor in AFP’s Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy program, Allen has also helped several fundraisers of colour navigate what are often toxic workplaces. “I think we rally around the idea of diversity,” she says. “But diversity is one thing, equity should actually be the objective. And equity is about understanding the intricate issues pertaining to marginalized communities, so you can create opportunities to level the playing field.” The road forward Allen founded the Empathy Agency to help young professionals of colour navigate biased workplaces as well as to coach business leaders to explore the impact identity has on organizational culture and business goals. To further expand her expertise in that realm, in 2019 Allen completed a certificate in Intercultural Studies at the University of British Columbia — a program she says is invaluable to this work. As for the future, Allen states she’s “cautious to be sort of excited.” She says she’s been heartened to see a lot of white faces in the recent protests. Allen’s also encouraged by the “uprising of Black women in this sector,” referring to fundraisers in Canada and the U.S. organizing and collaborating in ways she hasn’t seen before. However, she worries about the impact of COVID-19 on Black women in her field, as they often work in areas, like occasional gifts and events, hardest hit by pandemic closures. Aside from her coaching work and writing on issues pertaining to her community, Allen says she’s taking this time to “be still and think about what the next chapter of my career will look like.” Despite everything, Allen says she’s still inspired by fundraising as a catalyst for change. “I think solving problems to create greater justice, to create greater access, to create freedom for people — I don’t think I’ll ever not want to do that.” foundationmag.ca

Joenita Paulrajan leads the intercultural studies, diversity & inclusion and international development programs at UBC Extended Learning. She has drafted the following equity guidelines for consideration when reviewing the structure of foundations and other organizations.

How to Create an Equitable Organization

Having diversity in the ranks and working on making the organization more inclusive is a commendable first step. However, diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts do not automatically lead to an equitable organization. Creating pathways to make an organization equitable requires different approaches and processes. Take a look at the guidelines below to see what changes might need to occur in your organization: 1. Start by acknowledging historical colonial realities. Organizations do not exist in a vacuum. They are intricately connected to the land, to the communities and to the contexts they operate in. 2. Communicate your mission, vision and values to dismantle structures of discrimination and prejudice. A statement articulating the above is a good beginning. 3. Set expectations. Recognize that this is hard work and involves long-term efforts. Short bursts of momentum are naturally limited in scope and cannot achieve long-term results. Focus on the long-term work to address the root of the problem. 4. Yes. There is a problem. And it requires a change in mindset. The business case for D&I is often the primary driver for organizational inclusion. However, centring equity requires the recognition of the importance of the ethical case for D&I. Ask the question: At the end of the day, if there were no financial benefits, would we cease to do the ‘right’ thing? While it is nice to have a business case, it is incredibly important to create an organizational culture that values equity simply because it is ethical. 5. Identify the pioneers. Who are the Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour in your organization that have been at the heart of the wider struggle through their lived experiences? What are their needs and perspectives? Centre the pioneers. D&I work tends to showcase D&I champions and allies who support the cause and deservedly so. But equity cannot be solely built around the voices, motivations, needs and designs of allies. 6. Ask the following questions across the different levels in the organization: a. Is there diversity? Who belongs in the organization? b. Is there inclusion? Who experiences a sense of belonging in the organization? c. Is there equity? To whom does the organization belong? Who benefits? 7. Walk the talk. Consult pioneers and stakeholders, draw up and implement an organizational ‘equity plan’ to make changes across policies and processes. 8. Fund tangible efforts to move the needle. Invest in education and training, in raising awareness and creating real growth opportunities for pioneers within the organizations. 9. Foster a sense of collective accountability. Set measurable goals and equity-centred evaluative measures in place to ensure the goals are met. 10. Share the power and the liberation that comes with humanizing and cocreating equitable spaces within the organization and by extension within communities. © JOENITA PAULRAJAN PhD. UBC Extended Learning. Intercultural, Diversity & Inclusion programs. June/July 2020

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Interim

Intelligence

Consulting

Specialist Forums

Whatever your fundraising challenge, our team are here to help. We’ve never been more ready. How can we serve you at this moment?

Get in touch. And stay safe and well. info@think-canada.com 1 866 686 2612 www.think-canada.com


FEATURES

Competing on Insight: What Major Charities Need to Know

M

BY STEPHEN SHAW

foundationmag.ca

had gone into matching and merging records to identify half a million “active” owners with their complete vehicle purchase and service history. The analysis was rigorous and thorough, covering everything from repurchase rates by cohort groups, to expected in-market buyers by year, to projected service revenue by owner segment. And there were enough provocative insights to spur discussion — for instance, the actual owner retention rate was far below what they thought — and a majority of owners had bought their next car within the surprisingly short span of 4 years. Yet all of these meaningful statistics sailed over the heads of the audience. The analysis should have convinced them to redirect more of their marketing budget toward retention of existing owners. Instead, the financially struggling car maker continued to spend heavily on conquest marketing to attract new buyers. This story is not an unusual one. In fact, it is commonplace in most companies: the struggle to convert data-driven insight into customer strategy.

COURTESY KENNA

arketers have more customer data to work with than ever before — so why are they still struggling to convert numbers into meaningful insight? Getting answers that lead to breakthrough strategy starts with knowing the right questions to ask. A few years ago, one of this country’s leading car manufacturers assembled all of its marketers in one room for a first-ever look at a profile analysis of its owner base. These marketers were used to looking at consumer profiles from automotive research companies like J. D. Power and Maritz — never one based on actual vehicle purchases from their own database records. What could this analysis tell them that they didn’t already know? Plenty, as it turned out. But as the presentation wore on, their interest waned. As far as they were concerned, their job was to drive sales by pumping up consumer demand, largely through advertising. They were used to obsessing over Gross Ratings Points, Share of Voice and Market Penetration. Now they were hearing alien terms like “customer lifetime value” and “churn” along with charts showing average purchase intervals and vehicle migration patterns. Numbed by the numerical onslaught of facts and figures, they stared in silence. The purpose of the meeting had been to provoke thought – instead it ended just as it had begun, with a mildly curious but disengaged audience anxious to get back to looking at sales reports. It had taken nearly a year to build a consolidated database of vehicle owner records to conduct the analysis. Automotive data is notoriously dirty and unreliable, mainly due to the challenge of tracking owner vehicle records past the initial sale, as people sell or trade their cars in later years. A lot of effort

Figure 1 – To have a greater influence on corporate strategy, marketers must become “customer-obsessed”, focused on moving customers up the loyalty pyramid.

Information synthesis According to a recent Gartner Research forecast, 60 percent of CMOs are expected to cut their marketing analytics investment June/July 2020

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FEATURES by half in the next three years, a mystifying retreat considering the amount of data now available to mine for insight. The main reason, according to Gartner, is a “failure to realize promised improvements”. In other words, the time spent on analytics has not paid off in tangible gains for the business. Most marketers struggle to incorporate customer data into their strategic planning. They recognize its advantages for targeting purposes. For campaign planning. For web tracking. But what ultimately undermines their use of customer analytics is a lack of data fluency. They are content with superficial analysis that supports their main goal: to build brand awareness and drive sales. Which explains marketing’s fading influence on corporate strategy: they rarely have anything new to say. The answer is not simply to hone the analytical skills of marketers. Or to expect data analysts to do their thinking for them. It is to elevate the role of marketing analytics in the business. Confined to their swim lane, marketers are fixated on their own narrow goals like customer acquisition. Who can blame them? The same is true of every business unit: the answers that interest them the most are the ones directly related to their accountabilities. Whereas deep insight — the kind that leads to new ideas and product innovation, to gamechanging strategies, to accelerated growth — emerges out of information synthesis: distilling everything known about customers from all sources into a holistic understanding of their needs, actions and motivations.

unit is assigned its own purpose-built data mart, reporting system and analytical workbench, pulling the source data from a data lake, enterprise warehouse or directly from operational systems of record. Independent of these analytical nodes is the market research group whose knowledge source is primarily survey-based, drawn from consumer panels or direct customer feedback. Their work typically includes usage and attitude studies, market segmentation profiling, brand health tracking, concept testing and consumer trend analysis. Researchers live in the world of representative population samples. They are less comfortable with transactional analysis, web analytics and data mining. Attitudinal research remains their sole field of expertise, amounting to just another knowledge fiefdom, disconnected from other sources of insight.

COURTESY KENNA

A new analytical framework Without a broader mandate, marketing analytics is doomed to remain just another parochial function, serving a single constituency. Deprived of access to all of the information, marketers fall back on what they believe to be true instead of what they know to be true. But simply building a single view of the customer, or forming an analytical “centre of excellence”, or finding some “unicorn” data scientist to serve as a “business translator” is not going to make marketers any wiser about what customers want. The solution is not more data or more reports or more algorithms — businesses are awash in enough of that already. Instead, it lies in training marketers to be insight-driven. That means basing decisions on facts, not intuition; on knowing the right questions to ask; and on expanding their field of vision beyond the point-ofsale. As Forrester Research notes, “To be customerobsessed, marketers need to embrace analytics across the entire customer lifecycle rather than myopically focus on phases that cover awareness and purchase.”1 Yet most businesses today are stuck in a time warp when data was frugally shared with marketers. The business intelligence systems that grew out of the transition to data warehousing technology in the 1990s were intended to support basic financial and Figure 2 – The role of marketing analytics is to yield insights that lead to growth of the customer portfolio. operational analysis. They allowed decision makers to closely monitor and streamline the internal The siloed structure of most companies is not conducive to workings of the company. Marketers were begrudgingly given an omnibus analysis. The analytical work is always divvyed up access to sales data from internal CRM and ERP systems according to the planning needs of the different business units. through batch reporting and dashboards — otherwise they Customer Care is mainly concerned with service satisfaction had to seek help from external analytics providers or adopt and call volume levels — Sales Support only cares about marketing automation technology on their own. pipeline velocity and lead conversion — Product Management That all began to change in the mid-2000s when the era of keeps a watchful eye on distribution channel shipments — the Big Data dawned. A vast new universe of online data exploded Digital Marketing specialists just want to see web traffic and into view. Database technology was forced to evolve, as NoSQL social media data — the Demand Creation group is mostly database management systems and data lakes were developed interested in digital advertising results. Usually, each business to store the torrent of web data. 24

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June/July 2020

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COURTESY KENNA

FEATURES

Figure 3 – An Analytical Centre of Excellence is structured to deliver the analytical expertise and data engineering support that marketers need

Today the leading insight-driven businesses are mainly the direct-to-consumer giants — Amazon, eBay, Netflix, Etsy, Uber and so on. All of them have thrived by embedding analytics into every facet of their business, every decision they make, every action they take. As Thomas Davenport, the author of Competing on Analytics, has observed, “The common thread in these examples is the resolve by a company’s management to compete on analytics not only in the traditional sense (by improving internal business decisions) but also by creating more valuable products and services.”2 Amazon is a textbook example, using their massive transactional database to deliver the right products to customers in the shortest period of time at the lowest cost. They boost repeat purchasing through recommendation algorithms; calculate how much of each product SKU should be available at a local fulfillment centre; calibrate merchandise selection and pricing; plan the best delivery routes; and match packages and destinations to fleet availability.3 No wonder Amazon accounts for almost 40 percent of U.S. online sales. Etsy, on the other hand, has developed a sophisticated inhouse research capability fully integrated with e-commerce analytics to help product and user experience teams understand the habits and needs of millions of sellers and buyers. No product decisions get made without a factual base of evidence based on exhaustive user research and customer analysis.4 Figuring out ways to create new value for customers is the highest order of analysis, where the purpose is to flag everyday problems that need to be solved. For marketers, this is an opportunity to steer the business forward, not by chasing after brand awareness, or worrying about media efficiency, or fussing over fluctuations in web traffic, but by devising novel ways of pleasing customers. foundationmag.ca

The starting point to become more insight-driven is to come up with a new marketing analytics framework. That means linking patterns in how people behave to their motivations, beliefs and drivers; using measurement data to continually improve marketing and sales performance; analyzing the lifecycle progression of customers in order to provide the right assistance, offers and treatment across touchpoints; and knowing which new products to offer, or adjacent markets to enter, in the quest for growth. By organizing all of the marketing analytical functions and decision making processes around these four strategic pillars, marketers can start to have a greater impact on corporate strategy. The priority is certainly to move customers up the loyalty pyramid, turning them into brand advocates. But the way marketers will earn their keep — and be seen as heroes by executive management — is to increase the value of existing customers. Hearts and minds Once the analytical model has been agreed upon, the next step on the path to becoming insight-driven is to put the right governance structure in place. An “Analytics Charter” is helpful, positioning the Customer Insight function as the bridge between data and innovation. The analytical group should be treated as business partners, not simply data jockeys, providing strategic counsel based on their reading of the findings. More than anything, decision makers are looking for the most sensible and least risky choice to make given all of the facts available. They are less interested in the path to get there — even less in the statistical jargon. The Insight team must be able to put their findings in context — tell a story that starts with a customer challenge and builds logically to a clear conclusion. Facts and figures left dangling out of context are just “nice to know” and easily forgotten. To have any lasting impression, they must have unmistakably positive or negative consequences. As Nancy Duarte, a communications expert and author of Data Story, advises, “Stories frame data so decisions can be made faster and inspire others to take action by changing their hearts and minds”. Think about those automotive marketers who struggled to grasp the revelations that surfaced in the owner profile analysis. Was that lack of comprehension their fault — or due to the density of the information? Unaccustomed to seeing owner-level detail, they got lost in the maze of graphs and charts, failing to see what it all meant and why they should care. No wonder their collective reaction was: “So what?”. When it comes to presenting the results of their analysis, most data scientists fare poorly, more at ease describing the statistical hoops they went through than creating a narrative arc. They simply lack the theatrical skills to bring a data story to life. And no wonder. Look at the full scope of their technical work: fetching the data — cleaning it — preparing it for analysis — running the machine learning algorithms – validating them — and then figuring out how to visualize the June/July 2020

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results. Expecting them to be equally gifted at storytelling is merely wishful thinking. Data “wrangling” — pulling the raw data and refining it for analysis — soaks up much of their time. If the data lake has been hurriedly built without a lot of forethought, it can look more like a “swamp”, polluted by duplicate records, invalid or missing values, inconsistent formats, and much more, all of which have to be cleaned up before any of it is usable. Data scientists will typically spend 60 percent or more of their time on that stage alone. And then they have to explore the data for statistical patterns and anomalies; calculate new variables to enhance the explanatory power; and re-structure it to suit the purpose of the analysis before the data crunching can even begin. To master this complexity, the CI function must be a team sport, staffed with data engineers, business analysts, data scientists, research specialists and software developers, working together in a hub-and-spoke model. A central leadership team is charged with governance while field emissaries are embedded within the different lines of business, expected to become subject matter experts. This matrix model makes it easier to standardize best practices; exchange learning; pool resources;

Figure 4 – A Systems of Insight Architecture makes it easy for data analysts and data scientists to access all of the data they need on demand.

and collaborate on cross-divisional analytical projects. At the same time, it gives the business units a dedicated analytical resource conversant with their domain, their data aptitude and their tolerance for complexity. In setting up this “centre of excellence”, the market research function should be merged with customer analytics, eliminating the historical segregation of qualitative work and data analysis. The job of research remains essential, of course, responsible for inserting the “so what” into the story. The advantage of consolidation is that only one story needs to be told, backed by all of the information available, connecting what customers say with what they actually do. The research specialists still own the voice of customer; they still have point on scouting the market for opportunities; they still monitor brand health. But on top of all that, they should foundationmag.ca

be responsible for tracking customer health. And that requires them to work closely with the data analysts. If customer repurchase rates are off target — if churn is higher — if NPS scores have fallen — if any of those vital signs are fluttering and alarm bells are ringing — they need to find out why. The role of research is to put a human face on the data and explain how customers feel as much as how they think and behave. Systems of insight To support this expanded remit, the CI group is reliant on a systems architecture that not only makes ad hoc reporting and modelling easier but gives decision makers the tools they need to integrate the right set of data into their planning process. This “system of insight” is made up of four tiers: the Source Tier encompasses all of the originating systems and external data sources; the Storage Tier is where the data is held in an intermediary state, directly accessible by all analysts; the Analytical Tier represents the workbench used to conduct the analysis; and the Access Tier gives the various business analysts and decision makers a view of the data which conforms to their planning needs. While a data lake (like Hadoop, Amazon S3 or Azure) ingests all of the originating data in its raw form through a data pipeline — everything from billing data to web log files to XML extracts from various 3rd party providers — a data warehouse (like Amazon Redshift, Oracle or Snowflake) stores it in a more familiar column and row format for analysts to query directly. Marketing analysts and data scientists only need to work with a sub-set of data which can be extracted using their preferred programming language (like Python or R). That way they can structure and format the data to suit the objectives of any bespoke analysis. Alternatively, the analyst might work with a data mart designed to serve the routine reporting needs of a specialized analytical function like product sales, product profitability analysis, e-commerce analytics or market forecasting. Marketing planners are usually given direct access to a data mart through a self-serve business intelligence tool of some kind (such as Power BI, Looker or Tableau) which allow them to view data visualizations and tabular reports, set up for them by a data analyst. For example, the data analyst might structure the data to show purchase activity by customer segment and then set up a standard report or dashboard in the BI tool with filters (e.g. data range, segment type, product category) for drill-down exploration by the planner. A complementary approach to a multi-tier analytical architecture is to opt for an all-in-one data management solution known as a Customer Data Platform (like Tealium or Adobe Experience Platform). CDPs offer out-of-the-box functionality to create a unified profile of customers with all of their browsing activity, purchase transactional data, channel usage, personal attributes, modelling scores, engagement history and much more. Some CDPs also come packaged with analytical reporting and model-building capabilities, saving June/July 2020

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FEATURES

Figure 5 – Meaningful marketing insight connects how customers feel about the brand with how they actually behave.

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the work involved in shunting the data to a different platform. The other big challenge is for marketers to connect all of the disparate sources of customer knowledge. A Knowledge Library is required (like Dovetail) where marketing planners can find everything they need to know about customers — one central, searchable repository of past research studies, customer profiles, personas, performance reports and more, with direct links to the underlying summary data, all tagged in ways that make the information easily discoverable and sharable.

Figure 6 – For marketers to get the insights they need, a New Analytical Framework is required which places greater emphasis on the health of the customer relationship.

A vivid portrait By plugging into these “systems of insight”, while relying on the CI group to serve up the insights they need, marketing can make customers the central focus of their strategic planning versus the brand. They will be able to ask the strategic questions about customers that really matter, starting with how to earn more of their business. Instead of obsessing over buyers’ path to purchase, they can educate themselves as much as possible about the people they serve: Who are our best customers? How 28

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can we make the brand indispensable in their lives? What can be done to enrich their experience and seal their loyalty? How do we encourage them to stay continuously connected? The combination of behavioural and needs-based segmentation is critical to knowing who customers are and their expected lifetime value. It helps to figure out how much future growth is likely to come from existing customers compared to new buyers — to calculate share of wallet and the growth potential of customers — to estimate the degree of flight risk amongst high value customers — to know the size and potential value of adjacent markets based on the estimated population of “lookalikes”. Making the brand a more integral part of people’s lives calls for a deeper understanding of customer needs. It means using direct feedback to learn more about potential product and service gaps. But it is also where predictive analytics comes into play, combing the data for product affinities and purchase propensities, leading to more relevant cross-sell and upsell offers. Marketers succeed when customers choose to stick with their brand even in the face of a tempting competitive offer. But that means knowing the specific factors that drive customer loyalty. It also means using journey mapping to minimize pain points and identify ways the current experience can be improved; contacting recent defectors to determine what caused them to abandon the brand; and monitoring the level of customer loyalty, whether through NPS or some form of composite score that incorporates behavioural proxies (such as tenure, spending velocity and relationship depth). Finally, a sure sign of a committed customer is a willingness to hear from the brand regularly and be an active participant in the user community. Here is where social listening can reveal the level of brand enthusiasm — or where engagement analysis can track content popularity and degree of involvement in brand-sponsored events and activities. Together these various methods of insight add up to a vivid portrait of customers which should become a catalyst for innovation and the foundation of corporate strategy. By “transforming numbers into narratives”, marketers can envision alternate paths, exert greater influence over the direction of the business and reclaim their status as strategic leaders. But that can only happen if marketers first learn to ask the right questions. STEPHEN SHAW is the chief strategy officer of Kenna, a marketing solutions provider specializing in delivering more unified customer experiences. Stephen can be reached via e-mail at sshaw@kenna.ca 1 “Seven Steps to Kick Off a Customer-Obsessed Insights Program”, Forrester Research, February 2018. 2 “Analytics 3.0”, Thomas H. Davenport, Harvard Business Review, December 2013. 3 “Amazon is a logistics beast - A detailed teardown”, Sangeet Paul Choudary, Platforms, AI and The Economics of Big Tech 4 “Case Study: Etsy Invests in Customer Understanding to Steer Growth”, Forrester Research, June 21, 2016

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VOLUNTEERS

A Perspective of Privilege:

Volunteer Engagement is a Non-Priority

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BY JOANNE McKIERNAN

he data confirms it — 2020 has changed our sector in almost every way. We’ve learned 35 percent of charities in Canada have seen a significant increase in demand due to COVID-19, while 2 in 3 have lost more than 30 percent of the revenue that allows them to deliver regular, necessary services. At a time when demands are this great, and donations have dipped, more than half of interested volunteers during the pandemic haven’t heard back from non-profits. Why have we dismissed and ignored millions of volunteers in Canada when we need them most? The easy answer — safety concerns. The hard answer — a consistent dismissal, at the leadership level, of the necessity of investing in volunteerism. As a reminder, our social services are reliant on volunteers, the equivalent of more than 850,000 full-time jobs in 2018. Although Canada has yet to define an hourly rate for volunteers, in the United States, an hour of a volunteer’s foundationmag.ca

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VOLUNTEERS

“Volunteer engagement doesn’t just happen and enhanced recruitment technology is only one aspect of enabling volunteerism.”

time is equal to $25.43. Some quick math and today’s exchange rate tells me that our charitable sector stands to lose nearly $4.5 billion worth of capacity (yes, you read that right), every single month that passes without re-engaging volunteers. To be clear, people are still volunteering. Our communities have stepped up, upheaving formal volunteerism enabled by non-profits, to go directly to the source. Help thy neighbour when nobody else is ready to act. The agility of grassroots leaders and the willingness of individuals has translated into an outstanding response to COVID-19, where our communities have never been more connected and people have never been more willing to contribute time to a cause. At Volunteer Toronto, we’ve tracked volunteer efforts across the City in response to the pandemic. Most notably, more than 50 percent of volunteering during the pandemic has happened on the grassroots level, whereas only 18 percent has happened with non-profits. Among few, a glimmer of success for the sector has been Meals on Wheels programs, whose service delivery model relies on volunteers to meet growing community needs. In March 2017, Volunteer Toronto reported that Meals on Wheels programs reduced the number of meals served due to a shortage of volunteers. From the start of the pandemic, for the first time, Meals on Wheels groups in Toronto saw too many volunteers apply as drivers and runners. With a strong and consistent investment in skilled volunteer management, programs can properly ramp up to meet immediate needs, sustain interest long-term, and stave off staff burnout. But not without dedicated support to enable volunteerism that lasts. A loss of service delivery capacity is only the tip of the melting iceberg. As we turn to recovery, and assess our changed landscape, we also must acknowledge an additional corrosive side effect to the sudden dismissal of millions of volunteers, and the thousands of volunteer managers that support them. I’m talking about the relationship between volunteering and philanthropy. Have you asked yourself, how many volunteers are also 30

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your donors? Well here are the national stats: 87 percent of volunteers say there’s an overlap between the organizations they volunteer for and those they donate to, and 50 percent of volunteers give more because they volunteer. If your organization hasn’t started to invest in the intersection between stewarding volunteers and donors, now is the time. More quick math for you: If 87 percent of Canada’s volunteers also donate to the cause, we could stand to lose an estimated 740,000 warm donors that spend time with causes they believe in. This doesn’t accommodate for the surge of new volunteers also looking to enter the sector. Our perceptions have failed us to make informed decisions as a sector. We have long sidelined the value — and necessary investment—in volunteer engagement. A perspective underpinned by the privilege of perceiving volunteers as disposable labour and volunteer managers as unskilled. The truth is, volunteer engagement doesn’t just happen and enhanced recruitment technology is only one aspect of enabling volunteerism. Make-work roles are also not what translates into meaning for charities and for the volunteers themselves. The people on the inside, the ones that barely get a volunteer program budget, know this already. Why hasn’t the value of volunteerism reached the top? As leaders, I encourage you to see the forest through the trees, after all, volunteers probably planted them in the first place. The recovery and vitality of our sector will be challenged as we step into a new normal. Some of you will inevitably feel like you’re in a constant reactive state, as change often feels. You may face unprecedented staff burnout without a plan to reset, and you may face revenue losses that far exceed the fallout of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis. This reality will only be amplified if we continue to ignore our greatest ambassadors and community champions, and under-invest in the staff whose experience and skill allows us to engage them. JOANNE McKIERNAN is Executive Director of Volunteer Toronto .

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Can you help our readers: • Create a strong financial structure and healthy economic ecosystem to ensure capital and cash flow keep their engines running? • Determine who their customers should be, how they can reach them most effectively, and how they can turn data-driven marketing into profitable sales? • Build efficient and effective financial systems to enhance payments and billings between their companies and their customers and vendors? • Convert all the data and information they collect from every contact point into tangible benefits that increase revenue and reduce costs? • Equip their companies with the tools, technology, systems and hardware needed to manage their operations, to create new services or products, and deliver them to their market? • Manage their customers with smoothly functioning support departments that are properly staffed and equipped to solve problems, foster loyalty and retain customers? • Make any or every step in that chain better, faster, cheaper, and more profitable?

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COMMENTARY

Canada’s Charitable Sector is Broken

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BY GENA ROTSTEIN

f the recent example of the funding relationship, and subsequent cancellation of the funding contract between WE Charity and the Canadian Federal government has showcased anything; it laid bare what most philanthropists and charity directors have known for decades — the Canadian charitable system is broken. This broken system highlights three distinct problems charities face in managing donor relations: The charitable accountability system is inconsistent between organizations and funders; There was a lack of due diligence and vetting on WE and potentially other organizations that have entered into government partnerships; and An inconsistent standard of leadership. The charitable sector is comprised of funders, charities, nonprofits, charity watchdogs and government agencies. With all of these players on the field what led to this breakdown? How can it be mitigated in the future? What is the appetite for change by any government on how money flows within the charitable sector? First off, let’s explore the charitable sector framework. As it is this framework that reinforces how this situation became possible in the first place. Our society is built upon three distinct legs — the forprofit sector, the non-profit/charitable/ voluntary sector and government. For a long time, society assumed the second leg as being a bit shorter, perhaps a bit spindlier, resulting in a foundationmag.ca

somewhat wobbly stool. Over the years attempts have been made to make that leg a bit stronger by establishing a more robust reporting system, the creation of charity watchdogs and a more professionalized charitable sector workforce. The problem all the while was thinking that it was the non-profit leg of the stool that was broken and not the floor upon which the stool was resting. The way we manage our social systems is through a bifurcated model at the Federal level — an organization is either a for-profit company, or a registered charity. This bifurcation is not just in the corporate structures, but also in how these organizations are reviewed and reported upon. On top of this, there is no consistent reporting and evaluating criteria of charities. The questions asked by the CRA on the charity annual return form would not uncover what ended up happening between WE, Canada’s donor community, and the Federal Government. The closest questions on this annual return that may lead to further investigation of a direct relationship between a funder and an organization include questions like: Did the charity compensate any of its directors/trustees or like officials or persons not at arm’s length from the charity for services provided during the fiscal period (other than reimbursement for expenses)? This is a yes or no question and no further information is required to support the answer. Did the charity use any of its tax receipted donations on behalf of another organization? This is also a yes or no answer and once again no further information is required. As well, this June/July 2020

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COMMENTARY is only for tax receipted funds meaning that a contribution that hasn’t received a tax receipt (i.e. payment from a government agency) would generate a NO answer. Total revenue received from federal government Specify the types of expenditures reported — this excludes things associated with general operating expenses like professional and consulting services, occupancy costs, etc. Adding to the problem, is that the report is filed at the end of the year therefore most of this information would not be publicly available until the filing occurred. This publication could be months after the transaction occurred or the relationship was established. Which leads to the second point on lack of due diligence and transparency.

“If we really wanted to know what is working and what isn’t, we would stop asking questions around how much is spent on fundraising.” Transparency & timeliness of charitable sector reporting People are wringing their hands over WE being a solesource solution to the student granting program and youth unemployment problem. We should unpack how and why this type of agency would even be considered, and what expectations taxpayers have of their government in deploying capital to social programs. In order to be more transparent and effective in how partnerships and funding arrangements are made using taxpayer dollars we have to be consistent and timely in partnership vetting and selection analysis. The Canadian government, under all parties, has a history of off-loading social programs to the charitable sector to manage. From disaster relief support through the Red Cross, to elder care and community support through the United Ways of Canada. In fact, the CRA has a whole section on how organizations can collaborate. You can read more about this in our whitepaper on private philanthropy collaborations. What makes funding the WE program so disingenuous is that the government and charity leadership did not follow the guidelines laid out by the Charities Directorate. This by-pass of the due diligence process is what allowed for the original granting and deployment of capital to WE. Layered on the amount of money that would flow through WE are the direct relationships between the PMO and the charity. There is nothing that says that our leadership and family members of our leadership cannot be philanthropic or 34

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even paid ambassadors to organizations. What is at play here is a possible abuse of power by putting personal philanthropic interests ahead of the government’s interests. Had our government done proper due diligence by following the CRA guidelines resulting with WE as the ideal implementation partner, the public rankor and opposition for this program would have been mitigated. There would be clearly articulated reasons and evidence of the evaluation process which would include an up-front public disclosure of the personal ties between the Trudeaus and WE. Which leads me to the third point — the inconsistency in applying policy to the charitable sector. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil charitable sector policies Most organizations follow the rules. It is the very few bad apples that seem to spoil the barrel. The CRA is NOT mandated to do a sector analysis on program implementation, impact of solutions, board governance and operational effectiveness. However, this is the government agency asking the questions of charities in their annual returns. We have a mechanism to ask questions, we just are not asking the right questions. As a result, we cannot audit organizations appropriately. We will always have organizations whose boards don’t function properly, whose management is not held accountable and increasingly creates wasteful duplication in the sector. If we really wanted to know what is working and what isn’t, we would stop asking questions around how much is spent on fundraising and start asking more meaningful questions of organizations with a mechanism to follow-up and review. Some other questions to consider: ❯❯ Provide the names and contact information of organizations (for-profit or non-profit) you have partnered with on a program in the last year. ❯❯ Provide us with an example of a program, dollars spent and how, and what you achieved (outputs — numbers, impacts — depth or shift within your organization or the issue you are addressing). ❯❯ What is the impact on your community or client base of not providing the services you offer? Who else/which other organizations in your sector offer the same services? ❯❯ Are you at 100% capacity? Do you have a waiting list? How are you managing your wait list — are you referring them to other agencies, are you providing a pared down offering until more space is available… ❯❯ Do you have members of government involved either at the board, advisory, ambassador or major donor level? Please state in what capacity and if a major donor, please provide your publicly stated levels of giving. Until we are asking the right questions we will continue to have the same issues of charitable sector mismanagement, tax payer frustrations, and donor fatigue. GENA ROTSTEIN is a cofounder of Karma & Cents consulting agency. foundationmag.ca


COMMENTARY

New Survey:

The State of the Ontario Nonprofit Sector Three Months into the COVID-19 Crisis

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he Ontario Nonfprofit Network and the Assemblée de la Francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) partnered on a bilingual survey to understand of the impact of the pandemic on Ontario’s 58,000 nonprofits and charities, and the effectiveness of the public policy and supports provided by the provincial and federal governments. It was also conducted to gather evidence of the need for future support or policy decisions on the road to recovery to emphasize, respect and recognize the role of nonprofits in their communities. A total of 1,131 nonprofits and charitable organizations in Ontario participated in the survey in June 2020. Findings show that in the face of COVID-19 nonprofits continue to adapt to uncertain economic and political times. This survey follows the ONN’s COVID-19 Flash Survey and AFO’s Analyse du sondage sur la relance économique franco-ontarienne which provided a foundational perspective of the impact of COVID-19 on nonprofits at the start of the pandemic, as well as considerations around what would be needed for the recovery. This survey provides a crucial follow up, painting a picture of how the sector fared three months into the pandemic. Three months into the COVID-19 crisis, Ontario’s nonprofits and charities face new challenges and more uncertainty. The impacts on the sector, its workers, volunteers and the communities they serve are becoming more pronounced as the health crisis recedes (for now) and the economic crisis deepens. This strain is in addition to COVID-related mental health needs, increased intimate partner violence, and the growing realization that marginalized communities- notably lowincome households and racialized communities- have suffered disproportionate effects.

reserves, while just under a quarter (22 percent) of respondents have resorted to pay cuts, with 10 per cent of respondents using personal funds to meet the financial need of their organizations. Piecemeal solutions, although helpful in the short-term, are not working for nonprofits organizations and communities they support. Nonprofits across the province have continued to adapt, working more closely with grassroots organizations and local networks to support those in their communities More collaboration, flexibility and partnership between nonprofits and governments will be required, especially as all sectors plan for the recovery.

Summary of key findings: Federal and provincial government supports have failed to recognize the size, scope, and economic impact of the nonprofit sector and have therefore fallen far short of what is needed to help nonprofits through the crisis and into recovery. Over the last three months nonprofits have resorted to a combination of using their reserves, with 35 percent of nonprofits indicating that they have had to access their

Specifically: 1. The Ontario government must create a nonprofit sector stabilization fund to backstop massive revenue losses, prevent permanent job losses and closures, support the sector to “re-tool” to post-pandemic conditions, prepare for a second wave, and ramp up quickly in response to renewed demand for services. 2. The Ontario government should accelerate the deployment

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Survey Highlights ❯❯ Concern for financial sustainability and operational health ❯❯ Lack of access to government supports ❯❯ Collaborating, adapting, and demonstrating resilience Recommendations ONN and AFO continue to be concerned with how nonprofits and charities will survive not just in the next few months, but into 2021. With the possibility of a second wave of infections, it is more prudent than ever for governments to demonstrate their commitment to the nonprofit sector by working in partnership to address challenges. The organizations urge governments at all levels, as well as other funders and donors, to act now to ensure that nonprofits and charities can continue to meet their missions and serve their communities in these extremely challenging times.

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COMMENTARY of pandemic pay, and other supports, which took too long to reach front-line organizations. 3. The Government of Canada should ensure the federal emergency wage subsidy program is more flexible and responsive to nonprofit business models. 4. Both levels of government must invest in rural broadband to help both nonprofits and small businesses thrive in small communities across Ontario. 5. Both levels of government must create a nonprofit sector advisory table to inform planning for the economic recovery, with representation from all nonprofit sectors.

ABOUT ONN The organization is an independent network for the 58,000 nonprofits in Ontario, focused on policy, advocacy, and services to strengthen Ontario’s nonprofit sector as a key pillar of society and the economy. ABOUT AFO The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) is the uniting organization and the political voice of Francophonie in Ontario. Their vision is a French Ontario united in its diversity, unified in its actions and collectively engaged to ensure its own well-being.

STEVE LLOYD

Historic Plaques Which Honour Philanthropy

Robert Holmes 1861-1930 | The Region of Durham. The Township of Brock. Born in Cannington, Ontario, in 1861, Holmes abandoned a career in medicine to train at the Royal Academy of Art in London, England. He returned to Toronto and spent the next forty years teaching, first at Upper Canada College alongside the humourist Stephen Leacock and then at the Ontario College of Art (now OCADU). It’s said his interest in painting wildflowers stemmed from a desire to interest students in their natural surroundings. A philanthropist and volunteer, he contributed to the establishment and development of a number of influential arts organizations in Canada, including the Art Gallery of Ontario. The NY Times noted that he died suddenly after giving a humorous address in which he likened his students to the “wildflowers of which he knew so much.”

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CHAPTERS REPORT AFP Manitoba

The Profound Impact of Philanthropy in Manitoba

AFP Manitoba is a change agent in the community, and they represent the individuals and the organizations that are helping to marshal that change. Manitoba is currently the most successful philanthropic province in terms of per capita donations. Those donations, campaigns and initiatives are changing lives every day. AFP Manitoba supports the work of fundraisers by helping people support their communities; members/clients solve problems; speaking on behalf of fundraisers and fundraising organizations; developing research and education tools that further the work of our members; maintaining a specific Code of Ethics and Standards for the industry, as well as a Donor Bill of Rights; Providing programs and services that help enhance fundraising careers and assist professionals in furthering their careers. As fundraising professionals, the association’s members join together to promote thoughtful and effective philanthropy in the province, particularly with connecting to the National Philanthropy Day by presenting the Manitoba Philanthropy Awards. The wonderful stories of winning recipients allows them to share the power of philanthropy to the community and to recognize them for their time, commitment and passion for foundationmag.ca

their cause. This year’s awards are scheduled for November 13, 2020 at the RBC Convention Centre, Winnipeg (or by virtual means if necessary). The AFP Manitoba volunteer team represents the best and brightest in the province. President: Nicole Hrehirchuk, World Vision Canada; President-Elect: Karen Fowler, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; Past President/Nominations: Sana Mahboob, Government of Canada; Awards & Scholarships: Kirsten Davidson, CFFE, Winnipeg Foundation; Communications: Lisa Thomson Stifora, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; Communications: Evan Maydaniuk, Royal Winnipeg Ballet; Government Relations: Justin Wilson, University of Manitoba; Membership: Donna Korade, The Shevchenko Foundation; Mentorship: Valorie Block, CFRE, Mennonite Central Committee - Manitoba; National Philanthropy Day: Stephanie Lambert, Rossbrook House Foundation; National Philanthropy Day: Crystal Leochko Johnston, Eclipse Research Group; Outreach: Heidi Struck, Manitoba Theatre for Young People; Professional Advancement: Genevieve Cloutier, Balmoral Hall School; Professional Advancement: Courtney Nodrick, CFFE, Children's Hospital Foundation. https://community.afpglobal.org/ afpmanitobachapter/home

AFP Saskatoon The Saskatoon Chapter is very active, offering

members the opportunity to connect with colleagues, engage in creative thinking, network with new friends and achieve great results in their work. AFP Saskatoon Chapter focuses on delivering innovative educational programs and events to help you the fundraising professional reach your goals. The chapter is a link to networking and development sessions for professionals at all levels of the field. They offer opportunities for volunteering, host special events like National Philanthropy Day, and much more. The chapter executives urge individuals and organizations in the city and surrounding area to check out the programs, volunteer opportunities and get to know those involved in keeping the chapter active. The Chapter’s 2020 celebration will look a bit different this year and the executive are hoping members and interested individuals will join in their National Philanthropy Day Celebration Week from Nov. 15th - Nov. 19th, 2020. Nominations are open and close October 15th. Each nominee will receive a commemorative photobook highlighting the 2020 nominees and a special award. Over the week they will be sharing videos, photos, and information on the NPD Saskatoon Facebook page to celebrate philanthropy in the community. The leadership group includes President: Jennifer Molloy, University of Saskatchewan; PresidentElect: Ashala Jacobsen, University of Saskatchewan; June/July 2020

Treasurer: DonnaLyn Thorsteinson, Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation; Secretary: Kathleen Crowther,DCG Philanthropic Services; Ethics: Jenny Plotzki, United Way of Saskatoon; NPD Luncheon Co-Chairs: Ashlyn Yablonski, STARS and Karen Linsley, Ronald McDonald House; and Membership: Catherine Lunn, Children's Wish Foundation. CONTACT VIA EMAIL (afpsaskatoon@gmail. com ) to learn more and get involved or visit the website at https://community.afpglobal. org/afpsksaskatoonchapter/home

AFP South Saskatchewan The chapter recently rebranded from AFP Regina to AFP South Saskatchewan to better reflect their constituency. They host education sessions and networking events each year. Chapter president Marc Butikofer says, “As we work to continue to grow our membership, I hope we can also grow philanthropy in our community and celebrate the donors and volunteers who make our world better every day.” Butikofer is the Director of Development, University of Regina. The Chapter will hold its 19th annual National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Awards celebration online, in mid November. Award recipients will be featured in a video series that celebrates fundraising, gift planning, and philanthropy in our communities. Nominations for individuals and groups which have gone above and beyond in the philanthropy, fund-raising or planned giving sectors are welcomed. https://community.afpglobal.org/ afpsouthsask/home FOUNDATION Magazine

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COMMENT

The Changing Art of DonorCentred Fundraising

D

onor-centred fundraising (DCF) is the dominant mode of thought and practice in the fundraising profession. But its core principles have been challenged by the rise of the new community-centric fundraising (CCF) movement — inspired by the ideas of American thought leader Vu Le — in what is becoming a clash of fundraising philosophies. While donor-centred fundraising aims to inspire donors by making them feel good about their giving, the CCF movement has argued that this has several negative outcomes, including that it marginalises and ‘others’ charity beneficiaries, perpetuates white saviourism and fuels systematic injustice. A new discussion paper published by the fundraising think tank Rogare analyses this clash of philosophies and explores whether there is enough common ground between the two approaches for an accord to be struck. Ian MacQuillin, Rogare’s director, says one of the defences of DCF is that CCF would be less effective at inspiring people to donate. But he says CCF’s criticisms are “not simply criticisms of how DCF works in practice, but a critique of the entire system of philanthropy, of which fundraising is a part.” He adds: “Rather than put itself forward as a challenger to DCF in how best to engage donors, CCF wants to radically change this system, and thus fundraising’s role within it. “The clash of community-centric vs donor-centred approaches is therefore not so much a clash of alternative fundraising approaches that can be settled by presenting argument, evidence and theory in support of one or the other, but a clash of ideologies about the purpose of philanthropy, and fundraising’s role within that.”

Many donor-centred fundraisers have not taken kindly to the criticisms levelled against them by the CCF movement. However, the Rogare paper argues that donor-centred fundraising needs to take on board these challenges and use them as an opportunity to “reinvent” itself in ways that connect donors to causes while being ethically conscious of the needs of all stakeholders.

incentive for donor-cenetred fundraising to reinvent itself.” Heather Hill, chair of Rogare’s board and a member of Rogare’s Fundraising Ethics Research Network, says: “These ideas help to both better define donor-centred fundraising and community-centric fundraising, as well as raise important questions that require critical thought from proponents on both sides. The philanthropic sector benefits from this healthy discussion and fundraisers on both sides should give consideration to how the two positions may co-exist and complement one another. “A significant part of understanding the positions is distinguishing fundraising practice from the current philanthropic system. It would follow that resolving the differences or otherwise finding a solution would involve an exploration of how DCF practice might fit with the CCF model in a revamped system, as well as how both might take steps to shift philanthropy from its current state.” Neil Gallaiford, chair of Rogare Associate Member Stephen Thomas Ltd in Canada says: “Some fundraisers might be tempted to think the challenges presented by the community-centric fundraising movement aren’t relevant to them, but the issues they raise cannot and should not be ignored by fundraisers who consider themselves to be donorcentred. This thought-provoking paper will help bring the issues to the fore while providing some common ground for healthy dialogue.”

“The issues they raise cannot and should not be ignored by fundraisers who consider themselves to be donor-centred.”

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June/July 2020

MacQuillin adds: “For many fundraisers being donor-centred is more than just the communications practice they use; it is their professional identity – they are donor-centred fundraisers. So the challenges presented by CCF are not a technical discussion about professional procedure; they are perceived as an assault on the core principles of the people who use those procedures, and go directly to the heart of how they see and define themselves. No wonder so many have reacted so defensively to the CCF movement. “However, there is sufficient common ground between the two philosophies to enable a dialectic that could result in new ethical and practical approaches to fundraising. “Rather than being an existential challenge to donor-centered fundraising that is sounding is death-knell, community-centric fundraising may actually provide the impetus and

THE NEW ROGARE Paper — The donor-centered baby and the community-centric bathwater: Is an accord possibly between the two philosophies — can be downloaded from the Rogare website. foundationmag.ca


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Foundation Magazine June/July 2020  

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