Summit Sessions

FUEL YOUR IMAGINATION AND YOUR PRACTICE at this year's summit! We are proud to offer this full day of professional development that will challenge and invigorate all levels of fundraisers, friends and colleagues. In addition to luncheon keynote speakers Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. Severn Cullis-Suzuki, our exceptional session presenters will invite you to explore new ways to revitalize your philanthropic practices. Programming will stream into three topics which promise to inspire: imagination, activism, and engaging capital with technology. Join us on November 16, 2017 as we ignite new thinking to address the issues impacting philanthropy and our world.

Conference Summit Track and Participants

Stop thinking the way you should and start making extraordinary things happen! As individuals, as organizations, as leaders, we must find new ways to embrace the changes that are happening in the world and the impact they are having on our work, our perspectives, and our behaviors. The timing couldn’t be better. Despite the rise in political polarization, we are witnessing a public that is more engaged than ever before, and more capable of collecting and sharing information with a wider audience than at any point in our history. Here’s the catch — we don’t get to decide whether we want a new society. The changes underway can’t be rolled back, nor can they be contained.  But we do get to decide what kind of society we want to live in, what types of solutions we want to pursue, and how we want to function as individuals and as leaders.  That’s a lot of power.  Typically we prioritize issues that seem pressing now and give little to no thought to the long-term future.  Instead, we should consider this an invitation to think really big and far into the future – to put our imagination to work and come up with totally new and radically different concepts for the kind of world we want to create. This is where imagination comes into play.

Managing Director
little m media
Central City Foundation
Director, BC Office
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Executive Director
Battered Women's Support Services
Deputy Director
David Suzuki Foundation

In Canada, there is a greater number of charities each year approaching an ever changing and diverse corporate sector. One of the greatest challenges for both novice and experienced fundraisers is developing and enhancing professional relationships with corporate donors in this very competitive and dynamic environment.  This session will review these challenges and provide perspectives from both the charitable and corporate sectors. The first speaker has extensive experience overseeing charitable giving at one of Canada's largest financial institutions. The second presenter is a senior fundraiser and consultant who has headed fundraising efforts for national and international charities with a focus on major gifts. Key elements such as proper research, appropriate communication, effective proposals and meaningful follow-up will be covered.

Strategic Fundraising Consultant
Grant Monck Consulting
Director, Corporate Donations

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world.  

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is an Earth Charter Commissioner and Council Member, host of the APTN TV series ‘Samaqan: Water Stories’ and Vice Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation.  A longtime activist for the future, Severn and friends started the Environmental Children's Organization at nine years old.  This culminated in a speech to the UN at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 when she was twelve. Severn is proud of her work on the Earth Charter Commission ( and has continued engaging with UN Earth Summits – bringing the 'Recognition of Responsibility' pledge to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002, and returning to Rio +20 as a Champion for the Canadian Earth Summit Initiative WE CANada in 2012. 


Everyone who wants to change the world eventually has to raise money. You may not like asking for money, but you do it because you care. This workshop will help you to become both a more effective activist and a better fundraiser. You’ll discover: successful strategies and tactics that any kind of organization can use. All from an expert who has 40 years of experience of campaigning for causes and raising hundreds of millions of dollars. You’ll learn 7 Essentials to successful campaign fundraising and hear about a multi-award winning campaign Harvey led against Stephen Harper.

Harvey McKinnon Associates

2:15pm to 2:45pm - Young People in the Community Index, Terri Williams, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotiabank

Economic growth, inequality and poverty are ever present concerns around the world. Young people, in particular, are keenly affected and are often hit hardest by a lack of jobs or access to education and healthcare; all of which can seriously impact them and the communities where they live. You only have to look within your own community to see how some young people are struggling today.  Scotiabank developed an Index (Scotiabank Young People in the Community (YPC) Index) which pools together publically available data from around the world to help us understand the current state of youth in North and South America. From a Bank perspective, we see the YPC Index as a guide to help us identify where needs may be greatest. However, the YPC Index is also a tool to help bring practitioners together to improve or create policies that relate to young people, identify gaps in available data, or simply pin-point problem areas and benchmark progress going forward. The Index presents a fact-based, hard look at the health and education issues facing young people, and takes subjectivity out of the equation. Currently there are 19 indicators, with a focus on 30 countries in North, South and Central America which we will track over time.  Our hope is that, together, we can close the gaps on reliable data, and, make a greater impact on the health and education of young people in our communities.

2:45pm to 3:15pm - The Future of Donations - Is Cash History, Daniel Mitchell, Vice President of Business Development, IATS Payments

A wave of innovation is driving a dramatic shift in the way donors make payments and non-profits get donations. In this session, we will highlight the most important trends fueling these changes: market growth in the charity sector, the rise of online giving, the increased popularity of mobile wallets and payment apps, and the decline of cash and checks transactions. We will show how transactional flexibility is the future of payments and what it means for charities.  

Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility
IATS Payments

What? How did this happen? I can’t be the only one. They didn’t prepare me. There is too much. Maybe I should do something else. But my organization needs me… Whether real or perceived, fundraisers typically operate with a pretty broad perspective of their organization – one that contributes to success in raising support but also builds a burden in being able to move forward with ease. How do we help ourselves when so much is needed to help others? Participants will explore their current mindset along with activities to reignite their individual passions for fundraising.

Senior Director of Major Gifts
BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Fdn

Are you curious about whether you “have what it takes” to become a leader? It is time to talk about what leadership success looks and feels like, so that we can begin to focus on developing these skills and successfully transition from fundraising superstars, to inspiring leaders. This session will explore the attributes of “inspiring leadership” and the specific strategies, skills and behaviours that inspiring leaders need to cultivate to create high performing teams, attract more donors and achieve the organizational mission. Based on the work of authors Simon Sinek; Leaders Eat Last, Betsy Myers; Take the Lead, and Judith Glaser; Conversational Intelligence®,this session will educate and inspire participants to create an action plan that will support their transition to leadership roles.

Inspired Results Group