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UPDATE: AFP Canada Board

April 9, 2018

By Scott Decksheimer

A variety of AFP Canada Board projects are well underway, and we are looking for opportunities to keep all AFP Canada members up-to-date with achievements, and as well as ongoing progress reports. Here is an update on a few of the key current AFP Canada projects: 

Strategic Planning

A joint Strategic Planning Committee between the AFP Canada Foundation and the AFP Canada, chaired by Leah Eustace, ACFRE has been meeting regularly. The committee is using material from the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, the New Horizon’s Task Force and the AFP International Strategic Plan to guide the work being done.  Several Chapter leaders from across Canada are involved in this initiative.  Leah will be bringing forward questions for the Board and leadership volunteers at future meetings. The goal is to have a plan approved at AFP Leadership Academy in Toronto, October 11-13, 2018.

Diversity Statements and Vision

As part of the strategic planning process, the group was asked about AFP Canada’s adoption of AFP's new definition of diversity and associated recommendations.  It was suggested that the AFP Canada Board review this material for later adoption in AFP Canada.  The Board feels it is critical that AFP Canada operations align with those of AFP International, and will be reviewing the definition and recommendations later this year.

Governance Task Force – AFP International

As some of you may know, AFP international is in the process of changing its governance structure, including a reduction in Board size and a redistribution of seats, subject to Board and membership approval. If the changes are approved, the Chair of AFP Canada will have an allocated seat on the board of AFP International, along with the AFP Canada, US and Mexico Foundations, beginning in 2019.

VP Canada Hire

Key AFP staff and volunteers met with finalists for the position in early April and hope to have a final decision in the near future.

International Fundraising Summit

With the creation of AFP Canada, Canada now has a seat at the International Fundraising Summit. The Summit will be held in London, England in July. We are working on the agenda with an international team of volunteers.

Communications

Ken Mayhew is chair of the Communications Committee and is in the process of developing a calendar of activities, a strategic focus and a renewal of the committee membership. The Committee has a very broad mandate but is narrowing its focus for the year on a few strategic goals.  The chair of the AFP Canada Board  is frequently being called upon to serve as a spokesperson, commenting on everything from an article in The Walrus on donor privacy to the Oxfam scandal to the Colten Boushie story. We are looking at when it is appropriate for AFP Canada to respond to issues, as well as other communications issues.

Government Relations

As reported previously in eWire Canada, the 2017 Day in the Ridings initiative was an outstanding success with more than 70 face-to-face meetings held.  We saw very strong engagement from a majority of chapters, which was very encouraging. Many thanks to Dan Brunette, the chair of the Canadian Government Relations Committee, and all of the committee members for championing this initiative. We are also grateful to for the support of the Greater Toronto Chapter in developing documents that were critical in our visits. 

AFP was not asked to continue its role on the Canada Revenue Agency’s Technical Issues Working Group (TIWG) due to the group’s transition and new focus on issues of a very technical nature. I wrote to the Agency asking them to reconsider this decision. We have received a response suggesting that we will not be reconsidered for membership until two more years have passed.  Jason Lee, AFP’s general counsel and chief advocacy officer, and I will make a request to one of the current members (who is also a member of AFP) to act as our informal liaison to that committee.  Also, we have been asked by the TIWG lead at CRA to continue to provide information or request items to them during this period.

Revenue Development

A task group chaired by Ken Mayhew held a series of consultations with chapters and national leaders about funding priorities for AFP Canada and our chapters. We saw very strong support for AFP Canada serving as a nation-wide voice on issues related to ethics, public perceptions, and messaging and communications. Chapters understand that funds are needed to support that work, but they are also expecting more input into those types of strategic investments as well. The 2017 retreat in Ottawa created a lot of excitement about these kinds of issues, but not everyone was able to be there. In the future, a process for discussion and dissemination of issues will be more formalized. The results of the consultants were presented in a webinar, and those notes have been circulated to all Chapter leaders. 

AFP International Fundraising Conference Canada Meetings: 7:30 am, April 16

Though AFP Canada Board is not meeting formally, there is an AFP Canada/Government Relations/Canada Foundation meeting that occurs annually at these meetings for chapter leaders to attend.  This is an opportunity to provide a report to those attending and engage in strategic conversations about programs and opportunities for the future. If you will be in New Orleans, I encourage you to attend and, if your chapter is not there, please take the information back to your local or regional chapter leaders.