Articles for Boards


Letter from Carol Bezaire

Welcome to the FOURTH issue of Mackenzie Strategic Philanthropy. This edition deals with effective fundraising strategies for galas – those special events with a price that your audience considers to be a “big ticket.” They can be pretty…

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Stats and facts

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Galas: a blessing or a bust?

Are galas a great way to schmooze with some key donors, attract new potential supporters, announce transformational gifts and celebrate your mission accomplishments? Or are they over-the-top time-suckers luring you into a vortex of ever-growing expense and glitzy competition with more…

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That pesky ROI

When the Association of Fundraising Professionals surveyed its members for its 2014 Special Events Report, an astonishing 21 per cent said they didn’t know the cost per dollar raised on their galas. A further 26 per cent just didn’t answer the question. Did they…

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Make your mission the main attraction

The logistics of a gala can be overwhelming for staff and volunteers. The venue, the decor the theme, the ticket sales, the flowers, the entertainment, the program, the silen auction, the balloon pop, the raffles, the press coverage…

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Galas for millenials: lose the word, not the concept

“Clearly, the era of flashy and formal black-tie fundraisers . . . is over. Today, organizers are appealing to a younger generation with fundraisers that feel more spontaneous and laid-back, such as salon-style events in private homes.” So says The Globe…

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The fading gala: Fix it or retire it altogether?

Is your gala in trouble? Perhaps it’s bringing in less money than it did a few years ago. Long-time sponsors are reducing their involvement or pulling out altogether. Guests who have attended for years are voting with their feet and their…

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A next-generation organizer shares his tips

Times certainly have changed in the last decade when it comes to charity galas. It seems like every charity – big and small – now has some form of gala, and for good reason. Done properly, galas can be a…

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Letter from Carol Bezaire

Welcome to the THIRD issue of Mackenzie Strategic Philanthropy. I am honoured to assume the stewardship of this publication as a result of my colleague, Brad Offman, departing Mackenzie Investments. I have great respect and gratitude for Brad’s…

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How Canada’s Largest Foundation Invests for Impact

Over the past decade, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an Ontario government funded agency, has granted more than $1 billion to nonprofit organizations across Ontario. Over the next decade, OTF will invest another $1 billion. Those numbers make OTF the largest granting…

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