Strategies for meaningful giving, receiving and leading

NEWSLETTER | August 2014

Sharilyn Hale, MA, CFRE
Founder & Principal



"We all came into this world attached to someone else, and it is this connection to other beings that brings peace to the world. Without peace, there is no beauty."
- Dr. Roseann Runte

Our giving, fundraising and leading are most meaningful when we make them acts of connection and community for a greater purpose. This issue offers many wonderful examples. Enjoy,
- Sharilyn

BHS board members reflect on their fund development role

Whether board turnover, a planned change in strategic direction or launching a major fundraising initiative, leading-practice boards
see th
ese times as opportunities to advance their governance practices.


Such was the case at the Bermuda High School for Girls (BHS), a leading independent school in Bermuda. With a number of new board members and anticipating a future capital campaign, Head of School Linda Parker and Director of Advancement Jennifer Burland-Adamsengaged Watermark to work with the board to review its core governance responsibilities and explore the ways in which each board member could support the school's fund development program.

Building upon a vibrant tradition of philanthropy at the school and the board's commitment to diligent leadership, BHS is positioned for even greater success!

High-performing board
s know that good governance requires ongoing attention and focus. And sometimes, it requires some support. Let Watermark help.



We likely all have seen the impact of under-performing board members
or dysfunctional boards.
Effective board governance happens in a culture where high-performance is supported and measured, and this requires 
personal and collective responsibility. 

Watermark thanks 
nonprofit attorney Gene Takagi for highlighting these 12 reasons to resign from a non-profit board - so as to help, and not hinder, the organization advancing its mission:

1. You're serving on the board more for personal benefit than for public benefit. 


2. You have material financial interest in a transaction with the organization that would be damaging if known by the public.


3. The organization's values or activities are inconsistent with your personal values.

4. You are unable to support the organization when a board action is taken contrary to your vote.


Need strategic support for your philanthropy, fund development or board governance? 
Contact Watermark for details.

Watermark is delighted to be working with the 
WoodGreen Foundation on a capital campaign to create homes for Toronto seniors, in partnership with Andrea McManus of The Development Group. Did you know over 30% of those waiting in Toronto for a home they can afford are over age 55? As the largest non-municipal provider of housing in Canada, WoodGreen Community Services is tackling one of the most pressing social issues of our time. 



Bravo to the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation for engaging in game-changing work in Canada's north to protect the MacKenzie River Basin on behalf of all Canadians.

Greater potential for women's philanthropy in Canada
Sharilyn with (L-R)  Jo-Anne  Ryan, Vice President TDWaterhouse Philanthropic Advisory Services; and Dr. Roseann Runte, President and Vice Chancellor, Carleton University. 
TD Bank recently released
"Time, Treasure and Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy"a study which found that the outlook for women's giving in Canada is bright. Citing women's increasing economic participation and power, and their heightened influence over income and accumulated wealth, the study found that women do their due diligence before giving, are more likely to volunteer and to donate than men, and are keen to develop strong relationships with the causes they support.  

It was noted that, like the private sector, 

gender imbalance on non-profit boards 

remains a significant issue and barrier
greater investment by women. Further,
he study called on charities to do more to raise their profile with women and to prioritize relationship-building before solicitation which is considered leading-practice fundraising!

To explore and discuss the findings in more detail, Sharilyn participated in a panel discussion hosted by 

the Masters in Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership program 

at Carleton University. Moderated by study leader Keith
Sjogren of iNVESTOR ECONOMICS, the panel also
featured Jo-Anne Ryan of TD Waterhouse and Ottawa-based
Coralie Lalonde. 
View the engaging conversation here.
Coralie Lalonde proves trust is philanthropy's currency
Coralie Lalonde

For Ottawa-based entrepreneur, 

Coralie Lalonde, philanthropy has been a tremendous learning experience. Generous with her time and finances to organizations ranging from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to Junior Achievement and the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuaryshe has committed her life to making a difference



Finding success as an entrepreneur, and now an angel investor in high tech start-ups, Coralie's approach to philanthropy mirrored her initial corporate investment strategy. She conducted extensive research and analysis, identified clear outcomes and expectations, and initiated complex agreements to protect her investments.  


Yet as she matured as an investor, she also evolved as a donor. Coralie relates, "one day I realized I couldn't be an expert on every topic and the best way to protect myself as an investor was to align myself with people I trust and who have a shared purpose and vision. That's where I was getting the greatest results. It made sense to apply the same approach to my giving." Now a strident believer in unrestricted donations given to select causes she is close to, she instructs her trusted recipients to use the resources where they are needed most.  


Coralie, thanks for reminding us that the currency of philanthropy is not money, but trust.   

The Power of Diaspora Fundraising

Canada's cultural diversity makes for a rich philanthropic tapestry, which benefits organizations in Canada as well as good causes abroad. For example, the Barbados Ball Canada Aid (BBCAhosts an annual fundraising cultural evening and dinner in Toronto supported by Barbadian nationals living in Canada and a large network of friends of the island.*  



According to Board President Steve Kirton, since its inception 

and through countless volunteer hours, the BBCA has raised over $250,000 - no small sum. These funds have been invested in university scholarships for Barbadian youth, purchases of critical medical equipment for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados and Caribbean paediatric cancer initiative of SickKids Hospital.  

The Barbados Ball demonstrates the important impact diaspora communities can have on both their native and adopted homes. In fact, charities in Canada and abroad are increasingly looking to develop strategies to reach and engage their diaspora communities.    


In an effort to support charities to be more inclusive in their fundraising practices, the AFP Inclusive Giving project has explored diversity in philanthropy, including in a number of ethno-cultural communities. Check out their library of presentations, resources and tools, including Sharilyn speaking about Caribbean & African philanthropy.

*Special thanks to Steve Stoute and Erskine Simmonds of the Barbados Olympic Association for their generosity to Sharilyn and to the Barbados Ball.


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