Helping you raise more money, give with purpose and lead effectively.

WATERMARK | December 2015

Sharilyn Hale, MA, CFRE
Founder & Principal

"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others.  Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
- Bob Hope

Philanthropy is love for others.  Whatever your holiday tradition, love well - this season, and always. 
Happy holidays,     
- Sharilyn

Effective multi-generational family philanthropy

It's common for families to struggle with crafting a strategic approach to their philanthropy that engages and meets the needs and interests of everyone in the family. Generational differences, divergent values, blended relationships and perceptions about expectations and goals all play a role. 
Sharilyn helps families navigate these challenges. She is certified with New York based  21/64 Foundation, seeded by the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies to encourage next-generation and multi-generational philanthropy. 
Contact Sharilyn to confidentially explore your engagement needs.   
Are you an award-winning employer?

In the nonprofit sector, a high performing workforce and productive workplace culture is a mission issue and a donor stewardship concern. 
Your NECA application provides you with a summary report rating 10 key areas, and a more detailed benchmarking report is also available.  How is your organization doing? 

Resources to make  your work easier!

This initiative of the Caledon Institute is a major open source portal for social information, to provide an evidence base for social policy discussion and informed policy solutions.

By legacy-guru (and my dear friend and colleague) UK-based Richard Radcliffe and Hillborn's Lisa MacDonald, on why now is the most important watershed in legacy giving any generation will ever experience.

This year's annual insight into the nature of generosity across the globe, and how we can encourage more people to give to help others and strengthen society.

How effective is your fundraising?

The 2015 Fundraising Effectiveness Project reports two striking statistics that should alarm every charity.  First, for every $100 gained in fundraising revenue there was a loss of $95 through gift attrition. Second, for every 100 new donors gained 103 donors were lost through attrition resulting in a net loss of -3%.        
The annual initiative, launched in 2006, uses a survey and database analysis to research fundraising performance across North America which helps charities measure, compare and maximize annual growth in giving.
Looking at both fundraising gains AND losses, the compiled data offers insight beyond the "bottom line" most organizations and boards are concerned with. This year, it shows we're not doing a very good job retaining our donors and their gifts. 
It costs less to retain and inspire a donor than to attract a new one - focusing on strategies to keep your donors are the least expensive and most effective way to increase your net fundraising results.
Need some ideas? Contact Sharilyn to ramp up your donor stewardship.   

  • Philanthropy in the sun
  • Building your organization's philanthropic culture
  • What "money messages"
    do you carry?
Check out  past issues here.

A hearty THANK YOU from Watermark...
As 2015 draws to a close, Watermark is delighted to acknowledge all the capable staff, dedicated board volunteers and generous philanthropists Sharilyn enjoyed serving this year, including these terrific organizations:     
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals (Bermuda)
  • Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
  • Canadian Roots Exchange
  • Caribbean Policy Development Centre
  • Food For The Poor Canada
  • Humber College (Fundraising Management program)
  • Massey Centre for Women
  • My Class Needs Foundation
  • Nightwood Theatre
  • The Stop Community Food Centre
  • WindReach (Bermuda)
  • WoodGreen Foundation 
Cisco's Willa Black bridges northern digital divide 

Willa Black gives with purpose.  A philanthropist and tenacious volunteer, Willa's leadership extends well beyond her role as Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Cisco Canada. 

Combining her passion for Canada's north, a love for children, and Cisco technology, Willa spearheaded and leads the Connected North Program to increase healthcare and educational capacity in remote and underserved Aboriginal communities across northern Canada.  She was recently honoured for building bridges between Aboriginal people and Canadian business by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

Sharilyn has had the privilege of working with Willa and is delighted to recognize her commitment to making the world better for others.  Learn more about Willa and the Connected North program.

Want to achieve Imagine Canada accreditation? Watermark can help.  

A long-time supporter of voluntary standards within the nonprofit sector, Sharilyn regularly helps Canadian clients meet the standards outlined in Imagine Canada's Standards & Accreditation program.  In fact, all Watermark engagements integrate the program standards as a way to build the capacity of the organization and pave the way for future accreditation, should the charity choose. 
A past Chair and reviewer on Peer Review Panels, Sharilyn will participate as an instructor for  Imagine Canada's Advanced Standards Program Coach Certificate, a learning opportunity for those who help support the development of Canadian charities to be held on February 3-4, 2016.  She will join:      
Susan Manwaring | Partner, Miller Thomson LLP
Don McCreesh | President, Garnet Group Inc.
Paula Speevak | President & CEO, Volunteer Canada
Martha J. Tory | Partner (retired), Ernst & Young LLP
Dr. Susan Phillips | Professor, School of Public Policy
   & Administration, Carleton University
Cathy Barr, PhD | Senior Vice President, Imagine Canada
Contact Watermark to assist you with the five modules of the Standards program: 
1.      Board Governance

2.     Financial Accountability & Transparency

3.     Fundraising

4.     Staff Management

5.     Volunteer Involvement

Exploring Governance and Fundraising @
Columbia University

Sharilyn thanks  Professor Valerio Melandri and the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs for welcoming her as a guest to talk about board governance and fundraising. The future is bright if their inspiring and engaged student leaders from across the globe (including Brazil, India, Libya, Italy, US and UK) are any indication!  

Humber fundraising students gain governance insights from experts

Sharilyn serves as Adjunct Faculty at Humber College where she was recently joined by sector leaders for a discussion on board governance and its relationship to fundraising, as part of the Fundraising Management program.  Students learned about skillfully harnessing the opportunities and navigating the challenges of working with boards and volunteers, to grow philanthropy together.  

Rachel Gray, CEO, The Stop Community Food Centre; Mide Akerewusi, Director of Leadership Philanthropy, Pathways to Education; and
Ken Mayhew, CEO William Osler Health System Foundation.


"Mission Possible: Improving the relationship between hospital foundation and operating boards"
Sharilyn Hale with Dina Palozzi | 
Governance Centre of Excellence, Ontario Hospital Association

Would your organization benefit from external 
and objective board governance support?
Sharilyn works with boards,
board chairs and CEO's on governance issues from the
difficult to the delicate.

Have a no-obligation conversation 
with  Sharilyn today.