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

WATERMARK | August 2015

Sharilyn Hale, MA, CFRE
Founder & Principal

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
- Harry S. Truman

For those of us who've been involved in the philanthropic sector for any length of time it may seem easy to get by with what we already know.  But really, our education has only begun.  I hope this 'back to school' issue inspires you to engage in learning that counts.  Sharpen your pencils!
- Sharilyn

Take a MOOC at the Philanthropy University
Starting September 28 th you can take MOOC's - a.k.a. massive open online courses - at the Philanthropy University for free.

Philanthropy University Logo

Delivered through an online learning platform, featured courses range from fundraising and non-profit strategy to social entrepreneurship and scaling impact.  Courses are taught by leading educators (from Harvard, Cornell and Berkeley), practitioners and philanthropists (have you heard of Kiva or the Hewlett Foundation?). At the end you even get a completion certificate.    
The goal of this new and first-of-its-kind initiative is to help people working for good to change the world. By removing the barriers of cost and geography, I think they're on to something.
Vijay's Heart for Giving

Vijay Kanwar
Vijay Kanwar

"Sharilyn is a trustworthy and effective philanthropic guide." 
Vijay Kanwar came to Canada in 1985 from India with $80 in his pocket. Today he is President and CFO of his firm KMH, the largest provider of nuclear cardiology services in North America. 

Award winning business success, public service (he is Immediate Past Chair of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority) and academic achievement have gone hand in hand with his sincere commitment to give back to his adopted country.  

His philanthropic leadership has been extensive and informed by his deeply held values, with particular passion for education, health and advancing scientific discovery, mentoring and empowering youth through sports and recreation.  

From giving $5 million to expand the hospital in his community - and raising millions more for numerous causes - to serving on boards ranging from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's Team UP Foundation, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, York University, The Royal Ontario Museum Governors and Canada's National Ballet School, Vijay has a heart for giving that makes a difference to others.  

Thanks Vijay for all the ways you have made Canada better through your philanthropy and leadership.

Interested in the history of philanthropy? 
HistPhil is a new web publication on the history of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.  It brings together scholars, foundation leaders and philanthropists in shared dialogue, with a particular emphasis on how history can shed light on contemporary philanthropic issues and practice.  Visit HistPhil and follow them at @HistPhil.  
  • Next generation family philanthropy
  • The new Canada Social Report

Check out 
past issues here.

Contact Sharilyn today to raise more money, give with purpose and lead effectively.

Client Kudos
The Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), in partnership with the Commonwealth Foundation, recently hosted in Guyana NGO executives from across the Caribbean to deepen the skills needed to strengthen the sector. As the guest facilitator, Sharilyn highlighted the case made by Stid & Bradach (2009) that organizations within the nonprofit sector are commonly well led but poorly managed - do you agree?  Together, Sharilyn and these engaged and committed leaders explored issues of leadership and management in their work.   
CPDC Executive Director, Shantal Munro Knight said,  "Sharilyn gave us a powerful opportunity to consider the importance of both leadership and management skills in building strong organizations and growing as nonprofit leaders."


Food for the Poor (Canada) Investing in  
Good Governance and Fund Development Planning 
Watermark is delighted to be working with Food for the Poor (Canada) providing board governance services and fund development planning.  FFPC supports community development initiatives - primarily in Jamaica and Haiti - ranging from building new schools and health clinics to providing needed educational supplies and medicines.  They are part of the Food for the Poor network (headquartered in Miami) which jointly contributes close to $1 billion in communities across the Caribbean and Latin America. 

Learn more - and help build a well in Haiti - by attending their annual celebration luncheon in Toronto on October 25th.
Sharilyn joins Fundraising Faculty at Humber College
This Fall Sharilyn will join Mark Blumberg, LLM, and Valerie Campbell to co-teach Legal and Ethical Issues in Fundraising in the Fundraising Management Program at Humber College   For 15 years, Humber's program has trained and prepared hundreds of people for the fundraising field.  

Need a skilled intern? The Humber program requires students complete a fundraising internship and many charities in Toronto have benefited from the knowledge and creativity these students offer. For details contact Program Director Denny Young, MA., CFRE at  
Preparing Board Members for Governance Excellence
If your board is struggling to be effective, is a lack of board member orientation and training to blame? Volunteers who serve on nonprofit boards are often not prepared to fulfill their governance duties which negatively impacts the performance of their organizations. What can you do?

Proactively orient new volunteers and commit to ongoing board education, on two levels. First, basic governance roles and responsibilities - and don't assume past board service or an impressive title make this unnecessary. Second, the organization's mission, values, culture, structure, history and future vision, not to mention constituent needs and interests.  

Here are 8 tips to ensure your board members are ready to govern well:
  1. Invest in board governance training. If cost is a barrier, partner with another organization.
  2. Assess board composition to ensure you have at least one volunteer with formal board governance expertise.
  3. Launch a mentoring program matching new board members with experienced, longer serving volunteers.
  4. Ensure all board members have easy access to key documents such as bylaws, policies, financials, strategic and operational plans, etc. 
  5. Begin each board meeting with a "mission moment" to highlight an aspect of the work. 
  6. Offer tours of organizational programs and facilities, and meet beneficiaries.
  7. Have board members make thank-you calls to donors and hear what motivates them to give.
  8. Check-in with new board members regularly to answer their questions and address concerns.  
Contact Sharilyn to ask about board governance training, assessments and board building strategies, or to receive a FREE pdf copy of " Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards" (Ingram, 2015) published by BoardSource. 
Would you know a charity if it hit you in the face?
A charity was here 
Check out Imagine Canada's "A Charity was Here" campaign.  It emerged from a national contest, in partnership with the Muttart Foundation, among post-secondary students to create public awareness campaigns about the contribution of charities.  You can download the campaign's media kit here

Sharilyn is an Imagine Canada volunteer and congratulates them for helping remind Canadians of the irreplaceable contributions of the nonprofit sector to our quality of life.  
Go 'Back to School' this Fall with these professional learning opportunities

Sharilyn teaching a classSeptember 16th 
Imagine Canada
September 28 th
Philanthropy University
October 20 th - 21 st
Seizing Opportunities conference
Ontario Nonprofit Network
Philanthropic Foundations Canada
Philanthropic Foundations Canada
November 23 rd - 25 th
Invest in the Possibilities congress
Association of Fundraising Professionals