“Be prepared to work hard, meet tight deadlines, and learn constantly from intelligent, generous people.”
What is your educational background and work experience?
I have a BSc from McGill University and a Marketing Management Certificate from Ryerson University. I am an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) with the International Association of Business Communicators and I’m Accredited in Public Relations (APR) with the Canadian Public Relations Society. Following graduation, I worked for several years in marketing and public relations for a corporation, a marketing board, professional service firm and a marketing agency. I then started my own communications consulting practice. For 20 years I’ve been helping businesses, professional service firms and non-profits build awareness, credibility and influence.
Believing that a strong non-profit sector is important for healthy communities, I’ve also worked with many non-profits as a volunteer. Prior to my Endeavour project, I was a communications volunteer with Mary Centre, which supports individuals with developmental challenges; a board member of The Dorothy Ley Hospice; and public relations counsel for the Toronto chapter of Parkinson Society Canada. I’ve also been a literacy tutor for the LAMP Community Health Centre; a reader/visitor for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind; and I co-chaired the public relations committee of the Toronto branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Why did you choose to volunteer with Endeavour?
I was ready for a new volunteer experience and was attracted to Endeavour’s model and project time frame. I also wanted to work with and learn from new people
Please describe the project that you worked on.
My intelligent, hard working and committed team helped the Kinsa (Kids’ Internet Safety) Foundation develop a guide to achieving sustainable financial support through effective fundraising communications. We conducted extensive research, including interviews with external and internal stakeholders, and presented our findings and recommendations in the guide. It was well received by the CEO and chairman of the board and they subsequently adopted most of the guide’s recommendations.
What was your role on the volunteer project and what are some of the activities that you performed?
As the Engagement Manager, my responsibilities included developing a high performance team, meeting Kinsa’s expectations and Endeavour’s requirements.
Our project encompassed the following components:
- Conducted an assessment of Kinsa and its fundraising and communication activities to identify obstacles and opportunities; this involved reviewing internal documents, communication and fundraising materials and conducting eight personal and phone interviews with the Kinsa CEO, staff and board members
- Conducted seven phone/personal interviews with Kinsa funders and prospects to identify opinions regarding Kinsa’s fundraising communications
- Identified fundraising communication best practices by conducting Internet research of other organizations working in the field of child protection and interviewing two fundraising professionals
- Analyzed results, developed recommendations and integrated these into a practical guide for Kinsa’s staff and volunteers
I was also responsible for ensuring that we met Endeavour’s requirements for progress reports and regular team presentations and reviews.
How has volunteering with Endeavour helped you personally and professionally?
I learned new collaborative tools and techniques and was energized by the ambitious, dedicated Endeavour volunteers I worked with.
Any advice for future Endeavour volunteers?
Be prepared to work hard, meet tight deadlines, and learn constantly from intelligent, generous people.