150 Profiles: Paul Nazareth

As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.

Name: Paul Nazareth

Current role in the sector:

Vice President, Community Engagement, CanadaHelps

National Instructor, Canadian Association of Gift Planners

Adjunct Professor, Planned Giving. Fundraising and Resource Development Program, Georgian College

Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector:  17 years working, 30 years volunteering

Can you describe a defining moment in your career working/volunteering in the non-profit sector?

Working with donors, engaging staff and stakeholders to believe in not just the idea of fundraising but the power of philanthropy is a big part of the intellectual fulfillment of my career. But it is my teaching roles that took things to the next level. I get to teach planned and strategic giving through a college program virtually (my students span the country including remote regions of Canada) and in-person with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners across the country. Having the ability to further the ideas of legacy giving, the tactics that are employed to empower donors and to see the impact on great charities across Canada – this has transformed my entire life.

Describe your desk/workspace.

I was born in a cubicle. I say this a lot. Even though I’m still on the younger side of the profession, I was truly an office dweller for most of my life. Not being in a suit, not being surrounded by four walls, created anxiety as my career evolved. Now, my desk? My desk is Canada. With my role at CanadaHelps I visit thousands of charities a year, from coast to coast to coast. Being mobile and on my feet is when I’m at my best. My actual desk in the office is an umbilical cord, no longer needed. Something I’m trying, in time, to get rid of.  The desktop of the future will be our phone.

What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?

Ok, this is not a plug, but in the past year The Philanthropist has been a key part of opening my eyes to the role the social profit sector is going to play in Canada’s true reconciliation with its First Peoples. Born and raised around Toronto, I didn’t get a lot of perspective on this growing up, and the series on Indigenous Communities and Philanthropy, a collaboration with The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada has been powerfully insightful.

I am also a digital media enthusiast and I believe strongly in the intellectual value of the online world of content, connectedness and communication. Following thought leaders in the sector from all across Canada via Twitter (and being able to talk to them 24/7 like they are in the room with me) has been helpful. Also, listening to podcasts daily is a huge help as I try to evolve my capacity to make change.

What matters to you that you think our sector needs to be thinking about?

People know me as one of the biggest promoters of  planned giving in the charity sector. I believe that in some ways “leaving a legacy” is an act that is the ultimate culmination of what philanthropy is all about. Every life has a legacy, every Canadian has a story to tell, values to champion and an idea they want to see change the world. We as a sector get wrapped up in OUR mission. Why our charity exists when in fact we have a chance to partner with our donors, with Canadians, to be the platform for their hopes, dreams and ideas.

As we celebrate 150 years of Canada, I would like to see fundraising become less about tactics and gimmicks and more about the merging of mission and personal legacy.

Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at philanthropistprofiles@gmail.com


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