150 Profiles: Mark Aikman

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: Mark Aikman

Current role in the sector: Director of Development and Communications at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Mark Aikman profile picture

What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?

My first (real) job in the sector was as an associate producer at Crow’s Theatre–back in the day before it had a theatre, just an office in a basement. My defining moment? It keeps changing, but getting to work at Buddies was a dream come true.

Describe your desk/workspace.

I have a large standing desk that I suspect is a re-purposed Ikea kitchen table. There’s about 40 post-it note reminders, a to-do list, a phone, and a computer, but most of the real estate is taken up by my dog who comes to work every day and has claimed my desk as nap space. This means that my desk is surrounded by hanging folders, and chalkboards, and white boards that keep track of the couple dozen projects we’ve got on the go at any given time. Oh, and I still have a rolodex.

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

I like to keep up with Intermission Magazine to keep up with the theatre community here in Toronto. The Freakonomics podcast, while not exactly about the non-profit sector, is where I usually find my best inspiration.

What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?

I think, and this is may be specific to the arts, that we need to be looking outside of our sector more. The theories and best practices coming from the private sector are usually ahead of us just because they have the time and resources to invest in figuring them out.

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

Mark Aikman is Director of Development and Communications at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.