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: Derek Rumboldt-deLouché
Current role in the sector: Director of Resource Development and Member Services, The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and Immediate Past President and chair of the Every Member Campaign, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Ottawa Chapter
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: Twenty-six years.
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
Years ago the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Fundraising Conference was in Toronto. I had received the support of a foundation to be able to attend while writing my Certified Fundraising Executive Designation exam. Fundraising was only part of my job and I didn’t define myself as a fundraiser. I defined myself by my management position and being in a small shop we did everything and fundraising was mostly event based. Attending the conference overwhelmed me to be quite honest. I could not believe the amount of people who called themselves fundraisers and the variety in their jobs.
Describe your desk/workspace.
I can only describe my workspace as organized chaos. I have piles of files that I pick up and work on at different points of the day and often they have sticky notes on them so that I know why they are still open. On my wall are thank you cards, a few photos of our donors and volunteers, and an ear on a popsicle stick from Gail Perry that reminds me each time I’m on the phone to truly listen to the donor that I’m speaking with and hear what they are saying.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
Right now I’m reading some papers from Dr. Ashley Whillans of the Behavoiural Insight Group at the Harvard Kennedy School that look at motivations for optimal timing on thanks and the science of fundraising. A review of my Twitter account would also see me following a wide range of fundraisers from The Sponsorship Collective to The Whiny Donor and Beth Ann Locke. Each one gives me unique context that helps shape my work and a read on what others are talking about. Checking out my LinkedIn account you’ll find me following corporate leaders to watch for opportunities for partnerships.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
In Canada, growth in community needs, the demand for more services, the demand for ethical approaches to donors and the expansion of causes has led to a dramatic increase in individuals raising funds for charities across the country, especially since the 1990s. This is leading to a challenge with the public’s expectation which is still connected to historical assumptions in direct conflict with typical norms for business. Our sector has grown immensely with Association of Fundraising Professionals Canada, representing 3800 members across 20 chapters and we have to accelerate the conversation and challenge assumptions that keep us from paying for talent.
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