Highlights from the CanadaHelps Charity Roadshow in Ottawa and Montréal

February 4, 2020

Another two stops are now in the books for our CanadaHelps Charity Roadshow! And what a trip it was.

Back in August, three members of the CanadaHelps team flew out to unite with our Western Canada Charity Engagement Lead, Tamara Rahmani, and visited friends in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton back-to-back-to-back. Last week, on January 29th and 30th, we only had two stops, but had just as much fun!

This time around, we had a bigger crew and we were also lucky to have our leader and CEO, Marina Glogovac, along for the ride.

January 29th – Touchdown in Ottawa

We touched down in the nation’s capital in the morning, and had a quick lunch before heading over to the beautiful Museum of Nature to host almost 200 of our Ottawa peers.

Before starting the event in Ottawa, I had the opportunity to chat with a few of our attendees.  I was struck by the passion and conviction in each voice as they shared their mission and work. Every day, I am grateful to be in a position to support all of these amazing people, charities, and their work—but to be in the presence of so many more at the roadshow gave me an immense feeling of gratitude!

The presentation kicked off with sharing the story of CanadaHelps—a story of success that could have only been made possible by the help and trust of charities. After that, it was time for the real stars of the roadshow: our guest panelists! We had a great panel of sector experts who offered everyone insights, opportunities, and even issued some challenges. The panel was facilitated by our Eastern Canada Charity Engagement Lead, Laura Dempsey. When we wrapped up, we all settled in together for a well-deserved glass of wine! As we learned in the 2019 summer roadshow, there is never enough time to stop and rest! After enjoying dinner together that Wednesday evening, the team went to bed, and woke up bright and early the next day to hit the road once again.

Ottawa CanadaHelps Charity Roadshow panelists.
Our guest panelists in Ottawa, sharing insights and experiences from the sector (left to right): Richard Morgan (Humanitarian Coalition), Ruth MacKenzie (CAGP), and Hannah McGechie
(Ten Oaks Project).

January 30th – Next stop: Montréal

We all piled into a van, hopped on the highway, and made our way to Montréal.

After some classic road trip games (Two Truths and a Lie, anyone?) and an almost infinite loop of one-way streets to find parking, we arrived at our destination. We had a quick lunch before setting up for the presentation at another absolutely beautiful venue, Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ).

Once again before getting started, I had the opportunity to circulate the room and speak with about a dozen attendees. This time, I was surprised by how many people left work early to attend this event so that they could bring something back to the organizations they volunteered with! This was truly special.

Our team was very excited and happy for the opportunity to connect with our Québec charity friends. We were also grateful to have our bilingual CanadaHelps Charity Marketing Manager (and Montréal native), Niral Vora, join us to facilitate the panel. The Montréal panel featured another star-studded cast that provided plenty of practical advice for everyone to bring back into our organizations.

Specifically, two themes that consistently emerged in our Montréal roadshow were around: 1. storytelling and impact, and 2. leveragi­ng data. Storytelling speaks to the heart and the psychology of the donor, while impact speaks to the rational mind. A balance of both is needed in order to continue keeping supporters engaged. At the same time, we can’t speak to all supporters in the same way; leveraging data allows us to speak with supporters in the context of our relationships and previous interactions with them. A Donor Management System (DMS) makes managing and leveraging this data much easier!

Montreal Charity Roadshow panelists.
Montréal panelists sharing valuable sector knowledge with charities (left to right): Lys Hugessen (GIV3 Foundation), Bonnie Soutar (The Depot Community Food Centre), and Kim Fuller (Phil).

When travelling throughout the country, a consistent theme I hear is that folks do not have a system that works for them. Whether they are too expensive, too complex, or both, there is pain there. That is why we were so excited to announce our upcoming CanadaHelps DMS at the roadshow. More information is to come, but we are looking forward to this product and we believe it has the potential to transform the sector. Stay tuned!

Also, stay tuned for our next roadshow stops!  Where to next? Leave a comment below to bring us to a city or town near you.

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