Innovative fundraising and use of resources key for BC charities to thrive in challenging economic environment

Victoria hosts Scotiabank Philanthropic Advisory Forum offering over 40 registered charities strategies to build donor base, organizational efficiency and creativity

VICTORIA, May 27, 2011 /CNW/ - In an economic environment that continues to be challenging, the charitable sector must look to innovative and creative solutions to sustain and grow donor contributions.  This was the message given to more than 40 charities and foundations attending the third annual Scotiabank Philanthropic Advisory Forum held today in Victoria.

The Scotiabank Philanthropic Advisory Forum brings charities together from a number of service areas to talk about current issues facing the sector and share best practices and solutions.

"We've been offering the Scotiabank Philanthropy Forum in Vancouver for two years and it's a pleasure to again create the opportunity for charities to come together and share ideas and innovations that make the sector stronger," said David Poole, Scotiabank Senior Vice President, BC and Yukon Region. "Our first event in Victoria was very successful and we thank all participants. This series is complementary to Scotiabank's Bright Future program where we provide direct funding support to charities in Canada and around the world."

Three philanthropic experts led the Forum and provided insights into philanthropic trends, the current charitable giving environment in B.C. and financial tools to build organizational success. This is the first time that this event has been held in Victoria.

Nationally-known philanthropic advisor, Malcolm Burrows, Head of Philanthropic Advisory Services for Scotia Private Client Group, noted that while it has been a difficult environment for maintaining donation levels, charitable organizations focused on innovative solutions and really knowing their donor base are faring well.

"Charities are facing a tough operating environment, with donations reporting record declines since 2008," said Mr. Burrows. "Charitable organizations responding with innovative solutions through fundraising, social enterprise, and community building are finding they can not only survive but turn challenges into opportunities.

In addition to Mr. Burrows, Carolyn Fast, Executive Director, Victoria Women's Transition Hose Society and Dzaray Bisanz, Manager of Western Canada Commercial Cash Management for Global Transaction Banking at Scotiabank, provided practical strategies and tools to help charities maximize gift-giving opportunities and operational efficiency. Specific tips offered at the Forum included:

  • Identifying the right cash management strategy for the charity's size and scope
  • Focusing on the right fundraising program for the charity's age and stage
  • Understanding the transactional risks that can challenge a charities cash flow
  • Leveraging resources by working with a variety of funders
  • Implementing policies to protect and preserve funds
  • Taking a proactive approach to cash and treasury management
  • Understanding new regulatory rules

"Knowing that your organization is equipped to maximize donations through operational efficiency is of critical importance to any charitable organization", said Ms. Bisanz. "Donors are increasingly looking for accountability and efficiency on the part of charitable organizations they support."

Attendees were also encouraged to adopt a creative approach to the management of charitable gifts.

"It is increasingly important for agencies, large or small, to build relationships with donors, not just to raise funds, but often to leverage skills and know-how to build a dream project.  Sometimes a little creative negotiation can help make the gift even more wonderful and more suited to the needs and opportunities the agency has," said Ms. Fast. "I can't emphasize enough the importance of being creative, and sourcing needed skills and abilities through donors, trustees and community partners."

Mr. Burrows also encouraged organizations to focus on innovative solutions and identified several areas of focus for fundraisers in the current environment:

  1. Bequests: While charitable organizations have seen a significant decline in donations over the past two years, bequests are increasing, making planned giving an important area of focus for charitable organizations.

  2. Build Donor Base: Actively seeking and building donor bases is critical as is deepening relationships with current donors. Getting to know donors well is important.

  3. Leverage Resources: Fundraising is just one revenue stream.   Charities should also look at earned revenue, government funding and loans as additional sources of revenue.

About Victoria Women's Transition House Society
Founded in 1974, the Victoria Women's Transition House Society has grown from a small collective running a drop-in centre to an organization with five facilities, over 50 staff and close to 70 volunteers. Victoria Women's Transition House Society, working collaboratively, provides shelter, support, counselling and education to women of all ages, with or without children, so that they can live free from the effects of abuse in intimate relationships. The Society strives to prevent and eliminate abuse through education, advocacy and partnerships.

About Scotia Private Client Group
Scotia Private Client Group, a member of the Scotiabank Group, provides customized solutions to help high net worth clients build preserve and transfer their wealth. Scotia Private Client Group provides individuals and their families with tailored, tax efficient strategies that align their investments with their retirement and estate plans to help them achieve continued financial success. For more information, please visit www.scotiaprivateclientgroup.com.

About Scotiabank Global Transaction Banking
Scotiabank's Global Transaction Banking (GTB) business provides financial solutions to commercial and corporate clients domestically and around the world by drawing on more than 175 years of banking experience to meet the needs of clients. Scotiabank, which was named "Best Trade Finance Bank in Canada" by Global Finance magazine for 2010, for the fourth time in five years. Scotiabank Global Transaction Banking (GTB) currently offers a wide variety of supply-chain financing services, including electronic banking and payments, trade finance, commercial and business cards, foreign exchange and correspondent banking.

About Scotiabank:
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

On Site: Michelle Cobb, Scotiabank Manager Sponsorships, cell (778) 668-2995

Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Media Communications, (416) 933-0646, deborah_clark@scotiacapital.com

Patty Stathokostas, Scotiabank Media Communications, (416) 866-3625, patty_stathokostas@scotiacapital..com


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