It’s National Volunteer Week!

It’s National Volunteer Week in Canada!  This is a time where volunteers across Canada are recognized and celebrated for their hard work and dedication to supporting important causes and making a difference!  For more information, visit

In November, I volunteered at the Southlake Foundation gala!  It was so nice to receive this in the mail from them today:


It was nice to feel recognized and appreciated! I especially liked the personal touch with the signatures from the staff at Southlake.

Many different charities also came out with videos to thank their volunteers.  Here are a few:

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Evergreen Canada

United Way

Another great aspect of this campaign, is the “Volunt-HEAR Hotline” where people can call in, thank their volunteers, and their recording will be posted on! You can also join the conversation, and thank your volunteers on Twitter by using the hashtag #NVW2014!

On behalf of HSFYork, we thank our general members and volunteers for their support throughout the school year.  Our success wouldn’t be possible without them!

All the best,



Fundraiser Tips!

After planning many fundraisers with my clubs and being a part of the third party fundraiser team at the Heart & Stroke Foundation, I thought I’d share with you some tips I’ve learned throughout the years!

1. Sponsorship: As informal as this may seem, I found the most effective way to get in contact with the sponsorship rep from companies was through Twitter.  A simple tweet at companies you’d like to sponsor your fundraiser, which asks them for the contact information of the sponsorship rep.  This was a lot easier than going through the company website, and submitting an email to the general corporate email address.  Most of the in-kind sponsorship I’ve received for events, were through this method!  But keep in mind, most companies take 1-3 months to process your request, so plan ahead!

2. Promotion: Two great sites that I use to get the word out there in the local community is BlogTo and Snap.  BlogTo has a great event page, which is easy to set up.  It takes less than 5 minutes to input your fundraiser information and after a few days, it’s on their official events calendar!  Snap Newspaper is also a great way to promote.  Not only do they have an events calendar (which is also easy to input your information with fast approval), they also send out a tweet on their page the day before your event.  In addition, they will send a photographer to cover your event too!  Afterward, one photo is featured in their monthly newspaper.  All this is free, which is an excellent way to gain awareness within your community!

pump up the beat fundraiser team picture

My HSFYork team featured in SNAP Downtown!

3. Charity’s Resources: Just because you’re supporting the charity, doesn’t mean they can’t support you too!  Make sure you utilize the resources they provide.  Many charities have platforms where you can set up an third party event page, which is directly affiliated to their website.  You can set up your event fundraising page, allowing people to donate online too!  Also, they’re able to help provide advice, if you have any questions when you’re planning your fundraiser.  Charities are often able to write a letter of support, which is an official document stating that you are having a fundraiser that is benefiting the corresponding charity.  I found this helped a lot when I was seeking partnerships and sponsorship for my fundraisers since it adds credibility to your fundraiser!  Here’s a list of ways the Heart and Stroke Foundation supports our fundraisers: click here!

I hope you’ll find my tips helpful!  Best of luck with your fundraisers!


Favorite Charity Marketing Campaign

As a marketing student who is a philanthropist, naturally I keep an eye out for charity marketing campaigns.  The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s campaign “Make Death Wait” and “Make Health Last” is my absolute favorite campaign done by a charity.  It was done by an ad agency called Lowe Roche (

The campaign launched in February (Heart Month) of 2012 and 2013. Make Death Wait aimed at raising awareness that heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of women and it takes one in three before their time. The second phase of their campaign (Make Health Last), aimed to get Canadians to take action of their future, to prevent them spending their last 10 years in sickness.

Check out their commercials!

I felt that both campaigns did an excellent job in getting Canadians to open their eyes and take control of their futures! The statistics in the campaign really helped convince people that heart disease is an important cause and they should support the Heart and Stroke Foundation!

For more information about the Heart and Stroke Foundation, please visit

What’s your favorite charity marketing campaign?


What Ignited My Philanthropy

If you look back at your life, your dream career was always there.

This was one of the best self-reflecting quotes I’ve heard at an event, because it’s true.  I was always torn between going into business or teaching – neither did I actually love.  I eventually decided to go into marketing, which was something I definitely enjoyed.  It wasn’t until I started my first internship at the Heart & Stroke Foundation, did I realize that I loved working for a charity.

heart and stroke foundation, volunteerism, philanthropist

My first HSF event during my internship.

After completing my internship and going back to school, I realized how much I enjoyed it.  Not only because it involved event planning and marketing, but because the work I was doing was making a difference and having an impact in the community.  The next summer, I decided to complete another internship at the Heart & Stroke Foundation, but this time focusing on marketing.  I LOVED it even more!  This time, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do in my future career.  But why didn’t I realize this earlier?  It was until I heard that particular quote at the event, that I then realized it was always right in front of me.

Looking back, I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and fundraising.  When I was younger, I’d strive to be the top fundraiser for Jump Rope for Heart.  In addition, I would volunteer at camps, bake sales, fundraisers, school events and I went above and beyond for my high school volunteer hours.  I would even donate to every charity box I saw lying around in stores.  This is how I found my passion for philanthropy.  My advice – open your eyes & reflect, your dream career is right in front of you.