Tag Archives: Hiring


The following survey was created for Sunnybrook Foundation to use in conjunction with its ‘People and Culture’ Survey that was deployed in winter 2018. The following survey is to understand the makeup of the Foundation – including visible and invisible minorities. The goal is to share the results of this survey at a future staff meeting and to inform the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

PART A: Diversity and Inclusion Demographic Profile Survey

The following survey is to help us create a profile of our current workforce by collecting demographic information on your ethnic and cultural backgrounds, religious or spiritual affiliations and sexual orientation. The demographic information and the questions on diversity and inclusion will provide further insight on our current workface and will assist with developing diversity plans that promote inclusiveness and recognize the unique perspectives and contributions of all our staff. The feedback will assist in maintaining a workplace that is healthy, safe and inclusive for all.

These questions are personal to each individual, however we kindly as that you be honest in your responses so that we may recognize our strengths, areas of development, and to discover initiatives that will direct a human equity strategy. Responses are strictly confidential and anonymous. You may skip any questions you prefer not to answer.

The survey should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

1. Gender

  1. Female/Woman
  2. Male/Man
  3. Trans-identified
  4. Genderqueer/Gender nonconforming
  5. Other gender identity
  6. Prefer not to disclose

2. Please select from the following list the categories that best describe your racial and/or cultural group(s):

  1. White
  2. Chinese
  3. South Asian (East Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, etc.)
  4. Black
  5. Filipino
  6. Latin American
  7. Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, Cambodian, etc.)
  8. Arab
  9. West Asian (Iranian, Afghan, etc.)
  10. Japanese
  11. Korean
  12. Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, or Inuit)
  13. Other
  14. Do Not Know
  15. Prefer not to disclose

3. What is your sexual orientation?

  1. Bisexual
  2. Gay
  3. Heterosexual
  4. Lesbian
  5. Queer
  6. Two-spirit
  7. Other
  8. Do not know
  9. Prefer not to disclose

4. What is your religious or spiritual affiliation?

  1. No religion (including Agnostic, Atheist)
  2. Roman Catholic
  3. Ukrainian Catholic
  4. United Church
  5. Anglican (Church of England, Episcopalian)
  6. Baptist
  7. Lutheran
  8. Pentecostal
  9. Presbyterian
  10. Mennonite
  11. Jehovah’s Witnesses
  12. Greek Orthodox
  13. Jewish
  14. Islam (Muslim)
  15. Buddhist
  16. Hindu
  17. Sikh
  18. Do not know
  19. Prefer not to disclose
  20. Other
  21. Please specify

5. Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

  1. Yes
  2. No

PART B: Diversity and Inclusion Culture Survey

The Foundation aims to understand, assess and further enhance organizational culture. One of the key strategic initiatives is to promote and foster a culture of diversity and inclusion. This will enable us to continue to attract and retain talent and ensure we have an inclusive environment that inspire people to excel, innovate and grow. In order to understand where we are at and where we need to go, we are requesting your feedback and perceptions about our current state of diversity and inclusion.

The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

1. Please state your department.

  1. Events
  2. Major Gifts
  3. Gift Processing
  4. Finance
  5. Marketing & Communications
  6. Community Giving (Monthly, Annual, Leadership)
  7. Stewardship

2. Please select your role (or the one that best describes the nature of your responsibilities).

  1. Associate/Co-ordinator
  2. Officer
  3. Manager
  4. Director
  5. AVP/VP
  6. Executive Office

3. The Foundation shows respect for a diverse range of opinions, ideas and people.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

4. The Foundation is committed to providing all employees with equal opportunities in the workplace.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

5. I believe the Foundation recognizes the contribution of all employees who excel at their jobs, regardless of their backgrounds.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

6. My personal characteristics do not influence performance decisions.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

7. My personal characteristics do not influence pay decisions.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

8. I believe that personal characteristics do not hinder or help an individual’s career progression or development opportunities.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

9. Ethnic and cultural preferences of staff are accommodated through time off for religious observances/holiday

  1. Yes
  2. No

10. The Foundation provides the flexibility needed for work-life balance.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

11. The Foundation has family-friendly policies in place.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

12. There are well-developed mechanisms to handle an employee complaint about harassment and discrimination.

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree

13. If the Foundation could make one change to strengthen diversity and inclusion within the organization, what would you suggest?

The Fundraiser’s Journey: How Did We Get Here?

A big push by AFP, both in Canada and abroad, has been to increase the presence of “diverse” fundraisers in the sector (visible minorities, sexual orientation, etc), as well as battle the misconceptions and prejudice that impede the career advancements of some fundraisers, specifically women.

However, there is a question that I believe no-one has answered satisfactorily which plays a huge part in the diversity question:

How does someone start on the journey to become a fundraiser ?

Hypothetically, if 100% of all fundraisers first went through a college fundraising program and then later joined the sector, then increasing diversity would be a matter of increasing enrollment from diverse candidates into the program, ensuring they have the support to complete the program, and then helping with job placement post-studies. Similar approaches have been adopted in Law, Medicine, Accounting, Engineering – you name it, anything with a Professional Guild-like model.

But that’s not quite the way many fundraisers enter the sector.

When I ask fundraisers how they began fundraising, they usually flash that million dollar smile, shrug their shoulders, and mumble something along the lines of “I sort of fell into it.”

That’s a response you might also get if you asked a dentist or an accountant, or a lawyer or a doctor on how they ended up working professionally in their field, but you’d most likely treat it as an exception rather than the norm.

Yet, there’s something about the fundraising profession where the “I sort of fell into it,” is more the norm than the exception.

Why this question is important to answer today is because the charitable sector requires fundraisers, requires professionals to connect people with the causes they want to support. But if we, as a sector and as a profession, don’t fully know how we end up in this profession, haven’t fully mapped out the entry-points and traffic flow and matched our recruitment and training strategies accordingly, how will we ensure a supply of fundraisers in the future? How will we ensure the continuation of our projects once we retire or die? What does this mean to AFP and other associations who are the only loose tie between these people? What would knowing these answers mean for the AFP and its chapters given (IDEA) Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access is a recurring strategic objective? Without mapping how people enter the sector, can AFP and other associations truly support its membership?

As I poked around and had informal surveys, I noticed that people seem to be “falling” along certain lines, along certain entry-points:

  • We have the early-career charity professional who wants to help the charitable sector, and “fell” into a fundraising job;
  • We have the mid-career for-profit professional who wants to change careers and help a cause, and “fell” into a fundraising job;
  • We have the late-career cause/institution professional who is thrust into a fundraising role to help their institution, and “fell” into a fundraising job.

We need to map this out asap.

Which is why, with Lea Hardcastle, I’m launching a survey to track how people become fundraisers.

Please, it’ll take 4 mins to complete right now, months to analyse, and help us all for years to come.

EN = https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYNR7YL

FR = https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X28LM3Z
And please share the survey by copying and pasting the following on your Linkedin or Facebook feeds:

Attention: Please take 4 minutes and complete this survey for us to understand how fundraisers enter the sector.

EN = https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYNR7YL

FR = https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X28LM3Z

If Diversity And Inclusion Is A Hiring Issue, Why Aren’t We Talking To The Charitable Sector’s HR Professionals?

The AFP 2018 Toronto Congress was one devoted to the topic of disruption in the Canadian fundraising profession, and hence the Canadian charitable sector.

The plenary sessions took a deep dive particularly into the issues that women and visible minority candidates face at the job; the prejudice that manifests itself in lower salaries, and fewer opportunities for career progression.

For some of the Executive Directors and the Directors of Development of the charities in the room, this might have been the first time there became aware of the issue.

Or perhaps, this was an additional exposure to the hard statistics that demonstrate how systematic these problems are.

While many speakers spoke of different solutions, e.g. allyship (where a person in a position of privilege and power works in solidarity with a marginalized group), and being aware of unconscious biases, I believed that for systemic change in the charitable sector, we need to thoroughly examine the recruitment process.

Inside the organization, this involves the point-person on Human Resources; outside the organization, this is typically a recruitment agency that is hired to pre-screen candidates (thanks to AFP Fellow Camila Vital Nunes Pereira for this insight). If, as session after session pointed out, there is a problem with recruitment, I suggest that we need to tackle this at the source rather than downstream

Inside the organization, this can be someone with “Human Resources” in their job title, or in others this can be the Director of Administration, while in others, the recruitment process can fall solely on the Director of Development, or perhaps even the Executive Director.

Outside the organization, within the recruitment agency, this can be a specific headhunter or recruiter who runs their own agency or a group of recruiters working together.

To ensure a supply of diverse fundraisers and equitable treatment for all candidates, we would benefit from outreach that also includes these Human Resources professionals or Directors of Administration inside the organization and recruiters outside the organization who might not figure much in fundraising questions, but are crucial in the hiring of fundraisers. Beyond this, it’s also about ensuring that diversity is an important component in the hiring process itself.

And that can mean, in a safe and professional environment, to have a chat with the point-person on the recruitment process and asking them if all the best candidates are applying for the job, or if something about the job advertisement might be putting off applicants, or if enough thought is given to how wide the spectrum is for human interactions during the very artificial period of the interview process.

And that’s not an easy conversation, I admit, especially as the optics is one where a fundraiser might be “challenging” a Human Resources person or a recruiter whose speciality is hiring on making the hiring process more transparent or even through the enquiry, implicitly signalling that things are not right.

But we’ve got to start somewhere.

And I can think of no better place than those crucially involved in the hiring decision and educating them on diversity and inclusion.

Special thanks to AFP Fellow Camila Vital Nunes Pereira for taking the time to provide her valuable comments, suggestions, and edits. You made this a better piece than the one I had originally written.