KCI Major Gift News view all
HAVE NEWS TO SHARE? Click here to submit it to us
KCI Revenue Generation
When you start to think about revenue generation, you know that much more is on the line than raising funds. You recognize that all your endeavors should have the capacity to build sustainable, fruitful relationships with all of your many stakeholders. With an expert understanding of what it takes to achieve all levels of organizational goals in this competitive market, KCI can help prepare you for all facets of advancement with our uniquely designed programs:
KCI Campaign Counsel
When developing plans for a major fund raising campaign – one that's going to move your organization much further forward – You may well feel overwhelmed by the many issues that need to be addressed. You must ask:
  • How do we identify our key priorities and build the best campaign strategy to support them?
  • How do we engage and train the right people and set them up for success?
  • How do we get everyone in our organization on board?
  • How do we identify our top prospects?
  • How do we craft a compelling message that will resonate with donors and partners, persuading them to invest generously in our future?
  • How do we ensure success?
It sounds daunting, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, you’ve already taken the first, best step toward success by seeking out the professional expertise of KCI, the leader in campaign counsel for Canadian non-profit organizations.
At KCI, we know that different campaigns require different strategies and counseling options. But whatever you require, be assured that KCI will craft a custom solution to meet your needs and help achieve your objectives.
KCI Capacity Assessments
KCI is the undisputed leader in organizational health and philanthropic counsel and as such we are best able to assess your fundraising capacity and put the plan in place that will help you achieve greatness.
At KCI we understand what it takes for non-profit organizations to thrive in today’s economy and we can provide you with the up-to-date insights that will transform your thinking and turn your organization’s dreams into reality.
Although our thinking is time-tested and true, our approach is driven solely by your needs, opportunities and plans and as such is highly customized, flexible and responsive.
Before your custom plan is created, we assess your resources, volunteer and donor bases, communications and governance. In so doing we provide you with an enhanced understanding of today’s fundraising environment and donors’ interests and expectations, in addition to your organization’s internal capacity.
  • We conduct strategic interviews with key stakeholders, lead focus groups, and facilitate dialogue sessions;
  • We prepare data-gathering questionnaires and online surveys; and
  • We provide data analysis which is second to none.
Simply put, we partner with you to develop the most effective plan to position you for success.
Our capacity assessment is no ordinary feasibility study but, rather, is a powerful tool that enables you to accomplish your goals by focusing on your unique needs, resources and circumstances. In the end, not only will you receive an informed strategy that allows you to see where you need to go, you will also get a plan that shows you how to get there!
KCI Fundraising Programs
No matter where you're headed on your fundraising journey, one thing is certain: you can't go it alone. If you're going to make it, it's your donors and volunteers who will get you there.
With the evolution of the philanthropic marketplace, you need to maximize your donor relationships beyond the traditional campaign. KCI will work with you to develop your ongoing major gifts and planned giving or annual fund programs, and help you form the strategic corporate alliances and sponsorships you need to be competitive today.
Our in-depth knowledge of the philanthropic community combined with KCI's unparalleled research capacity provides you with the strategic insight you require to develop a sustainable funding program expertly aligned with your vision and values.
Your KCI major gifts, planned giving, annual fund and corporate sponsorship plans will:
  • Nourish long-term relationships with key volunteers and donors;
  • Be fully integrated into your annual fundraising cycle and practices;
  • Complement your capital campaign where relevant; and
  • Seamlessly combine philanthropy with the reach of corporate marketing.
When you avail yourself of KCI's knowledge, expertise and regional, national and international networks, it's like having your GPS programmed to get you exactly where you want to go by the fastest route possible.
KCI Strategy and Positioning
You recognize that every time you communicate, internally or externally, you are affecting how you are perceived and received. From website to phone calls, presentations to conversations, reaching your audiences with a compelling message that is strategically on-target and authentic to your organization is central to success. At KCI, we provide a full array of research, strategic planning, branding and communication services that will move you forward and keep you on target:
KCI Strategic Planning
You know that identifying where you want to go is only the first step to getting there. You also need a plan in place to keep you on course and on schedule.
Our expertise and experience will help you prepare for success by guiding you into a deeper understanding of your organizational structure, strengths and needs, and then by helping you create a customized strategic plan.
KCI will work with you at any level to help you create:
  • A shared vision, mission and values statement;
  • An action plan that is realistic, measurable and achievable;
  • A process to identify and adopt best practices for governance;
  • Effective policies, job descriptions and committee mandates; and
  • A board structure that creates greater capacity for the achievement of your strategic goals.
By setting strategic directions - that may include but is not limited to time-bound development plans - you allow your organization to identify and prioritize the key areas on which to focus your resources. And that's going to make navigating future opportunities and challenges less stressful and more successful.
KCI Case for Support/Communications Plan
When you're thinking about the most effective ways of creating sustained awareness, goodwill and support for your organization, your most important consideration needs to be the story that you tell. Establishing a clear and compelling narrative in the minds of your stakeholders is the key to being heard in today's media-saturated world.
KCI's fundraising communications associates are some of the country's leading writers and creative strategists ready to work with you to unearth your unique vision, promise, story structure and style.
Our story strategists will help you:
  • Find the narrative thread that links who you are now with what you hope to become;
  • Integrate your organizational and fundraising communications for maximum impact; and
  • Engage the hearts and minds of your organization's extended community.
Establishing a clear identity and communicating it in ways that engage public understanding and participation are critical to your success moving forward.
KCI will help you ignite the imagination of your community with a clear, consistent narrative delivered through masterful and emotive storytelling that will help to draw others along with you into the future you create.
My Team
You know that a winning team is built from the ground up. Non-profit organizations need a talented and dedicated team in place before fundraising initiatives can begin. KCI offers a number of customized solutions to help you get where you want to go by ensuring your team is ready, willing and able:
KCI Staff Recruitment
Through our custom recruitment programs, we work with you to find, attract and hire appropriate professionals for various positions on your team. We recognize the critical importance of presenting candidates to you that have the combination of skills, experience, aptitude, attitude and values that will build on your success and will propel your organization into the future.
With more than 25 years of consulting experience in the charitable sector, you can trust the unique advantages of KCI's executive recruitment practice:
  • Deep understanding of the not-for-profit environment and its leaders;
  • Extensive regional, national and international networks;
  • Trust and respect from professionals within the sector; and
  • Proven, customized collaborative methodology.

You understand that your vision is carried on the shoulders of your people. Your team is the guiding force of your organization, equipping and enabling your stakeholders to successfully move forward with purpose and determination. KCI's executive recruitment strategies will help you find the best people to take you where you want to go.


Click here to view our most up-to-date searches and to download full job descriptions for each

KCI Search: Executive Recruitment Practice

Scroll down for more job postings
Director of External Relations, College of EngineeringUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, SK » Accepting Resumes
President & CEOCalgary Health TrustCalgary, AB » Deadline: November 13, 2018
Director of Development, College of Arts & ScienceUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, SK » Accepting Resumes
Director of DevelopmentThe Sunshine Foundation of CanadaLondon, ON » Deadline: November 5, 2018
Vice President & COOCanadian Men’s Health FoundationVancouver, BC » Accepting Resumes
Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni RelationsGeorgian CollegeBarrie, ON » Deadline: November 2, 2018
Executive Director, Principal GiftsUniversity of TorontoToronto, ON » Accepting Resumes
Director of DevlopmentNeighbour to NeighbourHamilton, ON>> Deadline: November 2, 2018
President & CEOPhilanthropic Foundations CanadaComing Soon
Vice President, Major and Planned GivingWeizmann CanadaToronto, ON » Deadline: October 31, 2018
Wilfrid Laurier
Director, Development, FacultiesWilfrid Laurier UniversityDeadline: September 10, 2018
Senior Vice President & Chief Development OfficerTrillium Health Partners FoundationMississauga, ON » Deadline: October 31, 2018
Vice-President, Development, MCHFHamilton Health Sciences FoundationHamilton, ON » Deadline: September 10, 2018
Senior Manager, Major GivingCanadian Red CrossBurnaby, BC » Deadline: October 29, 2018
Executive Director, FoundationBoys & Girls Clubs of CanadaToronto, ON » Deadline: September 4, 2018
Director, Talent FundTelefilm CanadaMontreal or Toronto » Deadline: October 22, 2018
Senior Development OfficerNature Conservancy CanadaMontreal, QC » Deadline: August 6, 2018
Campaign DirectorNew Brunswick MuseumSaint John, NB » Deadline: October 1, 2018
Director of DevelopmentUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaSearch Completed
Director of Development & CommunicationsLOFT Community ServicesToronto, ON » Deadline: September 10, 2018
KCI Talent Management and Retention
When you're thinking about the health and success of your organization, you know that everything depends on your team. The right people are the heart and soul of every great organization. But recruiting great people is only the first step of the journey.
Finding and attracting exceptional team members can be challenging, as can be their successful integration into your existing culture. We can help you design and execute a successful on-boarding plan for your new employees.
And how can you ensure that new and existing employees stay with you for years to come? We can partner with you to design talent management and retention programs that will help you to retain great people and grow them to their full potential.
KCI Coaching and Training
You know you've got a great team. You put in the time and effort to make sure that everyone has the right combination of knowledge, skills and commitment to keep you going in the right direction. As you know, high-performance team members need to be continuously developed through training, coaching and mentoring.
Investing in high-quality, professional development programs ensures your staff has what they need to realize their full potential. KCI's skilled coaches will create specialized training programs to keep your staff and volunteers on top of new ideas, research, trends and practices in your sector and in the philanthropic environment as a whole.
We provide:
  • Training, coaching and mentoring – one-on-one or group sessions;
  • Team building;
  • Capacity creation and enhancement;
  • Leadership skill and capability; and
  • Programs specific to your needs and expectations.
In today's rapidly changing philanthropic world, you know you need to constantly stay ahead of the pack. Engaging KCI to assist your on-going professional development means your people will always have what it takes to succeed as you move into the future.
KCI Organizational Review
When you're preparing to move forward, you need to start from where you are. Taking a close look at who you are and what you've got is the best way to determine what you need to get where you want to go.
KCI provides the wise, experienced, objective professional lens required to view yourselves as others see you. A thorough organizational review can serve your organization in numerous ways, from informing your strategic planning to serving as the basis for a renewed fundraising case.
Your KCI organizational review or positioning assessment will be:
  • a catalyst for the development of an informed strategy and blueprint to advance your goals, your relationship with your stakeholders and your fundraising strategies moving forward;
  • an enhanced relationship building exercise that effectively reinforces your connections with your stakeholders and determines the "reach" of your organization; and
  • a proving-ground for branding and communications, helping to reinforce your strengths and positioning in the marketplace.
A thorough assessment of your organization provides the data you need to move forward with purpose, confidence and an expectation of success. Your KCI Organizational Review will be your most important document as you chart your course for the future.
Knowledge is power, and the latest news, trends and insights on the Canadian philanthropic sector are just a click away. Through Sector News, KCI researchers keep you up to date on all the latest major gift news across Canada. Philanthropic Trends Quarterly, the definitive source of philanthropic trends analysis in Canada, is the most anticipated and best read publication of its kind. Get a delegate's eye view of the latest and greatest Conference Presentations made by members of KCI's Senior Leadership Team. And finally, welcome to The Ask, KCI's brand new monthly podcast on fundraising and philanthropy in Canada!
KCI Major Gift News
HAVE NEWS TO SHARE? Click here to submit it to us
Trends Quarterly
the definitive [4] times per year source of
philanthropic trends analysis in Canada
Conference Presentations
KCI Philanthropic Trends Advisory Board.
Bill BeanPresident & CEO
QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation
Penny BlackwoodExecutive Director, Alumni Affairs & Development
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Malcolm BurrowsHead, Philanthropic Advisory Services
Scotia Private Client Group
Gary DurbeniukVice President, Development
Calgary Zoo
Richard L. FrostChief Executive Officer
The Winnipeg Foundation
Ted GarrardPresident & CEO
SickKids Foundation
Barbara GranthamPresident & CEO
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
Tennys J. M. HansonPresident & CEO, Toronto General& Western Hospital Foundation
Vice President & Chief Development Officer, University Health Network
Susan HorvathPresident & CEO
ROM Board of Governors
Steve HoscheitPresident
Trillium Health Partners Foundation
Michael KieferVice President, Presidential Initiatives & Principal Gifts
Ken MayhewPresident & CEO
William Osler Health Foundation
Wendy McDowallChief Development Officer
YMCA of Greater Toronto
Bruce McDonaldPresident & CEO
Imagine Canada
Susan McIsaacManaging Director of Strategic Philanthropy
Jeff O'HaganVice President, Advancement
York University
Hilary PearsonPresident & CEO
Philanthropic Foundations Canada
Marnie SpearsPresident & CEO
KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)
James StauchDirector, Institute for Community Prosperity
Mount Royal University
Innes van NostrandPrincipal
Appleby College
Jayne WatsonChief Executive Officer
NAC Foundation
The Ask Podcast
We are delighted to launch The Ask, KCI's brand new monthly podcast on fundraising and philanthropy in Canada! Hosted by Nicole Nakoneshny, KCI SVP & Editor of Philanthropic Trends Quarterly, The Ask provides insights and information that is useful and relevant to the non-profit sector in general and to fundraising professionals and volunteers specifically.
Through The Ask, we explore topics of interest to listeners through conversations with thought leaders from across the country and around the globe. Our hope is that these conversations will stimulate, provoke thought, inspire and perhaps sometimes even challenge... all with the goal of helping the sector and those involved in fundraising advance and evolve the philanthropic conversation in our country. Welcome to The Ask!

Episode 11
Immigrant / Diaspora Philanthropy

It's always been accurate to define Canada as a "country of immigrants" and so, in many ways, reaching out to new Canadians is nothing new. But given the growing number of immigrants coming to Canada as well as the evolution in the source of that immigration, thinking about how to engage newer Canadians in charity is a hot topic. In this episode of The Ask, we speak to Krishan Mehta, AVP Engagement at Ryerson University and one of the charitable sector’s leading experts on immigrant philanthropy. Listen as he shares his thoughts on how new Canadians want to be engaged, how we can make the sector and our organizations more welcoming and even why we should rethink the use of the word "diversity".

Click here for information on engaging new immigrant communities.

Episode 10
Maximizing the Middle

Is your donor pipeline more of an hour glass than an even stream? Do your fundraising programs jump from solicitation of smaller annual gifts to large multi-year commitments? If you said yes, you’re not alone! A relatively new focus in fundraising, many organizations are eager to unlock the capacity of that ‘missing middle’ by implementing mid-level giving programs. But, as we hear from our guests, Amanda Hatt, Director, Annual Programs at the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation and Ainsley Dowle, Senior Manager Philanthropy at Plan International Canada, it’s not just a matter of amplifying strategies used for lower level giving or scaling how major gifts fundraising is done. Rather, it’s about creating a new way of engaging with donors that builds a closer relationship but still respects where they are at. Listen as they share their insights born from growing their mid-level giving programs. And finally, look to the future of mid-level giving with KCI Senior Vice President Celeste Bannon Waterman who shares how artificial intelligence will play a role in these types of programs.

Click here to view an overview of best practices on establishing a mid-level giving program.

Episode 9
Going Digital

When digital becomes a factor in an industry, its impact tends to be transformative - think of the music, transportation and hospitality industries as examples. In the charitable sector, we’re starting to see digital’s impact on giving, so it’s critical for charities and fundraisers to get their programs digital ready. In this episode of The Ask we explore what charities need to do to “Go Digital” with the help of Kevin Pfuhl, Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Partner at advertising agency, Rain 43.

Episode 8
Concerns and Solutions: three of Canada's top non-profit leaders tackle the most pressing issues fundraisers face today.

Is your donor base shrinking? Are you wondering how to diversify revenues? What about raising unrestricted money? Or building a culture of innovation? If you said yes to even one of those questions, this is the episode for you! At the recent AHP Convene Canada Conference, The Ask host Nicole Nakoneshny moderated a panel discussion with three of Canada's top hospital fundraisers – Doug Rankmore, CEO of Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, Meghan Stovel McKnight, Senior Vice President and COO at Trillium Health Partners Foundation in Mississagua and Ted Garrard, CEO of SickKids Foundation in Toronto. Meghan, Doug and Ted share their thoughts on these questions as well as numerous other topics. To hear bonus content from the panel, including discussions about building a case for capital, collaborations with other organizations and how to build stronger alignment with the institutions for which you raise money, click here.

Episode 7
Getting your "Data House" in order

Data is a hot topic. Whether for good reasons (how it can be used to market and sell) or not so good reasons (how to be sure data privacy is respected), discussions about data are everywhere... including among charities. In this episode, Celeste Bannon Waterman, Senior Vice President of KCI describes how data can be used to build stronger relationships with donors and also shares some practical guidance related to how to assess where you are at with your data management and how to make it work better for you. In addition, we chat with Hitesh Kothary, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and David Mark, Director of Donor and Information Services for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation who share experience from their journey to improve data management and optimization at the Foundation.
Click here for a data platform visual.

Episode 6
Unlocking the Potential in Women's Philanthropy

By 2026, women will control 48% of wealth in Canada. If not already, charities should be focusing on women as a key donor group. In this episode of The Ask, we speak to Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President Philanthropy TD Wealth and Sharon Avery, CEO Toronto Foundation about what to do to tap into the power and potential of women donors. For more facts and trends related to women’s philanthropy as well as to read TD’s Time, Treasure, Talent report and learn more about UNICEF's 25th Team, click here.

Episode 5
In Conversation with KCI's President and CEO, Marnie Spears

Earlier this year, Marnie Spears announced her retirement as head of KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.). A celebrated and highly accomplished figure in Canadian fundraising and philanthropy, Marnie has built an impressive resume over the course of her career, including serving as Executive Director, Development and Public Relations for McMaster University as well as her ground-breaking work leading KCI for the past 23 years. On the eve of her retirement, she joins Nicole Nakoneshny in this episode of The Ask to share her thoughts about philanthropy in Canada today and what she believes the future of fundraising will look like.

Read a summary of Marnie’s thoughts about philanthropy trends and the future of fundraising.

Episode 4
The art of the nudge: encouraging giving through behavioural science

In this final episode in our series on the Rideau Hall Foundation’s Giving Behaviour Project, we explore Behavioral Science and how it can encourage giving. The premise behind Behavioural Science is simple – using insights into human behaviour to “nudge” people to make the choices and decisions we want them to. In this episode, we’ll hear how nudging works, its power to influence outcomes and practical solutions for building nudges into your fundraising strategy from Elspeth Kirkman, Head, BIT North America (The Behavioural Insights Team), Lori Radke, National VP, Marketing and Development at the MS Society, Liz Hardy, Head of the Behavioural Insights Team for the Government of Canada’s Impact and Innovation Unit and finally, Scott Haldane, CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Read more examples of the art of nudging.

Episode 3
Millennials and philanthropy: understanding the attitudes, behaviours and expectations of millennial donors.

Evidence based, solution focused, impact driven, system changing... rooted in relationships that foster connection, community, engagement and the freedom of choice. These words and phrases characterize the millennial generation's approach to charity and doing good. In episode 3 of our four part series on the Rideau Hall Foundation's Giving Behaviour Project, we shine a light on millennials. Featuring conversations with Sarah Roberton, Vice President Corporate and Public Affairs at Environics Research, Scott Haldane, President & CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation and Mitchell Kutney, co-founder and Chair of Just Change Ottawa, we explore the motivations, attitudes and behaviour of millennials when it comes to giving as well as what charities should do to connect with this generation.

Episode 2
Exploring Imagine Canada's landmark Giving in Canada study

In the second episode of our four part series, we explore Imagine Canada’s landmark Giving in Canada study with President & CEO Bruce McDonald. Commissioned as part of the Rideau Hall Foundation’s Giving Behaviour project, the study provides an in-depth look into the giving behaviours of Canadians and is the most comprehensive study of its kind. We also ask Marina Glogovac, CEO of CanadaHelps.org, to weigh in on the increasing relevance of online giving as revealed through the Giving in Canada study. Finally, Scott Haldane, President & CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation, offers his thoughts on the overarching themes stemming from the research conducted by Imagine Canada.

Episode 1
A conversation about the Rideau Hall Foundation

In conversation with David Johnston, Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation and Canada's 28th Governor General; KCI's President and CEO, Marnie Spears; and Scott Haldane, President & CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation. Launching a four-episode series featuring the work of the Foundation, David and Marnie share their reflections on philanthropy in Canada, while Scott introduces three key research initiatives that make up the Foundation's Giving Behaviour project, each of which will be featured on a future episode of The Ask.

Examples of Nudges

Language and Visual Prompts to Nudge Vehicle Tax Payments

In one trial conducted in Britain, a letter sent to non-payers of vehicle taxes was re-written to use more simple and straightforward language - along the lines of “pay your tax or lose your car”. Some of the letters received included a photo of the recipient’s vehicle on it. The simplified letter alone doubled the number of people paying the tax, and the rewrite with the photo tripled it.
Source: The Economist – Nudge Nudge, Think Think

Reflecting on Healthier Food Nudge

A supermarket in El Paso, Texas, tried their own nudge experiment to see if they could increase healthy eating among its customers. They placed mirrors on the inside of the grocery carts facing up at the consumer, allowing people to see themselves as they shopped. When people reached for junk food and turned back towards their cart, they saw the reflection of their double chins in the mirror resulting from the unflattering angle the mirror was placed at. This ended up increasing sales of fruits and vegetables, and decreasing junk food sales, suggesting that this nudge achieved the results that it was planned to.
Source: Under the Influence - Nudge: The Persuasive Power of Whispers

Language as a Nudge to Address Gender Specific Challenges in the Education System

The facilitation of a technical drawing class in French schools was examined. They found that if the subject was called “geometry”, male students did better, but if it was called “drawing”, female students did equally well or better. Teachers are now being trained to call the subject drawing and use appropriate terminology, so as to equalize the gender gap in technical drawing skills.
Source: The Economist – Nudge Nudge, Think Think

Nudging for Green Energy

As part of a green energy initiative, Britain was offering financial incentives to home owners if they improved their energy efficiency by insulating their attics. The participant rate for this aspect of the program was unfortunately quite low. When researchers looked into why, they found that homeowners did not want to insulate their attic because it required work on their part to clear out their junk beforehand. A nudge was then integrated to their marketing strategy whereby insulation firms would offer to clear the attics, dispose of unwanted items, and return the rest after insulating it. Removing the extra work required by the participants led to a threefold increase in participation of this program.
Source: The Economist – Nudge Nudge, Think Think

Nudges Pertaining to Existing Social Norms Yield Higher Results Compared to Nudges That Don’t

The Danish Nudging Network, a non-profit organization, tested two potential nudges and compared results. In one test, green arrows pointing to stairs were put next to railway-station escalators, as an effort to encourage people to take the healthier option. This nudge had almost no effect. Another test, similar to the previous one, had a series of green footprints leading to garbage bins. During a controlled experiment where people were handing out individually wrapped candies nearby the green footprints, litter was reduced by 46%. Pelle Guldborg Hansen, Founder of the Danish Nudging Network, said the second nudge had more of an impact because there are social norms and expectations about littering, but none about taking the stairs. This suggests that people are easily influenced to do what they believe is socially expected of them.
Source: The Economist – Nudge Nudge, Think Think

Default Action Nudges

Inertia plays a role in decision making in that people tend to choose the default option when making certain decisions, such as enrolling in Corporate Pension Plans for example. In 2012 British legislation changed the default option for Corporate Pension Plans, so that employees are automatically enrolled unless they actively choose to opt out.
Source: The Economist – Nudge Nudge, Think Think

College Nudge

A school in Texas that wanted to increase the number of students that went on to college - as two-thirds of high schoolers there never experience a higher education. But the school didn't have any outside funding to help with the problem. So they decided to nudge from within. First, the teachers talked to the students in terms they would understand. They didn't try to sell the high-mindedness of college education - instead - they hooked them with the universal symbol of teenage freedom: The automobile. They talked about how much money college grads earned compared to high school grads - explaining it as the difference between a Mercedes and a Kia. But - the brilliant nudge they employed was yet to come and was so simple, yet so powerful. In order to graduate from the high school, students were told they had to complete an application to a nearby college. The percentage of high school students who went on to college rose from 11% to 45%.
Source: Under the Influence - Nudge: The Persuasive Power of Whispers

Option Restriction Nudge

People don’t like complexity. When someone is offered too many options, they’re less likely to engage at all. Taloon.com wanted to increase sales on their online shopping portal (i.e. they wanted more people to click their “Add to Cart” buttons). After they limited the options of buttons to click on one of their online shopping web pages (removing unnecessary Social Media buttons, etc.), that product saw an 11.9% increase in number of sales.
Source: Blog on Conversion Rate Optimization - Removing Social Sharing Buttons Increases Conversions. Yes, You Heard That Right!

Competition Nudge

You can use competition as a nudge to get people to convert, participate, and or share. Smart phone app games do this well. Many of them will post your score onto your social media, challenging your followers to beat you score, which motivates those who are more competitive to click the link and download the game.
Source: Enginess - 5 Stellar Examples of the Humble Nudge

Social Proof Nudge

People are social creatures, and are more likely to do something if other people have done or are doing it. If it is proven that an action has been taken or preferred among other options by enough people before you, you will likely go with what seems to be most popular. Many companies do this when selling different versions of a similar product, such as Streak CRM. They add a “Most Popular” banner to one of their product options on their website, likely the one they want to sell the most of.
Source: Enginess - 5 Stellar Examples of the Humble Nudge

In Conversation with Marnie Spears,
KCI’s President and CEO

After leading the firm for the past 23 years, KCI’s President and CEO Marnie Spears has announced that she will be retiring in April of this year. Nicole Nakoneshny, KCI’s Editor of Philanthropic Trends Quarterly and Host of The Ask (KCI’s monthly podcast), recently sat down with Marnie to chat about her career and hear her thoughts about the “state of the nation” when it comes to Canadian philanthropy… as well as what she thinks will be the future of fundraising. Here is a summary of her thoughts and reflections.

Fundraising has become much more complex and complicated.

“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen fundraising go from very simple in terms of asking for money through things like direct mail, telethons, and face to face to today where the degree of complexity required to be successful is simply incredible. Fundraising is much more complex and sophisticated than it used to be, requiring a whole different level of leadership in terms of executing on those programs.”

Donor attitudes and motivations are changing.

“Donors are becoming increasingly agnostic when it comes to organizations and institutions and they now care far more about causes and issues than they do about organizations. The concept of what is charity is changing. Happily, the concept of doing good appears to be important to the new generations of donors, but their thinking about how to ‘do good’ is quite different from the older donor. “

Increasing reliance on philanthropy as core funding.

“There is increasing reliance on fundraising to support organizations, something that is at odds with the trends of changing definitions and growing agnosticism. The tension between these two competing trends is something that the sector and its fundraising leadership are going to have to grapple with.”

Business Intelligence, investment and new models required.

“Given the degree of complexity and change facing the sector, fundraising professionals will increasingly need to rely on data and business intelligence to be successful, something that is going to require investment. I worry that smaller and medium sized charities have not invested enough in this. Therefore, I believe that more and more charities are going to have to look at mergers and at collaborating together, as there are too many charities competing for the charitable dollar.”

Need to focus on government.

“Consulting has afforded me a bird's eye view of the sector as a whole and also to have a more in-depth view of many sectors within it. I am increasingly concerned that governments don’t have that view and don’t really understand what is happening in the sector. I am becoming increasingly interested in the need for advocacy from organizations like AFP, AHP, CCAE and Imagine Canada. I think they need to be very, very concerned that government officials, be they elected politicians or bureaucrats, understand and commit to support the not-for-profit sector as a whole.”

Enhancing and strengthening the case for the sector.

“I believe that we need to strengthen the case for the sector. I've referenced this earlier with respect to my comments about governments’ understanding of what the case for the sector really is. And a corollary of that is the case for fundraising. I don’t think we’ve done a good job with making a strong case for either…and this is something that I believe sector leaders, board and staff, must turn their attentions to.”

Giving is voluntary and must be encouraged.

“We have to always remember that that fundraising dollar is voluntary. Nobody is putting a tax on citizens to give. We have to motivate them to give. And to me it's incredibly important that we value the fact that we're taking someone's discretionary dollars and using them, hopefully in a way that they were meant to be used. But we have to remember that they don’t need to give.”

Time to practice Adaptive Leadership.

“Our sector and the organizations in it need to be nimble and flexible going forward. I think there is so much changing when it comes to fundraising that there is a need to look at issues through various lenses. You know the old adage ‘change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change’? I think that has to be practiced much more openly and readily by boards and professional leaders. Those that practice adaptive leadership are the ones that are going to survive in this very complex environment.”

« back to The Ask

Fact & Trend Sheet –– Women's Philanthropy

Women’s Wealth

  • Canadian women will acquire an estimated $900 billion over the next 10 years.
  • In 2016, Canadian women controlled 35% of financial wealth. By 2026, they are expected to control close to 48%.
  • Women’s Giving

  • Women demonstrate more support for corporate involvement in causes associated with poverty, mental health, and abuse issues.
  • Affluent Canadian women donate a higher proportion of their investable assets to charity than men.
  • In 1984, women contributed 36% of all donations. In 2014, this number was 41%.
  • In the United States, unmarried women make up 49% of all charitable bequests. Married couples make up 33%, and unmarried men make up 18%.
  • Preferred causes among women in general are poverty, health, children, women’s rights, and education. Among married women, they are children and the elderly, while among single women, they are animal welfare and the arts.
  • Women tend to value long-term and open relationships with charities they support.
  • Female retirees tend to agree that success in their retirement is defined by giving vs attaining great wealth. This is confirmed by higher giving and volunteering rates among retired women vs men.
  • The majority of female philanthropists do extensive research before committing to provide charitable funding.
  • Women are 15% more likely than men to have had a conversation with a financial advisor before donating.

All of these points indicate that women are a key demographic that fundraisers should be including in their strategies. However, 40% of women working at major charities say there is less of an emphasis on soliciting gifts from women, and only 33% of women working at major charities believe that wealthy female donors are given the same respect as their male counterparts.

Even though women tend to be left out of institutional philanthropy, this doesn’t stop them from getting involved. Giving circles are becoming increasingly popular, especially among women. In a study in the states on Giving Circles, Women made up more than half the group for 70% of the circles.

In the states, giving circles have engaged at least 150,000 donors, and have contributed $1.29 billion to philanthropy. The number of circles at the time of the report in 2017 has tripled from 2007.

Amount of Financial Wealth
Controlled by Women in Canada

Charity Involvement in the United States

Useful Links


Time, Treasure, Talent: Canadian Women and Philanthropy (TD, 2014)

Meet the High-Net Worth Female Philanthropist (IUPUI Women’s Philanthropy Institute, 2018)

The Landscape of Giving Circles: Collective Giving Groups in the US (IUPUI Women’s Philanthropy Institute, 2017)

« back to The Ask

Getting your "Data House" in order
Concerns and Solutions:
three of Canada's top non-profit leaders tackle the most pressing issues fundraisers face today.

Although unavoidable, raising funds for Capital projects, particularly bricks and mortar, is becoming increasingly difficult. Our panel weighs in on their experience building a compelling case for Capital.
Listen now.

Collaboration between non-profits to more effectively meet the needs of both clients and donors is a relatively new trend in the sector. Although many organizations have seen great success, sorting out the fine print is not always trivial. Hear how our panel’s respective organizations have achieved symbiotic partnerships that have propelled them forward.
Listen now.

Hospital Alignment
As separate entities from the "mothership", foundations have the added challenge of ensuring strong alignment and a solid relationship with the organization for which they raise funds. Our panel explores this intricacies of this issue, and how to ensure a healthy alliance is formed.
Listen now.

« back to The Ask

About KCI
Welcome to KCI! You've just made what may turn out to be your most significant, forward-focused decision on your way to enhanced vitality. KCI is Canada's leading organization dedicated to helping philanthropic organizations like yours thrive. With over a quarter century in this sector, expert professional staff at the top of their fields, and the largest data bank in the country, we know that your journey with us will be transformative and fruitful. No matter what your current situation, we have what you need.
In this increasingly complex, competitive climate, you want to be sure that all your resources are being leveraged to your best possible advantage. KCI can help you map out your future and get you where you want to be.
KCI is proud to be an Imagine Caring Company, and a member of the Giving Institute, North America's leading association of consultants to the non-profit sector.
KCI's Leadership Teams


Celeste Bannon Waterman

SVP & Partner
Lead, Research & Analytics

Tara George

SVP & Partner
Lead, Executive Search

Kathy Greenwood

SVP & Partner

Paul Koreen

SVP & Partner
Chief Operating Officer

Michael Logue

SVP & Partner

Nicole Nakoneshny

SVP & Partner
Editor, Philanthropic Trends Quarterly; Host, The Ask

Marnie Spears, C.Dir.

Chair Emeritus

Susan Storey, CFRE

SVP & Partner

Joanne Villemaire

SVP & Partner



Sylvie Battisti

Vice President,
Executive Search

Christoph Clodius

Vice President,
Executive Search

Jennifer Ingham, CFRE

Vice President (BC)

Ashwini James

Senior Consultant,
Studies & Appraisals

Our client list is a veritable directory of Canada's non-profit community. KCI has helped over a thousand organizations across the country raise billions of dollars. Our experience with clients large and small - across multiple sectors and distinct regional environments - means that we understand the dynamics of philanthropy in a unique and integrated way. We are honoured to participate in the growth and development of the culture of philanthropy in our country.
KCI News and Careers
As part of the KCI team, you will be among the best and brightest professionals in the philanthropic field, challenged by rigorous, on-going training, and continuously nurtured toward both professional and personal growth within our supportive, collaborative environment. We welcome your interest in joining us, and invite you to contact us to discuss the possibilities of your future with KCI.
Celeste Bannon Waterman
SVP & Partner; Lead, Research & Analytics – Toronto, ON
Celeste joined KCI in 2010 and applied her research skills and her experience in philanthropy to establish KCI’s analytics practice – including data analytics, predictive modeling, targeting screening and environment scans – which are now a core element of KCI’s overall continuum of services. In conjunction with KCI’s Executive Search team, she also lead the launch of our unique compensation benchmarking services, which provide strategic insight and benchmarking for hospital foundations, universities, and many other sector clients. Celeste is a recognized research and analytics authority in Canada with a deep commitment to her craft, exceptional at spotting the relevant ‘data’ issues for clients, and then simplifying, problem-solving and determining the right strategic course of action. She has worked with clients across Canada in all sectors, including BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Alberta Cancer Foundation, SickKids Hospital Foundation, United Way Centraide Canada and numerous regional United Way Centraides, CARE Canada, Make-a-Wish Canada, and Saint Mary’s University.
Celeste has been engaged with her community in many ways, including with the Guelph Humane Society, serving as a volunteer martial arts instructor, and currently volunteering with APRA.
416 340-9710, ext. 1006
Tara George
SVP & Partner; Lead, Executive Search – Toronto, ON
As the Lead Consultant for KCI’s Search Practice, Tara has successfully led more than 300 recruitment assignments for a range of non-profit clients across Canada. A respected advancement professional with extensive networks in Canada and beyond, Tara has a clear sense of the strategic vision, leadership skills and business acumen necessary to succeed in the non-profit arena
Dedicated to the growth and education of advancement professionals, Tara is an active volunteer within the non-profit sector and a frequent pro-bono speaker at various sector conferences.
416 340-9710, ext.1013
Kathy Greenwood
SVP & Partner – Calgary, AB
With more than 25 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, Kathy Greenwood is an experienced development professional with a history of implementing highly successfully multi-million dollar capital campaigns for some of Canada’s most prestigious educational and health care institutions. As Senior Vice President, she is responsible for the management and growth of KCI’s activities in KCI’s Western division. Prior to re-joining KCI, Ms. Greenwood served as Vice President, Development for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, where she served as Director of Development and Alumni Relations.
Committed to the betterment of her community and the sector Kathy is an active volunteer within the non-profit sector having served on various community Boards and committees.
Paul Koreen
SVP & Partner; Chief Operating Officer – Toronto, ON
As COO, Paul is responsible for the leadership of KCI’s finance, communications, IT and human resources functions, as well as for collaborating on the strategic growth and development of the firm. His education in economics (BA Economics, Hamilton College, Magna Cum Laude) and management (MBA, U of T Rotman School of Management, Dean’s List; and Harvard Business School Executive Education) coupled with his background in fundraising, provide him with a strong foundation on which to lead KCI’s operations. Earlier with the firm, Paul served as lead KCI Consultant for the Salvation Army Ontario Central Division’s first-ever major gift capital campaign. He continues to bring his expertise in financial modeling to KCI client assignments where a detailed understanding of the organization’s multi-year financial forecast is essential.
Passionate about investing in Canada’s non-profit sector, Paul has volunteered for nearly 20 years with United Way Toronto & York Region, where he is currently a member of the Community Impact Committee and serves as the United Way’s representative on the Funders’ Committee for the Toronto Enterprise Fund. He is also Co-Chair of the Program & Education Committee of The Giving Institute, North America’s leading association of consultants to the charitable sector, and is a past President of Regeneration House Inc., a supportive housing provider for adults with serious mental illness.
416 340-9710, ext. 1018
Michael Logue
SVP & Partner – Toronto, ON
Since joining KCI in 1993, Mike has provided counsel to hundreds of organizations across all sectors and has supervised over 80 major campaigns throughout the country. As a result, he brings tremendous insight into the new and unique initiatives that leading non-profits are incorporating into their development strategies. Client organizations Mike has worked with in recent years include the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Upper Canada College, London Health Sciences Foundation, QEII Health Sciences Foundation, Trillium Health Partners Foundation and Saint Mary’s University.
Mike has been appointed to the Salvation Army Toronto Advisory Board, where he provides guidance to the Army across a variety of areas.
416 340-9710, ext. 1020
Nicole Nakoneshny
Nicole Nakoneshny
SVP & Partner; Editor, Philanthropic Trends Quarterly; Host, The Ask – Toronto, ON
In addition to working with clients to develop highly customized strategies and solutions that meet their unique challenges and opportunities, Nicole leads Thought Leadership activities at KCI as Editor of KCI’s online publication, Philanthropic Trends Quarterly and Host of our monthly podcast, The Ask. As part of KCI’s commitment to advancing philanthropy, Nicole curates the knowledge that KCI generates through our various practices and also keeps an eye on the key and emerging trends in fundraising and philanthropy both in Canada and around the world…seeking to translate that knowledge and information into useful insights for charities and fundraisers.
An active volunteer, Nicole sits on the Board of the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation and is also long-time volunteer with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, serving as a talking books narrator for the past 20 years.
416 340-9710, ext. 1026
Marnie Spears, C.Dir.
Chair Emeritus – Toronto, ON
As President & CEO, Marnie has expanded KCI’s client base, developed new client services and established a highly successful Executive Search Division. She was also instrumental in the creation of KCI’s Philanthropic Trends Quarterly© publication and serves as Chair of the Philanthropic Trends National Advisory Board. Under Marnie’s leadership, KCI has experienced unprecedented growth, further solidifying its position as Canada’s leading fund development firm.
Marnie recognizes the importance of volunteerism in bolstering communities and improving lives. She has devoted her time to a wide range of charitable Boards, including the Salvation Army National Advisory Board, Hamilton Community Foundation Board of Directors, Royal Botanical Gardens Board of Directors, McMaster University Crown Foundation and Mohawk College Board of Governors.
416 340-9710, ext. 1029
Susan Storey, CFRE
SVP & Partner – Toronto, ON
Susan Storey is a highly respected development professional with 25 years’ experience directing fundraising programs at some of Canada’s most notable charitable organizations. Her current work on behalf of KCI includes strategic counsel for studies and campaigns ranging from start-up to $500 million. In addition, Susan is involved in the creation of multi-year revenue generation plans that comprehensively evaluate potential across all fundraising channels including mass philanthropy, major and planned gifts, corporate giving and sponsorship, special events and social enterprise. Susan has been KCI’s lead consultant for projects in all sectors including arts and culture, education, health, environment, sports, multi-level national and international charities and community-based social service organizations.
Committed to improving lives and creating better communities, Susan has donated her time to a variety of organizations including serving at the local, national and international levels for the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a past President of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter and is currently Chair-Elect for the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Canada.
416 340-9710, ext. 1030
Joanne Villemaire
SVP & Partner – Ottawa, ON
With over 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Joanne Villemaire has an impressive record in the field. As Senior Vice President and Partner at KCI, Joanne leads both the Montreal and Ottawa offices and oversees our work with our francophone and bilingual clients across the country. Her main area of activity at KCI is to provide high level strategic counsel to organizations in a development mode, supporting them through specialized services such as strategic planning, assessments and the development of integrated fundraising and communications plans, and organizational development including the mentoring of senior development professionals and their teams. Over the years, Joanne has developed extensive experience within the education, healthcare and cultural sectors and in working with a number of national organizations and more complex assignments.
Giving back to her community is of great importance to Joanne. She has donated her time to a number of organizations, serving as an example on the Board of the Ottawa Community Foundation for 6 years as Secretary and a member of the Executive and Governance committees. She is also involved as a frequent speaker with organizations such as CCAE and l’AFÉSAQ.
613 742-0485
Karen Willson, CFRE
SVP & Partner – Toronto, ON
The hallmarks of a successful fundraiser are leadership, a carefully planned strategy and an innate understanding of one’s donors. Karen brings this mix of knowledge and skill to her role as Senior Vice President, providing strategic direction and project supervision to her clients. She has a proven track record of helping clients reach and/or exceed their revenue generation goals, including major campaigns with organizations like the University of Waterloo ($353 million) & Humber River Hospital Foundation ($80 million).
Karen was appointed to the inaugural Board of AFP Canada, serves on the Board of Directors for Youth Unlimited & Intriciti Ministries and is an Advisory Board member of the San Filippo Foundation
416 340-9710, ext. 1033
Sylvie Battisti
Vice President, Executive Search – Montréal, QC
As the Search team’s bilingual Vice President with 25 years’ experience in professional fundraising, Sylvie Battisti is an indispensable asset to KCI’s French and English clients alike. Sylvie has conducted searches on behalf of such clients as McGill University, MS Society of Canada, Fondation des YMCA du Québec, the Humanitarian Coalition and Rideau Hall Foundation for roles at the Executive Director, Vice President, Director, Manager, and Officer level. Sylvie is recognized by clients for her exceptional customer service and her highly strategic approach to candidate outreach regionally, nationally and internationally. Prior to joining the Search team, Sylvie provided a wide range of strategic counsel to our clients throughout the province of Quebec in the university, health, community and arts and culture sectors.
CHARITABLE INTERESTS: As a volunteer in the non-profit sector, Sylvie has presented at numerous regional and national conferences at AHP, CCAE and CASE. As part of her personal dedication to supporting the needs of youth with disabilities, Sylvie has been a volunteer Co-Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee in the Quebec public school system.
514 954-9727
Christoph Clodius
Vice President, Executive Search – Vancouver, BC
A vital member of KCI’s Search practice, Christoph has assisted with a number key recruitment projects, including searches for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Langara College, University of Regina, University of Waterloo – Faculty of Environment, University of Toronto, Pearson United World College and the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. Christoph brings over 11 years’ experience in professional fundraising and strategic planning with both post-secondary education and community organizations, including the University of British Columbia, where he served in a number of advancement roles, culminating in Director of Development for the Faculty of Forestry.
Christoph is engaged in the betterment of his community, having volunteered with such organizations as Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, the Immigrant Services Society, and has held several roles at CJSF Radio, Simon Fraser University’s campus-community radio station.
778 331-8865
Jennifer Ingham, CFRE
Vice President – Vancouver, BC
Jennifer Ingham recently joined the KCI team with over 25 years’ experience in non-profit management, devoting her career to the growth and success of organizations in education, health care, social services and arts and culture sectors.
A recognized leader in the British Columbia non-profit arena, Jennifer has played an integral role in the success of a number of large-scale campaigns and major gift initiatives. As Vice-President, Development for Science World, BC, she was responsible for the final phase of a $32.5M campaign, and helped generate over $8 million in annual revenue as Vice-President, Development for Easter Seals BC and BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities.
Jennifer has particular expertise in the area of planned giving, having established programs at BCIT and Science World BC and expanded the Arthritis Society, BC & Yukon, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundations and BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities programs. Jennifer obtained her Certified Fundraising Executive designation in 2005.
Jennifer is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Greater Vancouver RoundTable and is past President of the Carleton University Alumni Association, for which she received the 2006 Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award from Carleton University. She continues to give back to the community where she currently is a board member of Awkward Stage Productions, A member of the Women’s Leadership Circle for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and volunteers for an educational organization.
604 682-5470
Ashwini James
Senior Consultant, Studies & Appraisals – Toronto, ON
As Senior Consultant, Studies and Appraisals, Ashwini James complements the KCI team with a proven record of achievement in study production, management, communications and research.Since joining KCI in January 2001, Ashwini has conducted feasibility studies for such notable clients as the National Arts Centre Foundation, the University of Waterloo, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. She is responsible for managing the timely completion of study interviews, data analysis and writing of study reports. She also plays a key role in client debriefing sessions and the development of recommendations. Ashwini also plays a key role in the management of other projects including environmental scans, benchmarking analyses, fundraising plans and fundraising audits.
416 340-9710, ext. 1015
Privacy Statement
KCI is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal information that it collects. Through this website, personal information is collected when submitted by individuals interested in pursuing employment opportunities with Ketchum Canada. Any such personal information collected via the website is used solely for the purpose of evaluating suitability for employment.
KCI’s Privacy Statement is available by contacting our Privacy Officer. There are three ways to contact the Privacy Officer:
Email: privacy@kciphilanthropy.com
Mail: Privacy Officer
214 King Street West, Suite 508
Toronto, ON
M5H 3S6
Telephone: 416 340-9710
KCI Contacts
With regional offices across Canada, we’re never more than a call – or a click – away
214 King Street West, Suite 402
Toronto, ON M5H 3S6
Phone: (416) 340-9710
Fax: (416) 340-9755
1200 McGill College Avenue, Suite 1100
Montreal (Quebec) H3B 4G7
Phone: (514) 954-9727
Fax: (514) 393-9069
840-6th Avenue S.W., Suite 300
Calgary, AB T2P 3E5
Phone: (403) 233-0761
Fax: (403) 233-0765
400 – 1681 Chestnut Street,
Vancouver, B.C. V6J 4M6
Phone: (604) 682-5470
1959 Upper Water Street,
Suite 1301
Purdy’s Wharf Tower
Halifax, NS B3J 3N2
Phone: (902) 491-4288
Fax: (902) 482-3600
10180 – 101 Street, Suite 1000
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3S4
Phone: (780) 702-1240
Fax: (780) 423-2368
275 Slater Street, Suite 900, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H9
Phone: (613) 742-0485
Fax: (613) 236-3754