Offord Group Magazine: The Boomer Effect

Whose desk isn’t over flowing with “things I should read”

Sector stuff, some stuff you pay for
…you never get to it.

Of the actual publications put out by consultants in the Canadian philanthropic sector a solid stand out is the magazine from the Offord Group
( mind you KCI’s Philanthropic Trends is no slouch )

This issue about Boomers was so well put together and so important for my professional passion, planned giving – I had to flag it for my network as a must read.

Doesn’t hurt that it’s a damn good looking publication, a fun read, a thinking read, one you want to share and talk about.

What makes this issue a must read?

I have been sounding an alarm in presentations I’ve been giving for the past few years. The Boomers are coming and they are going to change philanthropy and the way we fundraise. The issue starts off with a fascinating article on how charities should think about positioning themselves in this change. Doesn’t hurt that it’s from a professor from Queens eMBA.

I won’t hide my bias, that I have great respect for a fundraising leader I worked with at UofT, Avon MacFarlane who is now VP of the Offord Group. She has a strategic mind and I listen to everything she has to say and every word she writes. Period. Her article on the great wealth transfer, is of value to anyone who wants some of it! Tired of this topic? Her perspective is a refreshing one too as she addresses the fizzle that many of us waiting for this big transfer have felt for the past decade.

I’ve had a lot of fun this past year, getting up to speed with social media. All this fun took me a little off the path of why I was learning it. 90% of those who I interact with are Gen X, Y and Millennials but the reason I’m there is business, and if you want to do business with revenue-line results in social media right now… you better be aware of where boomers fit in. The wonderful Robin Fowler reminds us where that is.

Robert Harris, CEO of Altruvest provides some important insight about volunteer engagement that will soon be the new normal. Several of my peers are looking forward to hearing Robert at the February 3 Schulich Nonprofit Board Governance and Leadership conference – I hope he addresses this!

Having a strategic conversation about the demographics and future impact of boomers without talking to Founding President of Environics Michael Adams ( author of Stayin’ Alive, on my ready to read list.. _) is like doing a mustache retrospective and not talking to Tom Selleck or Dom DeLuise. The issue includes a fun and thoughtful Q&A with him.

Now, it would be dishonest of me to claim I love the boomers. Full disclosure, I’m a Gen X’er who at times can have a less than sunny attitude towards them. With their “demographics has nothing to do with it, we’re just that good” attitude. How Boomers donate and tips on working with them by Offord team member Prabha Mattappally had a nice Gen X edge to it. I tip my hat to you Prabha, one X to another.

So get over to the Offord site, I know they’re not 2.0’d out and you have to submit an email address… but looking at their client list – they are all about making big players big money and big results. Their network are big thinkers who are changing the face of Canada and the world. So if you want to think smart in 2012, this is worth the trouble.

Couldn’t be happier to see the recommendation to read CARP’s “Zoomer Magazine“. I’ve been a member on and off since I was 23. Yes, the Canadian Association of Retired People. Why? Because being a demographics nerd that they were going to change the very fabric of Canadian life. Why not ride the wave and have some fun? You can’t beat demographics, why not join them? Not a believer? Check out this full page ad that Moses took out in the G&M. Funny and a little terrifying right?

They’re coming.
Be ready.

Great job Offord team.

I leave you with some words from the Znaimer himself…


Job Search Resources

Some people love to travel the world.
I love the road. The drive.

Sure the changing colours of Canada in the fall is inspirational. But for me, there is something healing in that open road. Alone in the dark on a long drive is where I get to reconnect with me.

In a city like Toronto, being a family man, there are people around always. Light always, noise always. In the dark, focused on that white line, belting out odd but loved songs…
start with, quirky , plucky, inspirational , jazzy , cheesy , soulful , ends with
I can’t explain why this means so much to me.

Recently I’ve been having trouble explaining a couple things in my networking travels …

Yet another benefit of social media.

Working in charities for the past 11 years, job search in non-profit has been my life. Through Humber and Georgian College Fundraising Programs I interact with a lot of students too. Here is one of the best posts I have ever read on preparing for a social sector ( or any ) job search!

11 Tips for a Successful NFP Job Search by Rosetta Thurman

This past couple year I have become an avid promoter of social media. For work, career, enriched life and especially job search.
I have never been able to articulate this second topic that is CRITICAL in 2012 for the skilled knowledge economy leader:

7 Reasons Every Job-Seeker Needs to Blog by Mark Shaefer

A big thanks to Annette Penney of Inspire & Aquire. We met through a LinkedIn session I was giving with the great folks at Social Media Breakfast Waterloo – she has given my twitter feed new life since we connected! I urge you to follow her too.

Lastly, now that I’m no longer working for a charity I want to point out to readers and peers that although it may look like I’m patronizing with advice, my goal is only to provide resources to serve.

I am truly at your service in job and anything else my network seeks.

I call my network “the army of the passionate” – is this you? If it is, please engage on twitter or subscribe to this or my book blog – we could use…somebody like you!

Starting 2012 – ASK – What about me?

I got a lot of response when I announced that I was going to start 2012 with a newtorking retreat and the questions keep coming this week, how’d it go?
Thoughts, learnings?

It was a great group, more than I thought I’d get, top top network contacts – not a slouch amoung them. Three golden crabs too, nice bonus.

When we went around the room thoughts turned to challenges in 2011. Wow. Not betraying anyone’s trust but the lesson is, it is the life stuff not the work stuff, that derails and brings us low. I think it was comforting to know successful folks of all professions struggle with these issues. The greatest of my mentors were all affected most highs and lows – by non-work challenges. So, big lesson here, a book I read a few years ago really hit this home – even success can be toxic. Cause us to lose focus. Pay attention to health, quality of live, loved ones, parents and kids don’t wait until crisis hits to treasure them!
It’s not corny, it’s good business advice!

Business discussion! Wonderful to have former CAGP GTA Chair Colleen Bradley with us. Besides her wonderful work helping charities with Planned Giving she has a passion for helping professionals refocus & rejuvenate ( look for a session on this in 2012 ).

She asked three key questions and a powerful theme.
I challenge YOU to ask yourself these before January is over.

Theme: What about us?
Fundraisers, givers, doers… we do for others.
We don’t ask this question. We just git ‘er done.

Question 1. Personally: What are you grateful for?
Leader, Director and blogger Kimberley Mackenzie wrote
a wonderf
ul post today, that got me off my duff
to make my list – very simple stuff. Powerful. Do it.

Question 2. Professionally: When did I win?
The great Seth Godin, marketing maverick, wrote a post on this today. Write down your professional successes from 2011. Declare your awesomeness, without ego or hubris

In room, alone.
Look at this list and declare.
With an Iron Fist of Fury. I rule.

Question 3: What do I WANT in 2012?
Both personally and professionally, this is not work strategic planning. I mean for you.
A short simple list.
Then, SHARE it with your network.
Give it power by declaring you’ll do it and by asking your network, your personal army
for help in getting there.

Lastly, I mentioned in the last post that the retreat was going to be a potluck. Yikes!

A bit of a loaves and fishes situation.

Let talented people ‘chip in’ and beware!
Generosity is coming.

Does the word bounty come to mind?

A beautiful expression of what happens when a network comes together.

We literally can feed each other. Solve, serve, save.

Needless to day a retreat is in order. At least once a year.
A moment to STOP. No net, twitter, phones etc.. there’s power in this.

What about me? Paul Nazareth?
In 2011, a job change beyond my wildest dreams came knocking
No exaggeration, my network made that possible

In 2012, my biggest simplest goal is to get to the East Coast to do business.
Halifax in particular.

Time to share network…Goals, I want them..
I look forward to LinkedIn updates, tweets and emails

So when problems push back and tell you –
“You can’t do it, there are other priorities, people and things to worry about”
Your answer will be turning to your network and asking…
What are we doing here?

Look out 2012, we’re coming.


2011 Golden Crab Awards

Note: You’ll understand this post better if you read last year’s post when I gave out this award for the first time.

If you read my post last year you’ll know that I chose the crab because it’s a food you can only eat with focus, with people close to you because it’s messy and it’s rare.

These four people have proved themselves my MVP’s of 2011.

Last year was about focus and refinement. They helped me change my world, and it did change with a massive job move that was beyond my wildest dreams – it would NOT have happened with out the GC’s of 2010.

The GC’s of 2011 were chosen again using my handy excel networking tracking sheet (exported from LinkedIn ofcourse) that helps me remember:
– Who collaborated with me to connect the most
– Who is a great tag-team networker in virtual and reality reality?
– Who do I admire for something they created of value to my network
– Who pushed me to do something amazing? And who pushes others too?
– Who acted with vicious integrity, unwavering kindness and consistency?
– Who created a strong brand of their own, taught me how to use it to help others?

These ( in no order ) are my Golden Crabs for 2011.
* There is no physical reward for this award only my undying gratitude, respect, admiration and servitude

John Lepp – It was John who showed me the power of social media in late 2009. His are the words I have used to bring social media into the lives of hundreds this past year… ” you don’t have to talk, you can just listen first”. His is a voice more personal and challenging than I’m comfortable with (like another social media expert un-guru Claire Kerr ) but I know that he, like previous GC Promod is not just a Seth Godin tribe member he LIVES the challenge. He is a business owner, charity supporter, father, foodie – the man is everything I want to be. His authenticity is often mistaken for arrogance, don’t be fooled. He challenges us to embrace our excellence, not apologize for it. Although he doesn’t often leave the shire, he is ever-present in my life and the lives of his tribe. In 2011 I became an Agent of Good and haven’t looked back. Thank you John.

Another team member in my social media journey is Clare McDowall. I feel like I’m confessing to professional online dating but yes, we met because of twitter. To be more accurate we met because of the amazonian superhero Kimberley MacKenzie who held a tweetup to welcome Clare when she landed in Toronto from Glasgow Scotland. Very quickly Clare became one of my social media teachers as she created a consulting firm but was snatched up by a smart charity. Clare was present, active and always up to collaborate but was out front too. She was the prime motivator behind “Be Good Be Social Toronto” which realized a professional dream for me, the first conference session on my business passion – LinkedIn. Like the other GC’s she is one of the hungriest, collaborative people I know.

I would remiss if I didn’t note that John and Clare also showed me the power of a device I hated simply because it came from the wrong side of the digital tracks. The iPad. Seeing Clare in action and John’s advice help me overcome my PC upbringing and dive in to a new world.

The youngest GC is Brock Warner. Another rider in my social media posse his greatest value came from being the ultimate tag-team networker when working a room or conference. He was a big part the creation of one of the most powerful parts of Toronto’s fundraising community in 2011 – YNPCanada. The team at Stephen Thomas leads in a lot of ways, but it was their all out support of young talent through “Young Non-Profit Professionals Canada” that made the earth move. Outside of his work Brock participates, collaborates and supports others in much the same philosophy I do. A champion alumni of the Humber College Fundraising Program, he stepped up his game in 2011 with a Tedx talk. To be part of his network is an exciting privilege, I love that I’m always a little afraid that he’s going to beat me at being me. I love that he’s no swagger, but all game.

Last but certainly not least the lone un-fundraiser, Lisa Taylor. If I was a robot, I would have been manufactured at Lisa’s business. The Challenge Factory , if it got any cooler it would be illegal. Test driving careers? Lisa and I teamed up for a session this past April to help for-profit folks transition into non-profit fundraising. She has remained a serious networking partner and in the last quarter of the year invited me to her local BNI ( Business Networking International ) chapter sparking a minefield of business explosions that rocked December and continue to pay dividends in 2012. When people ask me, “Paul who in your network is a MUST know” in 2012, I will answer. Lisa Taylor.

Shout outs to a few institutions that rose above this year:

– the Hilborn team for having a 2.0 dialogue with your loyal supporters
PG Growth and GPIC for championing my beloved Gift Planning
Georgian College for giving me a shot to make a difference
Humber College for not resting on laurels and inviting me to party
Hutchison Smith for their new endeavour “Charity Executive
Crawford Connect, research in fundraising employment excellence
– Again, Stephen Thomas for creating
Zipcar for continuing to be my customer service gold standard
Starbucks Canada for showing the corporate sector how to tweet 2.0

If you are reading this, I hope this post makes you ask who was of most value in your professional life this past year? If you want an intro to these folks, let me know.

I’m grateful for the chance to recognize them publicly and to YOU dear reader for finding some value in this post.

A big thanks to the hundreds in my network who help and fight for me. Know that I’m in your corner, ready to spring into service – just ask, invite, call, tweet, post

I exist for and because of my network.

Let’s get out there and kick 2012’s ass.


Crabs, a standing O for you…and a tribute from the fab four…