TORONTO, ON–Jennifer Johnstone, the chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Canada, released the following statement in response to articles published in the Globe and Mail, La Presse, Le Devoir and CTV News:

“AFP Canada appreciates media stories on charities as they help to raise awareness of our sector’s contribution to our country. We were, however, disappointed in the recent articles that focused on the compensation packages of the heads of some Canadian environmental charities.

These articles failed to consider important factors, most notably the impact of the work of these organizations.

Charities are tasked with addressing some of the biggest problems we face, in this instance the climate crisis among other critical environmental issues. These are extremely complex and challenging issues that threaten our planet and our very existence.

It is in the best interest of all Canadians that our country’s most talented leaders address these issues. Sophisticated organizations are necessary to address complex challenges. We need people who are more than simply “… the best in terms of mobilization, faith and belief in adherence to the mission…”. Strong leadership skills and expertise in finance, administration, governance, human resources and fundraising are crucial to these organizations’ success in addressing their missions and making changes to improve our communities.

Canadian charities have an imperative to be able to sustainably fund their work. To affect change they need professional leaders and staff who are remunerated fairly and equitably for their contributions. Canadians from coast to coast to coast depend on it.

Instead of looking at salaries it would be far more beneficial to focus on the impact of these organizations. Is their work affecting change? How has their work made an impact on the environment? Focusing on impact would make for a much more newsworthy story.”

The Association of Fundraising Professionals empowers individuals and organizations to practice ethical fundraising through professional education, networking, research and advocacy.

Jennifer Johnstone is the chair of the AFP Canada board of directors. The president and CEO of Central City Foundation since 2006, Jennifer’s 35-year career has focused on nonprofit leadership and community resource development.

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