Reaching diverse communities: beyond bake sales and walk-a-thons

publication date: Jan 21, 2012
Statistics Canada estimates that by 2031 one in three Canadians will be a visible minority.  So there's no doubt that we need to do a better job of raising funds from our diverse and ever-growing multicultural communities.

Each of our current fundraising methods is being challenged by diversity. From direct mail through event sponsorship, we have to learn how to reach out, build relationships and raise funds from and with our new Canadians.

So says Gina Eisler, VP philanthropy at The Scarborough Hospital Foundation in Toronto. Gina has a particular interest in fundraising in a diverse community, as her current position serves one of the largest community hospitals in Canada.

World's most diverse community

Within east Toronto, the community of Scarborough is recognized as the most diverse community in the world (Ipsos Reid 2006). More than 100 languages are spoken within the hospital and 57% of patients are foreign-born. In addition to this experience, Gina's master's research included a study of philanthropy around the world, culminating in her thesis, Donors without Borders: the Globalization of Philanthropy.

Within the last 20 years of her development career, Gina has worked with ten Canadian hospitals in three provinces, including children's hospitals, teaching/research facilities, community hospitals and long term care facilities. Her experience includes major gifts, campaigns, annual appeals, special events and planned giving.  Gina has successfully directed hospital capital campaigns with goals ranging from $1.2 million to $100 million. She received her CFRE in 1999 and her Master of Arts in philanthropy and development in 2008. 

Gina frequently speaks at international fundraising conferences and voluntarily teaches development program workshops for conferences and college programs. She has won five national fundraising awards.   Gina has been the AHP Canada Primer Faculty Chair since 2005.

Learn Gina's tactics

She'll share her insights into fundraising within diverse communities in a Hilborn Key-To-The-Sector live workshop and webcast on Wednesday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The live session will be held at Toronto's Ryerson Ted Rogers School of Management. Sign up now at

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