Chair’s Remarks at the February Meeting of the Cystic Fibrosis Canada Board of Directors Toronto, ON
First, let me congratulate every one of our volunteers - here and across the country on a very successful fundraising year. As we close our books, I’m proud to announce that our fundraising revenue increased by 17% percent when compared to the previous year’s.
Of course, we couldn’t have done this without the leadership of our CEO, Maureen, and our team of dedicated staff working at the national office and across Canada.
I’d also like to congratulate Maureen on her one year anniversary as our CEO. As you know, she joined us a little over a year ago and has been instrumental in helping steer our transformation as a national health charity.
She joined our team at a time when the charitable sector was experiencing significant challenges as result of the economic downturn. As a country, as a sector and as an organization, we’re not out of this yet – so we’re grateful to have someone of Maureen’s calibre as our chief executive.
I know she will help lead our organization as we tackle head-on some of the challenges we face as a charity and as a sector.
Before I go on, let me tell you that it has been an honour and a privilege to serve as your Chair. Your dedication, passion and energy has made my job very rewarding – especially at a time of change. So to each of you, thank you.
Setting the context
I spoke earlier about some of the challenges we face – so please indulge me as I talk a bit about that.
The economic downturn has meant charities are now facing a harder time raising money and we’re all competing with one another. In light of coming cuts to government spending, charities will be asked to step up to the plate but from a much smaller pool of financial resources.
This means we must adapt to this external challenge and change the way we do business.
Throw into this mix, government regulators are getting stricter and so is media scrutiny of our sector.
Therefore, charities must change the way they operate to be sustainable.
I’m proud that at Cystic Fibrosis Canada, we are being trail blazers by taking the bold steps in modernizing our governance structure.
It wasn’t easy but with the dedication and hard work of our volunteer leaders, we’ve made this possible.
The changes that we’re making to our board structure and By-laws will take us to the front of the pack and will become our competitive advantage as we launch our major gifts campaign and step up our strategic partnerships on the research and clinical care front.
As an organization, we have so much to look forward to.
Maureen has often talked about her three pillars: Research and Innovation, Advocacy and Fundraising. And as we embark on our own transformation at the Board level, so too is our national office.
As Chair, I’ve lent my support to Maureen as she transformed how business is done. Change is never easy, but we know that remaining stagnant for fear of change isn’t sustainable.
I’m most excited, like many of you, about the new major gifts campaign that is launching soon – and I know the board will do its part in helping raise the much needed funds.
And of course, the monies we raise will go towards finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and until that day is here, to support high quality care. So needless to say, I’m pumped that our fundraising efforts will help fund cutting-edge research and clinical care across Canada.
Just as important, are our advocacy efforts. In light of the economic, social and political challenges the charitable sector face, we’re proud to show our support for a renewed emphasis on advocacy under Ken Chan’s leadership.
In closing, thanks again for your energy, dedication and passion and going forward, as we jointly tackle some of the challenges head on.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to the weekend.