NABS expands its fundraising efforts with a bigger team

More than a dozen senior execs from across the industry will help the non-profit meet the high demand for its support services.
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As demand for its services continues to grow, NABS has grown its fundraising team alongside side.

The organization, which provides mental health, wellness and career support for those in the advertising, media and communications industries, has increased the size of its fundraising team to include representation from creative and media agencies, client-side marketers and all parts of the country.

“Expanding the representation of our fundraising executives to include a wide group of industry leaders allows us to work together towards not just meeting today’s needs, but also towards building longer term support for NABS and those in our industry in need of our help,” says Dave Lafond, CEO of No Fixed Address and NABS’ fundraising chair this year.

Joining Lafond are 13 senior executives: Brett McIntosh, president of Publicis Canada; Matt Litzinger, founder, president and CCO of The Local Collective; Mike Da Ponte, president and CEO of BIMM; Janis Lindenbergs, SVP of growth and operations at Cossette; Dhavall Bhatt, partner and CD at Rethink; Candy Lee, CMO at HelloFresh; Rebecca Flaman, SVP and business director at BBDO Canada; Lori Davison, chief marketing and communications officer at the Royal Ontario Museum; Erika DeHaas, VP of marketing communications at Sobeys; Christine Saunders, president of Starcom Canada; and Tyler Turnbull, CEO of FCB North America.

Also, representing the western market is John Voiles, former VP of sales for Western Canada at Bell Media. Representing Quebec is former Taxi president and current Reitmans chair Daniel Rabinowicz.

NABS is now in the midst of a microdonation campaign, which was first developed by its Montreal team and is now being rolled out nationally. Promoted through owned channels nationally and supported by partners like the Ad Club of Toronto and A2C, the campaign is an effort to drive more donations from individuals, as opposed to institutional or corporate donations, by using a “give whatever you have” messaging.

Mark Neves, director of NABS Central, says the campaign has already brought in 20 donors in its first few days, a significant number given that the organization receives between 100 and 200 personal donations in a typical year.

The new fundraising effort and team comes one week after NABS released its 2021 Impact Report, showing how demand for its services and content has continued to increase as the pandemic has gone on.

Views on videos within NABS’ Lifespeak library went from 1,627 in 2019 to 7,273 in 2020, with projections putting the number at over 8,000 by the time the year is done. Besides more demand for support in these kinds of services, NABS says more organizations are using LifeSpeak content – which also includes articles and podcasts on health and wellness – to share knowledge and start conversations among their own teams.

On the other hand, use of NABS’ counselling support line has gone down, from 720 calls in 2019 to 648 in 2020 and a projected 560 by the end of 2021. Explaining the decline, the organization cited the fact that people are less comfortable having phone calls about professional, financial and mental health advice from home where families may overhear, confirming that stigma attached to these issues still exists.

Looking forward, NABS is focusing on continuing to adapt its programs and launch new ones tailored to digital and interactive channels – since the outset of the pandemic, that has included the Togetherall peer support network and making the LifeSupport well-being platform available to members. It is also exploring new revenue sources – as demand for NABS services continues to rise, that makes it imperative for revenue to grow at the same rate.

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