Last month, Celine, our Campaign Coordinator, and Andrew from our Board of Directors, attended the world-renowned AFP ICON – hosted this year in Toronto. Known as the world’s No. 1 fundraising conference, this event promised unparalleled education, networking, and excitement – and it did not disappoint!

The Toronto Vibe

Toronto buzzed with energy as over 3,000 fundraising professionals gathered from around the globe. The city became a vibrant backdrop to an event filled with insightful sessions and endless networking opportunities. Celine and Andrew were active participants in the sessions and discussions, and they added the MGFC spirit by sharing the story of how over 800 Canadian registered charities integrated mobile technologies to enable seamless donations, raising over 10 million dollars in the last 15 years.

Sessions That Sparked Joy

With over 100 sessions to choose from, each tailored to ignite innovation and foster deep connections, Celine and Andrew had a packed schedule, brimming with opportunities to bring fresh ideas back to MGFC.

Andrew thoroughly enjoyed “Speaking with Love,” learning how compassion and connection could revolutionize our communication strategies, transforming every MGFC donor into a celebrated hero of their own story. This session reinforced the power of empathy in messaging.

Celine dove into the potential of AI in “AI for Good,” exploring how charities can leverage technology to enhance donor outreach and content creation. The insights from these sessions are set to propel MGFC’s strategies to new heights of efficiency and engagement.

“There were a ton of AI sessions at this year’s conference compared to last, which is great! AI is clearly here to stay and it’s important that nonprofits don’t fall behind on emerging tech. It’s been exciting and valuable to hear different perspectives and applications of AI in this space, and to learn how we can leverage it for good.” – Celine Tessier

Andrew poses with a yellow Giraffe mascot on the AFP ICON Toronto 2024 conference floor.

A Moment Under the Sun… Or Rather, the Eclipse!

In a truly memorable moment, the entire conference paused to witness the eclipse. Despite the cloudy skies, everyone donned their glasses and shared a moment of anticipation and camaraderie. It was a beautiful reminder that sometimes, you must stop and soak up the atmosphere, whether you can see the eclipse or not!

Andrew and Celine each post outside the AFP Icon conference to view the solar eclipse. Both wear protective eyewear even though it is overcast with cloudy weather.

The Power of Networking at AFP ICON

One of the highlights of AFP ICON was the incredible opportunity to reconnect with long-time colleagues and meet new faces in the fundraising community. The conference corridors buzzed with lively discussions, shared insights, and laughter, embodying the spirit of connection that makes this event so special.

Amid these connections, we introduced an engaging icebreaker question to old and new acquaintances: “What three words would you use to describe your experience?” The diversity of responses we collected not only sparked conversations but also provided us with a unique snapshot of the event’s impact, represented vividly in this word cloud:

A visualization of the key words Andrew and Celine heard other AFP ICON attendees used when asked the icebreaker question “What three words would you use to describe your experience?”. The largest words include inspiring, networking, engaging, enlightening, educational, refreshing, joyful, perceptive, catalyzing, mobilizing, strategic, advancement, and resourceful.

The words shared by our peers at AFP ICON—like “inspiring,” “networking,” and “engaging”—reflect not just individual experiences but our collective journey in the world of fundraising. Each term portrays a collective experience of challenges and successes, reflecting the essence of our community’s spirit.

Beyond the conference, we continue to nurture these relationships on LinkedIn and invite you to join our growing community.

Swag Spotlight: Canadian Style!

Oh, and how can we forget the swag? True to the Canadian spirit, there were maple syrup pancakes—because when in Canada, you syrup it up! However, our favourite giveaway was the adorable campaign planner provided by AFP. It’s packed with important dates, campaign ideas, and fabulous resources.

Collage of various printed materials including brochures, newsletters, and calendars, featuring content related to non-profit organizations and fundraising events, with text and graphics about board members, event dates, and fundraising strategies.

Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting MGFC news! Until then, we want to express our deepest gratitude to AFP ICON for the unforgettable experience and all of you for continuing to support MGFC. Here’s to making every moment count – in Toronto and beyond.

If you want to learn more about partnering with MGFC, please visit our website at

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A Special Thank You to MGFC’s Amazing Partners

MGFC can provide Canada’s only carrier-billed Text-to-donate platform due to its incredible partner network—a special thanks to all our delivery, technology, and strategic partners that make what we do possible.

Carrier Partners: BCE Inc. (Bell Mobility, Bell MTS, PC Mobile, Virgin Plus, Lucky Mobile), Eastlink, Shaw Communications (Freedom Mobile, Shaw Mobile), Rogers (Chatr, Fido), Tbaytel, TELUS (Koodo), Videotron (Fizz).

Technology Partners: IC Mobile, Bandsintown, AWS, and Dirox.

Executive Partner: The Canadian Telecommunications Association.

U.S. Partner: The Mobile Giving Foundation is the sister organization to MGFC and shares technology resources.

Strategy Partners: designACE. This blog was written in partnership with Andrew Edwards and Christine Reynolds, designACE.