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Our mission: helping you achieve yours

You need to raise money. And you’re doing lots of things right. But you need some help to bring all the pieces together - to create the enabling ecology that will support a fundraising program.

To be successful at fundraising, you need to learn skills and best practices. But you also need to learn how to think strategically, be flexible and build relationships. Fundraising is both an art and a science. The Fundraising Lab will help you learn both.

After 20 years of teaching fundraising in college and university, and over 25 years of working as a front-line fundraiser and consultant, I developed the Fundraising Lab to share fundraising skills and best advice with even more people. And I’m bringing some of the best professionals in the sector together to share their knowledge, too.

We can’t wait to help you change your corner of the world.


Cathy Mann, MA, CFRE

President, Cathy Mann & Associates and The Fundraising Lab

Cathy Mann, MA, CFRE

Cathy is an award-winning fundraising professional, teacher, author and podcaster. Since 2007, as part of Cathy Mann & Associates, Cathy has advised multi-level and community-based organizations working in social justice, with youth, in education, with indigenous communities and in healthcare. She led Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management Certificate program as Academic Coordinator for a decade from 2008 to 2018 and taught in college and university for 20 years. You can learn more about Cathy from her website www.CathyMann.ca and can hear Cathy interview Shift Disturbers in Philanthropy on It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask! podcast.

Cathy is a frequent speaker and writer and occasionally, she plays her ukulele in public. 


Heather Nelson, MBA, CFRE

Heather is a corporate partnership and sponsorship expert who develops strategy and coaches fundraisers in reaching their charity’s corporate fundraising goals. Heather’s expertise was established as Director at Food Banks Canada where she led a corporate partnership program that grew from $1M to $9M. Through her own consultancy, BridgeRaise, Heather works alongside fundraisers to build successful corporate sponsorship and fundraising programs from the ground up, and to have fun doing it! Heather is an experienced mentor and teacher, including teaching Introduction to Fundraising at Ryerson University. You can learn more about Heather through her LinkedIn profile or at www.BridgeRaise.com


Chris Baylis

Chris is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek. After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same. Chris launched The Sponsorship Collective with one goal in mind: To build best-in-class sponsorship programs for his clients. Chris now spends his time working with clients to value their assets and build strategies that drive sales. An accomplished speaker and international consultant, Chris has helped his clients raise millions in sponsorship dollars.

Mena Gainpaulsingh, LLB MInstF (Cert)

Mena Gainpaulsingh is a fundraising leader with national and international experience and a demonstrated commitment to human rights.  Mena began her career in the human rights sector, managing a capital campaign in the United Kingdom to build a new treatment centre for torture survivors. She moved on to fundraise for Rights of Women, which provides support for women experiencing violence and discrimination. She then worked with the International Fundraising Consultancy, relocating to Canada in 2010 to establish a Canadian chapter before starting her own Ottawa-based firm. Gainpaulsingh, who holds a law degree from the University of South Wales, also sat on the steering committee for Prime Minister’s Row, which worked to develop Canada’s first street museum. She has volunteered for the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Mena was appointed as CEO of the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in April 2018.


Increase your chances of fundraising success

Get instant access to the free resource Fundraising's Enabling Ecology Approach and learn how to create the right environment for your fundraising program to thrive.