Meet Cindy from The Good Partnership

Meet Cindy from The Good Partnership

Ever since Cindy Wagman was finishing up her undergraduate degree, she knew she wanted to be a part of the world of fundraising. She spent 15 years working with charities but when the opportunity came up to go out on her own, she took advantage of it and created The Good Partnership.

The Good Partnership helps non-profits achieve their fundraising goals. Some of the organizations they have fundraised for are StopGap Foundation, Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, and the Equality Effect. The Good Partnership doesn’t do one time fundraising events, rather they come in and substitute as a fundraising department when organizations don’t have the means to run their own. Contracting services are an increasingly popular way organizations choose when they’re exploring innovative ways to achieve goals within a fixed budget. When The Good Partnership works with an organization to do their fundraising, they do all the work by taking advantage of their networks.

“I quickly learned there is a whole group of organizations that are so lost with fundraising and they’re so small and no one is talking to them, no one is giving them help,” explained Wagman. “That is my mission, to work with the small organizations that have some success with fundraising but can’t grow it.”

There are a variety of different types of fundraisers for organizations to participate in. The best fundraiser for an organization reinforces the mission and is engaging for the audience.

Wagman is involved with her son’s school, which gave her some insight on school fundraisers. For schools, there can be two different approaches for determining the types of fundraisers. Schools can have a fundraiser that engages the entire family or one that allows parents to have the night off.

“The biggest thing people need to know is that it all takes work. This is especially true of crowdfunding,” explained Wagman. “There is a big misconception that if people just create a crowdfunding campaign and put it online, it will go viral and it will find all these people on the internet who want to support that work.”

Wagman explained that the best way to raise money is to connect with your current network. By getting people excited about the cause and the impact the money will have, the donations are more likely to happen.

Empowering children to help run your events is a great way for them to learn while building community. Here are Cindy’s children raising funds for Holland Bloorview Medical Centre.

“What are the schools and organizations assets, and how do you leverage them?”

If an organization or school has a large number of members/students, running a fundraiser that has high engagement with the group is an asset. Smaller organizations or schools that have highly involved members is an asset to fundraising.

“The only area people will fail time and time again is if they really try to convince people to support their organization that they don’t care about.”

Understanding the demographic is also important when considering fundraising. Raffles are ideal for diverse communities due to the flexibility of the amount of money that can be donated.

There are many options for nonprofits to raise money, but the type of fundraiser depends on each organizations situation.

Tips from Cindy for successful fundraising:

  1. You can never convert someone to support your cause; fundraising isn’t advocacy work. Find people who already support the cause of the organization.
  2. The more people who love your organization, the more they will give to their ability. Focus on the people, not the dollar amount.
  3. Stories pull on heart strings, not statistics. Focus on one story that is relatable that focuses on the individual’s journey and how the organization helped.

Other Resources:

  1. MyClassNeeds is a crowdfunding website for publicly funded schools to raise money for their cause.
  2. Get your children organizing a family fun night or another event with the Junior Event Pros workshop by Fariday Events.


Youth Speak – Youth Helping Youth

Youth Speak – Youth Helping Youth

Una Wright is the founder of YouthSpeak, a school board approved organization that provides students workshops that are presented by youth who share their personal stories. The motivation for Una to create YouthSpeak originated from the death of her two children. The workshops aim to raise awareness of mental health, and bullying. They give youth the tools to deal with any mental health problems they will face throughout their lifetime.

“They are more open minded to listening to the stories, and messages our speakers share,” said Una.

The speakers are youths who trained and have the relatable experience for other youth. The personal stories the youth speakers tell make the experience more impactful for the students who are listening to the presentations. The programs have interactive games that allow students to remain engaged instead of just listening to a speaker.

“It also creates a safe space for kids who are struggling. So if they’re going through something and they haven’t talked to anybody about it, they don’t know what’s going on, they’re experiencing high anxiety or depression.”

Una also explained that the programs hope to create compassion and understanding for the students around mental health, and bullying. It is also a reminder that they are not alone if they are experiencing bullying or anxiety.

“Often kids can kind of be tough on each other in school,” explained Una.  

“We are actually reaching out to younger and younger [age groups]. We have more and more schools calling us to speak to the grade four, five, sixes.”

Una also explained when YouthSpeak first started, they would mainly speak to mostly children in grades seven and eight. Una has found that the topic in highest demand is around the topic of anxiety.

According to Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), youth are estimated that 10 to 20 per cent of Canadian youth are at risk for a mental illness or disorder.

This spring, YouthSpeak introduced a new program called Body Mind. It’s a program that is focused around mental health and wellness, physical fitness and nutrition.

Last year, YouthSpeak provided 190 presentations across southern Ontario which reached 38,000 people. By next year, they aim to have 250 and want to reach 45,000 students, parents and educators.

For more information about YouthSpeak programming, contact Una at