Phil introduced John as a previous member who had to resign from the Club for a while when he was working out of town.  He is active in the community, especially with the sailing club.

John said his Classification is Fund Raising which usually puts an end to conversations.  In fact it's so effective at putting people off he's down to no friends.  He grew up in Don Mills and spent all the time possible sailing on Toronto Island.  He was in a national championship twice and has sailed the South Pacific.  His hobby is refurbishing wooden boats and is now the proud possessor of 7 cause he can't bear to sell them.  In university he developed his own summer job running a sailing school with 18 employees and 36 boats.  He looks back now and realizes he had no idea of liability etc., but he had a good time and paid for school.  Now he's teaching at the Midland Sailing Club and they work with 150 kids a year as well as running the Enable Sail School.  

After school he went to IBM in 82 where he met Donna and they left the company in 84 to travel for a year which stretched into two and ended up costing a total of $15,000.00.  When they came back they were offered jobs at IBM again but they were looking to move and on the map Midland looked good cause it is surrounded by water so they moved here in 87 and have enjoyed it ever since.  Donna took a job in IT at TRW and he was working with the C of C and volunteering at the Wye Marsh when the Marsh lost its government funding.  He offered to help and a career was begun. 

He and Donna spent two years volunteering as teachers at a school in Uganda in the late 80's and when they came back he joined Rotary in 1991 and worked on the Youth Exchange for 13 years which was a magical experience getting to know the kids and making friends for life.  The ones sent overseas he didn't get to know as well but he often hears from them and knows the experience is an important part of their life.  Youth Exchange is a terrific way to promote understanding and internationalism.

John is proud to help raise money that will make things happen that wouldn't otherwise, through the kindness of others.  When he started there were no courses, as there are now and the professional organization was just getting started with about a hundred people.  Now it represents numbers in the thousands.  He worked with Bob Whittam who personfies integrity and heart and in 1993 he formed Lister and Assoc., though he had no associates, it just sounded better.  He had contracts with the Y and the McLaren Art Gallery, learning all the time.  The field is now in demand and more people are moving into it and he acts as a mentor to some.  Georgian College has 6 fundraisers on staff but he was brought in to lead them through a $17 million campaign which has now reached 30. 

The process requires developing an understanding of the client and the community and the golden rule is 'don't ask till you know the answer is yes'.  Nobody likes to be rejected and you have to think about bringing people to the point where they are ready to give.  Hold a meaningful discussion and establish that they care and that they understand the value of the project.  The most generous people are usually the less well off - they give a higher percentage of their income.  We feel comfortable going to corporations but they only give 7% of charitable dollars.  The rest comes from individuals and with them there is only one decision maker.

Fund Raising is becoming more sophisticated.  Currently money ismoving between generations and this is an opportunity for charities.  John recommends that people make giving a part of your life and your budget.  Select specific organizations to give to.  It makes us feel good.  We are privileged and we have not only an opportunity but an obligation to help and we can make a difference.  As Mr. Weber said of a gift to the Y - 'We can't spend the money any better way".  Find the joy in giving.