Our name is who we are, and it’s what we do.

We’re fundraising consultants who specialize in individual giving.

That means we work directly with your cause to grow giving and spread donor love in mailboxes, inboxes, and everywhere in-between. We help you get personal with each and every donor through direct marketing that’s tailor-made to create your biggest fans.

Part of our recipe for success is that we’re master storytellers (the other part is our team, plus a top secret only revealed to our clients). We craft compelling and moving stories that deeply connect supporters to your cause.

Get to know the team in your corner.

Yes, we’re fundraising consultants. But our real work is building trusting relationships between you and your donors.

We specialize in telling stories that come from the heart and the soul.

Before you give us the chance to tell your stories, we’ll give you the chance to read ours. This is where we introduce you to the people who will work hand-in-hand with you and your donors.

  • Jose van Herpt
    Jose van Herpt
  • Fraser Green
    Fraser Green
  • Holly Wagg
    Holly Wagg
  • Jennifer Benedict
    Jennifer Benedict
  • Charlotte Field
    Charlotte Field
  • Ronen Tal
    Ronen Tal
  • Morgan Steacy
    Morgan Steacy
  • Melanie Scholz
    Melanie Scholz
  • Margaret Bigelow
    Margaret Bigelow
  • Nadine Cheney
    Nadine Cheney
  • Jenna Robertson
    Jenna Robertson
  • Phil Downs
    Phil Downs
  • Alison Turmelle
    Alison Turmelle
Jose van Herpt

Partner & Chief Counsel

Reaching out to help someone in need, work hard, play hard, enjoy each day, be grateful, honest and fair. These are the ideologies I grew up with and the ones I did my best to instill in my own three sons.

My parents immigrated to Canada from Holland after WWII. They arrived in Halifax midwinter with $65 and one suitcase between them. They had spent their teen years struggling to survive, learn and work in a war-torn country and they landed here with eternal optimism, a pioneering spirit and the promise of opportunity in their hearts.

Their war stories about neighbours who hid a Jewish family and the farm where my mom’s extended family hunkered down through much of the war, the liberation of my mom’s hometown Arnhem and the bombing of my dad’s childhood home inspired a sense of peace seeking, justice and hope in me.

I fundamentally believe that doing good work is a must. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that like many of my generation, I fell into fundraising. Formal training in marketing, art and advertising gave me the fundamental skills – 30 years working in and with charities has left me with a wealth of experience.

Creativity, beauty and the peace afforded by nature, art in all its forms feed my soul. I like to look at things as much as create them. I use photography and painting to capture that beauty, tell stories and to study color, movement and light. I garden because I like the feel of dirt in my hands – I like the science and art of it – and the satisfaction of growing both beautiful and edible things.

Like people everywhere, I believe we canall make a difference in this world and that it is our moral responsibility to do so.

Fraser Green

Principal & Chief Strategist

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been curious about everything – and I’ve always had this larger-than-life imagination.

In my work, my curiosity has turned me into a self-confessed market research freak. I’m always itching to know what donors think, how they feel, and what motivates them to do the good works they do. We Good Workers are deeply committed to listening carefully to donors – and then helping our clients give those donors the experience that strengthens their commitment to the cause and loyalty to the organization.

In my work, my true passions are writing and speaking. I co co-wrote a book called Iceberg Philanthropy and have contributed a chapter to a new book called ‘me-volution’. My latest book 3D Philanthropy is my opus. My articles (which I often call contrarian rants) are published in fundraising journals quite often.

My work and my life are intertwined. My daughter is now a very successful fundraiser, speaker and blogger in her own right. I’m thrilled at the way philanthropy has found its course through my family. I often come up with my best fundraising ideas when I’m riding my bike, paddling my kayak or doing shivasana on my yoga mat.

Good Works – and everything it stands for – is in my soul. I’ve committed the rest of my career to helping next gen fundraisers connect with their donors more deeply than they’d ever imagined. There’s no doubt in my mind that this work will always stir my heart and feed my soul.

Holly Wagg

Managing Partner and Head Counsel

I discovered the fundraising part of philanthropy quite by accident.

When I was an undergrad, I secured a summer job at the newly established youth centre in my small hometown. The two moms who ran the place had campaigned for over four years to achieve this. I was incredibly inspired by their passion and dedication to do something that they were told couldn’t be done.

One of my first tasks was to deal with the fact that no one knew where we were on the main street. I got some wood donated and asked a relative to make a sign. Next, I tackled transforming the 20-foot high walls of our activity room by recruiting a local artist to mentor youth to paint murals. When I found out that we didn’t have a budget for paint, I worked on securing donations from local businesses.

By the end of the summer I was a budding fundraiser.

Over the past 18 years, I’ve developed a bit of a niche in the sector. I tend to be drawn to work where I can build organizations from the ground up or develop fundraising capacity where none previously existed.

One time, I even started a charity – the Ten Oaks Project – which was the first of its kind in Canada for children and youth of LGBTQ communities. It’s now been running for 10+ years.

Even though I had an 8-track player in my childhood bedroom, I’ve never had to raise money without the internet.

A digital aptitude is part of my DNA. I’m lucky to be part of the next generation of fundraisers writing the playbook that charts out the future of fundraising. It’s kind of a sweet spot for me, and an even sweeter place for the causes I work with to be.

Jennifer Benedict

Managing Director & Philanthropic Counsel

My “work hard, play hard” approach to life has always been a blessing and a challenge (and caused my parents a few sleepless nights over the years). As a mom of two boys, I now understand the juxtaposition (and fear), but never suppress passion for living, desire to do well and appetite for new adventure.

Fundraising was not my first professional calling but I landed in it by design. I was formally trained in marketing and advertising and landed in the high-tech sector. I was a software developer who made their way to consulting as I couldn’t be contained to a cubicle! In addition to being far too social for the cubicle life, I had an overwhelming desire to do something altruistic. Fundraising married my skills and motivation.

I believe in karma and in leaving the world a better place than how we found it. One of my all-time favourite quotes is from Mother Theresa ““Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” My passion for fundraising originates from my desire to leave the world a better place and my motivation lies within unlocking the inherent potential in others to do the same.

Definitely don’t let my nine-to-five-all-business persona fool you. I’m always game for trading my heels for hiking shoes and finding my Zen somewhere in the back country trying to outrun the black bear dinner bell. There is a perfection in nature that fills the soul and recharges the battery allowing mind and breath to reacquaint.

When I’m not braving the backwoods, I’m volunteering; whether it be providing mentorship to the next generation of fundraisers or lending my skills to a worthy cause. I am grateful for all the opportunities and experiences in my orbit, the amazing people that I interact with and all of my smart, passionate colleagues. Life is good!

Charlotte Field

Philanthropic COunsel, Digital Specialist

Some of my earliest memories are of fundraising.

From a young age, I just couldn’t help getting involved in the things I cared about. When cancer touched my family, I organized a Relay for Life team. When my mom organized fundraising events, I glued together centerpieces and counted ticket sales. I stuffed envelopes for the Liberal Party and taught classes at the local art centre.

It’s just how I was raised – when something brings you joy, you support it. And you share it, so that other people can discover that thing you love and support it with you.

This desire to share my joy is the foundation of all that I do. Before Good Works, I worked in communications in different places – from tiny tech start-ups to national museums. No matter where I went, my focus was always the same. I wanted to make a difference, to leave the world better than when I found it. I wanted to spread the joy around.

I learned that one of the best places to do that is online. I became a digital addict when I discovered the incredible online communities that existed, the conversations being had, and all the people who felt the same way I did about sharing.

When we share, we can make big change. Bringing together people, ideas, and resources pays off almost every time. To me, working together is a fundamental part of being human – we make each other better.

When I fell into fundraising, I like to think it was accidentally-on-purpose. I can’t think of a better way to make a difference. I feel incredibly grateful that the work I do has a positive impact on so many lives. It’s wonderful to work with so many inspiring people, to help them share their joys, and to keep discovering my own.

Ronen Tal

philanthropic counsel

When people ask where I’m from, I’m never quite sure where to start. Depending on the period of my life, I could have been living in Toronto, Montreal, or Tel-Aviv. But one thing all three of my hometowns taught me is that people are wonderful. We tell stories and share our lives. And we all want to make the world a better place.

And so, when I fell into the fundraising world, it turned out to be a stroke of good luck. Years later, I’m still amazed that I have the opportunity make a real difference in the lives of people who need it most. If that sounds corny, well, it is. But like any good direct mail piece, it’s also true.

I started my career in management consulting and that first fundraising role opened my eyes to the beautiful, data-driven puzzle that is direct marketing. It is complex and fun. Messy and full of opportunities to experiment. An Excel-based playground that is only limited by our imaginations.

Somewhere within the numbers lies a perfect spot for every organization, where spending is optimized and donors feel engaged and proud. The search for this personal fundraising utopia is what drives my work.

When I’m not analyzing results or writing copy, I’m probably throwing myself around a basketball court or baseball diamond with reckless abandon. Or climbing some rocks.

Morgan Steacy

Morgan Steacy

PHILANTHROPIC COUNSEL

I was fortunate to grow up in a world surrounded by people who recognized that their good fortune carried a responsibility to share at least some of what they had with those around them who had less. The youth group at my temple was crucial in instilling this value. We ran food drives, volunteered at hospitals helping children our age with disabilities, and expanded our knowledge of the ways people needed help through passionate discussion.

When I moved to Taiwan after finishing a BFA in Acting, I was struck by how little I really understood the challenges people around the world face. My passion for helping swelled, but I still didn’t have an outlet to fulfill the desire.

I never knew how I would put that passion to use in life, but when I found myself floating without a real career, my childhood friends rallied around me, and one of them suggested the perfect career for me: fundraising. I could blend my love of storytelling with my drive to help, and a fundraiser was born.

As I built my career, I discovered a talent for working with data, finding ways to blend data-driven insights with the human insights that I feel instinctively from years of training to recreate people’s traits as an actor.

Now I get to focus my attention on trying to make sure that there is money to solve the big questions that face us today. Will we have a planet to leave our children? Will the planet they inherit be equitable and just? And will we be able to provide food, water, and basic human rights for every single child born?

These are the questions that get me out of bed every day, and the stories I want to tell give people hope that the answer to each of them is “yes.”

Melanie Scholz

Melanie Scholz

Philanthropic Counsel

My earliest philanthropic experience was “helping” my mother canvass our neighbourhood for the Canadian Cancer Society when I was about 10 years old. Specifically, I remember knocking on the door of a family home with 3 kids. It was dinnertime, the house was loud and chaotic, and the woman who answered looked worn. Even as a child, I would have understood if she brushed us off and slammed the door. But instead, she scraped up all the change she could find and gave us $10 in dimes and quarters. I still remember how eager she was to help any way she could, despite all the mayhem around her.

I think about that moment a lot. At the time though, I never considered growing up to be a fundraiser. That all came to be, albeit unexpectedly, a few years later in 2010. I was a young twenty-something, new to Ottawa and in need of a job.

Rumors of a federal election had the city abuzz, and Jack Layton’s NDP team was looking for people power. So I was hired on as a part-time fundraising caller. The election ramped up, the NDP gained 65 seats in the “Orange Wave” of 2011 and I found myself a home on the NDP fundraising team.

I had a degree in Public Relations, but it didn’t take long to realize that I could apply some of my PR skills to fundraising – by crafting and creating appealing, intriguing and personalized messages. I wasn’t writing press releases, but instead could be a little more authentic, less formal and really speak to the donor directly. It was much more rewarding – and I was hooked.

Today, I’m the worn-looking mom at the door, tripping over dinky cars to find cash for whatever cause needs it. The universe is weird sometimes but I’m grateful I get to play a small part in the good of it.

Margaret Bigelow

project Specialist

Back in the 1950s, my parents – or the two pillars who would become my parents – emigrated from Malta to begin a new life as Canadians. Over the next three decades, they would help many of their siblings and family members do the same.

Before long, their extended family grew and grew. And like most immigrant families of that era, they banded together to help wherever help was needed: finding a job, a small loan, learning a new language or a shoulder to lean on when times were tough. Help was always readily available.

I guess you could say my parents were philanthropists before they even knew what the word meant (in English, at least)!

And that spirit of giving transcended very naturally to me. In fact, I don’t know any other way but to help others. I like to give back.

Remember the Miles for Millions walk – or the ‘Walk’ as it was called – that was so popular back in 1960s? Or how about those orange collection boxes for UNICEF – something that gave purpose to Halloween? My earliest memories of giving back involve the collection plate at church, volunteer work, and helping neighbours without even thinking I should be paid for it.

I guess you could say I’ve been passionately involved in philanthropy all my life.

Doing good drives me. Doing good is all I’ve even known – helping without hesitation, whenever and wherever, without question. And I like to do good without the expectation of receiving anything return.

It gives me a sense of self-satisfaction that what I do here at Good Works can make someone’s day. We help our clients improve lives, and perhaps, that’s the greatest feeling of all.

Nadine Cheney

PROJECT SPECIALIST

I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia and learned, early on, that helping others is just what one does for your family, friends, and community. Writing letters for an elderly great aunt who’d lost her vision, finding sponsors for walkathons to raise money to build a new rink, and participating in Girl Guide community activities were small ways to help.

Present day finds me putting in a lot of volunteer hours with theatre groups (never onstage – I prefer to be the support system off in the wings!) as well as a few different Art organizations. I love community theatre because we’re all there to help each other bring the best possible production to the stage – and we have an extraordinarily good time doing it! I love colour and form and I explore that though uncountable hours at my easel, accompanied by good jazz or classical music and a glass of wine.

It’s a funny thing, aging. You really do learn what life is about and what really does matter. It’s not the ‘stuff’ and it’s not the size of the bank account. It’s what you’ve done to make this world a better place; it’s the realization that giving is so much more satisfying than getting. I am proud to be part of a team that helps organizations connect with their donors in the best possible way. We’re all in this together.

Jenna Robertson

PROJECT SPecialist

Born and raised in Ottawa, I first entered the world of fundraising and philanthropy through my local church and Girl Guides community. The passion for helping and sharing was further sparked by working alongside my mother. As long as I’ve been around she’s dealt with chronic pain and disability, but it never stopped her from pitching in. She was the Girl Guides leader for my friends and for several years beyond, she volunteered at my school to read books to the differently-abled children, and employed me to assist her in craft days and games.

That caring and community-driven spirit continues on in me, and I’m so excited to be a member of Good Works and a part of something bigger.

Having previously worked in the printing profession, I got a lot of experience managing the production side of things. However, it left me feeling like I wanted to play a bigger role in the world around me. Working in graphic design for a few years helped me assist people on an individual basis, but still lacked the far-reaching impact I desired. Enter Good Works – and the whirlwind of direct mail, fundraising, digital strategy, and so much more for non-profits. I’ve jumped into the deep-end, and the water is great!

Every day is a new challenge to make a positive impact on the world around me – and I hope I’ve come full circle, from selling cookies to improving the lives of people everywhere. Doing Good Work!

Phil Downs

Project Specialist

As a life-long resident of Ottawa, I have been exposed to philanthropy for as long as I can remember. Whether it was the Jerry Lewis Labour Day Telethon on TV, going door to door for Boy Scout bottle drives or knocking on my neighbours’ doors selling raffle tickets for my minor league hockey teams, there always seemed to be some type of charitable activity taking place.

It is only natural then, that philanthropy should continue to be a part of my life as organically as it has. I had not made a conscious decision to seek out a career in philanthropy, but as something that has been such an ever-present part of my life, I think I am just instinctively drawn to it. I have found that I what I get out of the act of giving, is more valuable than the gift itself.

Today, philanthropy in my life takes many forms, but the giving that means the most to me is the giving that comes uniquely from me. This kind of giving includes donating blood or volunteering my time to help addicts find recovery. It the kind of giving that is personal and powerful and helps me to feel like I am not just passing through this life.

I love structure. I am comforted by knowing where everything is, where it will be and how it will get there. I am very fortunate to be able to apply that love of structure when I come to work each day, to help others benefit from the powerful act of giving.

Alison Turmelle

Communications, Digital & Marketing Coordinator

I can’t hide the way I’m feeling. Like actress Kristen Bell once said on Ellen, “if I’m not between a 3 and a 7 on the emotional scale, I’m crying.” That’s me to a tee.

That might be why I love the work I do so much. I get to connect so deeply with so many causes. I often find myself tearing up when writing appeals, cases for support, or thank you letters.  It makes me so passionate about telling organizations’ stories.

I was drawn to the charitable sector from an early age. Though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I knew a career of helping people would bring meaning and purpose to my life. When I was young I used to help my mom canvass our neighbourhood for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society. I saw firsthand what incredible things can happen when a community comes together.

Like many in others in the sector, I fell into fundraising somewhat by chance. My environmental studies background connected me with a number of non-profit organizations early in my career, but I enrolled in a fundraising Graduate Certificate program on a whim. I was exposed to a world I didn’t know existing…and I loved every minute of it.

I thrive on building relationship, telling stories, and connecting people with the causes they are passionate about. I love that, as a Good Worker, I get to see real impacts from the work we do across so many organizations.

I feel so lucky to be part of the brilliant and inspiring Good Works team and to get to work with so many amazing fundraisers every day.

A journey to our roots.

Way back in 1986, Fran Lowe decided to create a consulting agency in Ottawa to help local charities get better results from their direct mail programs. In those days, pretty much every charity relied only on the mail to communicate with, and raise money from, their donors.

Fran had a gift for really connecting closely with her clients – and helping them connect closely with their donors. She simply had a knack for heartfelt intimacy. And that knack helped her clients achieve tremendous donor loyalty.

In 1989, Jose van Herpt joined Fran to help service a growing client family and the agency’s reputation for great client service and superb storytelling continued to grow.
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