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.
Managing 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.
Principal & Chief Idea Goddess
I’m one of those people who wears their heart on their sleeve. I feel deeply. It could be an ad on television, or a kind gesture shown by one human being to another … it will inevitably bring tears to my eyes.
I think that’s why I love Good Works so much. I’m truly touched by so many causes and organizations, and it’s easy for me to be passionate about them all. There are so many people doing good work in this world, and it’s really a privilege to be a small part of their success. I wouldn’t be able to do that without feeling it in my heart.
I come by it honestly. I grew up in a very philanthropic family where giving back was just something you did. There was always an extra place or two set at the family dinner table for those who needed an adopted family, and both my parents have always been volunteers, donors and fundraisers… sometimes all at the same time. I couldn’t help but absorb their philanthropic spirit
So, when it came time for me to choose a career, philanthropy was my natural choice. And I’ve never regretted it for even one second.
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 fundraiser – and my wife also became a fundraiser (after meeting me!). 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.
Head of Donor Digital Experiences and Philanthropic 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.
I believe that most of us want to do good in the world. We try and practice tolerance and compassion in our daily lives, and we teach our children these same values. If given the opportunity, I think most of us would choose a career that would allow us to contribute to positive change. My career is just that – an extension of that desire to make a positive impact.
In 2001 I landed a position in an outstanding, local non-profit organization. I knew they raised money to provide great care for children in our community and far beyond. What I didn’t know initially was how much I would love the non-profit sector, and how that foray into fundraising would ignite a career path I had no idea I was looking for!
Fast forward a handful of years and I was jumping into a whole new area of fundraising I knew very little about – direct mail. I was hooked from the start! I love how the science of fundraising meets the art. How we can use specific data points to target a segment of a population or donor base, and create something both visually and emotionally compelling to generate significant revenue.
Whether you are a small or large organization, working locally, provincially or nationally, and regardless of the sector, you are doing good work. My job is to ensure that your donors hear about it. What we do is help you to build a fundraising program that generates the best possible results in order to make the largest possible impact. We do that by helping you tell your stories—speaking from the heart to connect with your donors’ hearts.
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.
Music was a huge part of my life growing up.
Both of my parents were active musicians in the community; dad a retired military musician who still played dance band gigs around town, and mom an elementary school music teacher and music director of the local military reserve band. In their spare time they volunteered their talents to area community concert bands and the university orchestra.
Their love of music and the arts rubbed off on me, and I became a clarinet player at the ripe old age of 10. As a teen, I was lucky enough to play in a fabulous youth marching and concert band run by an amazing man who loved both music and kids. He organized band rehearsals, community concerts, parades, road trips to competitions and Grey Cup half-time shows. I will never forget the experience of marching in the Orange Bowl Parade or playing for Queen Elizabeth II. He did this all for free and in his spare time for the pure love of it!
I didn’t realize it then but this was my introduction to philanthropy.
I went on to play in the military reserves (yep, the same band my mother ran) while attending university for my Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree. I then decided to pursue a career in the recording industry and received a Producing/Engineering Diploma from the Harris Institute for the Arts. After ten years as a recording engineer in the Ottawa music scene, I was introduced to the world of print and mail by a musical colleague.
Music and the arts are full of examples of people giving back for the pure joy of it, and I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences it has afforded me. I am still a supporter of the arts today and am thrilled to be able to use the skills I’ve gathered in my musical, print and lettershop careers to fulfill my role as Logistics Specialist for Good Works. I love that I can come into work every day and know that what we do is helping to make the world a better place.
integrated marketing strategist
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.
I was raised on a small hobby farm with my five siblings as the eldest daughter of hard-working parents.
Growing up in a rural community, helping those in need and the spirit of giving, were just a way of life for us – it was the natural thing to do. When a family needed help the entire community was there to pitch in, no one ever had to ask.
I guess my first real foray into traditional philanthropic work came as a result of a family tragedy. It was one of those life altering experiences that touches so many and changes us forever.
I was 17-years-old when I did my first community charity work, and of course being in the country, that meant driving around from farm to farm, knocking on doors and seeking donations to help a worthy cause. I had a blast!
As I moved through life, I stepped away from hands-on volunteer work, but always honoured those on the front lines. My motto was ‘those who can do and those who can’t donate.’ You don’t have to make huge financial donation to make an impact, you just have to participate.
In recent years, I have once again been able to lend a hand and support some local worthy causes and give back to my community. I consider myself fortunate to be able do this, and I am grateful that Good Works provides staff with the flexibility and support to be able to do good.
Some of my first memories are of marching in community gatherings with my family to support environmental and women’s health causes. My mother was a gentle activist who taught me how important it is to be kind, but also to speak up and speak out for what you believe in; to tell your story.
One of my first experiences with fundraising was wanting to save the Amazonian rainforest. For my seventh birthday I had asked for an acre of rainforest so that I could help protect it. It was part of a brilliant fundraising campaign by an environmental protection charity. My aunt proudly obliged, to my sheer delight!
I actually caught the fundraising bug while briefly living in a meditation centre in Vermont, USA shortly after university. It was there, between silent meditation sessions, that I first learned about direct mail, leadership giving, and that a charity needs to ask for what it needs.
It was this need to do good and connect a cause with friends and supporters that has inspired me to join the Good Works team. I am passionate about sharing a charity’s story, connecting it back to their mission, and making the story a felt reality for their donors. Analytics and metrics are the natural partner to that story telling. I love being a data-sleuth, coaching charities to find the gold that is already in their database and figuring out just the right way to ‘mine’ it.
I have had the pleasure of being a part of two capital campaigns and many annual programs. I feel very blessed to have seen two of the actual buildings being built – to witness how donor dollars do make charities’ dreams come true. It feels really good to know you have made a difference in people’s (and animal’s) lives.
I was born the youngest of a brood of eight, in a small rural community on the east coast of Nova Scotia. My father was a Scottish immigrant and my mother of French Acadian descent. What a combination… watch out for the temper if the finger comes out!
From my youngest years, I always remember there being great community spirit, everyone knew everyone else. If there was someone in need, the community was there to help. Others kids were treated as your own. I was basically adopted by our elderly neighbours, living on either side of us. You could always find me at one place or the other. Reading aloud to one neighbor whose sight was failing and had arthritis so bad she couldn’t hold a book, or helping her husband stack firewood when she was resting. On the other side I enjoyed gathering vegetables from their garden or bringing them eggs, fresh from our hens.
Later, as a university student, living in the city, I missed the community spirit I had grown up with, so I joined Girl Guides and became known to all the 4 -8 year old girls in my new neighbourhood as “Tawny Owl”. I had to cut through the school yard to get to my bus stop in the morning and always had to leave extra early to allow for the numerous hugs I would receive as I passed by! As an adult, I have volunteered at my son’s school and helped run his softball league for close to 10 years, even after he had stopped playing.
It was by total chance I fell into Direct Marketing, working at a lettershop. I found I loved DM and always wanted to dig further. Why were campaigns running when they were? How were the packages decided upon? What were the results? Always so many unanswered questions, until joining the Good Works team. It’s exciting to be a Good Worker and working with each and every one of you!
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.