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For this, the fifth edition of DMPTalks, it was my pleasure to have facilitated a conversation with Lorna Somers. For those of us working within the nonprofit sector Lorna needs very little introduction given her numerous accomplishments within the sector. Lorna has been working in Development at McMaster University since 1988. During that time she has been involved in the establishment and growth of the Annual Fund, Gift Planning and Major and Principal Giving.  She has been Campaign Director for two campaigns and currently focuses her attention on working closely with senior academic leaders and volunteers to secure principal level gifts.  Past national chair of the CAGP and recipient of the “Friend of CAGP”, she has co-authored with Frank Minton,  Planned Giving for Canadians, the definitive volume on charitable giving in Canada.

On a more personal note, I first had the opportunity to meet Lorna at the most recent CAGP conference held in Toronto. We quickly became friends (at least I thought so) and, as a result, the conversation had a degree of familiarity and humour that I hope you find as enjoyable as I did.

Some of the topics we discussed during our 35 minute conversation included:

– How did you find your passion for charitable giving? Was there someone or something that was the catalyst?
– When you think of the word “success” who comes to mind and why?
– What was one of your greatest failures and what did you learn from it?
– What is your most proud accomplishment within the charitable sector?
– As you look back on your life, what would you have done differently in regard to advancing the cause of philanthropy in Canada?
– Tell me about the advice you would give to your 20-year-old self? (Hint … no more blue hair!)
– If you were having a conversation with a planned giving professional, what would you be telling her/him they should be doing right now?
– If you could choose three people to be on your personal board of directors, living or dead, who would they be?
– What have you changed your mind about?
– If you could have one billboard anywhere in the world where would it be and what would it say?

Click the link below to listen and I hope you enjoy my conversation with Lorna Somers as much as I did!