Who we work with

IFC works with clients of all sizes and across the whole range of sectors, from education, to health, disability, animal welfare, the arts, heritage and international development. We are passionate about helping you to develop the skills and resources you need to fulfil your mission and change the world for the better.

Here are just a few comments from our some of our clients:

I thought I knew my organisation inside and out: what we did, what we cared about, what we wanted. But doing the key messages exercise with Heather and Mena asking good questions, gently pushing back when necessary and facilitating discussions between our team members cracked me open to a new way to think about all of those things. In just a few months it has already made a difference in how I describe our work to our members, partners, funders and other stakeholders. I didn’t know how crucial it was until I had done it, now I recommend the process to all the other not-for-profit organisations I work with.

Shelley Robinson

Executive Director, National Community Radio Association

Our festival hired Mena to carry out an audit to assess our organization’s fundraising potential and to develop a series of strategic fundraising recommendations. We are a festival that moves around the country from one host city to the next, the challenges that we face around fundraising are unique and significant.  Mena was able to grasp the issues immediately and encouraged me to think of our liabilities as advantages.  Her consultants report exceeded our expectations as it was extremely detailed, tailored specifically for our needs and chock a block full of new ideas about how to move forward.  The thing that I appreciated most about Mena was her holistic approach – she identified what changes were necessary in the governance and structure of the organization in order to make the work of fundraising successful.

Brenda Leadlay

Artistic Executive Director, Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival

Working with Mena was a great experience and came at a critical point when figuring out how to clarify our messaging and build the belief of our work in the community and internally with our board and key patrons. It was a challenging process. It helped to have Mena there to support the process of stepping back and trusting that the core of what the organization is about did not get lost. This is an evolving process, but having someone to get you started, help organize your thoughts and push you to consider the hard questions of how you will build a case for support is something that is needed for any growing organisation. Not only did this help build our key messages, it helped build the confidence in myself and the team to stand by our vision and know how to pitch our work.

Rohini Bhalla

Executive Director and Founder, One World Dialogue

Mena and her team at IFC are heaven sent. I first met Mena at a First Fridays event at the HUB and approached her for fundraising consulting. She and her team met with our organization to audit our fundraising strategy/tactics and easily identified major areas for improvement. Not only did they suggest what to do, they also coached us on how to do it. They remained available for mentoring throughout our fundraising revamp, providing input on everything from the highest-level, strategic elements – such as engaging our Board in fundraising – to the lowest-level, tactical elements, like what to include in an e-mail to a prospective sponsor. Since we started working with IFC, our fundraising prowess has (at least) doubled. We are not only more comfortable as fundraisers, we are more certain of the value our organization can offer to prospective supporters. Thank you Mena and team!

Maria Smirnoff

Program Manager, Ottawa Network for Education

The CCPA is grateful to Mena for her counsel and commitment in helping us to develop our fundraising capacity. In particular, her knowledge and experience were essential to understanding how and where we needed to grow our fundraising program, and in the hiring of our development officer. Mena is a skilled fundraiser whose services we would highly recommend to other non-profits.

Emily Turk

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

I was looking for some very practical training on grant writing for the arts and had the immense pleasure of organising a session with Mena for me and my colleagues. Mena has a unique combination of great content and great delivery!!! The training went well beyond the ‘how to’ and challenged us to think and write strategically. The session took us from very insightful and critical knowledge sharing to practical templates and tools that got us building the skeleton of our grants then and there. It was one of the most beneficial training sessions I have ever attended on the subject. Mena has a wealth of experience and knowledge that she can easily communicate; she is analytical, strategic, and knows how to lead you to optimal outcomes.

Caroline Obeid

Artistic Producer and Manager, Shenkman Arts Centre

In 2012 we hired IFC to audit our current fundraising operations and develop a resources development plan. IFC was very thorough in assessing our various systems and ways of working, at all levels of the organization. Their report was truly comprehensive and the Board of Directors was fully satisfied. We were pleased with their high level of professionalism and experience, so much so that we asked them to continue to work with us for the implementation of the fundraising plan. Due to their outstanding service, professionalism and the pleasure of working with them, I am only too happy to provide a reference for their work.

Jacques Bertrand

Executive Director, Helpage Canada

Virgin Unite is grateful for the expert support provide by Mena and the team at the IFC particularly as a Hit Squad Partner. Our Hit Squads harness the talents of a group of people to tackle a social challenge and enable business to truly become a force for good. The IFC has supported the following project (amongst others) by offering their professional fundraising expertise. In January, Virgin Unite brought together volunteer marketing and fundraising specialists to help Kids Company develop ideas for the launch and promotion of a new fundraising campaign. The campaign will fund the development of a research programme to study the impact of trauma and neglect on young people’s physical and psychological functioning, and examining a variety of therapeutic interventions.

Amy Deas

Virgin Unite

I have no hesitation in recommending Mena and believe she will be an asset to your organisation.

Emma Scott

Director, Rights of Women

Mena Gainpaulsingh wrote a bid for Ealing for co location money from the former DCSF. Ealing was successful in this bid which brought £2m capital [equiv to $3.2 million] into the borough. Mena has good bid writing skills. She is also a good colleague to work with. She is quick on the uptake. I would recommend her to you.

Maggie Wilson

Head of Children’s Commissioning, Ealing Council

I have nothing but fantastic things to say about Mena and the great work she did for my organization. Mena took a hands-on and customized approach to help my organization figure out where to focus our fundraising efforts. She went above and beyond the scope of her assignment to ensure the end result was exactly what our organization needed.

As a fundraising consultant, Mena stands out in two significant ways: first, she doesn’t come with a pre-conceived idea of what an organization should or shouldn’t do. She treats every organization individually and has a vast network of experts across all fundraising streams, which means you get a holistic understanding of how to get the best bang for your fundraising buck. Second, Mena works diligently and digs deep in her research to make sure she understands the organization before making recommendations. I was incredibly taken by her genuine desire to help our organization succeed – that level of commitment to providing top quality work and client satisfaction isn’t easy to come by and can often mean the difference between success or failure of an organization. I would absolutely recommend working with Mena!

Sheona McGraw

Executive Director , Raising The Village

Mena worked with The Open Futures Trust to help us develop ‘our case for support’ and to advise us on a fundraising strategy. We liked Mena from the moment we met her, she was a good listener and clearly creative in her thinking. Her professional approach to developing the case for support was extremely helpful. She carried out thorough research and provided convincing data to outline the need for Open Futures. She then helped to pull together and extend our evidence base for the effectiveness of the programme. She enabled us to prepare a broad base of information which we could then draw on and adapt for particular funders. Mena is a good communicator and easy to work with, she has a great deal of experience and I would really recommend her. She always has an eye on strategic development too which adds a great deal.

Lucy O’Rorke

Trust Director, The Open Futures Trust

Mena is both an amazing fundraiser and teacher. As an instructor she is professional and engaging, and brought a real depth of experience in fundraising to HUB Masterclass. Attendees of the training she led had only positive things to say about her approach and spoke to the tremendous value they got from her class.

Jessica Lax

Hub Masterclass Curator, Hub Ottawa

Mena has been a tremendous resource and fantastic consultant in the three years I have known her. Though the IFC, she runs a monthly fundraising seminar focused on sharing ideas and solutions for local not-for-profits. Her diverse and comprehensive fundraising experience has provided her with the ability to assess situations quickly and make sound recommendations to enhance fundraising success.

After attending these sessions for one year, I approached her to consult directly with my organisation at the time (Community Radio Fund of Canada) to help develop a fundraising strategy and key materials, including a case for support and foundation proposal template. As I expected, I found Mena to be extremely competent and enjoyable to work with. She is bright, innovative, and dependable.

Over the years, Mena has proven to be one of the few people I can really talk to about fundraising – from strategy details to relationship building, from donor retention to not-for-profit organizational realities – she knows it all. Her knowledge and experience fuels her wisdom. Combined with her work ethic and personality, I do not hesitate to place my trust in her.

Melissa Kaestner

Former Executive Director, Community Radio Fund of Canada

Mena is a talented fundraiser and has provided us with expert counsel on developing our fundraising capacity. We’ve had great results and I look forward to implementing more of what we’ve learned. Highly recommended!

Renata Soutter

Co-Director, Propeller Dance

Mena has been an integral part of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre’s new fundraising strategy. Because of her hard work, expertise, creativity and dedication, we are much further down the path of embarking upon a much more diverse fundraising programme than we would have been otherwise. With her assistance, we have been able to identify new fundraising opportunities and fine tune what we are doing to ensure the most efficient and effective use of our resources. I would wholeheartedly recommend Mena to any non-profit organzation seeking to hone its fundraising strategy, and would be happy to further discuss my experience working with her to anyone who may be interested in her services.

Monica Chohan

President, Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre

Mena has carried out an audit of our current fundraising strategies, identified potential risks and has helped us to build a plan that sets realistic goals based on sound research. In addition to her experience and knowledge, Mena comes with a tremendous network and set of resources. Mena’s strategic plan will become the road map for this Committee and for Starlight in Ottawa. I rely heavily on Mena as a leader and expert on the Steering Committee; Mena has that rare combination of knowledge and the natural ability of a relationship builder and leader. I cannot recommend Mena highly enough and consider myself and Starlight very fortunate for connecting with her.

Chris Baylis

Former Regional Manager , Children's Star Light Foundation Canada

Mena gave an extremely well-received presentation to our 100+ members at our Researchers in Fundraising Conference. Feedback from the conference delegates was excellent, noting Mena’s clear concise style of delivery and extremely valuable and well-considered content as well as her ability to engage her audience and keep their interest throughout the session. Her authoritative and knowledgeable response to follow-up questions was especially impressive.

Rebecca Funnell

Former Chair of Events Committee, Researchers in Fundraising

We have found IFC’s service to be excellent. They offer a professional and flexible service – from advising on bid and project development, to undertaking research and writing bids. They have bought a valuable external perspective to our fundraising work, and we have benefited from their extensive experience and sound guidance. IFC supported our team to develop a number of proposals including major BIG Lottery bids (Reaching Communities and Community Libraries). 2 out of 3 have been successful so far, bringing in over 1.6 million [equiv $2.56 million] to our organisation.

Valerie Borne

External Funding Manager, Ealing Council

We at Sightsavers have been very impressed with the service we have received from everyone at IFC. Their advice has always been thoughtful and considered, concepts and designs exciting and writing style very appealing. Their flexibility has made our working relationship very easy and all of this has been provided at a competitive price. We look forward to working with them again.

Judy Reynolds

Sight Savers

Other organisations we have worked with