Webinar: Great idea, program or project? Funders share what they know

A Webinar

This trio made their debut at the Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning Summit earlier this year. The feedback was positive and some attendees were disappointed they missed it.  We are hearing Aboriginal communities and organizations want to learn more about how the philanthropic sector works. Here is an opportunity for the inside scoop.   Join Us on September 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm ET. Register Now

NEW: Links to the presentations from panelists: Dana Vocisano , Mario Gravelle and Dani LaGiglia 

NEW:  Canadian Philanthropic Sector – A Primer

Moderator: Elisha Muskat, Executive Director, Ashoka Canada

Presenters: Dana Vocisano | The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Dani Mailing | Small Change Fund, and Mario Gravelle | The Counselling Foundation of Canada

Format: Three presenters, 15 minutes each, with 5 minutes for Q&A, followed by 15 minutes Q&A at the end


  • Provide first hand information about how foundations work.
  • Share experience about how to approach foundations from developing an idea, program or project, to looking for funding support and tips about relationship building.
  • Enhance capacity and learning by providing an opportunity to answer questions and through utilizing the chat room function of the webinar platform.

A closer look at who is moderating and presenting 

Elisha Muskat
Executive Director, Ashoka Canada

Prior to joining Ashoka, Elisha worked primarily in youth development, building and running programs in Toronto, New York City and Syracuse. She has launched youth conflict-resolution and peer-mediation programs and developed a green business advisory for small business owners. Elisha has also run after-school and summer programs for elementary- and middle-school students and worked in the field of health education, bringing knowledge and skills to teenagers in public schools across the US. Elisha has an MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University and a BA in Psychology from McGill University. 

Elisha has been with Ashoka since 2009, when she started as a volunteer while completing her MBA in non-profit management, sustainable business and strategy. She quickly became absorbed in the systemic change approach at the core of Ashoka’s work to create a world of Everyone A Changemaker. She has worked with the Canada team, the USA team, Changemakers and global committees and across many functional areas.  While at Ashoka, Elisha has developed new systems for managing Venture pipelines, financial models, and launched Canada’s first country-led Changemakers competition.

Dana Vocisano
Senior Program Officer, The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation –  View Dana’s presentation here!

Dana has been with The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in Canada, since 1995.  Dana has accompanied major Foundation initiatives such Vibrant Communities, a national poverty reduction effort, and manages relationships with individual grantees working in a wide range of areas, from family caregivers to youth development; guidance often includes evaluation planning and capacity building.

Dana came to the Foundation after 10 years of working in the youth-service sector, including as Executive Director at Head & Hands, a youth-focused Montreal community organization providing multidisciplinary health services, and as a Street/Youth Worker doing outreach and intervention in the West End of Montreal.

Dana is a board member of the Fondation Québécoise du Sida and a member of the Grants Committee of the Foundation of Greater Montreal.

Daniella LaGiglia-Mailing
Program Director, Small Change Fund – View Dani’s presentation here!

I strive to enable people to make a difference in the world by connecting their philanthropy to the things that mean the most to them. I am honored to have the opportunity to help people create change by assisting them in directing their funds to what lies deepest in their hearts.

As a professional fundraiser and non-profit manager, I most recently worked at Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall as their Individual Gifts Manager. I currently sit on the board of directors at the Redwood, a safe haven for women and children fleeing abuse. I have enjoyed working as a consultant to grassroots environmental charities, and was formerly the Manager of Development and Membership at Citizens’ Environment Watch (EcoSpark). A previous recipient of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Leaders in the Field award, I have a background in project management, fundraising, and citizen engagement. I live in Leslieville, Toronto with my wonderful partner and our menagerie of pets.

Mario R. Gravelle
Learning and Innovation Analyst, The Counselling Foundation of Canada –  View Mario’s presentation here!

Mario R. Gravelle is the Learning and Innovation Analyst at The Counselling Foundation of Canada. His responsibilities include developing and overseeing knowledge capture and knowledge transfer mechanisms that allow the Foundation to inform the greater community about what it does and the impact of the projects it supports. Prior to this role, Mario was Chronic Disease Surveillance Coordinator at the Métis Nation of Ontario where he collaborated on designing and carrying-out several research initiatives about chronic diseases, intergenerational gambling attitudes, and childhood obesity. He is completing his Ph.D. in history at York University (B.A. from Concordia University and M.A. from the University of Ottawa).

See you on the 13th of September!