Episode 11: Want to be a Fundraiser in a Smaller Centre? Be Prepared to be a Generalist Extraordinaire

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Welcome to BrainTrust Philanthropy Powered by ViTreo! Bringing you free flowing conversations with top leaders in fundraising, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector so that you can become a bolder leader, build better relationships, and raise more money.

In this episode, we spoke with Carmen Haakstad, Vice President External Relations at Grande Prairie Regional College; Georgina Altman, Vice President, External Relations and Infrastructure at Lakeland College; Michael Donlevy, Vice-President, Business Development at Red Deer College; and Scott Decksheimer, President and CEO at ViTreo Group. Our topic was the urban | non-urban divide in fundraising and why fundraising in smaller centres has both its rewards and its challenges.


  • Why being proficient in both rural and urban ("rurban") fundraising is essential to success
  • The challenges of recruiting and attracting talent to work in smaller centres 
  • What is a major gift in a smaller centre vs. a larger centre? The answer might surprise you.
  • Why the stewardship stakes are even higher in rural settings 

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Carmen Haakstad

Vice President External Relations  
Grande Prairie Regional College
Grande Prairie, Alberta

Georgina Altman

Vice President, External Relations and Infrastructure
Lakeland College
Vermilion/Lloydminster, Alberta

Michael Donlevy

Vice-President, Business Development
Red Deer College
Red Deer, Alberta

Scott Decksheimer

President and CEO
ViTreo Group
Calgary Alberta


VIDEO: Dairy Learning Centre - Cows Arrive at the Barn (Lakeland College)
VIDEO: Gary Harris Centre Update (Red Deer College)
VIDEO: Shaping Our Future (Red Deer College)