AFP Recognizes New Circles with Fundraising Award

New Circles was honoured to receive the Mo Davies Award for Excellence in Fundraising by a Small Organization at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Annual Congress on Wednesday, November 23.

The award recognizes small organizations that have undertaken innovative initiatives resulting in overall fundraising growth and a stronger development infrastructure. 

This innovation is reflected in our move to 161 Bartley and the launch of GLOW.  By reinventing the idea of a clothing bank as one that offers a dignified “retail experience” for clients and also integrates employment training in retail and office skills, we have created a unique program model that has been well received throughout the philanthropic sector.  Annual revenue has grown by 22% and we have attracted a wide range of new supporters.

According to Executive Director Alykhan Suleman, “the amazing thing about New Circles is that we just don’t focus on basic necessities. What we do is use clothing as a vehicle for change. We integrate skills development [and] social [connections], and we provide an opportunity for people in the community to come together, using clothing…to effect development.”

Reflecting on the success of New Circles’ fundraising strategy, Manager of Resource Development Diana Gibbs also acknowledged how the commitment of New Circles’ many supporters – from volunteers, to clothing and financial donors – have been essential to our growth.

“To capture the skills and the passion of a broad supporter base, you need to show them immediately the impact of what they’re doing, the people they’re helping, and the ways in which they’re being helped,” she said. “There are many different ways that people can interface with New Circles and I think through all of that, we’re able to build quite a broad network of support.”

“The reason we are in the non-profit and helping professions is ultimately to have a positive impact,” said Alykhan. “When I see that the planning, the thinking, the ideas, and the type of strategic models that we’re looking at start unfolding, and see the success…it gives me a personal sense of satisfaction.”

We’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to our community of supporters who have provided their time, energy and skills to help New Circles become what it is today. We couldn’t have done it without you.


New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 12,000 people of all ages annually.