Our Team

We are very proud of our highly experienced team of fundraising, strategy, and research experts here at Purposeful Fundraising.

Helping non-profits and charities to thrive is a passion that lives in all of us. We know of the great things that you are doing in the world, and we take great joy in helping you to do better, achieve more, and to become more effective in making the world a better place.

We also believe in the value of teamwork, and when it comes to finding you the right solutions, we take a team approach. The fact that we have more than 25 years’ experience in the non-profit sector between us means that we can call on the right skills, at the right time, so that we can deliver quality guidance to you that meets your real needs.

Mena Gainpaulsingh

Mena Gainpaulsingh

President & CEO


Mena has been working as a fundraising professional for more than 18 years. Her first role was at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, where she worked on a capital campaign to build a new treatment centre for torture survivors.

As a fundraising consultant and trainer, Mena has worked for a broad range of organizations, including WaterAid Canada, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Virgin Unite. She has delivered training internationally on fundraising strategy, individual giving, capital campaigns and grant-writing and donor stewardship for organizations that include AFP Ottawa, Toronto and Kingston, Algonquin College, the Institute of Fundraising UK, the Institute of Fundraising Ukraine and the City of Ottawa.

In a voluntary capacity Mena has sat on the boards of the Institute of Fundraising, the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention 2010, the Steering Committee for Starlight Children’s Foundation and served as Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee for Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre. She now sits on the AFP Ottawa Chapter Board, where she is Vice President of Professional Development. She also sits on the Steering Committee for Prime Ministers Row, an initiative to develop Canada’s first street museum.

She is dedicated to supporting the professional development of fundraisers and enjoys helping charities navigate their way through their various fundraising challenges.

Elizabeth MacKinnon

Elizabeth MacKinnon


With a background in performing arts, research and policy development, Elizabeth MacKinnon provides a range of strategic advice, operational planning and writing services. Fluently bilingual, her clients include small and mid-sized non-profits and federal government departments and agencies. In 2015, she was named Innovation Fellow in Performing Arts by the Metcalf Foundation, working on a collaborative research project on social finance for the arts in Canada. She has extensive experience in planning, grant writing, non-profit management and the legal and regulatory issues facing non-profits and charities in Canada. Elizabeth is active in the Ottawa arts community as a dance and interactive technology artist, co-artistic director of dance collective, teacher and writer. She collaboratively managed an artist-run studio for more than 15 years (Dance Network/Movement Arts Ottawa, 1996-2012) and was also a founding Board member of Propeller Dance, an integrated dance company (2007-2012). Since 2013 she has served as Secretary to the Board of Arts Consultants Canada/Consultants canadiens en arts (ACCA). Elizabeth holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University (Montréal, 1995) and a MA in Digital Performance from the University of Hull (UK, 2005), in addition to further studies in Electronic Art  (University of Ottawa, 2008), Authentic Leadership (Naropa University, Colorado, 2013), and Organizational Systems Relationship Coaching (Fundamentals, CRR Global, Toronto, 2015).

Monica Chohan

Monica Chohan


A lawyer by training that has transitioned to the world of non-profit management, Monica’s approach to fundraising and her consulting practice with Purposeful Fundraising is informed by hands-on experience with daily operational realities.

Monica has played a leading role in the governance and management of several Ottawa non-profits since 2009. She is currently Co-Executive Director at Dandelion Dance, where she is managing the growth and sustainability of the organization both locally and nationally. In addition, Monica is on the Steering Committee for Prime Minister’s Row, where she is developing and implementing a seed-funding strategy, and advising on matters related to governance and risk management. Monica also runs a management consulting practise, with a focus on strategy development, stakeholder engagement, risk management, and governance.

Monica’s past non-profit experience includes a five-year stint as a Board Member, Fundraising Co-Chair and then President at the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre; and roles on boards and various committees at Harmony House, VON Canada, and the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network of Ottawa. In addition to her extensive non-profit experience, Monica worked as a legal and public policy advisor with the federal government, Shaw Communications and TELUS for over ten years.

Today, Monica draws on this wealth of combined experience to provide strategic planning and management consulting services to non-profits, charities and social enterprises.

Shawna Miller

Shawna Miller

Executive Assistant and Logistics Specialist

Shawna has been a volunteer in the non-profit sector for two decades, most recently as Chair for the Communications Sub-Committee at The Well/La Source, a drop-in day program for women and their children. Currently she is a volunteer for the Ottawa Catholic School Board, supporting numeracy and reading in the classroom with kindergarten and grade one ESL students.

With nearly twenty years of executive assistance and logistics experience, Shawna’s expertise and areas of focus include helping to manage Purposeful Fundraising’s communications and day-to-day office functions.  She is passionate about ensuring that every client receives the best possible experience, which only serves to complement the superior fundraising knowledge at Purposeful.


As well as our core consulting team, we work with outstanding associates and strategic partners so that we can serve organizations all over the world, enabling us to find truly holistic solutions to your non-profit challenges. This ensures that your fundraising is embedded within a strong culture of philanthropy that will enable your whole organization to thrive.

To learn more, please get in touch. Also, if you are interested in joining our team, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

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