Theresa Dobko has one of those rare wide-ranging backgrounds that make her an asset to any organization. With 28 years in the Toronto non-profit sector as an executive or non-profit consultant, Theresa brings a wealth of experience to every new project.
Theresa has served as a senior executive to charities and foundations. She understands the challenges of raising money and running an agency and the pleasures/challenges of giving grants as well. She has helped launch several non-profit organizations.
“I love bringing my expertise to large and medium-sized organizations, but I also specialize in startups and grassroots organizations, where the need is great and the opportunity for growth is endless.”
Today Theresa might be called on to create a fund development plan and raise needed money for a charity or she might be hired for her communications and marketing expertise. Theresa loves the variety that her work brings and her clients benefit from her varied background: they might hire her to raise funds, but don’t be surprised if she helps them improve their annual reports, or website, so they are more appealing to funders. Theresa works with a number of health charities and she understands the difference between writing words and writing a message that lasts; the difference between a poster that is beautiful art and one that compels the viewer to take action. Expect her to ask with a smile: “Why do you do it this way?” A lot. A lot. Expect her also to help answer your questions, deliver on her promises and your non-profit needs.
- Volunteer of the Year, M.E. Association of Ontario, 2007
- “Who’s Who of Canadian Women”, from 1996.
- Published articles on fundraising, women’s health, HIV/AIDS. Published poet.
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Theresa began her career training to be a clinical psychologist. In 1984, she took a ‘brief sabbatical’ during her master’s training to become one of Canada’s first AIDS counsellors and never looked back. For more than seven years, and with the help of a great team, she built up the counselling department at the AIDS Committee of Toronto and created the first Women and AIDS programs and support groups. From there, Theresa’s executive roles began, first as Executive Director of the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation and then of the Kumbaya Foundation – helping to raise more than $1 million for AIDS education and services, $650,000 of that to hospice programs across Canada. Theresa was also one of the founding members of Casey House Hospice.
In 1992 she launched her consulting business, and has worked with more than 20 charities since. Her clients have ranged from health charities, to women’s organizations, and centres that benefit teens and children. From 2006 onward, she worked with the late June Callwood and the staff and board of Jessie’s Centre to raise funds and rededicate the Centre in June’s name. When June passed away in 2007, Theresa spearheaded a candlelight memorial walk that began at Jessie’s: The June Callwood Centre for Young Women and finished at Casey House. Recently she was Provincial Coordinator of the M.E. Association of Ontario and she currently consults with the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, and other clients.
She is privileged to have earned repeat contracts with many of her clients. A full list can be found on the “Clients and Testimonials” page.
Throughout her career, Theresa has volunteered with 10 community groups. She is always looking for that great Board of Directors to join and these days she volunteers for different nature groups – monitoring the health of local Toronto marshes or tracking urban bird populations and migrations – it’s a chance to make a difference at something completely different from the work she also loves. Plus it gets her outdoors … from time to time.
Theresa lives and works in Toronto but she also consults with groups in other regions, thanks to the Internet and Skype.