People went crazy for my first book, LOONIE

Valerie Fraser

5-star customer review on

There are very few books on the market today (at least in my experience) that are inspiring, knowledgeable and easy to read. The use of anecdotes to convey religious teachings and other important lessons made the lessons more relatable and enjoyable. Instead of being hit with a dense wall of text where you have to decipher the point the author is trying to make and how to apply it to your life; it is presented as an easy-going conversation featuring something that everyone can relate to. As someone who has to spend a lot of time reading textbooks for school, this was the perfect read for me. If you’re looking to have your perspective of money, faith and your life all changed at once, this is the book for you.

Rev. Dr. G. Malcolm Sinclair

Metropolitan United Church, Toronto, Ontario

With the freshness of a bright mind and heart, John VanDuzer tackles the danger zone for all Protestant preachers. “Don’t challenge people about how they spend their time, raise their kids, or use their money.”

These are the “no-go zones.” John goes. Employing family conversations, research, and the tugging of his own conscience, John leads the reader to the central question: “Do you trust God or simply believe in God?” To trust God is to be open to a summoned life. In the midst of such adventure, money takes its place among the gifts and graces we may employ to a greater good.

Janet Gadeski

Former President, The Hilborn Group, and founding President of The United Church of Canada Foundation

Don’t want to think about how you use your money, time, and talent? Good! John wants you to think about bigger questions. A “why-to” rather than a “how-to,” Loonie may also be the only truly hilarious book about stewardship. Read it. Share it. Live it as the author does — one bumpy mile at a time.

Rev. Dr. Peter Wyatt

Former Principal of Emmanuel College and Editor of Touchstone journal 

Loonie is a brilliantly crafted and engagingly formatted book about who is rich and who is poor. Astutely drawing on current images in popular culture and then deftly relating them to knock-out passages of scripture, VanDuzer leads the reader from provocative considerations about money to insightful teaching about human nature and the will of God. This book is impressively accessible and puts much that matters in perspective.

It should spark interest and discussion in almost any Christian reading circle or study group.

Rev. Dr. Robin Wilkie

John VanDuzer tackles the difficult and dreaded subject of stewardship in a refreshing, engaging, and humorous way. His remarks are penetratingly insightful and relevant and bring the scriptures to life by way of practical application. He woos us with his humour and then lowers the boom by making us see ourselves in a way that requires a response on our part. It is easy to read this book and conclude that we should do more, can do more, and need to do more for the furthering of God’s realm, and all because of what has been entrusted to our care.

Rev. Robin McGauley

A readable and engaging reflection on God’s call to us in light of Western affluence. The author’s curiosity drives him to ask thought-provoking questions that seek to uncover the myths of dominant consumer culture that have left us feeling poorer, even as we are surrounded by abundance. Through his questioning, the author takes us on a journey of thinking theologically about just how rich we truly are and what we are called to do in response.

Dianne Lister

Former President and CEO of the ROM Board of Governors and former CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation

John VanDuzer writes with empathy, insight, and humour. He brings the reader through our disconnected and at times untethered world to the solid foundation and wisdom found in the Bible. A storyteller with deep faith, John illuminates his pages with common sense and compassion.

Note: In 2002, Dianne was the first Canadian to receive the International Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Personal endorsements (everything’s personal)

Ron McKay

Visual Creative / Environmentalist / Educator

I have always held John in the highest regard. He is a man of honesty and integrity both personally and professionally. As tough as work/life balance can be, John holds it together as a loving and dedicated husband and father; while producing both exquisite visual communications and powerful marketing concepts of the highest calibre. John not only talks the talk of “creating the greater good,” he has his feet — as well as his heart and creative mind — solidly grounded in that principle as he also walks the walk.

Samantha Pellegrino

Fitness Coach at Curves for Women

It has been a joy knowing John over the past 20+ years. His integrity and enthusiasm is refreshing. I would recommend John’s work, his company and his friendship as an asset to any company considering employing his team. John VanDuzer is an excellent leader with compassion and understanding.

Arnie Strub

Connecting and Empowering People

John has been a friend, colleague and supplier for over 20 years. Aside from being one of the most personable people I know, he is also one of the most creative. His design work for our labels and media at Strub’s pickles allowed us to visibly demonstrate the Strub’s values directly to our clients.

Bryan Webber

Senior Development Officer at Mohawk College Foundation

John VanDuzer is an exceptional communicator. He sees the big picture, but knows and is comfortable with the details that need to be included in any communication plan/strategy. His sense of humour and engagement with the world makes dealing with him productive and a pleasure.

Norm Schleehahn

A champion of corporate site selection and business retention/expansion for the City of Hamilton.

John is an exceptional out-of-the-box thinker who has consistently delivered highly creative products that have garnered positive attention in Hamilton’s business community and beyond.

Karen Robinson

Freelance Graphic & Digital Designer at Corus Entertainment

John, I consider to be one of my first mentors of the industry. During my time as an intern, and later as an employee, he gave me the freedom to be openly creative. He gave concise instructions of projects. At the same time, integrating me through all the stages of the design process. He really taught me the importance of being detailed-oriented, up to the most minuscule of aspects. There was nothing, that would escape his eye. This is a characteristic that to this day, I practice in my own work. It was indeed a pleasure to had work with him and would not doubt his creative ‘muscle’ and professionalism.

The clients always write

Gordon Neufeld, BA, APR, CEC, PCC

President, Communica Inc. and Founder, Uncharted Territory

John is a very clever fellow. Clever is hard to find. It’s easy to find people who say they are clever and easier to find people who are not clever but say they are.

Paul Nazareth

Vice-President, Canadian Association of Gift Planners

The fundraising sector is not hurting for consultants. Does John’s work dazzle? Of course. Is he an outstanding service professional and does he get results? I asked, his clients said resoundingly ‘Yes!’

That’s not why I’m recommending him though…

Very few of these companies TRULY invest in the fundraising community. The conferences, the education, the individuals (I once watched John quietly help a peer with zero press or fanfare in a way that made me proud of my profession). Our community needs more supporters like JVD. He’s someone to do business with if you want revenue-line results but also value integrity and heart.

Rob Henderson, CFRE

Executive Director, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

I have worked with John and his team for a great many years now (over 20). What I’ve come to value most is the great care they take in listening to what we hope to achieve with each project. As a result, the process is creative on both sides, but measured and fair, too. They want to get it right as much as we do.

Jean Crawford

Non-profit Advisor

John and I worked together in numerous projects over an 18-year period as a supplier to foundations I was managing and then as the creator of my corporate brand when starting a new business. We continued over the span of the business to work with John as highly creative supplier to keep us ahead of the curve. I would highly recommend him for the best results you can find.

Jeff Good

Charity Practice Lead, Cresa Toronto Inc.

John and the Wishart organization provide world-class creative and client support. John and his team listen hard, and have a proven track record of great results that are the envy of other firms. Having helped many charities and not-for-profits achieve new heights they continue to break new ground and help their clients find the next big idea.

Peter W. Blakely

Director at Charity Careers Canada

John is an extremely talented and creative individual. He is able to clearly understand campaign objectives and delivers his messsages on target and on time.

Jim Hilborn

CEO, The Hilborn Group

For well over twenty years, John has carried out a very wide range of graphic and design services for our company — from business cards to web sites, and from book covers and brochures to display booth visuals. He is an outstandingly talented designer, extremely personable, prompt, and flexible; and he always produces top-quality results at reasonable cost.

Margo Sheppard-Hébert

Manager, Marketing and Development at Arts Network Ottawa

I’ve had the pleasure to hire and work with John and the team at wishart on several occasions. Every time I was ‘wowed’ me with fantastic results which either converted into millions of dollars of planned gifts through our direct mail campaigns or a strong and bold identity for our corporate collaterals. I will always consider rehiring John whenever I am able.

Jo-Anne Sobie

Executive Director, Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation

I have had occasion to both hire John and to see much of his work over the years, and I continue to be impressed with his creative approach and ability to communicate the essence of the mission and its impact.

Mark Eckebrecht

President, Advertech Group Ltd.

I have had the pleasure in working with John and his staff for many years and have always been pleased with the support and end results. I have no reservations about recommending John and his staff and, in fact, have recommended him a number of times to business associates of mine with no concerns at all.

Dennis Guy

Manager, Customer Experience and Innovation at City of Hamilton, Transit (HSR)

I worked with John for over 8 years; we’ve been through a lot together. He helped us through major changes to the programs and services we provide. His passion for “doing the right” thing has been a guiding light. We’ve worked collaboratively since day one and we have internationally-recognized work to prove our successes.

Leanne Hitchcock


John is an outstanding designer with a thorough knowledge of the non-profit sector. He works closely with his clients to create materials uniquely suited to their organizations and goals, providing high quality design, unmatched creativity and proven results. John is a pleasure to work with. Not only does he have a great sense of humour, he is a consummate professional who consistently provides outstanding creative design on time and on budget.

Evelyn Myrie

CEO at EMpower Strategy Group

John and his team at Wishart are a talented and creative group. John is one of the best brand developers in our city. When I want the best in marketing and promotion, from concept to design, I go to see him.

Ann Rosenfield MBA, CFRE

Editor, Hilborn Charity News

With almost three decades of fundraising experience on both sides of the 49th parallel, Ann Rosenfield has done a little of this and a lot of that for organizations both large and small. I’ve known Ann for 25 years and have worked with her through thick and thin. When wishart created our first book, I was humbled by Ann’s response to my request that she say something about my company given she knew — and continues to know — us best.

Here’s what she wrote…

To the undecided;

Please allow this letter to serve as an unqualified letter of support for the high calibre of work and professionalism of wishart. I have worked professionally with the staff of wishart for eight years and have found their work to be of consistently high quality.

  • Read More >

    wishart’s vision and imagination

    I have worked with wishart on over 20 different client campaigns. While each client was different, the basic elements of the campaigns were identical. I was always impressed that wishart treated each client and every campaign as an absolutely fresh, brand new campaign. They put the same amount of thought and the same high level of creativity into every single effort. I never saw a recycled idea from the past brought forward to a new client. And the depth! The truly remarkable thing about wishart is the depth of thought that goes into their work. I have never met another design firm which puts that much thought into their work.

    How wishart works under pressure

    John and his team work extremely well under a great deal of pressure with a very wide range of clients with an equally wide range of personalities. And believe me, one of my clients would have tried the patience of a saint! John and his team have always been unfailingly polite, pleasant, cheerful, and appropriate in all my contacts with them.

    wishart’s ability to meet deadlines

    John and the wishart team do an excellent job of meeting deadlines. Often a client would miss a deadline but wishart would find a way to keep to schedule. Even when clients were unreasonably late on timelines, wishart still managed to turn out excellent work quickly.

    wishart’s attention to detail 

    I am a fiend for detail.  When I make a change to something, I always keep a copy and then double-check to ensure the change has been made.  In eight years of working with wishart, I cannot recall a single time when they have missed a change unless it was poorly marked or confusing. Furthermore, it’s not unusual to receive an email from wishart which includes a message like: “In reading over the text you sent we noticed a grammatical error so we changed it in the proof and highlighted it in magenta. If you want us to change it back, we can.” I have never met another design company with such extraordinary attention to detail!

    wishart’s sensitivity to cost

    All of the clients I have worked with wishart on were charities. Because of that, John was extremely conscious of cost and always ensured that he used photo agreements for our materials that benefited the client. For instance, if we did a photo shoot, John always got the photographer to give the client ownership of the image. That way the client charity could reprint and re-use the image without paying royalties. I have since learned that most design companies do not operate this way; they “own” the photo and sizable royalty payments can continue in perpetuity. wishart’s commitment to doing the right thing for the charity client (which means less money in wishart’s pocket), really caused me to admire wishart.

    wishart’s integrity and business ethics

    wishart maintains the highest ethical standards. Several examples come to mind. Once we had a situation where a printer did not pack a brochure order properly. Over 75% of the brochures were damaged. The printer refused to reprint the damaged brochures so John elected to pay for the cost of the reprint, $14,000, out of his own pocket rather than give a client a substandard product. Another remarkable example was with a very difficult client. The client wanted their brochure to look “exactly like this one” from another charity in another city.  So, I got a copy of the brochure and sent it off to wishart. When the design arrived, I was surprised that, while similar to the brochure I had submitted, it was in no way identical. The designer patiently explained that to copy a design exactly would be considered “idea theft” and that if we wanted to copy the design exactly, I would have to get written permission from the original designer. I had never really thought about this issue, prior to that conversation but it made sense and seemed to me a great example of very high ethical standards.

    In conclusion, let me state again that wishart represents the best of what you could hope for in a design firm: they maintain a very high quality of work, they’re sensitive to costs, they work hard and love working WITH a client (rather than forcing a client to mould to them), and they provide the highest ethical standards of any company I’ve ever worked with. I recommend you hire wishart for your next job!

    Sincerely yours,

    Ann Rosenfield, CFRE