This Is My Last Blog Post . . .

. . . on this platform!

I started The Annual Fund Lab nearly three years ago as a platform to look at issues in fundraising and sort out my own thoughts about the profession.

The journey started with a question – “What’s the Big Deal about Fundraising, anyway?”  Three years later and some 60 or so blog posts, and I’m grateful for the conversations this blog has started and the relationships its helped build.

And I’d be greatly remiss if I didn’t offer a HUGE shout of Thank You to Helen Brown, the President of The Helen Brown Group, incomparable fundraising and research professional and all-around lovely human being.  Helen was the first to stumble across this little experiment on the web and has been a champion and promoter since Day 1.  I am humbled and grateful.

2020 marks my 30th anniversary in fundraising.

I’ve been in some form of fundraising or nonprofit work since 1990.  I was 19 years old, interning at a very small summer stock theater in the mountains of North Carolina, selling tickets in the box office, interacting with the Board, developing relationships for the theater.

Sure, it wasn’t until 1996 that I took my first full-time job as a Grant Writer and Events Manager at a nonprofit, but the fundamentals of what I know about fundraising and nonprofit work began in that chilly, dusty box office on main street in Highlands, NC.

I’ve spent an equal amount of time as a frontline fundraiser as I have as a consultant.  I’ve learned a lot, but still have so much to learn.  I love the work we get to do as fundraisers, think Donors are the most incredible people on the planet and believe that we, in the sector, really CAN change the world – if we keep getting better and better at fundraising.

Thirty years.

Which makes the timing perfect for the next adventure!

Yes, this is my final blog post here at the Annual Fund Lab.

I am very excited to have launched my consulting firm, Tactical Fundraising Solutions.

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If there’s one commonality I’ve seen over the last thirty years, it’s that better data and better systems lead to better fundraising.  And that, so often, things like cleaning data, managing the CRM, using wealth screening, setting the process for receipts/acknowledgements, planning the year’s activities – the list goes on and on – get put on the back burner and not prioritized.  And then as time progress they become the sticking point that holds us up in accomplishing really phenomenal things with our donors and our orgs.

It’s all the things that we, as fundraisers want to do, need to do, know we should do, but something always keeps us from getting it done.  And sometimes we need help.

That’s what Tactical Fundraising Solutions is focused on – the tactics.  The HOW behind Fundraising’s WHY.

From database audits to wealth screenings, CRM optimization to campaign and strategic planning, Tactical Fundraising Solutions exists to help nonprofits and fundraisers raise more money effectively through a systems-thinking approach to our work.

Oh, I’ll keep blogging – with that same sense of sarcasm, humor, curiosity and fun that (I hope) has been a commonality here on the Lab.

Starting in February I’ll be kicking out a regular newsletter, bringing insights and tips for fundraising, process, data, infrastructure – and always a bit of humor thrown in.  (And, of course, if you want to sign up to get the newsletter and blog updates, you can do so here.)

And, of course, will continue to spend WAY too much time on Twitter at @TClayBuck.

The Annual Fund Lab has been a joy.  I’ve learned a lot.  Hopefully shared a lot.  Thank you for being a champion for Tactical Fundraising Solutions and I hope you’ll continue to follow along with the blog there.

Thank you!  Always.





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