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 … Continue reading This Is My Last Blog Post . . .

But We Raised a Ton of Money!

Oh, there's some ranting happening over on #FundraisingTwitter . . . and with good reason:  Year-End Fundraising Solicitations. Email inboxes flooded with year-end appeals on December 30 and 31st. Our friend, Ephraim Gopin, at 1832 Communications posted a list of subject lines he'd seen in just one day. (side note:  if you haven't signed up … Continue reading But We Raised a Ton of Money!

Why Can’t You Just Say Thanks?

We've made an entire industry out of those terrible gifts we used to get at the holidays.  Ugly Christmas sweaters are now a staple of contemporary holiday parties and we joke about how wonderful it is to actually get socks as a present. But, boy was a it disappointing as a kid. You still had … Continue reading Why Can’t You Just Say Thanks?


"GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 1, 2020, and every day. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a … Continue reading #GivingTuesday

Five Fundamental Questions of Fundraising

1.  Is your Fundraising transactional or transformative? 2.  Is your Fundraising driven by the mission or the budget? 3.  Is your Fundraising an integrated core value of the organization or is it the bank account that pays the bills? 4.  Is your Fundraising 'developing' the organization or is it raising funds? 5.  Is your Fundraising … Continue reading Five Fundamental Questions of Fundraising

Disrupt Your Innovation

Disrupt. Innovate. Think bigger, think differently! All valuable advice.  In fact, innovation is often listed as one of the most important focal points for any company.  It encourages growth, creates value for employees and customers and brings much-needed advancements to the field. Arguably, any of the greatest achievements in history have occurred because someone, somewhere … Continue reading Disrupt Your Innovation

Nonprofit Storytelling Conference 2019 – A Manifesto

I've just returned from San Diego from the 2019 Nonprofit Storytelling Conference.  It will take a lot of time to process the information, the incredible sessions, the learning and the re-ignition that came out of it. It's an incredible conference.  I'd had the opportunity to attend in 2016, which I blogged about here and here.  … Continue reading Nonprofit Storytelling Conference 2019 – A Manifesto

The Things That Came Before

Sometimes, to make truly lasting, important, substantive change we have to honor what came before. We weren't there for the little decisions, the tough choices, the concessions that had to be made that led to the status being quo. We might've missed the thousand-and-one paper cuts, putting a band-aid on this one and that one … Continue reading The Things That Came Before

On Algorithms, Analytics and Discernment

Have you seen it? The Top 100 Charity Industry Influencers ranked by Onalytica.  I ranked at #12. In a list with people like John Haydon (who totes deserves to be at #1), Tom Ahern, Lisa Sargent, Michael Rosen, Pamela Grow, Jeff Brooks, Gail Perry . . .  Phenomenal thought leaders whose work has - and … Continue reading On Algorithms, Analytics and Discernment