Brandon Ferris brings 20 years of experience as an advancement practitioner and consultant. His advancement work has included marketing and communications, gift planning, annual giving, major giving, capital campaigns, predictive modeling, database administration, management and leadership, training, and consulting. His deep experience in both frontline fundraising and fundraising operations and data management strongly informs his approach to consulting. The purpose of data is to inform and improve fundraising results, and Brandon helps his clients keep the bigger picture in mind at all times.
Before joining Zuri Group Brandon was a Senior Enterprise Solutions Consultant at Blackbaud, specializing in The Raiser’s Edge and Blackbaud CRM, as well as Crystal Reports. His work included all aspects of implementation and training – project team training, project management, business process design, conversion mapping and validation, business process and user acceptance testing, end-user training, and deployment. He also worked extensively with existing clients to assess and improve fundraising tactics and database management practices, help them better leverage their tools for fundraising success, and equip staff with the knowledge and skills needed to be efficient and effective. Prior to that he was a fundraiser for 12 years.
Brandon’s 15 years as a certified tennis professional, 12 years of immersion in world-class educational pedagogy as an independent school advancement professional, and dozens of formal training engagements, have long fueled his passion for teaching, a passion which continues to drive his work as a trainer and consultant.
Brandon has also provided independent consulting services in the areas of predictive modeling, organizational management and team collaboration, and gift planning marketing programs. He has presented at CASE/NAIS, PNAIS, and BBCON on the use of custom predictive models to increase fundraising revenue and reduce costs, and on the importance of well-planned and executed user acceptance testing programs to maximize the success of enterprise-level CRM system implementations.
Brandon’s approach is founded upon three key philosophies: Data-driven decision making, systems thinking, and the cognitive management paradigm. Nonprofit organizations invest a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources to gather and maintain constituent data, and sometimes it’s easy to get lost in data for data’s sake. Brandon helps organizations use their data to target the best prospects, improve fundraising processes, and raise more money.
Influenced by the work of great thinkers like Deming, Culbert, De Bono, and Jacobs, he employs systems and cognitive-based strategies to help advancement leaders improve performance, retention, collaboration, and morale.