About the Book and Author

Fundraising operations is a common notion across all nonprofits. Chris Cannon has spent his career improving and expanding operations so organizations can raise more money and build more relationships. This blog is aimed at broadening the discussion about topics that affect fundraising.

Christopher M. Cannon, CFRE, is the president of strategic services for Zuri Group. His expertise includes fundraising strategy systems, operations, database management, database conversion projects, gift processing, data reporting and business intelligence, prospect development, and technology. He wrote An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations (Wiley 2011) to help professionals understand how to leverage operations to raise more money. Click here for details.

Mr. Cannon’s unique strengths include facilitating productive relationships between front-line fundraisers, advancement operations staff, and IT professionals. Mr. Cannon frequently guides clients through complex business process improvement project designed to increase productivity.

Mr. Cannon’s clients include a diverse group of international and best-practice setting universities, colleges, healthcare organizations, and membership organizations. Prior to joining Zuri Group, Mr. Cannon managed advancement services counsel for BWF and served as research and development services director at Saint Louis University where he managed an advancement services team. He has led successful campaign planning projects, database conversions, business intelligence environments for campaign reporting and prospect analytics, and  best-in-class prospect management systems. His systems experience and expertise includes the Raiser’s Edge system and other Blackbaud products, Ellucian’s Banner and Advance, Sage’s Millennium, Jenzabar, and other systems used in fundraising. Previously, Mr. Cannon held positions at the Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Science Center.

Mr. Cannon holds a Master of Arts from The University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Truman State University. He is a featured speaker and writer for CASE, AASP, APRA, AFP, AHP and other organizations.


Advancement services, development services, development operations, fundraising operations, prospect research, prospect management, relationship management, database management, business process improvement, staff development and coaching, strategic planning, campaign counsel, business intelligence, and business process improvement.

An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations: Principles, Tools & Trends (The AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series)

A straightforward guide to the principles of effective fundraising operations (buy it now!)

An Executive Guide to Fundraising Operations provides fundraisers with easy-to-understand approaches to evaluate and address fundraising operations needs and opportunities. This guide simplifies and focuses on the analysis of problems and needs, allowing a quick return to fundraising.

• Provides the essential framework to improve and innovate development operations
• Includes dozens of practical tools, including sample policies for data, database, reporting, and business processes
• Offers sample workflow illustrations for gift processing and acknowledgment, report specification, and other processes
• Features sample reports for campaign management, performance management, and exception management
• Delivers effective calculators for operational rules of thumb
• No matter what the department is called, most fundraisers struggle with evaluating operational issues. This guide leads you through principles of effective fundraising operations, simplifies complicated topics, and offers solutions to some of the most vexing operations dilemmas.

From the Inside Flap

“As a fundraising executive, you can quickly become mired in details, especially without the right filters and evaluation strategies. You require the necessary tools to manage even the most complex aspects of your operations while maintaining your focus on fundraising. An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations helps you work smarter, not harder.

Presenting the framework, fundamentals, and details you need to manage operations, An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations is filled with hundreds of useful tricks and tips for addressing operations needs. The Guide’s clear, step-by-step guidance covers crucial responsibilities including program support, technology applications, data maintenance, gift processing, reporting and analytics, and compliance.

Author and widely regarded development leader Christopher Cannon provides invaluable resources to boost your fundraising operations, with discussion of:

• Important parameters for fundraising operations
• A framework for assessing operational activities
• The responsibilities of the fundraising operations team
• Connecting operations to programs and integrating fundraising teams
• Emerging trends that may require your operations team to redefine its current strategies
• Tools and calculators for fundraising executives to gauge success

No matter how your nonprofit refers to fundraising operations, the truth is most fundraisers struggle with evaluating their operational issues. Filled with case studies, best practices, and helpful evalution tools, this guide demystifies this crucial department within the nonprofit, offering solutions for some of the most vexing operations dilemmas.”

Contact Chris Cannon (cannon@zurigroup.com) today to discuss your team’s operations’ opportunities.


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