a man's hand writing coach, vision, mentor, win, etc on a pane of glassEarlier this week, I read Mark Phillips post Who should influence fundraisers? Make your vote count.

In the spirit of his post, I’ll list the names of the 10 people I voted for.

First, please choose to not be offended if your name isn’t on this list. I have the privilege of knowing many very talented people but was only able to list 10.

Second, I think I did the vote wrong. As I started listing people, I found myself listing either:

  • the people that mentored me, or
  • the people who’s content, books, videos I keep going back to.

In reading the Fundraising Magazine post, I see that it was intended to be the most influential in 2011. One person on my list is deceased and another retired. So I may have voted wrong.

Now that the apologies are out of the way, here’s my list:

  1. Harold “Si” Seymour
    Thanks to the wonders of BookFinder.com (before it was BookFinder.com!), Si’s Designs for Fundraising was the first book I read in my fundraising career. I’ve returned to it many times and it’s still influencing me today.
  2. Jerry Panas
    Jerry’s books and trainings have been influential since I got started. I had the privilege of presenting at a symposium that Jerry keynoted. He’s as personable as his writing.
  3. David Dunlop
    Whether you know it or not, Dave is a giant in the field of fundraising. I had the privilege of getting to know him in the ’90s. His ideas and his imploring me to always involve volunteers in my fundraising continue to influence me. I refer to him in almost every training I do.
  4. Mal Warwick
    Like the others, Mal’s writings have had a profound impact on my fundraising and my teaching others to fundraise. Mal’s clear English writing and data backed research will be guiding fundraisers for years to come.
  5. Tom Ahearn
    Tom’s blunt, no-nonsense analysis of nonprofit communications is as refreshing as it is profoundly helpful. And I’m constantly impressed by how many people tell me Tom’s work influences them.
  6. Kay Sprinkel Grace
    I love Kay’s donor focus. Her passion for helping nonprofits is inspiring. And she played a pivotal role in encouraging me to keep going with my first book.
  7. Whitney Kuniholm
    Soon after reading Seymour’s Designs for Fundraising, my fundraising mentor Bob Grinnell handed me a small green & white booklet. It was Whitney’s The Ministry of Fundraising, a piece he wrote while he was working at Prison Fellowship. This little booklet helped me see how fundraising fit in with my Christian faith. When he told me he wasn’t planning on having it reprinted, his work became the starting point for my “Fundraising in the Bible.”
  8. Amanda Rose
    This is probably the most surprising addition to the list. But Amanda Rose is the founder of Twestival. Her creative use of an emergent technology (Twitter) and her ability to motivate thousands of volunteers around the globe is amazing. She’s helping keep “fundraising” in the hands of volunteers.
  9. Tom Suddes & For Impact
    I really wanted it to be Tom Suddes & Nick Fellers…but I didn’t know if having 2 names on a line would disqualify the vote. I love how the guys at ForImpact keep us focused on the big picture. And how making an impact is really what donors really are interested in.
  10. Chris Davenport
    Chris’ name might not be familiar to you, but Movie Mondays probably is. His free Movie Mondays [affiliate link] are viewed by thousands around the world every week. I’m proud to be one of them. I think the global reach of these fundraising movies definitely qualify him as “influential”!

There’s my list. Even as I’ve written this post, I have thought of others equally worthy of putting on the list. Who would be on your list? Let me know in the comments.

Once you have your list, learn how to cast your vote at Fundraising Magazine poll.

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