DER Spotlight: Lisa Radler, Associate Director, Annual Fund at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation

As the Associate Director of the Annual Fund at The San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Lisa sets the vision and strategy for their annual giving program, which includes overseeing all the direct response channels – direct mail, email, social media, and the website, among other duties. The Foundation is a community-based organization that promotes health, wellness, and social justice for communities most impacted by HIV, through sexual health and substance use services, advocacy, and community partnerships.

After a career in publishing for tech, gaming, and lifestyle publications, she decided to make a change. Lisa explains, “When the UK-based publication company I worked for shut down their US office, I decided that it was the right time for me to pursue work that felt meaningful to me, where I could make an impact on my community and fulfill promises to friends that I had lost during the AIDS epidemic. That’s when I saw a job posting at San Francisco AIDS Foundation and I joined the team.”

During COVID-19, she helped lead the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in embracing new technology and impact-focused storytelling in their fundraising efforts. “San Francisco AIDS Foundation stayed open, we were meeting the needs of the community when other organizations were shuttered. It was a critical time for our organization and the annual fund team was focused on getting donations for the services.”

Lisa adds, “I launched a multi-channel fundraising campaign where we featured our frontline staff who were providing essential services for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to ensure that we were humanizing our frontline staff to help demonstrate their organizational courage and commitment.”

Lisa has been a member of DER for a couple of years and finds the webinars and in-person sessions (pre-COVID) to be “super informative and-I have met wonderful people at the events.” Outside of work she loves being with her two kids and dogs, getting together with neighbors for drinks and potlucks, and going to see the Warriors play.

When reflecting on her most notable achievements, she states that the heart-wrenching loss of friends to the AIDS epidemic still drives her motivation to work in the nonprofit sector. She says, “one of the things I’m most proud of was starting a nonprofit in the mid 80’s that helped raise direct funds for AIDS-related services. My friends were suffering and dying from AIDS and, at the time, there were no resources to help them with rent, food and transportation to doctors. Although we were unable to sustain the nonprofit, it never left me that this is the work that I was meant to do.”