DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Aaron Sands currently serves as the Director of Operations with Blood:Water, partnering with local organizations in Africa toward ending the water and HIV/AIDS crises. He grew up in central Illinois and moved to Nashville, TN to study music and music business at Belmont University. He toured and recorded with Jars of Clay for almost 10 years, and has played in the studio and on the road for a variety of other artists as well. In 2004 he co-founded Blood:Water with the members of Jars of Clay and Jena Lee Nardella, and has served in various roles throughout the growth of the organization. Aaron and his wife, Cari, have two kids, Sam and Willa, and live in East Nashville, where they are deeply involved in City Church of East Nashville and their kids' schools.
Aaron’s role includes portfolio management for Major Gifts, managing a grants portfolio, and contributing to the success of Annual Giving. He knows one of the biggest challenges for an organization is to design and tune the internal systems to support implementation of a fundraising plan and keep fundraisers focused on doing the work, not getting stuck in the system. He’s created all the dashboards in salesforce to track Fundraising Plan activities, monitor results, and help move the conversation toward performance and learning. He’s been part of the design and implementation of a variety of fundraising plans and strategies, and knows the frustration when things are wrong-sized and not aligned. He’s felt the year-round pressure of fundraising, trying to stay hopeful and disciplined when giving feels slow.