Thank You, Andy Lubinsky

*Edited: Little did we know that exactly two weeks after writing this genuine, heart-felt thank you to Andy, that it would become a tribute to his well-lived life.

Andy Lubinsky passed away suddenly on April 28, 2022.

To know Andy was an incredible privilege. He embodied joy, energy, optimism, possibility and expansive faith. Every time Ellen and Andy jumped on a call, she left feeling like anything was possible – that someone really believed in her and what we were doing at Graf-Martin to strengthen the nonprofit sector. He invested deeply in so many people around the world – how fortunate we are that he chose to invest in us.

We will never forget to keep asking “how might we?”.

If you’ve spent much time with our team at all, you’ve likely heard us quote Andy Lubinsky, Chief Strategy Officer at Bible League Canada: “you’re perfectly designed for the results you’re getting.” Working with Andy and his team between 2016 – 2019, as they cast new vision and engaged us to support their organization’s growth and increased ministry goals, we saw this truism come to life. Never before had we experienced such deep commitment to taking our carefully designed, non-profit brand process to the next level and ingraining it deeply in their organization – and never before had we seen an organization realize such incredible results from doing so.

When we knew we needed to cast fresh post-pandemic vision for Graf-Martin, Andy and Bible League Canada generously offered to come alongside our team as a partner in ministry. We are so deeply grateful. With deep, high-level corporate experience and an unparalleled heart for ministry, Andy is an innovative marketing and strategic planning/research leader with a passion for team building and a track record of success.

With our mission of “strengthening organizations committed to hope, generosity and justice” in mind, Andy walked through his strategic planning process with our team, guiding us, asking the right questions at the right time, and helping us identify areas for growth and areas of opportunity.

We are grateful for Andy and Bible League’s commitment to strengthening the sector we serve, and investing in our organization. We truly have come out of this strengthened, and ready to tackle this next season – with a new design, for new results!

In keeping with our theme for 2022, Stronger, we asked Andy few questions to help us get to know him better. (P.S. Don’t miss Ellen’s podcast episode featuring Andy as well!)

What is your “Go-To” quote, scripture, and/or soundtrack to help strengthen yourself? 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

What do you see as the most important thing GM has done to strengthen the non-profit sector?

Promote and deliver support towards strengthening brands and brand/marketing management discipline. These are essential factors that many in the Christian charitable sector need help to address. This is being done with a high level of professionalism, quality thinking and creativity.

How do you stay current in this industry? What resources do you use, so you can continue to help strengthen nonprofit organizations?

Philosophically, I am a strong believer that the ability of any organization to flourish is driven in many ways by its ability to harmonize with its environment: social, economic, competitive, political, consumer, etc. Every organization needs to look outside itself as much or more than inside itself. I am constantly searching for quality resources to address any question that we may be dealing with at any point in time. This includes specialists in the disciplines of organizational development, marketing and strategy in both the charity and business spaces. For example, Harvard Business Review is a frequent “go to” resource. I also rely on charity space research organizations such as Angus Reid, Maru Matchbox, Waybase, Pew, Penelope Burke among others. I am also not shy about contacting other organizations to discuss and share learnings.

And oh yes, ultimate “go to”……….The Holy Bible!

Thank you Andy for helping build a stronger non-profit sector by strengthening us as an agency. We are deeply grateful to Bible League Canada for partnering with us by lending you to help with our Strategic Planning. You challenged us over several months and out of that time together, our team was invigorated, our mission was reinforced, and our vision statement became clear.

P.S. Want to know more about what Andy had to say about our team and our work?

Some time ago, we determined that we needed to substantially accelerate Bible League Canada’s fundraising growth rate significantly beyond our historical norms. We believed that we were perfectly designed for the results we were getting; and to change the result, we needed to reinvent ourselves in terms of marketing and branding as well as in other organizational aspects. The Graf-Martin Communications team, led by Ellen Graf-Martin used a very thorough brand assessment process that covered not just typical marketing issues, but organizational ones such as structure/staffing, systems & processes and culture. Working with GMC was a joy. I looked forward to every conversation. Progress towards our goal was significant and swift over the weeks and months of this initiative. I really appreciated the added value of the coaching combined with the subject matter knowledge that they offered – all within trust-filled, open and honest conversation. One of the more remarkable aspects of the relationship was the impact of GMC on our staff. We intentionally wanted to ensure that the reinvention process was highly collaborative and engaging to all our key staff members. In my experience it is not uncommon for relationships between senior agency-client leaders to be strong. It is less common to have such relationships at the staff level. Our staff learned a great deal from Ellen and her team, embracing much of the coaching, experience and advice that was offered in terms of brand building as well as marketing management practices. The results of this exercise exceeded our expectations. We have successfully rebranded, exceeded our year one revenue goal and are on track to do the same in year two. I firmly believe that we would not be where we are without Graf-Martin’s partnership.

Andy Lubinsky, Chief Strategic Officer, Bible League Canada

Bible League Canada’s goal is to see all peoples, everywhere, transformed by the living Word of God. Through their various ministry programs led by local champions, they continue to see evidence of God’s transforming power in amazing ways. Visit their website to learn more about what they do and the regions they are currently working in.