Katrina VanHuss and Otis Fulton

Katrina VanHuss and Otis Fulton

Katrina VanHuss has been instilling passion in volunteer fundraisers since 1989 when she founded Turnkey. Otis joined in the fun in 2013 as Turnkey’s resident human behavior expert. One thing led to another, and now as a married couple, they almost never stop talking about fundraising, volunteerism and human decision-making, much to the chagrin of most dinner companions.

Through their work at Turnkey, the pair works with the likes of the American Lung Association, Best Buddies, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, using human behavioral tendencies and recognition to create attachment and high fundraising in volunteers.

Katrina and Otis present regularly at clients’ national conferences, as well as at BBCon, NonProfit Pro P2P and Peer to Peer Forum, and are the co-authors of the 2017 book, Dollar Dash. They live in Richmond, Va.

Why I Give Away Cash Out of My Car Window

Around the first of each month, I go through my bank’s drive-through and get some cash in $5 and $10 bills. I keep the money in the console of my car to give away to people on street corners asking for assistance when I’m driving around...

Why the Rich are Greedy, Part 2

A recent blog we wrote titled, “Why the Rich are Greedy (and What to Do About It),” garnered some interesting responses from readers. The blog cites research documenting that wealthy people give a smaller percentage of their discretionary income to charity when compared with less well-off individuals. It also mentions the body of psychological research that suggests that affluence tends to make people less sensitive to the needs of others and why…

Why the Rich Are Greedy (and What to Do About It)

Who is more likely to help out someone in need: a poor person or someone who is rich? We are inclined to think that the wealthier you are, the more you are able to reach out to others, so you will do so. If you already have enough (house, job, vacation time, etc.), the easier it will be to think about what others need...

Does the Gala Have a Future?

Thanks in large measure to Donald Trump, during the last year there has been a lot of attention focused on charity galas. It got rolling when it was reported that The Arc of Palm Beach County had held its 2016 Cowboy Ball at the President’s Mar-a-Lago estate, where “the posh of Palm Beach, the grandeur of Texas and the thrill of Vegas come together...

The Tax Bill’s Poison Pill

By now, pretty much everyone is aware of the massive tax bill that is expected to be voted into law this week by Congress. If you are a hedge fund manager, you are pretty happy right now. If you are a nonprofit CEO or CDO, well… not so much...

The Truth About Your Nonprofit’s Swag

Your swag may be hurting your mission. When asked about people wearing a nonprofit’s swag, most fundraising professionals will respond, “The more the better!” But when it comes to the buttons, ribbons, wristbands, t-shirts—all the stuff that people wear with a nonprofit’s brand—more is not always better. Sometimes, more can be, well, less. Here’s why...

4 Questions That Get Your Boss to ‘Yes’

You have a great idea. You run it up the flagpole to leadership. They love it! Then, nothing happens. You wait. You push it up there again. They love it again. They gush over your creativity and forethought. Then, nothing happens...

'Turn It Around, or You’re Fired'

Maybe you are a chief development officer who must report to your board that fundraising for the previous year was flat. Or worse, that it was down. Or maybe you’re new to your organization and were brought in to turn around declining revenue...

Constituents Do More Than Wear Your Wristbands

Most people think that anything that gets people to focus attention on their nonprofit leads to good things happening. Increased attention = increased revenue. And no matter what your mission is, you can find ways to connect with prospective constituents. Facebook, of course, is the biggest fish in the pond...

4% Increase in Revenue: The Easy Way

We were listening to a presentation at the NonProfit PRO Peer-to-Peer Conference in Washington D.C. last week when the topic of “suggested fundraising” amounts came up. There is a lot of thought given to registration fees (don’t do it!) and minimum fundraising requirements...

Personalization Is More Than a First Name in the Salutation

What does it mean to make it more personal? We don’t mean personalizing salutations, using segmentation or even using behaviorally triggered automated-marketing tools (although you definitely want to do all those things)...

Fire the Entire Management Team? Sometimes It’s Necessary

Sometimes, a nonprofit’s fundraising seems to go into a death spiral. Revenue isn’t just flat, it’s declining. The interventions attempted don’t work, and “big change” ideas won’t fly. Losses keep piling up no matter what senior management does to stem the bleeding. Firing the entire management team might be the only answer. Understanding why that is true could save your job...

4 Keys to Designing Better Surveys

If you want to prove a point, nothing is better than a survey. You can, as you likely know, get any result you want by positioning the questions carefully. Today, it’s easy for anyone to put together and send out a survey using tools like SurveyMonkey...

Why I Care About Your Cause, But Don’t Donate

My father, Jack Fulton, died four years ago due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. During the last five years of his life, I was his primary support system, taking him to and from doctor’s appointments, coordinating registered nurse visits, going to the grocery store and helping him with all the other necessities, so that he could live in his home...

What ‘The Big Short’ Can Teach You About Increasing Revenue

In the past 30 years, the way that economists understand people’s behavior has undergone a revolution. While classical economics is based on the notion that people act with rational self-interest, many of their decisions seem far from rational. Behavioral economics was born out of the necessity to explain these seemingly irrational choices...