Otis Fulton and Katrina VanHuss

Otis Fulton and Katrina VanHuss

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.

Facebook Fundraisers: The Best and Worst First Date You Ever Had

Turnkey’s peer-to-peer clients describe Facebook fundraisers as a blessing and a curse. The money is great. It just shows up, which is both amazing and, well, great. Last year, Facebook fundraisers put over $300 million into the pockets of 750,000 nonprofit organizations...

Great Stories Are Hard to Come By—The Power of Peer-to-Peer

Hear amazing peer-to-peer stories from P2P 201! You’ll hear more in direct interface with other attendees. The structure of the conference is built on storytelling, and not just from the stage. You’ll be in facilitated conversations with your peers, which you’ll tell your own stories and hear about experiences others have had that can help you...

What Brett Kavanaugh Can Teach Nonprofits

Social norms provide the context for situations that typically account for 70 percent or more of the behaviors we see from constituents. In order to move our supporters, it’s important to understand them...

Matching Donations—The Real Story

Matching donations is a tool that is regularly employed in nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Most of us believe that this appeal works, but without much empirical evidence. It’s mostly a gut feeling. Perhaps not surprisingly, research on matching donations is equivocal...

Charity Shaming—Maybe Not So Bad After All

Most of us are familiar with “charity shaming” at the checkout. It’s where you’re asked if you’d like to donate to XYZ Charity, as you’re standing there paying for your merchandise with a bunch of other people around. Being put on the spot to make a donation in this way—even a small one—can feel disconcerting...

The Key to Motivating Volunteers—A Gold Star

Many of our conversations with clients revolve around motivating volunteers. Getting them to donate, fundraise and perform the multitude of tasks that allow the nonprofit to fulfill its mission. The psychology of motivation is well-documented, but some of the findings can seem counterintuitive...

Survey Nonprofit Constituents at Your Peril

“Let’s start with a survey of participants about incentives to see what they want.” Two words should frighten you: “incentive” and “survey.” In our work with recognition programs participants often say in surveys, “I wouldn’t want the gift I would earn for fundraising.” But when presented with a gift opportunity after earning one they redeem hand over fist...

How Volunteerism Grew One Nonprofit’s Bottom Line

In a recent blog, we wrote about the crucial role that volunteerism plays in the success of peer-to-peer campaigns. Get it right, and good things happen. Get it wrong, and you can expect revenue to flatline, if not decline. We’ve seen it happen over and over...

Taking a Look Into Humanwire: Policing Nonprofits Is Our Responsibility

Humanwire said on its website that donations would go directly to needy refugees, and that “0 percent” would go to operating costs. The scam was exposed by an investigative report in the Denver Post, which chronicled a steady stream of withdrawals from Humanwire’s bank accounts by Andrew Baron...

Why Volunteerism Is the Key to Your Mission

We spent several days last month at Susan G. Komen’s national peer-to-peer meeting in Dallas. Komen was started by Nancy Brinker in 1982. Like many nonprofits (and people) who are entering middle age, it’s a good time to take stock of one’s successes and shortcomings to better chart a course for the future. If I had to sum up the focus of the three days of meetings in one word, it would be “volunteerism.” To recapture the power of volunteerism that was responsible for the organization’s best days...

Why Acquisition Should Be a Top Priority

Acquisition is a major topic. The data tells us that is exactly what we should be talking about. There is a troubling trend in American charitable giving that should be sobering to every nonprofit that depends on individual giving...

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Easy Money Is Not the Best Money

If you run a peer-to-peer event, you’ve heard or thought this: “If we just charge $35 to every person who shows up at our event, we’d make a lot of money.” The problem with this thinking is that it’s a price tag, and after people pay the price, they’re a lot less likely to fundraise. That’s not just what we think; it’s what the data tells us...

Peer-to-Peer Event Financial Reporting 101

How do you do financial reporting for your peer-to-peer event? Often when collaborating on strategy for events, we get into bookkeeping territory. A typical question sounds like this, “When determining costs of grassroots events, like a walk or a 5K, do you include staff, event costs, or both?”...