Katrina VanHuss

Katrina VanHuss

Katrina VanHuss has helped national nonprofits raise funds and friends since 1989 when she founded Turnkey. Her client’s successes and her dedication to research have made her a sought-after speaker, presenting at national conferences for Blackbaud, Peer to Peer Professional Forum, Nonprofit PRO, The Need Help Foundation and her clients’ national meetings. The firm’s work is underpinned by the study and application of behavioral economics and social psychology. Turnkey provides project engagements, coaching, counsel and staffing to nonprofits seeking to improve revenue or create new revenue. Her work extends into organizational alignment efforts and executive coaching.

Katrina also regularly shares her wit and business experiences on her and Otis Fulton’s NonProfit PRO blog “Peeling the Onion.” When not writing or researching, Katrina likes to make things — furniture from reclaimed wood, new gardens, food with no recipe. Katrina’s favorite Saturday is spent cleaning out the garage, mowing the grass, making something new, all while listening to loud music by now-deceased black women, throwing in a few sets on the weight bench off and on, then collapsing on the couch with her husband Otis to gang-watch new Netflix series whilst drinking sauvignon blanc.

Katrina grew up on a Virginia beef cattle and tobacco farm with her three brothers. She is accordingly skilled in hand to hand combat and witty repartee — skills gained at the expense of her brothers. Katrina’s claim to fame is having made it to the “American Gladiator” Richmond competition as a finalist in her late 20s, progressing in the competition until a strangely large blonde woman knocked her off a pedestal with an oversized pain-inducing Q-tip. Katrina’s mantra for life is “Be nice. Do good. Embrace embarrassment.” Clearly she’s got No. 3 down.

'Peopling' Avoidance Creates Back-to-Work Issues

Turnkey runs many peer experience sharing groups for C-Suite social good executives. In those private rooms, leadership talks about struggles with workforce issues regarding where and how people work. Here’s what we’ve heard.

The Great Resignation Hits the C-Suite 

The Great Resignation has hit the C-suite — maybe yours. This phenomenon had been slowly percolating for years. Millennials, Gen X and Gen Z put “happy” at the top of their priority lists even before the pandemic. And, let’s be frank, we made fun of them.

Lifetime Value Starts With the Second Gift

The motivation that gets someone to take the first step to support an organization (donating or volunteering) is quite different from their motivation to continue to be engaged. We do not need any further proof of this than the lousy retention rates that nonprofit organizations suffer year after year.

Quit Calling It a 'Walk'

Our Groundhog Day conversation starts this way: “What activity should we pivot to right now?” We are going to make several arguments, most of which you will probably hate.

Why Disaffiliations Really Happen at Nonprofits

Chapter or affiliate, disaffiliations happen for several reasons that are spoken aloud. Typically, some significant change is a catalyst for the conversation. Often the change is toward unification, streamlining in some way, or a significant program change.

Community Building Is the Climate Change of Social Good

Community building is the climate change of social good. Building a community delivers future value as rewarding as the survival of humankind. Building and nurturing a community ensures your mission’s success.

How (and Why) To Make Organizational Alignment Happen

Lack of alignment can happen at any level because subordinate employees do not have the tools to see if their work aligns with the strategic plan. They may know their nonprofit needs to raise $14 million, but not the organizational goal of retaining more event participants and transitioning them to sustaining donors.

Save Yourself! Don’t Use ‘Donor’ as a Segment

We regularly speak with clients about how they talk to supporters to activate or “prime” their identities as people who support their organizations. We’re often asked if reminding donors that they are a “donor” or a “volunteer” is a good idea...

Holding Events or Building Communities — Where Is the Money?

We thought events were the point and that the event’s success would drive our success. Doing our business that way means we have to acquire 75% of participants each year. That path means we don’t retain many donors. In effect, we are letting our prospective constituents use the community clubhouse for a party, but we’re not making sure they move into the community...

6 Takeaways from GivePanel's Facebook Fundraising Benchmarks Report

We’re going to review the Facebook Fundraising Benchmarks Report 2020 by GivePanel. Let’s clarify what “Facebook fundraising” refers to. It’s probably exactly what you think it is: when someone on Facebook starts a fundraiser to support your nonprofit. But there’s some fine print here...

The NCAA—America’s Worst Nonprofit?

Helping nonprofits in their sincere efforts to make the world a better place makes one very sensitive to organizations that use their nonprofit status for purely financial gain. There is one group that comes to our attention as particularly egregious. We’re talking about the National Collegiate Athletic Association—the NCAA...