Otis Fulton, Ph.D.

Otis Fulton, Ph.D.

Otis Fulton, Ph.D., spent most of his career in the education industry, working at the psychometric research and development firm MetaMetrics Inc., Pearson Education and others. Since 2013, he has focused on the nonprofit sector, applying psychology to fundraising and donor behavior at TurnkeyHe is the co-author of the 2017 book, ”Dollar Dash: The Behavioral Economics of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising,” and the 2023 book, “Social Fundraising: Mining the New Peer-to-Peer Landscape,”  and is a frequent speaker at national nonprofit conferences. With Katrina VanHuss, he co-authors a blog at NonProfit PRO, “Peeling the Onion,” on the intersection of psychology and philanthropy.

Otis is a much sought-after copywriter for nonprofit fundraising messages. He has written campaigns for UNICEF, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen, the USO and dozens of other organizations. He has a Ph.D. in social psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, where he also played on UVA’s first ACC champion basketball team.

5 Social Fundraising Lessons That Can Influence Your Overall Development Strategy

If major gift fundraising is Morton’s, social fundraising is McDonald’s. We’re not talking about the food; we’re talking about scale. The great thing about the scale of social fundraising is that you get a lot of data. So, here’s what the fast food of fundraising has to offer other income channels. 

Marie Kondo Defines Nonprofit Work Worth Doing

Evaluate the work you do each day with this clarifying question: What strategic plan objective does this task or project support? By doing so, you will go on a journey of discovery that could change your career.

Bad at Relationships? Five Moves to Ensure Success

Whether you are a CEO trying to form a partnership with a board chair, a development director trying to work more closely with the marketing director or a major gifts officer trying to build a relationship with a donor, the relationship is everything. But for some of us, it’s hard.

How to Build Your Nonprofit Community

Similar to for-profits, “selling” our missions is no different than selling consumer goods. Here’s how to build your community.

The Power of Giving Thanks

Showing gratitude is key to retaining supporters, and retention is crucial to the financial health of charitable organizations.

Don’t Make Year-End Giving a Transaction

Year-end revenue is essential to the well-being of many nonprofits. It’s important to communicate with supporters in such a way to maximize not only short-term income but subsequent giving as well. A feature of most year-end campaigns emphasizes the tax benefits of charitable giving.   

Where to Begin Building Trust

Trust is your nonprofit’s most valuable asset. Donors support your mission so you will make something they think is important happen.

Income Inequality Is Impacting Your Nonprofit

There’s a potential silent killer of nonprofit revenue out there, going largely unnoticed. It’s income inequality, and we’d be wise to start paying attention.

'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.