Old Dog Fundraising

Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.

Katrina VanHuss is the CEO of Turnkey, a U.S.-based strategy and execution firm for nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Katrina has been instilling passion in volunteer fundraisers since 1989 when she founded the company. Turnkey’s clients include most of the top thirty U.S. peer-to-peer campaigns — Susan G. Komen, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the ALS Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as some international organizations, like UNICEF.

Otis Fulton is a psychologist who joined Turnkey in 2013 as its consumer behavior expert. He works with clients to apply psychological principles to fundraising. He is a much-sought-after copywriter for nonprofit messaging. He has written campaigns for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The March of Dimes, the USO and dozens of other organizations.  

Now as a married couple, Katrina and Otis almost never stop talking about fundraising, volunteerism, and human decision-making – much to the chagrin of most dinner companions.

Katrina and Otis present regularly at clients’ national conferences, as well as at BBCon, NonProfit Pro P2P, Peer to Peer Forum, and others. They write a weekly column for NonProfit PRO and are the co-authors of the 2017 book, “Dollar Dash: The Behavioral Economics of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.” They live in Richmond, Virginia, USA.

 

As a writer of fundraising copy, one of my frustrations is having to create copy on a regular basis with little material to work with.

Much of what we knew about fundraising before COVID-19 seems to have gone out the window, and “nimble” has been the new No. 1 skill.

Many fundraisers can point to specific successes that are a result of doing research and applying the findings to create a new program or refine an existing strategy. While surveys are still used for many research efforts, I had an opportunity to probe 21st century research for nonprofits with Dave Goetz, president of CZ Strategy, a marketing firm that helps organizations make sense of their data and then implement messaging and communication changes based on the findings...

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