Tapping the Power of Relationships and Incentives to Drive Fundraising

Speaker Profile:

Katrina VanHuss, CEO Turnkey Promotions, Blogger

Katrina has been developing successful fundraiser incentive programs for organizations like the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, and Susan G. Komen since 1989. Her expertise lies in making event participants into fundraising machines. (Her clients often realize as much as a 29% increase in individual fundraising income levels.) She has successfully applied her proven, event-based fundraising techniques to capital (non-event) fundraising campaigns and is eager to share this new shift in fundraiser-based strategy.

VanHuss is known to be data-focused – publishing white papers and case studies has become her passion. To date, white paper titles include: “Does fundraiser desire for incentive gifts yield increased income?” and "What is KEY to increasing your incentive program’s income? The answer is devastatingly simple." Her case study titled, “How One Nonprofit Realized Nearly 200% Over Fundraising Campaign Goal” is the most popular download on her research site. The research explains how grassroots campaign methods were applied to a capital (non-event) fundraising campaign – the results were staggering and could indicate a shift in strategy for major donor-focused nonprofits. In short, maybe we should pay more attention to the fundraiser and less attention to the donor. Her fourth paper, published in August of 2011, is titled “How Fundraiser-directed Communications Impact Donor Activity” and will be officially presented for the first time at the prestigious 2011 Blackbaud Nonprofit Conference in D.C.

Katrina measures her client’s success by how much they exceed fundraising goals (One Home Many Hopes, 200%); how much donation activity is increased (Special Olympics Kentucky, average 153% across six events); and how individual fundraiser income levels are impacted (Komen Kansas City, 31% increase).

Her client’s successes and her dedication to research have made her a sought-after speaker, presenting at national conferences for Blackbaud, Special Olympics, and the Run Walk Ride Council, to name a few. David Hessekiel, President, Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council and the Cause Marketing Forum, Inc. says, “Katrina VanHuss has been an outstanding contributor at the last two Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conferences. Whether as a keynote speaker in 2010 or a discussion leader in 2011, her presentations have been notable for their combination of solid data, practical insights and Katrina's wry wit which injects fun into subjects that could otherwise be quite dry.”

Katrina graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a degree in communications and biology. Passionate about nonprofits, but truly a writer at heart, she frequently shares her wit and business experiences on her blog: At the Intersection of Real Life & Business (turnkeywow.wordpress.com). She is also a regular contributor to Nonprofit Tools (turnkeywow.com/tools), a blog produced by Turnkey to support fundraising event managers and staff.

When not writing or researching, Katrina enjoys living in Richmond, Virginia with her two sons and special needs daughter. She currently serves as vice chair of the Virginia Council of CEOs and spends her spare time volunteering with Special Olympics, Relay For Life, and the Richmond Volleyball Club, to name a few.

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