Case Study

Elizabeth LaBorde, Vice President of Principal and Major Gifts
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

On-site Training


Published: November 2018


City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. For nearly 100 years, our pioneering research has brought the world closer to cures. Designated as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope’s research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation.

When Elizabeth LaBorde joined City of Hope as the Vice President of Principal and Major Gifts, she was tasked with doing an extensive amount of hiring, which resulted in a need for strategic training and onboarding. In January 2018, Kathy Drucquer Duff, a long-time consultant for City of Hope and who also served in Elizabeth’s position as an interim role, was brought in to create and implement training for Elizabeth’s new personnel.

Process of Working with KDD Philanthropy

Kathy worked with Elizabeth to create a series of trainings that focused on prospect qualification and the donor pipeline, as well as building partnerships and collaboration within their department. The goal was to bridge the working relationships between both new and seasoned City of Hope development officers.

The on-site trainings focused first on functionality and collaboration. The second set of trainings that were tailored for donor qualification since new officers needed to develop their portfolios. Kathy focused on illustrating how donors move from qualification to cultivation, and then to solicitation and stewardship. Elizabeth appreciates Kathy’s thoughtful and thorough approach to fundraising training, and also believes Kathy’s sense of humor and delivery helped keep the workshops engaging for staff.

“I love that I can tell Kathy about a problem I’m struggling with, and she will design a training to overcome and combat that obstacle. She keeps trainings moving and dynamic, and applies practical applications to illustrate key points. She showed our staff how to dive into your own portfolio and put the ideas into practice.”

Elizabeth continues to be impressed by Kathy’s approach to philanthropy training and working with development officers.

“Kathy works well with people because she’s genuine and authentic. She can build a strong rapport with colleagues and everyone trusts her. She is highly valued for her expertise, professionalism, and is genuine in her caring about others. Kathy also has a real keen sense of picking up the culture of the office environment. I haven’t seen a problem she can’t solve and then turn around and train us.”


Elizabeth has seen positive results from her staff following Kathy’s workshops since the the training occurred.

“Kathy’s lessons have become ingrained in our department. As I talk with my staff in their principal gift strategy meetings, they constantly refer back to Kathy’s training. They all talk about and are consistently using Kathy’s qualification process, calendaring and other practical techniques.”

Elizabeth also finds herself using Kathy’s approach when meeting with her staff. She constantly refers back to Kathy’s strategy of asking individuals: “What did you do differently? What worked and didn’t work?” This has helped Elizabeth focus her meetings to have productive conversations.