Case Study

Colorado State University
Coaching and Strategic Planning




Colorado State University (CSU) is one of the nation’s leading research universities with world-class research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies, and environmental science. It was founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, six years before the Colorado Territory became a state. CSU is the “university of choice” for Colorado residents – 30% of all of Colorado’s science, math, engineering and technology majors pursue degrees at CSU. It offers among the very best professional programs in the United States in veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, journalism, agriculture and construction management.

In an effort to provide consulting and coaching to its senior fundraising executives, Kathy Drucquer Duff was hired to work with Simone Clasen, Executive Director of the College of Natural Sciences. After several months of coaching, Kathy’s services were expanded to work with Simone, her dean and the fundraising team to assist with focus on strategic planning.

Process of Working with KDD Philanthropy

Simone and Kathy have worked together in multiple ways for two years. They have monthly coaching calls, of which Simone prepared the agenda and Kathy provided tools and follow-up materials afterwards. After each call, Simone had time to implement the suggestions and then report back at the next coaching session.

Simone notes Kathy’s qualities of being truthful, honest and compassionate as helping her grow and learn in each of their coaching sessions. She also appreciates how Kathy tailors everything to her specific needs, and that of her team and environment. She also sites Kathy’s credentials and success as a fundraiser as one of the reasons she’s an incredible coach and consultant.

Kathy helped Simone’s team undergo a major strategic plan. Together they identified priorities, team member roles, and communication plans, and Kathy was an integral part of helping them develop this first strategic fundraising plan.


Kathy’s work with Simone speaks to how she can work with a team to provide support in a variety of ways that strengthen focus and discipline from all lenses.

Simone believes Kathy’s coaching helped her own personal career trajectory at Colorado State University.

“I’ve been in this position for 17 years. Kathy helped challenge me to think bigger and broader. She also helped guide me through a presentation about fundraising I gave for 50 deans across the country. She has helped me in numerous ways.”

As a result of Kathy’s coaching and strategic plan consulting, team productivity and fundraising dollars have increased significantly.

“Our team has become more strategic in our approach, which has translated into more successful fundraising results.”