Case Study

University of Denver
Fundraising Coaching and Strategy Development




Located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, University of Denver (DU) embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines the region and its history. DU is a private institution built on exploration through research and collaboration among educators, students, and local and global communities.

In 2016, the DU Advancement Division was looking to make additional investments in staff development. Kathy Drucquer Duff was hired to provide individual coaching, group workshops and fundraising program development.

Process of Working with KDD Philanthropy

One of the key individuals Kathy worked with was Amanda Stewart, Executive Director of Development for Parent and Family Giving. She enlisted Kathy’s coaching and expertise to help her balance her role as a frontline fundraiser and the director of a program. Amanda had this to say about working with Kathy:

So often when you’re running a major program, it’s tempting to let the frontline fundraising gets pushed aside in favor of the everyday work. Through regular coaching and a host of tools and techniques, Kathy helped me create a donor strategy framework so I could be an effective fundraiser while keeping the programmatic elements of our operation running smoothly.

Amanda appreciated Kathy’s ability to ask very specific questions and dig into the granular details when it comes to donor strategy. She noted Kathy’s probing questions strategy illuminated what she needed to further explore when developing a donor strategy and determining the next fundraising steps.

Amanda again enlisted Kathy’s coaching when she received a promotion to the Executive Director of Development for Parent and Family Giving. Kathy provided Amanda executive and leadership coaching, as well as helped her create a re-onboard process for Amanda with her colleagues. Kathy also offered great insight and new ideas for the big picture framework of the Parent and Family Giving program.


After working with Kathy, Amanda has become much more disciplined and productive in her work as a fundraiser. Additionally, the coaching has been extremely beneficial as she works through the nuances of both frontline fundraising and running a program, and how to be successful in both facets in her work.

I benefit from every conversation with Kathy because I learn something new or get a new idea. But at the same time, it doesn’t feel like remediation; it’s very supportive.

When you’re running a program and also serving as a frontline fundraiser, it’s easy for the frontline work to take a backseat. All the tools and techniques that Kathy gave me are so helpful to make sure both priorities receive my equal attention.