“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Kathy hired me as a development student assistant at San Diego State University and I’ve since worked with her at Sharp Healthcare and UC San Diego. She invested in my talent at every level of my career and helped me grow into the professional I am today. She has made this same investment in countless others. In every place Kathy has worked, she’s been able to turn teams around to the positive. She knows how to build a strong culture that works for individual needs and the larger organization, and she demonstrates time and time again what it means to empower people to be high performing. I have always trusted her to support me – to navigate challenges and celebrate successes! Trust in your leadership is paramount and something that makes Kathy stand out among other leaders.
Kathy has so much passion, energy, knowledge, and has the ability to quickly assess what needs to happen and then design accountability metrics that make sense. Most recently, I hired her to mentor a junior development officer for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and help that individual develop a fundraising strategy. Under Kathy’s mentoring, our development officer brought our School’s annual giving rate up to 12 percent, which is amazing considering the University’s annual giving rate of 4 percent. Kathy helped make that possible.
Kathy is extremely thorough and very keen on being able to assess a situation and quickly summarize what she sees as areas for improvement, and then comes up with solutions that match the needs. She does this by drawing from her own extensive experience, and can quickly put herself in our shoes and look at things through our eyes. She is also quick at assessing individual employee strengths and weaknesses, and people are willing to be honest with her about their skills and abilities, roles and their future. Easy person for staff to talk to, and they warm up to her quickly and effortlessly. Kathy is very responsive, and she’s so pleasant to work with.
Kathy has been mentoring me on high-level strategy for our senior level donors and helping me with prioritizing department needs. Her guidance is invaluable. Not only is she enthusiastic and encouraging, but she is very focused, knowledgeable and really helps me work through issues and leads me to a solution through dialogue. Her suggestions and the tools she has provided me with have absolutely changed the way I approach my job in a positive way. I’m so grateful for her time and guidance, and my institution’s investment in hiring her as a consultant during our time of transition.
Kathy has terrific skills as a consultant in a field where there are few effective development consultants. Not only is she skilled in philanthropy and fundraising, but also in managing people and structuring teams. She is an extremely good judge of professional situations and is able to determine individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, which allows her to build very effective teams. Any organization would be lucky to have Kathy as a consultant.
I hired Kathy to present seminars and webcasts when I was with Academic Impressions. She was internally driven to develop consistently strong products that provided information and knowledge not available to the existing fundraising marketplace. Kathy made it a point to give her best and, more importantly, truly valued feedback from her colleagues/participants to improve her future work; I can say with confidence she always seeks to improve her results. That said, what really shines through is the breadth of Kathy’s experience – it’s rare to find someone as adept across both channels (annual giving to major giving to executive management) and market segments (education to health care) – and it’s that breadth that allows her to advise so well.
I continue to hire Kathy to teach webinars and conferences on strategic fundraising talent management and fundraising skills because of the experience and credibility she brings to the conversation. She has extensive experience across the higher education and healthcare sectors that inform her thinking, and she relays that experience into digestible information she shares with our audience. She is intentional about putting time and effort into growing her own team, and breaks advancement management down in a way that doesn’t seem intimidating to other managers. She helps our audience understand that intentionally managing your team is equally important to the fundraising component of their job. Kathy is also one of our highest rated speakers; conference attendees rave about her.
In my 20+ years of experience as a fundraising professional, Kathy stands alone in her ability to maximize the effectiveness of her team and to unite others around a common objective. I have worked for and with Kathy for more than a decade. In that time, I have directly witnessed her skill as a manager, mentor, strategist, coach and leader. She is a master communicator who can distill complex concepts into easily understood objectives. Whether in an individual meeting or presenting to large groups, Kathy has a unique ability to connect with her audience, identify their needs, and provide valuable insights on how to improve their individual and team performance. Kathy has taught me the importance of establishing a culture that embraces accountability, creativity and a shared vision. Her credibility in crafting this culture is born from her tireless work ethic, passion for fundraising and commitment to help every employee/client achieve their goals. Whether it is help with developing a fundraising strategy, charting a course for a comprehensive campaign or coaching individuals to be their best, Kathy has a rich history of success that few can equal.
As the Chief Philanthropy Officer for City of Hope, I needed to bring in a professional who I had complete confidence in and someone I knew could hit the ground running while being sensitive to both my newness to the organization and an unfamiliarity to the culture. Kathy offers any organization, especially to the senior management executives, the ultimate package in terms of professionalism, enthusiasm, current knowledge of the industry, and commitment to one’s program. She is a seasoned leader who knows when to push people out of their comfort zone and when to allow assimilation. In the end, she is a genuine partner to your program whose hard work results in raising the level of individual and team performance and productivity. She has my highest level of appreciation and endorsement.
I had the pleasure of working with Kathy when she served as a consultant to the Office of Institutional Advancement at Mills College. Kathy was a powerhouse member of our team who used her in-depth knowledge and expertise to serve as a leader, coach, and mentor who inspired us in so many ways. She quickly was able to identify individual talent and understood how to empower the team, motivating us with supportive enthusiasm. She demonstrated the unique skill of balancing competing priorities and managing expectations. Kathy definitely made a positive impact on our team. Colleagues described her as strong, determined, having boundless energy, thoughtful, kindhearted, hardworking, nurturing, tenacious, protective, compassionate, genuine, optimistic, amazing, dedicated, and supportive. Full of energy, she always did what she said she would do regardless of the time of day or night. With her can do attitude, professional fundraising experience, leadership skills, and strategic approach to challenging circumstances, Kathy Drucquer Duff would be a true asset to any organization.
Kathy Drucquer Duff has been an exceptional colleague, has extensive experience and skill in fundraising strategy and donor solicitation, and is very adept as a search consultant, identifying talent and mentoring staff. She works with a high level of confidentiality and is very analytical and discrete in her approach. Her administration of a search at the vice presidential level yielded top notch candidates, all highly experienced. This was the most professionally administered search I have experienced in my several decades as a senior administrator in higher ed. It has been a pleasure working with her and I offer her the highest recommendation.
"We have been talking about developing an event strategy for years - yet never knew exactly where to start. [Kathy's Academic Impressions webinar] not only provided us with great information but also with resources to help us get started."
We partnered with Kathy to launch a coaching pilot at Colorado State University, and the results were incredibly positive. Kathy coached a number of our senior leaders to help them identify and achieve their developmental goals. In addition, she communicated with their supervisors, co-designed joint outcomes/goals that served the division, and kept everyone updated about their progress. We were so pleased with the results that we plan to continue working with Kathy and formalize our coaching program. As the lead for our talent management initiatives, I have struggled to find developmental opportunities for our high-achieving staff, especially those who are near the top of the organizational chart. Kathy’s expertise and breadth of experience in Advancement make her a perfect fit. She’s also very adept at working with supervisors with differing styles. For example, one of our supervisors was more hands off, while the other wanted more involvement. Kathy was able to adjust as needed to meet everyone’s expectations. The feedback from staff who were coached by Kathy was 100% positive. They felt challenged and supported, appreciated her advice, and found her to be relatable. She helped them take a global view on their challenges, and she provided a confidential and safe sounding board. Coaching is the new frontier in talent management, especially in higher education, and I cannot think of another person better suited to lead the way than Kathy Drucquer Duff.
We hired Kathy as a consultant for several months during the time we were conducting a search for a new Associate Vice Chancellor. Kathy stepped in seamlessly to support our fundraising team and reinforce messaging from Advancement leadership. We found Kathy to be a tremendous resource. She has a rare combination of skills and experience that allow her to see things from a broad scope, while also providing specific strategic and tactical tools and guidance. Whether discussing common issues in a large group format or meeting one-on-one to discuss individual donor strategies, Kathy's advice and guidance was enormously valuable. She is an inspiring speaker, a motivating and encouraging coach, and an active, focused listener with an insightful feedback loop. In addition, she has the ability to work well with a variety of people. It was extremely helpful – and fun – to work with Kathy!
After about six months in my new position at NPR, I can honestly say the time I spent with you in our coaching sessions has proven invaluable. Thank you, Kathy, for always taking the time to work through things I brought to the table. My experience with you and all of the guidance you gave me during our meetings has not only made me a better person, but a better employee and manager at NPR. Taking the time to listen, really listen, not being afraid to strategically push back, to be honest and transparent with those who report to me, are just some of the valuable tools you taught me that I use on a weekly (if not daily) basis.
I’ve been working with Kathy for several months since I moved from an alumni role into a frontline fundraiser role. Our monthly coaching calls focus on best practices and donor strategy. The breadth and depth of Kathy’s fundraising experience makes her an exceptional coach. I have been able to rely on her expertise to help move my donor strategies forward with positive results.
Kathy has been working with me on an organizational assessment, helping me determine if I have the right people in the right positions and to identify the gaps. The assessment gave me a great springboard to speak to our CEO to gain approval to hire the staff needed to make our philanthropy efforts successful. In just two months, Kathy helped me come up with the position descriptions and assisted in crafting the conversations I had with staff to make this a successful reorganization. Kathy has been a game changer. I have had many ideas, and Kathy helped me put them into words and action, and helped me execute those ideas and strategies. She’s someone you want to have in your corner.
I’ve worked with a lot of consultants in the business world. To have someone [like Kathy] who has walked in my shoes and is a wealth of knowledge and experience, and understands the culture of our company, and then is able to help me where I am is invaluable. I look forward to our calls and meetings because I always walk away with these gems that I can put into practice immediately. The value in working with Kathy is I’m not taught a bunch of conceptual theories; I’m equipped with real tangible nuggets I can put into practice and see that they work. I enjoy my job and feel like I can do it well, and that’s because of Kathy.
“Kathy and I began working together when I was offered an Interim Director of Development position and she’s helped me develop confidence in my leadership and management style. While I’ll continue to develop my skills, since engaging in monthly strategy meetings with Kathy, I have found a balance in my management approach that’s proving effective and is helping me cultivate productive and meaningful relationships with the members of my team. I value Kathy’s honesty and I trust she’ll provide thoughtful feedback rooted in her many years of successful development experience.”
I hired Kathy to conduct two daylong training sessions, including a half-day for the president, campus leadership and deans. We want to have the best fundraisers, and training to increase skills and competencies of our team is the best way to assure for this. As a result of working with Kathy, our fundraisers have improved at everything from cold calls and initial outreach to presentations and solicitation strategy. The team especially appreciated Kathy’s guidance on portfolio prioritization because it helped us see that we can do a lot just by prioritizing and focusing on what really matters. … I’ve attended trainings where I felt like they use Any University, USA and simply cut and paste our name into it. With Kathy, she really got feedback from us and where we are in our development to customize the training specifically to our university.
Kathy provides individualized coaching for ten members of my advancement team. The fundraising officers needed an experienced person they could turn to about how to manage a portfolio, and some needed guidance on how to manage up and into leadership positions. Kathy personalizes every interaction, and offers very detailed suggestions to each team member. It’s very frequent that when I see someone exhibiting new and positive behavior, they attribute the change to Kathy’s coaching. Additionally, my development officers feel very supported and valued that they are given the opportunity to work with a coach.
When I started at The University of Alabama, I discovered a need for professional development for many of our existing fundraisers as well as new development officers to show how to approach fundraising in a systematic way. Kathy Drucquer Duff has conducted three fundraising training workshops for us, and they’ve been absolutely vital in growing and enhancing our development efforts. What I appreciate most about Kathy is the fact that she’s done the fundraising work herself, and she knows what it’s like to be a development officer as well as the leader of a significant major gift fundraising unit. She has an incredible breadth of knowledge, and her personality makes her a wonderfully relatable presenter. I highly recommend Kathy if you’re looking for a speaker, coach or trainer to assist in modeling the path for best practices in major gift fundraising.
We began working with Kathy Drucquer Duff and Carol Spychalski in 2019 during an important transition within our development team. By providing transition management and one to one coaching, they helped us fill a critical and vital gap during that time. They provided both strategic direction and were partners to me, and the team, by providing coaching, training, tools, and active support of six key development team members. Our work together was incredibly solution-oriented, positive and done with the utmost respect for all the team members and the organization as a whole, and how it can best have an impact. I highly recommend them as incredible partners and leaders in this work.
I attended your conference back on Dec. 10-11 in Chicago on "enhancing your donor portfolio strategy." After attending I came back to my team to roll out the Strategy Speed Dating exercise. Not only was it overwhelmingly well received, it has now become a standard component of our monthly prospect management meetings. I bought a giant timer for the exercise and used your template. It’s amazing when you have some very seasoned staff in the room who all know so much about particular donors (personal and professional info) and given the focus, we are creating positive institutional growth for sure. Thank you for sharing this. It’s wonderful to bring tools back and use them wisely.
Kathy and I had a great partnership. While she was focused on raising funds and developing donors, she understood the complexity behind it. She never came into a situation with unrealistic demands and expectations. Kathy helped me and my team focus on building community and relationships with donors, knowing that those relationships would inevitably lead to successful outcomes, which they did.
Kathy and I worked together while she was Associate Vice Chancellor for University Development at UC San Diego. We were at the start of a capital campaign and the College of Engineering had a $225 million goal. Kathy was the one who helped build and coach our team, and helped us develop goals so we could get those first fundraising successes that led to subsequent, bigger successes. We ended up exceeding the campaign goal. … Kathy is a very energetic person who understands how to enter a room and quickly form strong relationships with people around her, and immediately gets to a place of open communication and trust. Kathy continues to be a thought leader and resource for my Executive Director of Development and his team of eight development officers. In fact, we’ve almost met our campaign goal for this fiscal year, despite COVID-19 and the difficult fundraising climate. With people like Kathy on your side, you can’t lose.
I have been fortunate to be involved in training sessions run by Kathy. Her vast knowledge within philanthropy is shown through the sessions she delivers. The training Kathy has delivered gave me the ability to think about the role I have been doing, and what I can do differently in my approach to my work. I highly recommend Kathy for philanthropy training; her approach is fresh and energetic.
The University of New South Wales engaged KDD Philanthropy to deliver five week-long, in-person training sessions in Sydney to our Division of Philanthropy. Prior to developing her comprehensive and highly bespoke curriculum across development, advancement services, and alumni and engagement, Kathy took the time to understand where we were as an organization and where we aspired to be. She carefully considered the nuances associated with the Australian philanthropic environment to ensure that her content was as relevant as possible. As our partner, Kathy was vested in our team's success and her training emphasized accountability and a growth-oriented mindset. Many on our 100-person team commented that the training and coaching she provided was invaluable regardless of how much prior experience they had. During the planning phase of UNSW's campaign, we also benefited from Kathy providing small group training to Management Board, senior academic and professional leaders, and our most senior volunteers.
Kathy’s knowledge of fundraising tactics is unparalleled. She is adept at analyzing challenges, creating a team strategy, and coaching that allows everyone to utilize their best talents. Most importantly, her approach is easy to replicate in the real world of fundraising with successful results!
Along with her deep experience and expertise, Kathy brings an energy and vitality to her work that is contagious. She is always well prepared and generous in sharing her wisdom with those with whom she is working. Over the years, she has been my “go-to” person whenever I have needed a fundraising resource for our network members. She is simply tremendous!
I owe a large part of my career to Kathy. She unlocks fundraising potential in teams through a practical grounding in portfolio management, thorough training in donor conversations and tried-and-tested ideas for moving relationships with care and success. You will leave every conversation with Kathy with a spring in your step and a renewed sense of purpose.
Kathy Drucquer Duff is one of the best fundraising coaches and consultant in the industry. I have attended several of her sessions - both, online and offline. In every session, she provides clients with insightful and actionable recommendations that motivate them to strategically approach prospects, make immediate changes in their engagement cycle as well as raise transformational philanthropic gifts. As a fellow consultant, Kathy has been a guide and an inspiration to me.
Kathy Drucquer Duff is the best consultant and trainer I have ever had the fortune to work with. Kathy’s sessions are expertly put together with the discussions interactive, engaging and relevant. She draws on her extensive experience, individual talent and engaging personality to make a real impact ... Her sessions will have a lasting impact on your organization.
Kathy brings a deep knowledge of fundraising principles and best practices to her work. Her presentation style is clear and engaging. Most impressive is her intelligence and creativity, which enable her to synthesize information and articulate it well. Whether you are new to the field or a seasoned professional, Kathy will bring you new ways of thinking about your work that will inspire and motivate you to be a more effective fundraiser.
The American Heart Association Bay Area team has benefited from Kathy's consulting and leadership coaching as part of the KDD Philanthropy's webinar offering. The conversation was inspiring and actionable lifting the team to think more broadly about new stewardship strategies. Especially during the early months of COVID, Kathy was able to focus the team on a clear path forward alongside our executive team.
Thank you, Kathy! What a great series, I got a few messages yesterday afternoon from a few of the team members who really enjoyed it. Thank you for the wealth of knowledge, and the tools to help build more intentional, long lasting donor relationships. We’re looking forward to continuing our education with you via the webinars!
One of the best professional decisions I made in 2020 was hiring Kathy as a coach. Her experience and insight have been incredibly valuable to me over the last few months.
Kathy has been coaching members of the NC State College of Natural Resources frontinline fundraising team. I wanted to work with a consultant who can interact with a variety of different work styles, help build a culture of philanthropy and address specific development and management issues. Kathy does all those things, and she provides great examples and best practices. We are very much a “Think and Do” campus and Kathy really fits into that. She helps us think through a problem and then gives us concrete steps to move forward. After every coaching session with Kathy, there is something I use in my day-to-day work to improve my job performance. And my team feels the same way in terms of getting tools to increase confidence and improve performance. What I appreciate most is that Kathy’s approach is individualized and thoughtful, challenging and yet not judgmental.
Kathy led both virtual and in-person trainings for the Seton Hall Advancement Division, as well as coached members of our leadership team. While being able to train in-person is always great, Kathy was incredibly engaging in the virtual format as well. We received very strong feedback from the team that the virtual trainings were engaging, personable and worked well with breakout sessions. Kathy is incredibly collaborative and created trainings and presentations that were formed specifically for Seton Hall and the conversations she had with our team about what they wanted from this investment. I’ve worked in higher education for more than 25 years and Kathy was the first consultant to work with me in that way.
Auburn University Advancement has participated in two KDD Philanthropy webinars. I really appreciate that they are affordable and the entire institution’s Advancement team can share and participate in them. One of the biggest takeaways from participating is helping me feel less discouraged and realizing that other institutions are facing the same fundraising challenges. Kathy has helped me realize that perseverance is key to success.
I have been in the fundraising profession for 25 years and have attended many courses and met with numerous consultants. What makes Kathy Drucquer Duff different is that her deep fundraising experience is seamlessly woven into and throughout her trainings. I love how she is explicit about the fact that it takes time to make systematic changes. She advises how to integrate changes incrementally into our culture in order to have meaningful impact. The Weber State University advancement team has attended several of her webinars this year and they have formed the backbone of our professional development. Kathy is a standout in the field of training and consulting.
I have been following Kathy for years and appreciate and marvel at her thoughtful, practical and evidence-based approach. Our Advancement team has participated in several of KDD Philanthropy’s webinars and I absolutely love the content focus on leadership and management skills within Advancement. The topics, such as how we position our team for greater success and what our development officers want and how we retain them, have provided invaluable information that I now use to help manage my teams more effectively. We also love the webinar takeaway exercises that help create follow up with the team. … I consider Kathy and Jim Langley, who presented with her in the “Philanthropy Thought Leader” webinar, my North Stars. If I’m lost or confused on how to proceed in my work, I always go back to them and their resources, and they help me focus on where I need to go next.
I participated in Wednesday’s "How to Hone Your Success as a Unit Fundraising Lead" session and departed the session inspired – both in my role as a manager and development officer. For Wednesday’s session, I encouraged my team of frontline fundraisers and our analyst to attend. Each has different levels of experience, learning interests and work styles. Each team member found useful information and is ready to put it into practice. I left with ideas for our upcoming business planning prep work (starting with some visioning exercises for the team and for each of us individually). The training also provided me with ideas for how I can better support each team member as they staff our faculty leads and how I myself do the same. Your one hour sessions have the right focus and are a great use of time. ... I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of many of your trainings – both in person and virtually. All of them leave me wanting more. Your direct, practical and real advice is fabulous. No matter the course, I always walk away motivated and with at least a couple very doable tips to help me in my daily work.
I attended yesterday’s How to Hone Your Success as a Unit Fundraising Lead webinar as well as today’s through Academic Impressions on overcoming objections. After some burnout on webinars, these are the first two I’ve attended in a few months, because the topics were so interesting, and you did not disappoint. I really enjoyed both, and learned so much that I can put to use immediately. I will definitely re-watch them as a refresher at some point as well. And I added a donor objections agenda item for our next team meeting.
After hearing Kathy speak at Clemson’s University Development Team retreat, I knew I wanted to work one-on-one with her. I manage a team of unit fundraisers and I’ve worked with Kathy on topics such as management, leadership and utilizing data to help gift officer performance. She has given me so much more confidence to be able to have constructive conversations with my gift officers to help them achieve their goals. … When Kathy came to our team retreat, she really got to know our team without having ever been on the Clemson campus. With Kathy, it never feels like I’m talking to a stranger who is only giving me canned responses. She knows our culture, and I really enjoy working with and learning from her.
I’ve been working with Kathy for almost two years. From the very first time we met, I’ve felt like she’s a coach who has my best interests at heart. She helps me advocate for myself and my team, ensuring our success, both personally and professionally, and she cares about the entire individual, not just our professional selves. … In our time together, we have covered a lot of ground and topics, including building a board/champion model and working with individuals, corporations and faculty. She’s also helped me with time and calendar management, managing up and down, leading a team, and being an interim assistant dean. One of the things I value most about Kathy is there has not been any topic I’ve thrown at her that she cannot handle. She always responds with amazing ideas, thoughts and suggestions.
Kathy has worked with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Health on several occasions. She has worked with major gift officers to assist them with strengthening their portfolios and cultivating new donors, and she has advised us about how to better leverage events and work with our philanthropic advisory boards. Kathy is very skilled at helping us with strategy and approach, but she’s also very skilled at translating that robust strategy to tactical actions. As a leader, I appreciate her clear thinking and analytical approach combined with down-to-earth tactical action. When we’ve talked with her about the key areas we want to address or challenges we face, she always does a great job of coming up with a program that’s well prepared to deliver in those areas.
I hired Kathy because I was about 20 years into my advancement career and wanted to invest in my professional development in a different way. I interviewed three different coaches, and Kathy was the only one with the advancement experience that matched my needs. Kathy understood the challenges I faced and helped me adapt, shift my mindset and habits, and gave me very tangible ways to do that. … Kathy has deep and varied experience in advancement and she comes to her work with enthusiasm and energy. She is honest and doesn’t sugar coat, but also provides practical solutions and advice to help move forward through situations and challenges. Kathy wants to help people anchor in and make the profession better. She wants you to be successful and that comes across.
We brought Kathy to High Point University to provide training specific to frontline fundraising around closing major gifts and with our parent population. One of the things that is so impressive about Kathy is she works hard to tailor her training materials to the culture and circumstances of our campus. She worked hard to make it specific to High Point, and it was very helpful to have training scenarios and conversations that really fit what we were encountering daily in our work. As a result of her training, our team has increased their confidence around fundraising.
We worked with Kathy and Carol on their coaching service around fundraising. The years of experience they both bring to the fundraising is incredible. As a small nonprofit, we lack the in-house capacity and knowledge around fundraising. Their coaching sessions were not only immediately helpful for troubleshooting and moving our fundraising goals forward, it gave us the confidence to continue to persevere. In particular, the tools they provided and the five meeting model scenario sessions were incredibly helpful. Thank you Kathy and Carol for what you do!
Kathy and Carol of KDD Philanthropy are experts in their field. Our Glenridge Charitable Foundation team works with their fundraising coaching services for several years and have found each session to be very helpful, informative, and empowering. Working with Carol has opened many possibilities for our future success as an organization, helping us to identify ways where we can make a positive difference through growth and change. We engage in discussions that guide us to discover and to affirm our organization’s purpose, focus and plan. We couldn’t ask for a better partnership.
NC State has worked with Kathy in a coaching and presentation capacity. Most recently, she led a safety discussion for our frontline fundraisers and engagement officers, and presented two sessions at our first Day of Education to advancement staff across the division. Kathy was very easy to work with, flexible and adaptable. Her goal was to make sure the content was as tailored and relevant to our university and culture. Working with Kathy was a true partnership. She made sure what she delivered would have the highest ROI and be received in the best way possible. Her delivery and approach is accessible to a wide range of people and audience. She has a demeanor that is personable and friendly, while also having the confidence and credibility from being an expert in the field. Kathy connects and relates to our team and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. She truly cares and that comes through in every way.