The AAA Way to Fundraising Success

One of the most frequently heard questions in Kay’s years of consulting is, “How can I get my board more engaged in fundraising?” Organizations that want to inspire their boards to get involved in donor and fund development enlist Kay. Her proven program sets out three important roles for board members – Ambassadors, Advocates and Askers (AAA). The program is guided by a refreshing and workable vision: all board members can be engaged in Development, but not all of them will ask for money. AAA increases board member confidence about the roles they can play in growing revenue. “The AAA Way to Fundraising Success” is a dynamic and deliverable program, tailored for the needs of client organizations or presented generically in gatherings or webinars. It is based on her book of the same name (see Books page). Implementing the AAA model with Kay’s guidance or on their own, hundreds of organizations across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia have found success in engaging their boards more effectively. Once engaged, the board’s commitment to success enhances the fundraising for the organization.


A Voice Heard Globally

There is a universality about Kay’s values approach to philanthropy that spans borders and boundaries. She knows how to convey ideas thoughtfully and clearly, even when working with non-native English speakers. The rapid growth of philanthropy across the globe, inspired by tested American (US and Canadian) practices, is a strong pillar of democracy and civic responsibility. Kay has contributed her philosophy, passion and best practices to an ever-increasing number of organizations and professionals across the globe that are eager to strengthen civil society. She has participated internationally as keynote speaker and workshop leader for conferences in Australia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Republic of Georgia, Italy, Sweden, Great Britain, France, Poland, Russia and, most recently, virtually in Germany.

She has presented 17 times at the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) in The Netherlands. As a faculty member of the Museum Leadership Program in Australia she has worked with museum professionals from Australia, New Zealand and neighboring countries. She is a co-creator and facilitator/mentor of Leaders of Tomorrow, a program for strengthening civil society in Central and Eastern Europe now in its sixth year.

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Kay was recognized with the AFP Global Fundraising Professional of the Year Award in March of 2020.

Lifting the Importance of Volunteers


As public benefit corporations, we draw our power from the community. Kay believes in the importance of volunteer engagement in mission-based organizations and works with client leadership teams to ensure the most motivated involvement of board and non-board volunteers.

Providing volunteer workshops, board retreats, training in how to ask, campaign and development committee facilitation and strategic visioning workshops, Kay knows how to give volunteers an experience that will ignite their loyalty and service. She respects the gifts of time and talent volunteers offer and makes sure their experience is worth their effort.

For more than 30 years she was an active volunteer at her alma mater, Stanford University. Now, she is on the Advisory Boards of the Czech Fundraising Institute and The Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco and serves on the Board of Trustees of Grace Cathedral and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, both in San Francisco. Kay listens to volunteers, and they feel heard and respected in her meetings and sessions.

Competition or Collaboration: Where is Philanthropy Headed?

Kay invites you to join her in thinking about this. It is a question that is always with us because we are a dynamic sector. Our durability is based on our responses to the ever-changing needs and interests of our communities and the growing aspirations of our donors. Kay is a trend spotter, and over the past few decades has given time, thought and numerous presentations about where we are headed. As early as 1997, in her first book, “Beyond Fundraising,” she predicted changes that would be needed in the future. One of them has been surfaced boldly by the pandemic. It is the question posed above.

The global pandemic has increased demand for essential services: the generous philanthropic gifts for basic human needs have been a source of awe and gratitude. At the same time, funding for the arts and other services regarded as less essential has flattened.

  • How will we address this imbalance?
  • How can we unite around key societal needs to ensure they are met?
  • Is it time for organizations serving the same human or societal needs in a community to collaborate or merge to conserve costs and offer donors a single investment entity that amplifies the impact of their gift?
After meetings

During the pandemic, Kay facilitated a merger of two youth services organizations and their community has applauded the decision. So have the youth served and the staff that is now working together. Kay is a trained facilitator who knows how to work with groups to identify common purposes and values, accept the benefits of change and see the advantages of combining services for greater impact. If this is something your organization might explore, Kay is ready to talk. If you have ideas, let Kay know. Become a thought partner on the next big trend with one of the world’s most respected thinkers in philanthropy.