OMG! One Planned Giving Professional's Road to Fulfillment | npENGAGE

OMG! One Planned Giving Professional’s Road to Fulfillment

By on May 17, 2011


Each time Blackbaud publishes one of my writings, I feel an honor and a fulfillment that’s hard to describe.  When I was young I wanted to be an author – and a jet pilot, like my father.  I’ve accomplished one but not yet the other and I think I may have gotten the better life lesson from my achievement as a writer.   When I start to formulate new subject matter on planned gift fundraising, it’s common for me to reflect on past activities, past achievements, past conversations and tutorials from mentors.  All-in-all, many things must come together before I feel I’m worthy of sharing my thoughts.

My latest paper “From O.K. to OMG!: How to be an Extraordinary Planned Giving Professional” was recently released and it’s my hope that it will inspire someone, even one person, to be a better planned gift professional.  Learning, in my book, is never done.  I learn something new every day and I surround myself with others who do the same.  It’s from this synergy of experience, sharing and learning that we transform from good to better and from better to great.

It took many years to realize that I was successful in my career.  Having disliked my specialty practice of law, I found myself looking for the rewards of a helping profession and fell into fundraising at a law school in Los Angeles.  At that time I couldn’t have imagined that I’d love my life as a fundraiser; love to bring inspiration in line with mission and monetary ability in concert with charity.  It was a gradual passage.  Today, however, consulting annually with hundreds of leaders and development professionals about analytic modeling and planned giving implementation, I can look back and see the roadmap that brought me to this place. I’ve capsulated it in my whitepaper and hope that you’ll enjoy sharing the journey.  You can read online or download it at

I invite you to share your journey too. Please let me know your secret to success and the moments you most remember that took you from O.K. to OMG!

*Katherine Swank is a senior consultant for Target Analytics. You may contact her at


Katherine Swank, JD, senior consultant at Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company, helps nonprofits apply statistical analytics and donor research to their fundraising efforts with an emphasis on planned gifts. She has raised nearly $250 million for mission funding during her nonprofit development career. Katherine is a retired affiliate faculty member of Regis University’s master of Global Nonprofit Management degree program, where she taught courses on wealth and philanthropy.  Along with writing for publications like Advancing Philanthropy and Philanthropy Journal, she is also a frequent presenter for industry conferences such as NACGP, AFP, APRA, and bbcon. Having grown up in a tourist destination in Colorado, Katherine has become an avid world traveler and is exploring her way through the 1,000 places to see before you die, albeit slowly.  Connect with her on Twitter @KatherineSwank.

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