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 [email protected].

Katherine has over 30 years of experience in the fundraising industry as a consultant, development officer and advancement team manager. As a member of Blackbaud’s analytics consulting team for over a decade, she facilitates strategic, client-facing content for Blackbaud’s custom modeling, wealth screening, and prospect research solutions to enhance clients’ development efforts with data-driven strategies.  Before assuming this role, she served as the national director of gift planning at
the National Multiple Sclerosis Society home office. Katherine has raised over $200 million during her career. She is a past president of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, a former lawyer and also served as an affiliation faculty member at Regis University where she taught development-related courses at the master’s level for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker at BBCON, NACGP, Apra, AFP and other industry conferences.

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