Testimonials

Testimonials from 2016

Kathleen Bennett is a force of nature in and of her herself, but the real magic of her course is learning from and working with the other nonprofit leaders who attend. By the end of the course there was a level of trust and growth within the group that left me feeling even more confident about my cause and about my skills as a fundraiser.

Workshop Participant

Kim Nye, Executive Director
TESS Research Foundation

This class was such a great opportunity to learn from Kathleen and the group how to prepare for and make a major-gifts ask. The role-plays were so helpful because they provide practice that was encouraging, supportive and challenging at the same time.

Workshop Participant

Linda Leu
Executive Director, IMPACT Bay Area

This class was invaluable in terms of providing the tools, confidence, and know-how to approach major donors,I entered the class with virtually no idea how to do ask major donors for large gifts; now I have a plan in place and am poised to execute it.

Workshop Participant

Elizabeth Weal, Founder and Executive Director
Sequoia Adult School Scholars, Bay Area

I joined the class just as I joined my first nonprofit board. I now have the confidence to be a full-fledge useful board member capable of raising money while feeling like I’m giving a gift to the donor! Kathleen is a genius at teaching fundraising

Workshop Participant

Monica Stone
Board Member, IMPACT Bay Area

Great class! Loved it! Would recommend it to anyone who is interesting in supporting a nonprofit.

Workshop Participant

Laura Ayala, Board Chair
Sequoia Adult School Scholars, Bay Area

Testimonials from 2015

This workshop offers lots of opportunities to practice “the ask.” Now I not only understand the value of strategy, storytelling, and stewardship, I also feel excited about asking.  Having 4 people attend the class helped our organization align our fund raising strategies. I heartily recommend including a board member on the team. 

Workshop Participant

Rita Mancera, Executive Director
Puente de la Costa Sur

Kathleen herself demonstrates how to be a solid, practical, dedicated and professional fundraiser. Her style sets a valuable example that I cannot learn from any book. The workshop provides the simplest instructions that work out for a complicated ask. As a Chinese immigrant person, I also benefited from Kathleen’s class by better understanding cultural differences and improving my communication skills a lot in my daily life. Truly it is ART of ASK. Thank you very much Kathleen.

Workshop Participant

Maria Song
Volunteer, Fei Tian Academy of the Arts, SF

“The Art of the Ask” workshop offers a safe space to learn and grow. I came away from the class feeling more confident in the fundraising process and my ability to be effective. The value of Kathleen sharing her own experience coupled with learning from other organizations is priceless. I looked forward to our weekly session and felt a void when the class was over. Luckily, the work lives on, and Kathleen remains an active supporter of her students.

Workshop Participant

Mariaelena Comaroto
Admissions and Communication, The Ventana School

The best fundraising class I’ve ever taken. Kathleen is an expert fundraiser and expert teacher. She breaks down a successful ‘ask’ into its essential components, and the class deep-dives into each step. What makes the class outstanding is Kathleen herself: her smarts, enthusiasm, and insight–not to mention good humor. She applies her know-how to the specifics of each student, no matter what their level of experience or what they’re raising funds for. She’s a generous teacher in every sense of the word. Take this class, become a better fundraiser and with new confidence go out and ask for those gifts!

Workshop Participant

Patrick Letellier
Development Director, Puente de la Costa Sur, with 8 years fundraising experience

As a new person to fundraising I learned about how to make a case for our fundraising strategy, the steps to a successful solicitation, and how to build and cultivate relationships with our donors. Most importantly, I learned that thanking should be sincere and from the heart.” 

Workshop Participant

Alejandra Ortega
Fund Development Associate, Puente de la Costa Sur.


Testimonials from 2014

Kathleen quickly grasps the strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s message and approach to fundraising. While there is a framework for her approach to major-donor solicitation, this is not a cookie cutter class. Kathleen is a good reader of people, assesses our individual strengths and challenges, and tailors her critique of our work in light of each of us as individuals. The class was personally transformative in the way I now think about donors as our allies in a joint effort to improve our corner of the world.

Workshop Participant

Anna Waring Ph.D. Executive Director
Foundation for a College Education, East Palo Alto, CA

The Art of the Ask is an amazing class!  We made the leap from a start-up non-profit to one that could raise major funds to preserve an historic site. Kathleen helped us focus, get organized, and prioritize. She taught us fundraising techniques and gave us the confidence to be successful.

Workshop Participant

Sam Drake, Founder and President
Umunhum Conservancy, San Jose, CA

I can say without hesitation, if I had not taken this class, I would have lost all chance of three major donations. I learned to have empathy while building conversations with potential donors to create value-based giving opportunities.  I didn’t understand that before.  Now I realize, when asking for support, it’s all about the fit.  It’s not personal if they say no. The workshop is highly personalized; you will walk away with tools you can use immediately, in my case often the next day.

Workshop Participant

Ken Montgomery, Founder and Principal
Design Tech High School, San Mateo, CA

A boon for Development Directors, The Art of the Ask is the ultimate compendium of knowledge on effective major donor fundraising.  From cultivation and stewardship to campaign planning. Kathleen tailors her lessons to each individual nonprofit’s needs and goals, providing an unmatched fast-paced, in-depth, relevant learning experience to each student!

Workshop Participant

Anwyn Hurxthal, Communications & Development Director
Canopy, Palo Alto, CA

This was the workshop that got my team over the fear factor for making “the ask. We’re making quantum leaps like never before because of Kathleen’s workshop. The key to getting everyone on the same page was having three people from our organization participate.

Workshop Participant

Susan Rosenberg, Co-Founder and board member
Canopy, Palo Alto, CA
Menlo Park, CA