[PODCAST] It’s All About You, and Not About You at All

Getting Started with Donor Cultivation + Conversations

Whether you’re just starting a nonprofit or looking to take your organization to the next level, you’re going to need supporters. Knowing how to begin and how to build relationships is the name of the game. And Laura White Ludvik, the latest expert featured on the Good to Growth podcast, is an all-star.

Laura’s career includes developing startups to stewarding a well-funded legacy organization. In this episode, she chats with Katie about the first steps needed when you’re at fundraising ground zero all the way to further developing existing donors. The underlying message across every topic discussed was consistent: it’s about relationships.

Even at a time when digital fundraising is front and center for nonprofits, Laura encourages development professionals to look at who their audience is and how they interact with the organization. If 80% of your major donors are 80+ years of age, you need to hold off on developing an app to take donations. Even for those organizations who have a younger donor base, understanding who your donors are and what drives them will help you invest wisely and make better fundraising decisions.

Laura summarizes fundraising with one true and somewhat uncomfortable statement: It’s all about you and it’s not about you at all. How can that be? Well, when you’re raising support, you’re often the face of the organization and the conduit from the donor to the cause. Everything from your greeting to your gratitude impacts the development of your donor. And yet, it is ultimately about the cause. Remember, you’re just the messenger.

Learn more about Laura’s expertise and her insightful wisdom for nonprofits of all sizes and stages in this episode.


Laura White Ludvik, CFRM President, USS Midway Foundation


Laura White Ludvik brings more than 20 years of field experience to the nonprofit sector. She recently joined the USS Midway team as the President of the Foundation after spending 5years as the Vice President of Philanthropy at Support The Enlisted Project (STEP). Laura reminds emerging fundraisers, “Fundraising is not easy. The needs in our communities are insatiable. But taking one cause, one person, one vote, one animal at a time, and working to enhance your community, is something to be really proud of.” As a San Diego native, Laura has worked in her community throughout her philanthropic career and she is driven by a desire to build equity. She is also a recipient of the San Diego Business Journal’s 2011 Women WhoMean Business Award and San Diego Metro Magazine’s Top 25 Mover and Shaker.

Shout out to Kessel Strategies for making this podcast possible!

Are you a nonprofit CEO or Executive Director looking to further advance your mission and grow your impact?

Kessel Strategies created the Nonprofit Executive Club especially for you. Through one-one and group coaching, strategic planning, and team leadership development, helping you become a better leader who makes a larger impact is what the Nonprofit Executive Club aims to do for every member.

Laura White

Katie Appold

Katie’s nonprofit career includes a variety of leadership roles for human service, foundation, and publishing-related nonprofits as well as many volunteer roles. Under Katie’s leadership, nonprofit organizations have developed new programs related to free healthcare, affordable and accessible housing and literacy programs for K-12 students. In her first Executive Director role, Katie increased the annual revenue of the organization she led by 300% and received the top grant prize in the nation for affordable housing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. Today, she leads Nonprofit Hub and Cause Camp, which collectively serve more than 50,000 nonprofits throughout North America. Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in business administration and a masters degree in nonprofit leadership. Katie serves as the board president of Gracious Grounds, a housing organization serving individuals with disabilities. She is an active member of the Grand Rapids Young Nonprofit Professionals, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Cause Network, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

November 19, 2021

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