Karin Cox, MFA
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer

Specializing in major gift and campaign fundraising worldwide, Karin is co-founder of Hartsook. She has served in senior leadership roles in nonprofit and business sectors, and is an author, frequent presenter and senior consultant. She works with nonprofit organizations of every size and scope, helping them advance their programs and raise millions of dollars.

Karin is the author of Fundraising Leadership: The Essential Guide for Nonprofit Board Members Who Want to Make a Lasting Difference and co-author of Events Fundraising (forthcoming spring 2020, DSC, U.K.) and  $231 Billion Raised and Counting with Bob Hartsook and Matthew J. Beem. She developed the widely adopted Cox Grid, which was first presented in her “Fundraising Events” chapter in Fundraising Practices and Principles, the definitive fundraising text published by Jossey-Bass.

She was one of America’s top spokespeople in the field of child abuse prevention, and is a member of the National School Foundation Association’s Council of Advisors whose primary role is to support the advance of K-12 education foundations. Karin has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Women’s Impact Network.

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Will You Be There When John Shamberg Calls?

A big part of fundraising is showing up and being available. I learned this lesson on a very memorable New Year’s Eve, a very long time ago.

As an eager young fundraiser working for Washburn University, I didn’t know that it was unusual still to be at work in the evening of December 31st. But, there I was.

Earlier that year, a graduate of Washburn University School of Law told me he was going to give a gift of land to his synagogue, a private K-12 school and Washburn. John Shamberg, who has since passed away, made millions of dollars for institutions all over the world, and he wanted to give a significant gift to organizations he valued. His 40 acres of land on the outskirts of Kansas City were valued at $450,000, and his intention was to give $150,000 each to three organizations.

He’d left the task to the last day of the year, but now he was ready to make it happen.

He called the synagogue. No answer.

He called the K-12 school. No answer.

Then, he called Washburn and got me.

“Bob,” he said, “you just won the jackpot!”

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