About NPA Founder, Kirsten Bullock

Kirsten Bullock, CFRE, MBA is an author, trainer and coach who works with entrepreneurial leaders of nonprofits and ministries to help them increase their awareness, involve more people in their organizations and ultimately raise more money. She earned her designation as a Certified Fund Raising Executive in 2002. A consultant since 2008, she founded The Nonprofit Academy in 2011 to better help meet the training and facilitation needs of nonprofit organizations.

Since 1995, Kirsten has worked with health care organizations, social service providers, national and local ministries, and international membership associations. These have included organizations such as AIDS Interfaith Ministries of Kentuckiana, Presbyterian Women National Offices, Community Health Centers, Inc. and the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation.

Kirsten is currently serving as past president Association for Fundraising Professionals Greater Louisville Chapter and was recently selected as the recipient of the chapter’s 2013 Frank W. Penick Founder's Award for Excellence in Fundraising Practice. She is an AFP Master Trainer and has presented for the Indiana Library Federation, Business First (Louisville), Kairos Prison Ministry International, Steward’s Staff and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In addition, she is the author of Simple Steps to Fundraising Success and the general editor of The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits (to be published January 2014).

Kirsten is a licensed fund raising consultant in Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s of Business Administration. When not working to equip and empower people in the nonprofit sector, Kirsten sculpts, is attempting to learn to speak Danish and enjoys living in the Highlands in Louisville, Kentucky.



Not only is it a joy to meet with Kirsten for our coaching sessions, but our page views have increased by 800% over last year. We’re filling our events and able to engage with our audience in a whole new way.She provides both the know-how, but also the wisdom and the accompanying skills that help us get it done.Nancy Going, First Third Ministries
Thank you so much for your time Kirsten.  I have quite a few things to do now….all different than my original plan but absolutely the right things!  I am very excited to have a clear direction.Jane Ratliff, Founder, BlueHair Technology Group
“For more than ten years as the director of a faith-based non-profit, my greatest struggle/challenge was in fund-raising. I read books on the subject, attended seminars, listened to so many individuals who made it sound so easy. Many continued to identify us as, “the best kept secret in Disability Ministry.” And, we danced on the edge of financial disaster.One of my board members came to me rather insistent that I give Kirsten Bullock a call; telling me that we needed some intense consultation on the matter of fund-raising. I was just as insistent that ten years of training, consultation, advice & opinions on the matter had brought only mixed results.A month later, after a board meeting, I was “instructed” to give Kirsten a call. I did so, reluctantly, meeting with her along with that board member. And, we were soon into the intense training regimen.It’s nearly a year later, and to use an old cliché, “We’ve nearly turned the corner.”With Kirsten’s guidance & help, we’ve developed a strategic plan, and we’re working the plan. Don’t know that, at age 63, I’ll receive commendations & accolades for raising millions of dollars. However, from a fiscal standpoint, last year was the best of my fifteen years as an Executive Director. We closed the books for the year 2011 in sound financial condition.Roy Kustanbauter, Executive Director, Power Ministries
“I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for AIM. I’m so happy with our event last weekend. We genuinely touched people. It felt great. You’ve been with us all year, every step of the way. We couldn’t have accomplished any of our major accomplishments without you. As our brochure quotes a client, ‘because of you, AIM has hope.’ We were drifting and shrinking before. THANK YOU!”Paige Gottlieb, Board Chair, Aids Interfaith Ministries
“As an emerging non-profit in youth services, The Steward’s Staff has found Kirsten’s services in board orientation and fund development essential in our new wave of growth giving it direction through attainable action steps.”
John Mark Eberhardt, Executive Director, The Steward’s Staff
“Kirsten was instrumental and elevating the fundraising efforts at the Research Foundation from honing the strategic vision to equipping volunteers to ask for gifts, to setting up a process to help us better understand who our donors are.”Bonnie Ulmer, Vice President, The Institute of Internal Auditors
“As a new Executive Director, Kirsten’s insights regarding board dynamics and fundraising were invaluable in helping me get off to a good start. She was instrumental in working with me and the chairman of the board to create effective fund-raising strategies. It is telling that in the same year we met with Kirsten, our ministry received significant contributions.”Kristin Johnson, Executive Director of OneByOne
“Kirsten is an excellent development officer. She understands people and the variety of interests in giving. Kirsten is exceptionally well-organized and bases decisions and strategy on the data, on the facts. Kirsten is at her best with “major donors” and planned giving but she is fully skilled in “retail” strategies such as direct-mail and special events. I recommend Kirsten highly, with no reservations but with considerable confidence in her professional skills, values and virtues.”David Spellman, Executive Director, Covenant House Florida
“I worked with Kirsten while in the national Planned Giving Department and followed Kirsten as Director of Development for Covenant House Florida. She was excellent at donor relations and an effective development officer. I highly recommend her as a development professional.”Arthur Fullerton, Director of Development, Covenant House Florida



AIDS Interfaith Ministries (AIM) 

A ministry for individuals infected and affected by HIV / AIDS.  With no staff committed to fundraising, only one full-time staff member, and no formal individual giving program, AIM was reliant on just a few large grants to sustain their operations. Through working with Kirsten, AIM implemented a donor management system to help track fundraising and communication efforts, held several awareness events to introduce themselves to the community.

Presbyterian Women 

PW is the national women’s group affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This network of women’s groups was raising about $10 million a year to distribute in grants, but the amount raised had been declining for 20 consecutive years. PW had begun a search for a development director, but it resulted in no stand-out candidates. PW contracted with Kirsten to perform a fundraising audit, begin laying the groundwork to pursue major gifts and to assist in recruiting their first development director. Over the course of a year, training was provided to both staff and board to help develop an understanding of the fundraising function. The search was narrowed to three highly qualified candidates. It is telling that in the first year with the new development director, they saw giving increase for the first time in ten years.

Options Unlimited

Options Unlimited helps those with developmental disabilities find employment, as well as participation in a day program. The majority of their funding had been obtained through government contracts and BINGO. After deciding to expand their funding to include individuals, Options Unlimited contracted with Kirsten to help develop an annual giving program that included individuals. Within a few months, Options had developed an ‘Advisory Council’ to work on increasing awareness of the organization in the local community and to raise funds. In their first year, Options raised $11,000 in new funding and increased the number of individual donors from 40 to 67.

Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation

The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation raises money to help support internal audit research. In 2007, after experiencing continued declines in funding they opted to bring a fundraising professional on board. Kirsten worked to recruit and train a Development Committee, engaging international members in the fundraising efforts of the Research Foundation. Over the next two years, the number of donors giving multiple gifts each year increased from 22 to 68 (and increase of 209%). The total numbers of donors increased from 323 in 2006 to 409 in 2008. In addition, in an environment where overall giving in the US decreased by 5.7%, donations increased from $274,310 in 2006 to $291,165 in 2008 (an increase of 6%).

Covenant House Florida 

In 2001, Covenant House Florida was seeking a way to become more connected to the Central Florida community. While having a long history of success in South Florida, they were fairly new to the area, having opened up a few years earlier. As an experiment, they hired Kirsten as their first Orlando-based statewide development director. Kirsten developed an Advisory Council to serve the Central Florida area by raising awareness and funding for Covenant House Florida. Through a series of mailings, personal phone calls and visits, interactions between donors and the organization increased, resulting in a 72% increase in giving among those donors who received a personal visit. In addition, Kirsten coordinated the first Orlando Candlelight Vigil to raise awareness of Covenant House Florida with over 200 people in attendance.

Community Health Centers, Inc.

After going through five development directors in less than five years, Community Health Centers decided to bring on a Grants Manager instead. Kirsten was hired into this role and, less than a year later, convinced CHC of the need to try a Development Office one more time. During the nearly three years Kirsten was with CHC, she developed systems and an infrastructure to support an ongoing development effort. Over that three year period, she increased non-federal grant funds raised from $200,000 in 1998 to $1,378,249 in 2001. In addition, she developed and implemented comprehensive development strategies to acquire new donors and retain existing supporters including direct mail and major gift strategies. From 2001 to 2011, they have had just one development director.

Orlando Regional Healthcare Foundation

Kirsten got her start in fundraising at Orlando Regional as their Grants and Special Projects Manager. She created and managed the grants process, including researching potential funders and circulating findings to appropriate staff. This role also included training staff to write grant proposals for their own areas. Over a two-year period, Kirsten generated grant proposals/cases for support resulting in approximately $700,000 in funding.