AFP Member Spotlight Kate Biagi-Rickert
Director of Stewardship, Community Foundation of Louisville
Background:Kate Biagi-Rickert has been working at the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) for about five years. She has been an AFP member for more than 10 years. In the AFP Greater Louisville chapter, she served as the Service & Scholarships Chair on the board in 2021, and she has also previously been the National Philanthropy Day Chair and a member of the National Philanthropy Day Committee.Tell me more about your role as the Director of Stewardship at CFL.My role is to make sure that fundholders have the best experience using the Community Foundation for charitable giving. I connect fundholders to all the services we provide and opportunities to simplify and maximize the impact of philanthropy. CFL has more than 2,400 charitable funds and approximately 80% is granted to local organizations.What is some advice you have for new fundraisers?Get involved in the community as best you can. Look for the opportunities where you can meet people and learn things. Leadership Louisville Center is a good organization with lots of opportunities to learn and network. Join AFP. Just actively seek opportunities where you get to meet people. I think that will help in your career. An example from when I previously worked at St. Joseph Children's Home – I had the opportunity to join the Frankfort Avenue Business Association (FABA). I became an active member and through my participation was able to raise awareness of St. Joe's, and increased financial and volunteer support from FABA members and local residents.Why did you join AFP?AFP has a great reputation in the community as an opportunity both for networking with members of the philanthropy profession as well as educational opportunities to learn about all different aspects of fundraising.How have you benefited from your AFP membership?Really, the learning component and the educational meetings have been so informative. The national conference, serving on our chapter Board in several different roles, resources to best practices…all of them have been beneficial to my career, as well as the connections I've made to colleagues in this community from AFP meetings. It has allowed me to build up a network of people that I can connect with, ask questions of, and share ideas around philanthropy. Before the pandemic, I met people regularly for coffee or lunch to connect.What is one tip you recommend for connecting with donors?Be authentic in your outreach and communications. Donors can tell if there's emotion behind the communication or if the communication is too "dry." Also, try to personalize your correspondence as much as possible by adding a personal note on a receipt/thank you note or email, etc. Being authentic in your communications will help you stand out. And be understanding of donors. They have a lot of different goals for their philanthropy and have different passions.Do you have a fundraising-related resource you recommend? If so, what is it?AFP is definitely the fundraising resource. I constantly mention it to anyone new to the profession or new to town. Also, their website has great resources on best practices. I recently completed the designation as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP). I highly recommend that program to anyone focused on gift planning, including major gifts, planned gifts, and complex gifts.
What is one tip you have for nonprofits participating in Give for Good Louisville?When possible, find opportunities to customize and personalize your donor outreach. For example, for donors who gave from their CFL Funds in the past, encourage them to give that way again. For donors who made a past gift during a Match Minute, thank them for their dedication to maximizing the impact of their gift and share the times for this year's Match Minutes. Additionally, set suggested donation levels, as research shows that to be an effective fundraising tool.
KY, Greater Louisville Admin