Fundraising With Passion and Precision

OUTdrive Episode 74 with Karin Cox

OUTdrive Episode 74 with Karin Cox

The idea of fundraising has often been reduced to door-to-door sales of cookies and coupon books. But for non-profit organizations, raising funds is crucial to providing community services and requires gifts larger than the cost of a popcorn tin. In this episode of OUTdrive, I sat down with Karin Cox, an expert in the field of fundraising. She outlines what it takes to run a successful gift campaign and explains how her job is less about asking for money and more about expressing a need.

Karin is the president and co-founder of Hartsook, a fundraising organization that helps nonprofits “unleash the power of philanthropy” through creative counsel. She specializes in drawing out the fundraising potential of companies and has helped Hartsook clients raise hundreds of millions of dollars through customized, research-based guidance. As an established author and entrepreneur with a background in non-profit work, Karin’s professional portfolio includes notable organizations, such as, Ohio State University, American Red Cross, and Boy Scouts of America. Originally from Texas, Karin attended Wichita State University in Kansas, earning an MFA in Creative Writing.

Though Hartsook’s reach extends past international borders, the integrity of the company was built around Karin’s rural American values. Tune in to this episode to gain insight and perspective from a passionate industry leader.


  • 3:00 – Karin talks about her rural roots, growing up in Lubbock, Texas, and how she ended up in Kansas, ultimately graduating from Wichita State with a Master’s in Fine Arts
  • 5:00 – Karin talks about how her background allowed her to develop determination and optimism exemplified in her life and career
  • 7:15 – Karin explains how relationships with a client work and the trust required for a business or organization to run a major gift campaign
  • 8:00 – Karin shares how she co-founded her company, Hartsook, and lays out some qualities of entrepreneurs
  • 11:00 – The importance of recognizing that your business may not be for everyone and turning your focus to those who see the value in your work.
  • 12:10 – How Karin started working in fundraising and a look into her background in non-profits
  • 13:15 – Karin talks about the development of her company, Hartsook, on topics from core values to business growth to the roles she has filled over the years.
  • 19:30 – Karin describes the experience of writing her book and advice for someone wanting to write a book
  • 25:00 – Hartsook’s philosophy on the power of philanthropy and having the appropriate approach to fundraising
  • 28:15 – Karin describes what makes a good fundraising campaign, harnessing the power of some of the new virtual trends emerging and remaining authentic.
  • 39:10 – In the closing comments of the podcast, Karin shares her thoughts on rural America.