What We Do

We mobilize everyday people to fundraise, rally others and become evangelists for your cause. We seed passion.

We’ve run hundreds of successful programs for our clients and inspired record breaking levels of recruitment, fundraising and retention. Most fundraising campaigns offer incentive gifts to entice people to participate. But here’s a dirty little secret: incentive gifts don’t motivate people to fundraise.

Committed fundraisers have a self-image of being dedicated to your cause. Turnkey seeds and grows that passion.
Gifts don't motivate

Gifts don't motivate

The truth is, the way you make people feel gets them to fundraise.


In a Nutshell

We design non-profit fundraising strategies that support the peer to peer fundraising model. We get the average Joe and Jill to register for your event. We get them to align with your mission. We get them to fundraise. To do those things we use three big sticks: 27 years of experience, heavy use of data analysis, and high respect for social science. We measure every effort. We listen intently to you. We celebrate success with you. On average, over millions of participants, the average Joes and Jills we turn into evangelists raise 37% more than the people who don’t align. We believe every person deserves to have a passion. It’s up to us to give it to them. And we know how.

The 2016 Turnkey Benchmark Report on Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser Recognition has been released. Find out why you should care.

We cover many bases for our clients: strategy, marketing communications, email design, automated campaign deployment, fundraising platform coordination, recognition gift production, warehousing and fulfillment, and analysis. If something touches the fundraiser and is a chance to align them with your cause, we use it.

Peer to Peer Fundraising Strategy

Peer to Peer Fundraising Strategy

Turnkey understands the science behind decision making and use that knowledge to create impact. Our strategies are grounded in 27 years of experience and research, that delivers peer to peer campaigns that motivate fundraisers to higher and higher fundraising levels.

We have extensive fundraising performance data that shows our strategies are very effective at delivering superior results for minimal cost, typically 2-4% of total fundraising dollars, with ROIs as high as 500%.

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Automated Marketing Campaigns

Automated Marketing Campaigns

We coined the term ITEC (Income Triggered Electronic Communications), now an industry term for our earlier income based automated marketing. We have expanded our capabilities into BTECs (Behaviorally Triggered Electronic Communications), opening a world of possibilities.

Many nonprofits think of responding to what fundraisers do (raising money), but we can also proactively respond to what they don’t do. Inactivity can be a trigger as well, whether it be not opening an email or not beginning to fundraise.

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Warehousing and Fulfillment

Warehousing and Fulfillment

Our warehouse is expertly staffed to efficiently inventory and deliver recognition directly to your fundraisers. No need to worry about how to manage all of the logistics, of where to store all of the recognition and how to distribute it to the right fundraisers at the right time.

We have dozens of clients like LLS and ALZ that are already taking advantage of the convenience of our one stop strategy, messaging and fulfillment expertise. They trust us to handle all the details including fulfillment communications.

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People give money based on their friendships,

People give money based on their friendships,

not because of the nonprofit’s mission.


About seventy-five percent of successful fundraising response is actually built by the relationship with the first peer, not by their relationship with the organization. At Turnkey, our job is to get the first peer to reach out to their peers.

Motivation: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

Intrinsic motivation means that you do things because you care, for example, for the homeless. An intrinsically motivated person will do things that reflect his or her own internal label of being a person who cares for the homeless.

Extrinsic motivation means that you’re the kind of person who wants, for example, a red convertible. You’ll do things to get the red convertible.

Non-profits have a choice; they must motivate people in one of these two ways.

If you go down the path of intrinsic motivation then you are continually feeding and nurturing that intrinsic label with activities and behaviors.

If you go down the path of extrinsic motivation then you ultimately end up paying the person to elicit a behavior.

Many non-profit organizations survey their participants and ask what things motivate them the most. Their first answer is cash. Their second answer is the items they could buy with cash.

Ignore the surveys, they’re wrong.
  • Wrong

  • Wronger

  • Wrongest

What research actually tells us is that people perform better when in pursuit of non-cash rewards as long as their personal hygiene needs (i.e. paying bills and buying food) are met. If these needs are met, people perform better for recognition instead of cash or the goods they could buy with cash.

When non-profits give cash or the goods fundraisers can buy with cash, they are inadvertently taking individuals back down the extrinsic motivation path, causing the fundraiser to say unconsciously, “Oh, they are paying me, but they aren’t paying me much. I could actually go buy this item a lot less expensively if I just pay cash for it. I quit. I am not fundraising anymore.”

Incentive programs are not all the same.

In fact, the word incentive needs to go away. The word should be recognition. We recognize people anytime we can say their name or individually respect them. Then we can get traction.

One of the things about recognition programs is that the type of gift is extremely important. The gift cannot be retail available, meaning the individual can put a price on it in their head or by Googling how much it costs. This causes the individual to go down the extrinsic motivation path.

Another problem is, if the recognition gift is too valuable, the individual will question the use of donor dollars and if money collected is being stewarded appropriately.

At Turnkey, if we can’t put your non-profit brand on the recognition item, then we can’t imbue it to be something beyond the item itself.

Your non-profit brand must be on the item to show that it’s a special piece that you cannot buy in the store. And in no circumstance should you ever give away the extra recognition gifts to the parking lot attendants; in that instance you have taken away all of the specialness connected to the recognition gift. A recognition gift is given to show that someone succeeded, because they are special and because the individual did something great.

Recognition Programs are our bread and butter.

We know that recognition is the most powerful driver of human behavior. It’s an interesting caveat; people in the industry think when we say recognition we mean shirts, hats, and jackets. But when Turnkey says recognition we mean we are going to say your name, give you a kiss and a hug in some form, and afterwards we analyze your behavior and give you a better kiss and hug next year.

When Turnkey begins a conversation with a potential client we first gain an understanding of what their challenges are and what resources they have available to them.

Put our expertise to work for your nonprofit.

Put our expertise to work for your nonprofit.

These are probably the two most important questions. Followed by questions like, “Do you have an online platform? Do you have a robust set of volunteers? Do you need more participants to register for an event? Are you land locked and have plenty of participants but can’t get them to fundraise?”

All of these factors make a difference in the design of the peer to peer fundraising program.

Turnkey has an experienced team of strategists that define a client’s pain and determine what communications and recognition strategy will help fix the factors that ail them.

We specialize in developing fundraising strategies that support the peer to peer model by activating participant registration, increasing fundraising income and aligning individuals with the nonprofits mission.