Advancement Communications, Inc.

About Us

Our Team

Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with more than 25 years experience.
Easy access to NYC, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the Albany/Saratoga Capital Region.
Conveniently based in New York State’s beautiful Hudson Valley.


Hi, I'm Kathleen, and I'd love to work with you.

If you need a plan and a roadmap to solve your marketing challenges, you’ve come to the right place!

I founded Advancement Communications, Inc. to help you reach your best donors, clients, and customers in a way that earns you trust, respect, revenue and results. We take pride in our work and our mission to serve.

Are we a good fit for one another? Drop us a line and let’s find out. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Kathleen H. Banks, MA, CFRE (she/her/hers) is founder and president of Advancement Communications, Inc., a boutique digital marketing and fundraising agency helping nonprofits and businesses solve revenue challenges and optimize communications. She helps nonprofits, professional firms, and businesses stabilize, thrive, and grow during periods of transition with creative, steady, and experienced leadership. Kathleen works with boards and staff to manage key programs, projects, and financial challenges, while maintaining focus on top priorities.

A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Kathleen’s expertise is the result of more than 25 years of experience in leadership and consulting roles with well-known large and small organizations. She has a track record of success in fund development and donor communications, with emphasis on individual major gifts, corporate and foundation funding, integrated mass market appeals, donor events, board recruitment, and customized donor stewardship. Her work, individually and collaboratively, and her thoughtful attention to donors’ philanthropic interests, has resulted in millions in meaningful gifts and grants for several top New York institutions.

A musician and lifelong learner, Kathleen is a student of nonviolent communication (NVC), trained as an interim executive director, and especially interested in the application of digital marketing tools to create personalized donor experiences. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit performing arts administration from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in music from Ithaca College. Connect on LinkedIn.


Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)

Donation & Landing Page Optimization

Recent Trainings

Developing a Social Equity Practice
Good Work Institute

Interim Executive Director Training
Support Center For Nonprofit Management

Nonviolent Communication
Good Work Institute

Leadership Foundations
Cornwall Leadership Institute

Community Affiliations

Volunteer Scribe (2021)
Westchester Medical Center / NYS Vaccination Site at New Paltz

Current Member;  Communications Chair (2018)
Association of Fundraising Professionals, Mid-Hudson Chapter

Board of Directors (2012-2015)
Business Excellence Awards Chair (2011, 2012)

Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation

Our Process

First, we ask you to fill out this project application so that we can better understand your goals, desired outcomes, and budget. 

We will review your project application thoroughly. If it seems like we’re a good match, then we’ll invite you to schedule a Discovery Session, a paid consult for an in-depth review of your project.

During your Discovery Session, we’ll be prepared to take a dive deep into your project and goals. We will listen carefully, ask plenty of good questions to understand your mission, challenges, needs, and goals, and answer any questions you may have. You will come away from the meeting with some actionable items and recommendations for services, systems, and tools you can put to use immediately.

Following the Discovery Session, we will provide you with a proposal and a timeline for a scope of work and an agreement that will govern our work together.

You’ll want to respond before the “Accept By” date so that we can hold space for your project in our schedule.

Once we receive your signed proposal and deposit, your project will be scheduled and the process begins.

We look forward to serving you!

What People Say

Walkway Over the Hudson
Elizabeth Waldstein Executive Director
Walkway Over the Hudson

Highly recommend working with Kathleen and her team! Over 3 1/2 years, she helped us strategically segment and grow our annual fund and major donor programs by leaps and bounds. She also improved our communications, publications and social media, and project-managed a website overhaul and grant-funded awareness project to completion. An organized and thorough systems-thinker, Kathleen’s creative solutions and "get-it-done right" work ethic solved the Walkway’s need for expert support that bridged staffing transitions.

March Gallagher, Esq. Ulster County Comptroller
Former President & CEO, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

The Advancement Communications team managed rebranding of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley’s communications and PR at the beginning of my tenure, adding new energy to our visual brand while improving our public visibility. Kathleen has a talent for uncovering donors’ philanthropic motivations, and she is able to translate that into compelling visual storytelling. Her nuanced understanding of the big picture, combined with an ability to outline a path forward and bring vision to reality, will be of great benefit to any nonprofit or small business.

Dr. Anthony Burgess
Dr. Anthony Burgess Founder, Cornwall Leadership Institute

I am a better person because of Kathleen. Her personal example when it comes to learning and excellence inspires me — and my work is better as a direct result of her coaching and recommendations. If you get the chance to work with her, jump on the opportunity.

I have had the pleasure of working with Kathleen Hickey for over 15 years in different capacities. Kathleen is dependable, efficient and very detail-oriented. She has a warm, cheerful attitude and exceptional abilities. In additional to her creative talents, she is very knowledgeable and skilled in the areas of development, campaigns and fundraising.

Shawn Phillips Columbia University Medical Center Dept of Ophthalmology
Shawn Phillips Former Administrator
Department of Ophthalmology
Columbia University Medical Center

It is my pleasure to recommend Kathleen. She wrote the Harkness Eye Institute's newsletter "The Viewpoint" for several years as well as a book about our scientific advances. She is an excellent writer, with a intuitive understanding of what will interest and entice potential donors. She has excellent interpersonal skills and is able to work with, and bring out the best from many personalities. One of Kathleen's strengths is her outstanding ability to get up to speed quickly with sufficient depth, on new scientific/medical topics, and then to translate and communicate that content for a variety of audiences.

Ellen L. Baker McCabe & Mack LLP
Ellen L. Baker Of Counsel, McCabe & Mack LLP
Chair, Dutchess Community College Foundation

Being very impressed with the work Kathleen did for the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, I recommended to my law firm that we retain her services to update our website and assist us in developing a marketing plan. We have been very pleased with the work she has done for us. The first thing she did was to really get to know us so that the materials she produced would accurately reflect who we are. We have been very pleased with the result. Kathleen is easy to work with because I believe she is genuinely interested in learning about the businesses she works with and the people who work there.

Brian Ruder Former Chair, Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries, Clarkson University
NYU Stern School Executive-in-Residence

Kathleen has continued to demonstrate that she is adept and creative in packaging important story lines to heighten media interest in the Beacon Institute. She is also very accessible and responsive to the media and serves as our lead contact in a very effective fashion.

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