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American Red Cross Fundraiser Barb Coury Named 2017 CCS Outstanding Fundraising Professional

Barb Coury(Arlington, Va.) Barb Coury, CFRE, regional chief development officer for the American Red Cross in the state of Indiana, has been named the 2017 CCS Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). 

Coury will receive her award on April 30, 2017, at AFP’s International Fundraising Conference in San Francisco, Calif.

The Outstanding Fundraising Professional award is the highest honor that AFP bestows upon its members, recognizing effective, creative and stimulating leadership as well as the practice and promotion of ethical fundraising.

“I often think I have the best job in the world,” said Coury. “Being a fundraiser is less about an occupation and more about following a passion. There are so many people who want to help others and just need a little help connecting with those in need. All we do is connect the dots and then watch the magic happen. To borrow a quote from Maya Angelou, ‘giving liberates the soul of the giver,’ and we’re there to facilitate and celebrate.”

Coury is a recognized leader on a national level at the American Red Cross. She has not only helped raise millions of dollars—with the Indiana fundraising team receiving the organization’s top award in 2016 for its significant increase in fundraising revenue—she has been asked to serve on several task forces examining fundraising productivity and major gift officer retention. The findings of those task forces have been applied in Red Cross chapters across the U.S. In addition, Indiana’s Disaster Fundraising Action Plan is recognized as one of the best in the country and has been shared with other regions seeking fundraising assistance.

In 2016, Coury was deployed to West Virginia as the fundraising manager to implement a plan in response to devastating floods there. She quickly put the plan into action by calling an emergency board meeting and galvanizing a team of volunteer fundraisers who worked with other deployed fundraisers to make personal solicitations, start a telethon, create radio and TV public service announcements. The plan involved hundreds of individuals, corporations, foundations, United Way agencies and even West Virginia University and Marshall University (where coaches issued fundraising challenges to other coaches across the U.S.). The result was more than $3 million raised in just six days.

“Every day, it is our privilege to support AFP, the fundraising profession at large, and those who tirelessly advance the practice of philanthropy,” says Robert Kissane, chairman of CCS Fundraising. “We are honored to present this well-deserved award to Barb Coury in front of her peers at the AFP International Conference. Her profound impact on each of the nonprofit organizations she has served is inspiring and impressive.”

Coury’s extraordinary achievements at the Red Cross are just the latest in a long line of successful fundraising roles at a variety of different institutions. She began her career in 1998 serving as the assistant director of development for the Purdue University Krannert School of Management. She would then lead fundraising efforts at the University’s School of Nursing and its NCI-designated Cancer Center before moving on to key fundraising and management positions at both St. Richard’s Episcopal School and Community Health Network Foundation (both in Indianapolis). At every position, Coury has significantly increased fundraising while creating new programs designed to inspire and strengthen connections with donors. 

“Barb is an extraordinary fundraiser—her success speaks for itself, and part of this honor recognizes her amazing ability to work with donors and inspire people to help others,” said Jason Lee, President and CEO of AFP. “But this award also reflects her fierce dedication to fundraising and philanthropy—not just as her profession but as part of her life. She’s a volunteer, an author, a mentor, and an incredible leader. These are the skills that make up an outstanding fundraising professional, and all of us at AFP are proud to honor her.”

An AFP member for over 16 years, Coury has been active with the Indiana Chapter, serving in several different roles including president of the Lafayette, Indiana chapter. She has served as an instructor for fundraisers working to achieve their Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential, which she holds. She is also an author, having researched and co-written Giving to Health-Related Organizations chapter for Giving USA in 2011, as well as an article for AFP’s magazine, Advancing Philanthropy, about occupational stress in fundraising. 

Coury is also a dedicated volunteer and advocate for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In 2004 she joined the local board in Indianapolis and became board president, helping to increase fundraising revenue from volunteers. She was subsequently asked to be one of 11 individuals from across the U.S. to serve on its national Affiliate Advisory Council and help shape the ten-year vision for affiliates and the national headquarters. 

Among Coury’s other volunteer activities include serving as a member of the Tiffany Circle, a group of women leaders who advance the American Red Cross’ mission, and the Tocqueville Society, which supports the United Way of Central Indiana. She recently made a major commitment to the capital campaign for St. Richard’s Episcopal School, as well as help endow the first scholarship available for an executive master’s philanthropy studies degree at The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.


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Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change—helping nonprofits and charities and supporting fundraising efforts that have generated more than $1 trillion.  AFP advances effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 33,000 members raise more than $115 billion annually, equivalent to approximately one-third of charitable giving in North America, with millions more generated around the world. For more information, go to

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Established in 1947, CCS is a strategic fundraising firm that partners with non-profits to raise funds today and strengthen organizations for the future. With a perspective and presence that spans philanthropic sectors and the globe, CCS works closely with clients to effectively plan, manage, and implement programs that achieve fundraising goals and mission impact. Members of the CCS team are experts in strategic planning, research, development, planned giving, and on-the-ground campaign support. Headquartered in New York, the firm has over 250 professionals and 12 offices throughout the United States and Europe. Learn more at www.

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