Training: Core Competencies

Fundraising Core Competencies

Does your staff need to know more about a fundraising topic? We know that fundraising often extends past the development department. We can help you build skills, confidence and motivation to succeed through programs customized to your organization and situation. Using our extensive experience in fundraising and nonprofit governance, we have created and delivered training to nonprofit professionals and volunteers at all skill levels. We can help with:

  • staff engagement
  • team retreats
  • team building activities
  • continuing professional development & training

Our fundraising core competencies programs and training can be provided as a short refresher during your staff meetings, as half- or full-day programs, or as part of a customized team retreat that includes strategic planning for your organization’s future.

Sara has been designated as a Master Trainer in Fundraising by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Introduction to Fundraising

This program will cover the basics of fundraising including creating a development plan, crafting a case for support, designing quality solicitations and providing meaningful stewardship. Many staff members, across multiple departments, are called on to be a part of development, but few have a background that prepares them. Using a participatory approach, we will cover the basic terms of fundraising and strive to prepare each person to maximize their effectiveness in fundraising for your organization. This program is targeted to staff members with limited experience in fundraising.

Creating a Fundraising Plan

During this highly interactive session your staff will learn the value and importance of creating and implementing a workable fundraising plan. We will work through the six steps critical to a successful fundraising plan, using both worksheets and activities, and begin a working draft of a fundraising plan. Participants will be encouraged to actively participate with questions and there will be ample opportunities to share with each other.

people on a video call

Raise More Money with a Virtual Fundraising Plan

The number one challenge facing nonprofits during the 2020 pandemic has been how to effectively raise money in a virtual world. As we move forward these virtual tools can be used to meet your donors where they are. We will explore new fundraising techniques, how to adjust your current practices and how to select the methods that will best suit your organization’s unique situation. This training will share the tools you’ve been looking for to strengthen your virtual fundraising and raise more money to deliver your mission.

my secret plan to rule the world book

Planned Giving When That’s Not All You Do

Many nonprofits mistakenly think that raising planned gifts is only for “large” organizations. This session will prove that’s not the case and help you build a custom-to-your-organization roadmap for raising planned gifts and create an action plan to start your planned giving work immediately. Learn to identify and cultivate prospects as you integrate planned giving into your development program.

Making Your Development Plan Your Fundraising Superpower

Your development plan should be more than a list of ways you plan to raise money that sits on a shelf. A workable development plan will lead to higher productivity; increased participation from staff, board members and volunteers; and greater peace of mind for you as a fundraising professional. In other words, it should be your fundraising superpower – helping you raise more money with more help. During this working session we’ll put on our capes and strengthen your development plan so it works for where your organization is now and where you want to be in the future.

Event Sponsorship: Getting It Right

Capitalizing on opportunities to grow your sponsor base can generate significant funds for your organization. In this session, you will learn ways to “follow the money trail” to corporations and understand how sponsorship fundraising is different from individual or philanthropic fundraising. Discover what a corporate marketer or other decision-maker is looking for when analyzing whether your organization can support the company’s business goals and how to approach a sponsorship ”ask” that gives you the best chance for success.

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

When everyone – staff, board, volunteers, and even service recipients – understands the role of philanthropy, a nonprofit organization can maximize fundraising efforts. We must insure that our organizations have (or are creating) a culture that supports and cultivates philanthropy. All levels of your organization must have an appreciation for the support you receive. Let us take your organization through an exercise to test your organization’s philanthropic culture. We will end the session with action steps to begin making improvements in your organization’s culture so it becomes a true culture of philanthropy.

Writing Your Case for Support

Your organization is changing the world and you are passionate about your work. But how do you communicate that to the community to gain their support? During this program each participant will cultivate their own compelling case for supporting your organization, case statements will be developed for your individual programs and projects and then we’ll take time to share with the group for feedback. Everyone will leave with a well-developed draft of a case for support that will become invaluable in your fundraising efforts.

The Perfect Ask: Legend or Myth

Throughout a career in fundraising, we make countless asks. Can any of them be perfect? Using a career of perfect – and less than perfect – asks as a road map, we will explore what goes into a perfect ask and what to do when it turns out to be imperfect. During this interactive program you will learn to: use effective cultivation to craft the perfect ask; prepare yourself and those around you for a solicitation meeting; be prepared for mishaps and missteps; and deal productively with a prospect’s objections and questions. This program will empower key staff and board members in your organization to be ready (and willing) to take part in this important part of funding your mission.

Finding, Asking and Thanking Your Investors

Development requires several steps: identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors. This training session will address each of these steps individually. Your staff will learn how to identify and cultivate a new donor and how to cultivate existing donors, like event participants, for a deeper involvement with your organization. This session will include instruction and hands-on learning where each participant drafts and conducts a solicitation related to their program within your organization. And finally, we will explore ways to make sure donors know their gifts are making a difference in the lives of the people your organization supports. This program will be targeted to experienced program and fundraising staff. Using an active learning approach, we will involve participants with a variety of experience levels.

Donor Retention 101

Why is donor retention so important? Because a retained donor leads to the sustainability an organization needs to further its mission. Whether you are working hard to improve your donor retention or you haven’t given it much thought, this program will help you measure and improve your donor retention through the creation of plan to increase donor retention. Using hands-on exercises, we’ll explore best practices for donor retention and examine your current practices to determine where improvements can be made.

Major Gifts Development

Is your organization making the most of its major gifts potential? Without a strong major gifts program, your organization is missing a key component of a strong development plan that provides sustainability for the important work you are doing. This hands-on, full day class will allow you to define major gifts for your organization, create a major gifts plan, identify prospects and design a cultivation strategy customized to each prospect, create and practice delivering a major gift solicitation and understand how to provide meaningful stewardship all while adhering to professional ethics when raising major gifts.

Planned Giving 101

Planned giving – a method of supporting nonprofits through wills, trusts and other estate gifts – is a critical component of an organization’s fund development program. Unfortunately, many organizations avoid planned giving because they don’t know where to start. Planned giving can get complicated but it doesn’t have to. In this program we will start with the basics of planned giving: who are your best planned giving prospects; what is a planned gift; why is planned giving important to your nonprofit; when the right time for a planned giving program is; and how to get started.

Ethics Through Your Donor Database

What donor data is confidential and what do you need to do to protect it? Are you confident that you understand donor data confidentiality? This is a key responsibility of all nonprofit staff and volunteers, and as a development professional you set the tone. From anonymous gifts to personal information (such as your donor’s recent divorce), donor confidentiality is something we all address every day. This session will allow you to be assured that your donor information is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for? Contact us using the form below and we can discuss designing a program to meet your needs. 

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