The Principles of Successful Fund-Raising

15 Comprehensive Sessions

Spring, Fall 2012

Each 3-hour session focuses on a singular fund-raising concept and provides a substantive base of knowledge, insight to the philanthropic marketplace, and opportunities to learn from the experiences of peers.  Seminars are taught by experienced fund-raising professionals willing to share the knowledge, strategies and tools they, themselves, use. Click here for brochure.   Start registration online here.

A widely acclaimed educational program, Principles of Successful Fund-Raising has attracted more than 3,500 participants over the last 23 years.  Many organizations enroll multiple staff / volunteers; many individuals return a second and third time.  Click here for list of organizations represented.

Most participants tell their friends and colleagues about their experiences – and, over the years, have become our greatest source of new participants. Click here for sample testimonials from participants.  

SPRING 2012 (Series B)

B1:  The Incredible Perennial Fund

Date: April 5, 2012
Karen Owens

President, Resource Development Network, Inc.
Click here to learn about Karen

Description:  A 10% improvement in attrition can yield up to a 200% increase in growth as more donors upgrade their giving and give in multiple ways.  Although performance measures such as these are vital in fund raising, understanding and monitoring of such metrics is only half the game. Donors won’t give to your organization because you have an annual campaign and no matter how impressive, they don’t care about the numbers you record each year.  To move your annual fund to where you need it to be, you need also to understand, engender, and monitor the satisfaction, commitment and trust of your donors. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to expand, this session will help your “perennial” fund-raising campaign grow and prosper.

B2:  Building Your Financial Literacy

Part 1.  The tools of Philanthropy and the Donors Who Use Them

Date:  April 12, 2012
Thomas D. Anderson         
Senior Vice President, Regional Wealth Executive
FirstMerit Wealth Management Services
Click here to learn more about Tom

Description:  Increasingly, donors seek financial professionals for advice. What questions are they asking?  What conversations are they likely to initiate related to their charitable giving?  What options are advisers suggesting?  What vehicles are donors most likely to choose . . . and why?  How can you interact with bankers and other advisers in ways that are beneficial to them, to your donors, and to your organization? Join us for a peek into the world of financial-advisory services. Leave with a better understanding of your donors’ needs and decision-making processes, and an improved ability to communicate with them and the professionals upon whom they depend upon for advice. 

Part 2.  Understanding Your Organization’s Financial Statements

Presenter: Barbara Clemenson, CPA, CFRE
Adjunct Professor, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University
Click here to learn about Barbara

Description:  Fundraisers are typically not trained to understand nonprofit financial statements, but our major donors are. It’s critical that we know how they perceive our organization before we meet with them, so that we can answer their questions, address their concerns, and highlight our strengths. This workshop will teach you the basics of nonprofit financial statements. You may apply the learning immediately and directly if you bring your organization’s latest 990 with you [available on[ ]. If your organization does not file a 990, then please bring the 990 of an organization similar to yours.

B3:   Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, You Tube:  What’s the Buzz?

Date:  April 19, 2012
Michelle Sanson, CFRE

Senior Consultant Resource Development Network, Inc.
Click here
to learn about Michelle

Description: According to Laura Quinn and Andrea Berry of Idealware, social media is “online media that starts conversations (and) encourages people to pass it on to others…”   The concept sounds simple.  But what should cash-strapped and budget-conscience nonprofits use?  Which online media is worth the money and staff time to engage prospects and donors and build an affinity to your organization?  What actually works? In this class, we will explore the most popular social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter, and evaluate their value to nonprofit organizations.  We will evaluate the specific sites that work best and how to integrate those tools into an overall marketing and communications strategy.  

B4:    How to Raise It When You’re Not Going To Spend It

Date: April 26, 2012
Karen Owens

President, Resource Development Network, Inc.
Click here
to learn about Karen

Description:  Ten years ago, many viewed endowment as an embarrassment of riches.  Today, endowments are a sign of a fiscally responsible, well-prepared and forward-looking nonprofit able to provide exceptional service, regardless of what the financial world brings. Organizations, however, cannot simply declare readiness to accept endowment gifts; building endowment, unless unobtrusively folded into a capital campaign, is a proactive and strategic process.  In this session we’ll explore the purpose, objectives, challenges and strategies of endowment fund-raising; the importance and tenets of organizational readiness; the staff/volunteer partnership, and examine ground-breaking research that may surprise you.

B5:  Building a Major-Gift Program

Date: May 3, 2012
Kevin E. Riordan, Consultant

Click here to learn about Kevin

Description:  With competition for philanthropic dollars ever increasing, how do you make sure your organization garners the support it needs to carry out its mission?  A comprehensive fundraising program, including a major gift program will be the pathway to success.

In this session we’ll explore the components of a major gift program from prospect identification to donor stewardship and discuss how these can be done in any size organization.  We’ll delve into the roles volunteers can play in your major gift process and the importance of providing them adequate training and support.  We’ll also delve into the motivations behind the giving of major donors and the role we can play in “Making the Donor’s Dreams Come True”!

FALL 2012 (Series C)

C1:   Planned Giving Demystified

Date:  September 11, 2012
L. Leanne Schwind

Senior Consultant Resource Development Network, Inc.

Description:  Have you been to a number of sessions on Planned Giving but have not had the time or the nerve to get your program going? Are you alphabetically challenged by CRATs, CRUTs, CLT, and all the other vehicles you hear about?  This session does NOT focus on the “alphabet soup” of Planned Giving.  Instead, you’ll learn practical ways to identify prospects, arrange visits, build relationships…and, generally,get your program in gear.  You’ll also learn how to integrate planned giving into your current development program and take away helpful tips to get your bequest program “off the ground.

C2:  Fearless Fund Raisers

Date: September 18, 2012
Karen Owens
President, Resource Development Network, Inc.
Click here to learn more about Karen

Description:  The degree to which development office staff can personally solicit gifts is limited by constraints of time; the degree to which they can be successful is constrained by their status as “paid solicitors.”  But when trustees accept their responsibility for fund raising and approach it with confidence, there’s no limit to the success they can achieve.  Building a team of “fearless fund-raisers,” however, is one of the most difficult challenges in development work. In this session we’ll explore best practices for engaging trustees in the fund-raising process.  You’ll learn how to eliminate the fear factor,what you need to do to prepare trustees for donor visits, and how you can help them relax enough to listen, learn and respond to donor needs.

C3: Nonprofit Websites:  What Works and Why

Date: September 25, 2012
Presenter:  Michelle Sanson, CFRE
Click here to learn more about Michelle

Description:  If you are struggling with how to develop, design or upgrade your nonprofit’s website without going broke or crazy, this is a program for you.  In this class, we will analyze highly successful nonprofit websites and evaluate their effectiveness.  We will explore best practices in website design and whether it is better to develop a website in-house or contract the work to an expert.  We will also review some of the Open Source Content Management Systems, such as Joomla and WordPress, which allows a non-technical user to build a website that can be easily updated.  Bring a laptop to this class if you can!

C4:  Building Donor Loyalty

Date: October 2, 2012
Karen Owens

President, Resource Development Network, Inc.
Click here to learn more about Karen

Description:  In today’s environment, when organizations are barely raising enough money from new and repeat donors to keep up with the losses from people who stop giving, a renewed commitment to expanding and acquiring relationships should be at the top of every nonprofit’s list of priorities.  Research has shown that superior experiences ensure loyalty longer, faster and better than any product or service a business or an organization provides. When the giving experience is satisfying and rewarding, donors give again and again and give more and more.  Isn’t time for your organization to examine what you’re doing to create an experience that will keep your new donors from becoming one-hit wonders and your repeat donors from fading off the Annual Honor Roll?  Join us for this session and take away actionable ideas for enhancing each donor experience.

C5:   Ready, Set, Ask 

Date: October 9, 2012
Karen Owens
President Resource Development Network, Inc. 
Click here to learn more about Karen

Description:  The need to master the art of “asking” extends beyond professionals who get paid to do it; in the most successful organizations, trustees and volunteers master it as well.   Although contributing to nonprofit institutions is hardly unusual, among many leaders and volunteers, the act of asking is universally disliked, misunderstood, and disdained.  But there is good news: In a recent survey, 77% of trustees said they would benefit from learning about and/or practicing things that would make them more effective fund-raising volunteers.  Join us for this session that will not only sharpen your own “asking etiquette,” but also help you develop a willing, confident, and effective team of “master-askers.”

Comments: 0