Effective Approaches to Digital Frontline Fundraising

Effective Approaches to Digital Frontline Fundraising

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Gain confidence in your digital fundraising practices.


We know that the shift to digital fundraising has changed the environment in which we work. As we look ahead, digital fundraising will continue to be a part of how we operate and engage with prospects and donors. But, given the timeline to close a gift, there may be elements of the solicitation cycle you have not yet experienced outside of the in-person approach.

Join us to hear from our expert facilitators on how they are approaching digital and hybrid engagement with prospects and donors. Digital engagement is here to stay, and in this conference, we will explore current trends within virtual fundraising as well as tips and strategies for how to:

  • Complete virtual discovery and prospecting
  • Make the ask and maximize virtual meetings
  • Engage campus colleagues in digital fundraising partnerships


Who Should Attend

Frontline fundraisers that work in leadership annual, major, principal, or planned giving who need more practice in every stage of virtual fundraising will benefit most from this training. Those who want to train others on becoming more comfortable in a virtual environment will also find the content of this training valuable.


Follow Through With Success Coaching

Have you ever gone to a training only to find that you came back with great ideas but don’t have the time, support, or skills needed to make the changes?

Academic Impressions has produced thousands of trainings and we have learned that utilizing a coach after attending a conference helps provide accountability and bridges the training with the on-the-ground work of getting the job done.

As a result, we are now offering success coaching on select conferences.

  • Purchase this training + 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed.
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you’ve learned.
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice.

To get success coaching, simply purchase the Conference and add Success Coaching during registration.

Learn More About Success Coaching

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts

See What Our Attendees are Saying

“The virtual design of this conference coupled with the amazing work of our program manager promoted a high level of engagement and sense of community among attendees. The speakers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share their experiences. It was a refreshing shift from long days of traditional meetings on Zoom!”

“This is the first time I’ve ever attended a virtual conference, and to be honest, I had low expectations. Well, I was wrong. I am very impressed with the platform used and the quality of the content shared. Oftentimes, these conferences only talk about ideas and what could work, but at this event, actual pathways and practical next steps were shared. Academic Impressions did a great job featuring quality speakers who were willing to share what they know.”

“Although the workshop was online, it felt as if the presenters were right there with us. All presenters were knowledgeable and really related the content to real work experiences. They were so willing to answer questions and offer assistance—I learned so much that I can apply.”

“Many conferences leave you with learning but not always sure how to turn that into action for your organization. There were actionable tips shared throughout the two days and tools provided to help move the learning into action. I am always impressed with Academic Impressions conferences and this virtual one did not disappoint.”

"At first, I was skeptical that a virtual conference was capable of being both engaging and informational - but Academic Impressions has mastered it! The 3-day online event was structured in a creative way that all participants had multiple opportunities to interact with each other and the presenters. No one's questions went unheard or unanswered. Thank you for this great experience, it has changed my view of virtual conferences and I look forward to attending more in the future."

- Desiree Ford, Digital Communications Manager, Binghamton University

“The virtual conference has been amazing. The presenters have all been great and the information they’ve provided is going to help us better use our social media. Even though this conference had to be virtualized due to COVID-19, the online format has been set up in a way that we can all collaborate and share ideas. I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to campus and start implementing new ideas.”

- Chris Forde, Coordinator of Marketing & Public Information, Lincoln Trail College


Day 1 - November 17, 2021

All Times Eastern

11:00–11:15 a.m. 



Current Trends and Best Practices
11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
We will detail current frontline fundraising trends and discuss how you can position yourself and your team for success. We will explore how you can expand your approach by answering the following questions:

  • What platforms are currently yielding the most success?
  • How can you effectively and respectfully engage in communication with donors regarding diversity, equity and inclusion, campus crisis, and other courageous conversations?



12:00–12:15 p.m. 



Digital Discovery and Prospecting
12:15–1:15 p.m.
We will explore and share best practices for how you can creatively reach out to donors and ensure your communication resonates with and engages them. You will get tips for how to:

  • Write an e-mail subject line that grabs donors’ attention
  • Pitch a meeting or touchpoint in a way that will encourage donor engagement
  • Craft voicemail messages that result in call-backs



Cultivation Strategy
1:15–2:15 p.m. 
Building upon the best practices for outreach, we’ll discuss creative ways to digitally engage and align the intended impact of prospects and donors with university priorities and opportunities. Hear from the speakers and your peers about how to invite new donors into the fold while also developing your donor pipeline in strategic and intentional ways.



2:15–2:45 p.m.



Making the Ask and Maximizing Digital Meetings
2:45–3:30 p.m. 
Once you have formed a relationship and secured a meeting, it is vital to maximize the time during that meeting. We will discuss how to involve campus partners in your meetings, where applicable, and how to get to the place of putting an ask on the “digital” table.



Q & A
3:30–3:45 p.m.



Conversation and Networking
3:45–4:30 p.m.


Day 2 - November 18, 2021

All Times Eastern

Day 2 Welcome
11:00–11:10 a.m. 



Moves Management and Portfolio Optimization
11:10 a.m.–12:10 p.m. 
During this time of digital fundraising and engagement, it is important that there is a strategy associated with each member of a portfolio. This process of optimization allows you to be intentional and strategic about who you are engaging and how to continue conversations that lead to philanthropic support. In this session, you will walk away with tips and strategies for how to approach portfolio optimization.



Engaging Campus Partners in Fundraising
12:10–1:00 p.m.
Developing relationships across the campus is vital to the overall engagement and satisfaction of a prospect or donor—they must feel invested in the campus community. We will discuss how you can engage campus colleagues in stewardship, promote the fundraising process across schools and units, within specific functional areas, and between colleagues informally and formally.



1:00–1:15 p.m. 



Strategic Approach to What’s Next: Metrics
1:15–2:00 p.m. 
Metrics are an important piece of fundraisers’ work. The strategy associated with shared credit or what counts as a visit are decisions that can support and add value to your work, but they can often happen in isolation. Buy-in and support are essential. We will share ways for approaching these conversations and utilizing metrics to drive your success.



Final Q & A and Evaluation
2:00–2:15 p.m. 


Portrait of Jim Broschart

Jim Broschart

Associate Vice Chancellor for University Development at NC State University and Vice President of the NC State Foundation

Jim leads NC State's University Development Office, consisting of the Gift Planning, Annual Giving, Central Major Gifts, and Corporate and Foundation Relations functions. He also works closely with NC State's college and unit-based programs, in his role as manager of the university's Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, to assure productive partnerships that enhance NC State's collective fundraising results. 

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Dhiraj Chand

Dhiraj Chand

Sr. Director, Leadership and Principal Gifts, University of Utah

Specializing in higher education and non-profit fundraising/development, Dhiraj lives in Salt Lake City where he is the Sr. Director, Leadership and Principal Gifts at the University of Utah. In this role, he works to generate philanthropic support for academic initiatives, donor relations, student programs, research activities, and institutional goals.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Heather Culp

Heather S. Culp, JD

Executive Director of Development, The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Heather leads the fundraising team for the Department of Neurology and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine. As a senior member of the development and alumni relations team, she works closely with the Chair of the Department, overseeing all aspects of fundraising including annual, major and principal gifts, stewardship, communications, event planning and alumni relations.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



Can't attend the conference? Buy the binder.

Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Brittany Iwaszkiw

Britt Iwaszkiw
Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions

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