Front-Line Fundraising: Essentials of Gift Solicitation

Front-Line Fundraising: Essentials of Gift Solicitation

January 22 - 24, 2018

Orange County, CA


Learn how to confidently solicit prospects and donors.

Learn or refresh the solicitation skills you need to be a successful frontline fundraiser in this highly interactive training program. This program moves beyond theory to give you and your peers the time to role play and practice the skills that you use every day. During the event, you will discuss and practice how to:

  • Approach your portfolio with a fresh perspective
  • Secure more initial appointments with prospects
  • Make donors jump into action with compelling asks
  • Move prospects through the donor cycle

Included with your registration is a workbook full of exercises and templates that you can bring back to your shop and practice with your team.

Who Should Attend

New and experienced frontline fundraisers, academic leaders, and fundraising volunteers who want to improve or refresh their solicitation skills will find this training extremely useful. We also recommend this program if you are responsible for training new frontline fundraisers at your institution. Whether you focus on annual giving, major giving, principal giving, or planned giving, you will leave with increased confidence in your calls, asks, and portfolio management skills.

Attend with your team - when you register two from your institution, a third can attend for 50% off!



Monday, January 22, 2018

Conference Registration

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

Opening Comments and Introductions

1:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Preparing for Fundraising Success

1:30 - 2:45 p.m.

This opening session will detail how to best plan your calls and visits through the following tactics:

  • Matching a prospect’s interests to your institution
  • Engaging and involving the prospect
  • Determining the proper ask amount, project type, and interest area
  • Preparing for the ask with “the five Ws”

You will leave this session prepared to approach your prospect engagement strategies with a fresh perspective.

Afternoon Break

2:45 - 3:00 p.m.

Making the Cold Call

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

The initial outreach you make on the phone will establish the tone for your ongoing interactions with your prospect, making it one of the most crucial points in the philanthropic process. This session will cover the following:

  • What information you need to make a successful call
  • Tips for securing an initial appointment, including moving through assistants
  • Phone call scripting and planning your own calls

Networking Reception (included in registration fee)

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Making the Cold Call: Interactive Session

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

After learning the fundamentals of a successful call, you will apply the strategies outlined by role playing calls to donors. You will begin by highlighting what information is needed, potential roadblocks to reaching the prospect, and key points to make in the conversation. You’ll role play both live calls and voicemail, and by the end of the session, you will feel more confident in calling each of your prospects.

Morning Break

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Portfolio Management

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Once you have mastered the cold call, you will learn how to identify top prospects from a sample portfolio using our expert facilitator’s techniques. Just as critical as uncovering your top prospects, you will learn strategies to remove inactive leads from the portfolio to better focus your fundraising time and effort.

Lunch (included in registration fee)

12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Making the Ask

1:15 - 4:00 p.m. (break at 2:30 p.m.)

Making a compelling ask and closing a solicitation are often the most daunting and stressful moments in the career of a fundraiser. The ask must be framed in a way that compels your donor to jump into action and support your institution. In this interactive session, you will practice the intricacies of making the ask. You will learn how to:

  • Use the cultivation process to naturally build to the ask
  • Create a conducive environment for a successful ask
  • Script and role-play to move the process forward
Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Moves Management

8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Too often, development officers get stuck in the transitional pieces of the donor cycle—unable to smoothly move prospects through the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship pieces, and subsequently upgrade them to the next giving level. In this session, you will assess and develop strategies for your portfolio of donors by focusing on:

  • The right questions to ask and when to ask them
  • Identifying prospects who need to be upgraded or downgraded
  • Tactics for moving donors through each stage of the solicitation cycle
  • Considerations for using data to guide strategy

Morning Break

9:45 - 10:00 a.m.

Probing Questions for Your Moves Management Strategy

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Once you have the foundation to create your moves management strategy, we will look at the right questions to ask and when to ask them. Knowing when your donor is ready to move to the next level is key in maintaining your portfolio and gift solicitation strategy, and will go a long way to help you effectively plan your calls and visits.

Action Planning

11:00 - 11:45 p.m.

In this final session, you will assess and synthesize the strategies and practices worked on over the previous two-days, outlining your key take-aways and new techniques that you will be able to implement. Using the skills developed in the previous sessions, you will also demonstrate your fundraising mastery by creating a cultivation and solicitation plan for your donor(s), workshopping your new approach with your colleagues, and gaining feedback from our expert facilitator.

Closing Comments and Evaluations

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

January 22 - 24, 2018

Orange County, CA


Hyatt Regency Orange County
11999 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate: $209, plus applicable tax.

Room Block Dates: January 21, 22, and 23, 2018.

Rate Available Until: January 2, 2018. Rooms and rates are subject to hotel availability.



Kathy Drucquer Duff

Founder, KDD Philanthropy

Kathy is an executive advancement officer with over twenty-three years of experience helping nonprofits and institutions transform the way they practice philanthropy. Kathy provides this prowess from her years of experience in higher education, where she created fundraising plans that have secured gifts of up to nine figures. The “grow your own” fundraiser model that Kathy developed is built on a structured talent management program that maximizes existing resources, inspires loyalty, and generates fundraising results. This approach has led to comprehensive programs in donor pipeline development, talent acquisition, new-hire onboarding, individualized retention, and in-house professional development.

Kathy’s experience includes serving as the Associate Vice Chancellor of University Development at University of California San Diego, the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Sharp HealthCare Foundation, and the Associate Vice President of University Relations and Development for San Diego State University. Kathy is a sought-after consultant and speaker for industry associations including CASE and ADRP, and speaks on a variety of fundraising trainings with Academic Impressions.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

David Boggs

David Boggs
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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