Frontline Fundraising: Essentials of Gift Solicitation

Frontline Fundraising: Essentials of Gift Solicitation

January 23 - 24, 2020 | Denver, CO



Discover how to more confidently solicit prospects and donors.

This highly interactive conference is designed for those who need to quickly train staff who are tasked with frontline fundraising responsibilities, including gift officers, academic leaders, and/or volunteers, in order to achieve greater fundraising success. This program is a great fit if you want to train a group of people and are looking for an approach to fundraising that is both more successful and rewarding. This workshop:

  • Immediately impacts fundraising results
  • Provides a more strategic and successful approach to identifying prospects and cultivating donors
  • Is highly practical and skills-based and can get those new to philanthropy and frontline fundraisers up-to-speed fast


Great fit for all skill levels

This material is beneficial for both new and experienced frontline fundraisers, as well as academic leaders and fundraising volunteers who want to improve or refresh solicitation skills. Whether you focus on annual giving, major giving, principal giving, or planned giving, you will leave with increased confidence in your calls, visits, asks, and portfolio management skills.

"Top notch! Professional material and presenters. Really helped think outside the box, dealing with hurdles with real life examples. Templates and content will absolutely be used, reviewed, and gave me confidence and ability to be a better fundraiser."

Beth Steurer, Associate Director of Development, Arizona State University

"As a brand new development professional, AI and Kathy Drucquer Duff provided me with both depth of insight and tangible practices to apply immediately! My confidence as an effective fundraiser grew significantly in just a couple of days!"

Jonny Hong, Residence Director, Azusa Pacific University

"Leaving the conference today, I feel more confident than I ever have in how to successfully engage donors. The hands-on, energetic, intimate group setting made this a unique learning opportunity. Head and shoulders above any other conference I've attended! Well done, AI!"

Alex Lippert, Senior Development Officer, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo

"This conference gives you the true perspective and value of front-line fundraisers. It helps you realize everything you do is for the university, not the donors or yourself."

Lisa Eap, Alumni Engagement Manager, Chapman University

"As a new development officer, this is exactly what I needed to give some clarity on what a successful gift officer is. Time management, organization, move management."

Jeff Danaher, Assistant Director of University Relations, Alfred University


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Thursday, breakfast and lunch on Friday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.


8:30 a.m. - 6:15 p.m.


Preparing for Fundraising Success

We will detail how to best plan your calls and visits by utilizing 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 W’s”



Making the Initial Outreach and Managing Donor Visits

The initial outreach you make on the phone, or through other means, 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:

  • What information you need to make a successful first outreach
  • Tips for securing an initial appointment, including moving through gatekeepers
  • Phone call scripting and planning your calls
  • Managing conversations and transitioning them to be most effective
  • Conversations that lead to productive visits

Session will include time for role playing and practical application.



Portfolio Management

Once you have mastered the cold call and understand how to lead productive visits, 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 gain strategies to remove inactive leads from the portfolio to better focus your fundraising time and effort.



Networking Reception

This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch-up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.



8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Making the Ask

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. 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



Moves Management

Too often, development officers get stuck in the transitional pieces of the donor cycle—unable to smoothly move prospects through cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, which would subsequently upgrade them to the next giving level. Learn how to 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



Action Planning

In this final session, you will assess and synthesize the strategies and practices worked on over the previous two days, outlining your key takeaways and new techniques that you will be able to implement.

January 23 - 24, 2020
Denver, CO

Conference Hotel Information:

Brown Palace
321 17th Street
Denver, CO 80202

Room Rate: $199 + tax
Room Block Dates: The nights of January 22 and 23, 2020.
Rate Available Until: January 2, 2020.

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.

Reserve Your Room: Please call 303.297.3111 and indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.



Kathy Drucquer Duff

Founder, KDD Philanthropy

Kathy is an executive advancement officer with over 20 years of experience helping non-profits and institutions transform the way they practice philanthropy. Kathy provides this expertise from her experience in higher education, where she developed fundraising plans that have secured gifts of up to nine figures.

Read Kathy's full bio here.

Discounted pricing is available for teams:

1-2 people: full price

3-4 people: 15% off each registration

5-7 people: 20% off each registration

8 + people: 25% off each registration

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?

Brittany Iwaszkiw
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.