Frontline Fundraising: Essentials of Gift Solicitation

Frontline Fundraising: Essentials of Gift Solicitation

July 7 - 8, 2020 | Atlanta, GA



Discover how to more confidently solicit prospects and donors.

Set yourself up for greater fundraising success. This highly interactive conference is designed to quickly train you and your team to prepare for the responsibilities of frontline fundraising. This program is a great fit for all levels, including if you’re starting your fundraising career or looking to rigorously enhance current practices. This workshop:

  • Immediately impacts fundraising results;
  • Provides a more strategic and successful approach to identifying prospects and cultivating donors; and
  • 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

"This is the perfect opportunity to create a firm foundation of good habits for new philanthropy officers or a reset and refresh for seasoned professionals. This two day conference wastes no time in providing real, tangible takeaways that can be implemented as soon as you get back to campus. I highly recommend this opportunity!"

Tori Good, Assistant Director for Philanthropy, Converse College

"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 Day 1, breakfast and lunch on Day 2, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.


8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Preparing for Fundraising Success

We will detail current industry trends, 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 the most effective
  • Conversations that lead to productive visits

Part two of this session will include time for role playing and practical application.



Probing Questions

Once you have mastered the cold call and understand how to lead productive visits, you will learn how to deepen your inquiry and go from good meetings to great, by asking probing questions, you will gain strategies for adding rigor to your visits and maximize your fundraising time and effort. This session will share tactical resources as well as allow time for role playing the learning.



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.


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.



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

Part two of this session will include time for role playing and practical application.



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.

July 7 - 8, 2020 | Atlanta, GA

Conference Hotel Information:

Grand Hyatt Atlanta
3300 Peachtree Rd. NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Room Rate: $219 plus tax.
Room Block Dates: nights of July 6 and 7, 2020.
Rate Available Until: June 15, 2020.

Call 404-237-1234 to make your room reservations and indicate you are with Academic Impressions to receive the group rate. Please make your reservations early - rooms and rates are subject to hotel availability.


Kathy Duff

Kathy Drucquer Duff, CFRE

Coach, Consultant, and Optimizer, KDD Philanthropy

Kathy is an executive advancement officer with over 25 years of experience helping non-profits and institutions transform the way they practice philanthropy. Kathy provides this expertise from her experience in higher education and healthcare, where she developed fundraising plans that have secured gifts of up to nine figures.

Read Kathy's full bio here.

All-Inclusive Members Get

$250 OFF!*

Learn More About Membership

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

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*All-inclusive members receive $250 off of conference registrations (in addition to the early bird discount if applicable). Academic Affairs, Advancement/Alumni Relations, Business Office, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Leadership members will continue to receive $100 off conference registrations. Upgrade your membership to qualify for a higher discount. Please note this discount is not applicable on pre- or post-conference workshops or conference binders.