Writing Workshop for Advancement

Writing Workshop for Advancement

October 26 - 27, 2021 | Eastern Time

Strengthen the voice and consistency of your communications to donors and alumni.


As a donor relations or communications professional, you likely weren’t trained as a writer, and you may not have paused to consider which media you should use to deliver which messages.

Join us for this virtual training to learn how to write donor-focused messages that are direct, concise, and tell a story. During this interactive learning experience, you will have the chance to craft donor messages and receive feedback from our expert faculty and attendees. You will leave with practical advice on how to match medium to message, with a special focus on how to use technology in donor communications.


Who Should Attend

This training is designed for anyone who communicates directly with donors and alumni. We particularly encourage teams of donor relations and communications professionals, frontline fundraisers, alumni relations and annual giving staff to participate together so you can help ensure consistency in communications across your shop.


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 One

All Times Eastern


Welcome and Introductions
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET



Advancement Communication: The Medium and the Message
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
We will begin with a brief overview of how donor communications are transforming. In this foundational session, we will establish the importance of remaining agile to create relevant and impactful acknowledgements, solicitations, and reports.



12:30 – 12:45 p.m. ET



Clarifying Your Message
12:45 – 1:30 p.m. ET
Getting your message across while competing with all other mediums of communication is tough. The quality of your message needs to hook the recipient, be creative, and communicate what you mean. In this session, our faculty will share strategies to combat and work through writer’s block.



1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET



Effective Messaging
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. ET
In this interactive session, we will outline messaging best practices while we workshop samples of advancement writing. The faculty and group will review samples you and other attendees have submitted and offer feedback to help transform your shop’s communications. You will learn how to emulate the strengths of each piece in your own work and recognize common errors.



3:15 – 3:30 p.m. ET



The Medium for Communications
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Where and how you communicate are essential points of consideration. It is important to utilize a medium that complements your message and resonates with donors and alumni. We will explore when utilizing a specific medium might be best and how being intentional can strengthen your message.



Faculty Q&A
4:30 – 4:45 p.m. ET


Day Two

All Times Eastern


Reflections and Networking
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET



Streamlining Your Message
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
The best writing is concise. However, our messages to donors and alumni are often clouded by unnecessary words. We will help you clarify your communications by trimming down words and getting to the point quickly and effectively. You’ll have the opportunity to review and improve your own writing samples.



12:30 – 12:45 p.m. ET



Expressing Thanks in Digital Spaces
12:45 – 1:45 p.m. ET
Our communications with donors and alumni have moved off the page and into digital spaces. In this session, we will explore new and interactive approaches for reaching out and expressing gratitude to alumni and donors.



Wrap-Up and Q&A
1:45 – 2:00 p.m. ET


Portrait of Debbie Meyers

Debbie Meyers

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, EDIT!

As Chief Inspiration Officer at EDIT!, Debbie provides editorial direction, inspiration and training to advancement professionals. With her lifelong love for writing, her positive energy and sense of humor, she helps take the pain out of drafting advancement communications.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Roberta O'Hara

Roberta O’Hara

Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement, Rutgers University Foundation

Roberta has extensive experience working in higher education in senior leadership roles and was a founding member of the New England Stewardship Conference, the precursor to the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP). She has been a speaker at many conferences and events and has published extensively on the subjects of donor relations, stewardship, events, surveys, leadership, and other fundraising-related topics.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



$1,495 $0


$1,495 $1,395

through Oct. 19, 2021

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Interested in supplementing your experience with success coaching?
You will have the option to add 3 one-hour success coaching sessions during registration.

Can't attend the conference? Buy the binder.

Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions