If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “this theory/approach is great, but what do you actually say?” — or if you’re looking to be inspired to refresh your talking points, or to feel more confident moving donors through the donor cycle in an authentic and intentional way — then this is the webinar series for you! Join us as we share the language that works to move prospects to greater generosity, while providing tips and tools that allow you to increase confidence, expand style, and enhance strategy.

Over a series of nine one-hour webinars, we’ll break down each step of the donor cycle. We’ll provide language-building tools that will help you secure visits, qualify capacity and propensity, build meaningful relationships, overcome objections, and successfully solicit and close gifts — all while developing your own personal conversational style. Join us for the entire series of “The Seven I’s,” or choose the topics that suit you best.

Each session will include a take-away exercise for participants to build their skills. This series is great for newer gift officers and transferable hires. Discussions will support authentic approaches for more seasoned officers looking to expand their style and is a great foundational tool for leaders who want to create a stronger culture around language, approach, and team discussions. Each webinar will be grounded in KDD Philanthropy’s signature commitment to immediately applicable, practical tools.

Session 1: Identify
The donor journey begins with identification: the ability to identify prospects thru a variety of avenues is essential to maintaining a robust portfolio of institutional donors over time. Our first module will explore how to find new donors/champions, discuss how to work with research partners in this process, and give participants tools to conduct true qualification on behalf of the institutional portfolio.

Session 2: Introduce/Inform
Securing an initial appointment can be one of the most stressful activities for fundraisers — and at the same time, it is one of the most essential. This outreach is necessary to build a portfolio, and it establishes the foundation for ongoing interactions with the prospect. This session provides strategies and scripting to overcome the barriers of anxiety and uncertainty in executing this essential duty, and it builds skills and shared best practice for maintaining frequency of contact to significantly increase likelihood of securing that first conversation.

Session 3: Interest
Simply visiting with a donor is not enough. Successful gift officers are curious, inquisitive, and able to ask probing questions with an authentic style that discovers the donor’s motivations and dreams — building the basis for a deeper relationship over time. This session will explore the use of probing questions and how those questions support movement through the donor cycle. We’ll share the talking points and tools that are most effective in allowing you to ask critical questions, understand propensity and capacity, and lay the groundwork for next steps.

Session 4: Involve
Prospects and donors who are meaningfully engaged with our institutions are more likely to make a first gift, and later to grow to make stretch gifts. We will discuss a variety of strategies and talking points for better engaging prospective donors in our work as we move them through the Seven I’s. This will include how to work with natural partners (students, faculty, physicians, volunteers, organizational leaders, etc.) to strengthen the engagement of our prospects through each step of the cycle.

Session 5: Invite (2 parts)
Making a compelling ask and closing a solicitation can be difficult for some frontline fundraisers. In addition to the hours of preparation that go into determining dollar amount and proposal details, the ask itself must be framed to compel a prospect to action in support of your institution. Focused exclusively on the intricacies of making an effective ask, this session will explore the following strategies and the language that accompanies each of them:

  • Developing a successful test ask
  • When and how to use a white paper or proposal in your solicitation process
  • Using this process to identify objections or barriers
  • Creating a conducive environment for a successful ask

Session 6: Invest
Once the ask is made, the work continues. The gift officer must be prepared to negotiate objections, discuss donor expectations, and strategically move the ask to closure. None of these strategies are carried out by accident: They require preparation, a thoughtful, forward-thinking approach, and the right language tools. We will explore the tools and talking points needed to move through negotiation and closure of a meaningful gift.

Session 7: Impact
In 2020, only 22% of first-time donors made a second gift to that same institution. In this module, we will explore the essential role gratitude and donor relations play in building long-standing relationships with our donors. We will discuss the key tenets of building a culture of and commitment to gratitude, how to deploy that gratitude strategically to further donor retention, and the language that underlies this process…because it’s so much more than simply saying thank you. Additionally, we’ll explore how to use probing questions to ensure we continue to meet donor expectations and grow life-long relationships between the donor and the institution.

Session 8: Putting the Pieces Together
In this session, we’ll bring the pieces of our sessions together, ensuring participants have a holistic and strategic approach to engaging prospects and moving through the cycle to ensure ongoing generosity. Together, we’ll discuss challenges and solutions, and we’ll provide additional exercises to anchor in key learnings.

Webinar Speakers:

Kathy Drucquer Duff is an expert in advancement and leadership development with clients around the world. She’s worked in and with institutions across the nonprofit spectrum, including education, the environment, healthcare, and social services. Her work spans training, coaching, and strategy, and is informed by a strong belief that the best investment a leader can make is in the people who carry out the work of inspiring and securing philanthropy every day.

Kathy founded KDD Philanthropy after honing her approaching in a career that included serving as Associate Vice Chancellor of University Development at University of California, San Diego, Vice President of Philanthropy at Sharp HealthCare Foundation, and Associate Vice President of University Relations and Development at San Diego State University.

Kathy is a regular speaker for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP). She teaches for Academic Impressions and authored “Productive Conversations with Donors: A Handbook for Frontline Fundraisers.”

Carol Spychalski serves as Associate Vice President of Philanthropy at San Diego Humane Society, where she raises the significant gifts that are essential to a cause she is passionate about while leading a team of planned, foundation, and major giving professionals. Additionally, Carol plays a leadership role in advancing the organization’s comprehensive campaign. Through a career as a frontline fundraiser in higher education, healthcare, and community nonprofits, Carol has honed the donor engagement strategies and language that move prospects through the donor cycle to secure incredible generosity.

“Language and Tools to Move Through the Donor Cycle” is $1,250 for the series and $150 per session. To purchase, email webinar@kddphilanthropy.com.