Nonprofit Fundraising

Fundraising Academy Cause Selling Education webinars feature engaging speakers and unique insights into an array of subject matters focused on enhancing the knowledge of emerging fundraising leaders. These webinars will provide actionable tools to enhance your relationship-driven fundraising skills. We offer these webinars on a monthly basis, free of charge, to all registrants.

To watch an upcoming live webinar or access our on-demand webinar, register for the Fundraising Academy Online Learning Portal.

Once registered for the portal, you will also gain access to all of our no-cost content, including critical resources that support your fundraising efforts, such as donor conversation questions and prospect qualification sheets.

* Our monthly webinars offer 1.5 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and recertification.

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Upcoming Webinars & Trainings

Empowering Change: Community-Centric Fundraising in Action

Join us for an illuminating panel discussion on Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) and how the movement can bring your organization into a new era of fundraising. Our panelists from the CCF, San Diego Chapter, will delve into the core principles of CCF, sharing personal insights on its significance in their work, and how you can integrate its values into your approach with your stakeholders and philanthropic community. Discover the panelists’ journey of founding the San Diego Chapter and their future-focused fundraising tools with core initiatives on learning, community building, and action. Whether you’re a seasoned fundraiser or new to the concept, this webinar offers inspiration, education, and actionable steps toward Community-Centric Fundraising.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain insights into the importance of Community-Centric Fundraising and strategies to integrate its values into the mission and vision of your organization.
  • Learn how to practice CCF principles in your conversations, relationships, and everyday fundraising practices.
  • Discover how to get involved with CCF and engage your development team and donors about the Community-Centric Fundraising movement.


Shantel Suárez Ávila (she/her/hers)
Founder & Principal Strategist, Más Allá

Short Bio: Shantel Suárez Ávila is a dog mom, garden steward, nature adventurer, child to Mexican immigrants, learned all about organizing and power building growing up in Chicago, and is currently a resident of Escondido and Founder of Más Allá. Más Allá [mahs ah-yah], Spanish for “beyond,” is a community-centered, values-aligned, fundraising consulting firm focused on closing funding gaps by raising revenue for and with women and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) people across the U.S. and practicing how to resource our communities through regenerative strategies. Más Allá provides its services nationwide and currently works with organizations in Illinois, Texas, and California. Let’s connect and talk about our dreams and adventures!

Claire Groebner (she/her/hers/ella)
Associate Director, Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center

Claire Groebner is the Associate Director at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, where she has been a part of the staff team for 9 years after starting as a volunteer. She oversees Olivewood’s community-centric resource generation activities, supports communications, strategic planning and partnerships, staff development, and program development; and engages in community advocacy and food systems work. Claire’s love for people, nature, and food inspired her to get involved in the food justice and farm-to-table movements, and eventually, with Olivewood Gardens. In her free time, you can find her hiking the trails of San Diego with her pup, dancing bachata and salsa, chopping it up in the kitchen, and connecting with friends and family over tasty food and drinks.

Jake Wild Crea (he/him)
Conflict Resolution Practitioner

Jake Wild Crea is an independent conflict resolution practitioner who helps improve how organizations do good in the world. He uses conflict management practices from the peacebuilding field to bring funder and nonprofit leaders together to build higher-trust partnerships and increase the impact of philanthropic giving. He is also on faculty at the University of San Diego. He loves biking, surfing, climbing, dancing, and anything else that involves movement, growth, and relationships.

Previously, he worked in nonprofit, funder, and intermediary roles as an Associate Director with Arabella Advisors. He also oversaw Loyola Marymount University’s Study Abroad program in Argentina, worked in youth programming in Chicago, and engaged in disability advocacy in Minnesota.


Hannah Berger, MPA, CFRE

Hannah brings 20 years of business management experience and fundraising success to her consulting and coaching practice. She is the Founder and President of The Philanthropy Coach – a boutique consulting Firm based in Los Angeles, CA that specializes in coaching nonprofit leaders through major moments of strategic growth. Working at the intersection of business and philanthropy, Hannah’s ambition is to use her communications and sales expertise to create empowered, generous community and greater social equity.

Hannah is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) who enjoys facilitating “big Aha!” learning opportunities for fundraising professionals, nonprofit leaders, and Founders. Hannah is the current Co-President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Los Angeles area chapter and a Trainer with Fundraising Academy at National University.

On-Demand Webinars & Trainings

Maximizing Fundraising Impact Through Community Building

Community building at its core is bringing people together and creating a sense of belonging. There are various ways to do this within your organization, but how does this strategically fit into advancing your mission and making a true impact? Using the four-part framework, you will learn how to approach community building using value-based techniques that will help you deepen your relationships, expand your partnership footprint, diversify your donor pipeline, and strengthen your cultivation practices for social and fiscal transformation in the communities where you live and work.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover a four-part framework for community building that can propel your impact in fundraising.
  • Define and apply value-based techniques to inform your tailored Community Building Plan (CBP).
  • Engage prospective donors and liberation partners by adapting your Approach and focusing on meaningful Stewardship.
  • Integrate the relationship-driven Cause Selling Cycle in your Community Building and Fundraising efforts.


Lisa J. Baxter
Chief Community Builder, The Coleman-Baxter Agency, LLC.

A fundraising practitioner for 17 years, Lisa has successfully raised millions of dollars for local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations and has led and mentored high-performing teams. She is the Chief Community Builder of The Coleman-Baxter Agency, LLC., Immediate-Past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Los Angeles and has served on the Board of Directors for six years. Lisa held prior roles at MLK Community Health Foundation, After-School All-Stars Los Angeles, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is a proud Afro-Latina, bibliophile, marathon dancer, and Bishop’s mama.

Planned Giving for the Small Shop

Planned Giving for a Small Shop is a comprehensive webinar designed to equip small nonprofit organizations with the knowledge and tools needed to implement a planned giving program successfully. This webinar covers essential topics such as understanding planned giving concepts, identifying prospects, listening for donor cues, overcoming objections, and creating an effective planned giving program on a limited budget. Participants will learn practical tips and best practices tailored to small nonprofit shops’ unique challenges and opportunities, empowering them to maximize their fundraising efforts and secure long-term support for their mission. Join us to unlock the potential of planned giving for your organization!

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding planned giving concepts: Learn about various planned giving tools such as bequest intentions, beneficiary designations, gifts of appreciated assets, and gifts that produce income for donors.
  • Identify prospects: Gain insight on how to determine who your top planned giving prospects are.
  • Listen for donor cues and overcome objections: Discover effective communication strategies for responding to donor concerns and objections.
  • Create an effective planned giving program on a limited budget: Acquire actionable advice and best practices to navigate building and scaling a planned giving program for your small shop.


Dani Dawson
Chief Development Officer, Curebound

Dani is a visionary leader dedicated to fostering a culture of philanthropy. Currently serving as the Chief Development Officer for Curebound, Dani drives fundraising strategy and donor relations, oversees fundraising campaigns, and ensures sustainable revenue streams.

Dani prides herself on helping people achieve their philanthropic goals through conversations with donors about leveraging assets to maximize impact. While the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at California Western School of Law, Dani more than doubled the number of philanthropic gifts to the law school and while Executive Director of Gift Planning at UC San Diego, Dani led a team that achieved extraordinary success by raising over $86,000,000 in just one year.

Dani’s educational background includes a JD from Chapman University School of Law and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Dani is a Past President of AFP San Diego.

Donor Relations in Communities of Color

Fundraising should never feel transactional. Building sincere relationships and focusing on relationship-driven fundraising strategies are key to sustaining long-term donors and attracting potential donors. Explore the relationship between mission-driven connections and strategic data utilization, and how to leverage both to deepen your connections with your donors. In this session, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis will discuss how to begin building strong, sincere, and long-term giving relationships with prospective donors, not organizational transactional efforts, from a community of color perspective.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn strategies for initiating enduring relationships with prospective donors, emphasizing authenticity over transactional approaches.
  • Gain insights into leveraging community-specific perspectives, particularly from communities of color, to foster meaningful donor connections.
  • Develop skills to qualify potential donors and deepen existing relationships through stewardship.


Alejandra Sotelo-Solis
President & CEO, La Pluma Strategies

Professionally, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis is the CEO of her consulting company La Pluma Strategies. She has a strong background in public service, having served ten years as a council member and four years as Mayor of National City. As Mayor, she focused on improving the quality of life in the city, supporting small businesses, and securing critical pandemic relief for the community. Alejandra also made significant progress in housing and initiated project labor agreement processes.

Before starting La Pluma, Alejandra was the Age Friendly Communities Manager at The San Diego Foundation where she was responsible for the development and execution of efforts to promote livable communities for all ages and managed convenings, service organization relationships, and programming related to the San Diego region’s older adult population. Alejandra’s work portfolio includes MANA de San Diego as the organization’s inaugural Development Director, UC San Diego Student Affairs, and the Chancellor’s office as well as working with two CA State Assembly Members as a field representative and District Director, respectively.

A third-generation National City resident and graduate of Sweetwater High School and UC San Diego, she is a board member of the SUHi Foundation which provides college scholarships to graduates of her alma mater, and currently serves as the Chair of the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected Officials) Educational Fund. She is also a past Board Member of Run Women Run.

Alejandra is married to her college sweetheart, Arturo Solis who serves as a Trustee of the Sweetwater Union High School District. They bought their first home in National City, where they live, and are raising their daughters.

Coming Soon...

Cultivate Connections: Elevate Donor Relationships through Strategic Communication and Turnkey Tools

Join The Philanthropy Coach Founder, Hannah Berger, and Communications Consultant, Maggie Stillman, for a workshop that will help you make your donor communications more consistent, and less burdensome for your team.

This session will cover:

  • The basics of effective donor stewardship – when to communicate with supporters and how
  • Shifting mindset from acknowledging to embracing donors – creating communications that involve donors as partners in your mission and work
  • Creating evergreen communication tools that will simplify your donor stewardship process forever!

Key Takeaways:

  • An understanding of effective donor communications
  • Tried and true techniques to immediately improve your donor communications and stewardship efforts
  • A framework for establishing a donor communications schedule
  • Templates for donor acknowledgment letters and a new donor welcome packet


Hannah Berger, MPA, CFRE
President, The Philanthropy Coach

Hannah provides coaching and consulting that is derived from 20+ years of experience as a professional fundraiser, non-profit executive, campaign consultant and board member. In 2021, after a decade of consulting as “a side hustle” in addition to full-time senior Development positions, Hannah founded The Philanthropy Coach, a boutique nonprofit management and fundraising consulting firm that aims to leave every client organization permanently improved.

Hannah has proudly supported dozens of nonprofit organizations in raising more than $150M, specializing in major expansion campaigns, board recruitment and development, development audits, program restructuring initiatives and the creation of strategic development plans.

Hannah has been a trainer for Fundraising Academy since 2018 and is the current Co-President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater LA Chapter.

Maggie Stillman
Marketing and Communications Consultant, The Philanthropy Coach

Maggie Stillman is a communications professional with experience in social media marketing, digital and print communication, and donor relations.

Through her work, Maggie combines her marketing and communications skills with her passion for community building through storytelling and has used her expertise to support nonprofits in New York and Los Angeles.

Maggie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hunter College, CUNY, and a certification in Nonprofit Marketing and Communications from Arizona State University.

When not working, Maggie enjoys singing in choir, creating art (especially watercolor paintings), and spending time with her cat Milo.

Sharyn Goodson

Donor Stewardship: Follow-up that Fosters Loyalty

Did you know that most nonprofits lose nearly as many donors as they gain each year? Join us for this webinar to stop the churn! We’ll share tips for developing a donor retention plan based on proven cultivation and donor retention strategies.

Key Takeaways:

By the end of this session, participants will have resources for:

  • Identifying effective practices to retain and upgrade donors and improve fundraising effectiveness
  • Involving board members in the gratitude process
  • Creating an organizational culture of philanthropy that encourages all staff and volunteers to help meet donor stewardship and retention goals
  • Using social media to embrace supporters
  • Engaging event donors…beyond the event


Sharyn Goodson, CFRE
Vice President, Philanthropy
Leichtag Foundation

Sharyn Goodson, CFRE, has 25+ years of experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management. She serves as Vice President of Philanthropy for the Leichtag Foundation where she manages grantmaking, leads funder partnerships, and trains and counsels nonprofits.

Prior roles include Vice President of Philanthropy for the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego; Director of Grants, Jewish Family Service of San Diego; Program Director, Aspen Community Foundation in Aspen, CO; and Program Director for Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Pittsburgh, PA.

10 Strategies to Pass the CFRE Exam

Planning on taking the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Exam in 2024? Have you assessed your understanding of the 6 Knowledge Domains covered in the exam? What resources have you gathered to prepare? This webinar will focus on 10 great strategies to help you earn a passing score. Following these strategies will give you the focus and self-confidence you need to successfully prepare for the CFRE Exam.


Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE – Consultant, Trainer, Fundraising Academy; CFRE Ambassador

Jack is a graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), and he holds a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, both degrees are in Psychology. Throughout his career, Jack has served in a variety of fundraising positions in hospitals, social service, and the arts as executive director, development director, major gift and legacy giving manager, and foundation and corporate relations manager.

Jack is an AFP Certified Trainer, and he has taught a variety of fundraising classes at JFK University and the Fundraising Academy at National University. Jack is a California CFRE Ambassador, runs CFRE Study Groups, and has taught CFRE Review classes in the US and Canada.

Jack has presented workshops at AFP Global conferences and has published several articles and blogs. Jack is a hiker and traveler. He is committed and passionate about philanthropy and works diligently to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the sector.

Kim Tyle, CFRE – Chief Development Officer at Ascension Providence and Ascension Providence Rochester Foundations

Passionate about serving others and making a meaningful impact, Kim Tyle, CFRE, transitioned from a successful career in hospitality management to become the Chief Development Officer for Ascension Michigan’s Metro West Region’s Foundations. With a heart for philanthropy and a background in hotel business, Kim’s journey is driven by the desire to create positive change. dations. With a heart for philanthropy and a background in hotel business, Kim’s journey is driven by the desire to create positive change.

Strategic Planning for 2024: A Guide for Fundraising Professionals

Strategic Planning is a vital tool for every successful nonprofit organization. But all too often the plan becomes too ambitious, cumbersome, and is not a practical tool. After the excitement and enthusiasm of board retreat fades, staff and board tend to go back to business as usual and the plan ends up in a drawer and not really thought about until the next board retreat is approaching. During our session, we will discuss how your fundraising team can contribute to the process, collaborate with your board, and help make the strategic plan come alive!

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to ensure your organization’s mission and vision are clearly defined and embraced by all.
  • Discover how your role as a fundraiser is vital to the strategic planning process and help your team develop a budget to accomplish strategic planning goals.
  • Evaluate and measure success through KPI’s that align with your strategic plan.
  • Create a cohesive fund development program embraced by staff and board members alike.
  • Gain strategies to engage your board, and staff roles in the strategic planning process.

Presented by:

Jim Floros
Founder, Floros & Associates

James Floros’ nonprofit career spans nearly four decades as a Development Director or CEO at Project Concern International; Burn Institute; and San Diego Food Bank. Jim founded Floros & Associates in 2008. Awards include: National Burn Prevention Award; SD County Fire Chiefs’ Maltese Award; AFP Outstanding Development Professional; and Nonprofit CEO of the Year (twice). Jim left the Food Bank in 2021 to pursue his consulting business and passion for the nonprofit sector. Jim is a graduate of USD.

Cause Selling and Your CRM: A Strong Fundraising Team

From prospecting donors to relationship building and stewardship, your CRM can do some heavy lifting as a part of your fundraising work. In this session, we will share and discuss ways to put your CRM to work so that you can focus on expanding the impact of your organization and its mission. If you are finding yourself doing manual tasks that take away from what you need to prioritize, this session could be for YOU!

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain a deeper insight into how your CRM contributes to fundraising, covering prospecting to stewardship.
  • Discover effective methods for leveraging your CRM to enhance your organization’s impact and mission.
  • Streamline your workload by automating CRM tasks, enabling you to prioritize crucial work and increase efficiency.

Presented by:

Margie Worrell
Curriculum Manager, Bloomerang

Margie Worrell is the Curriculum Manager at Bloomerang. She serves on the board of the Peace Learning Center in Indianapolis and has worked extensively with nonprofits as both a staff member and a lead volunteer. Her passions include education, theatre, her two children and her two small dogs.

Ethics in Fundraising: Real-World Challenges and Practical Solutions

Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma in your fundraising work? Let’s explore real-life scenarios and discuss how to handle them. This webinar will delve into the crucial role of trust and transparency in philanthropy and how nonprofits can build and maintain them to create a loyal donor base.

Through interactive case studies, this presentation will provide attendees with practical tools and strategies for implementing sound ethical principles in their organizations. Participants will gain a better understanding of how to build a culture of accountability that supports their fundraising efforts and fosters long-term donor loyalty. Join us for this insightful and engaging session to enhance your organization’s ethical practices and donor relationships.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn and apply ethics rationale and accountability in fundraising
  • Understand ethics accountability in the Cause Selling Cycle
  • Explore the seven principles of ethics and accountability
  • Review enhanced ethical standards to apply in decision-making
  • Apply your ethical decision-making skills

Presented by:

Adrianna O’Donnell, MBA, CFRE
Director of Philanthropy, San Ysidro Health
Trainer, Fundraising Academy

Adrianna O’Donnell is the Director of Philanthropy at San Ysidro Health, where she is responsible for the oversight, planning, and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program that secures financial resources to support the organization’s safety net services and strategic plan. Adrianna has over 20 years of experience managing successful resource development and marketing programs for local, national, and international organizations. San Ysidro Health is one of San Diego County’s largest and most well-respected nonprofit community health providers, caring for over 110,000 patients at 50 program & clinic sites.

Shifting From Grants & Events to Donor Engagement

Annual giving programs use direct mailers, corporate giving, digital campaigns, events, major gifts, and grants to build lifelong relationships with enthusiastic donors. With the array of annual giving components available, why do many small nonprofits focus on grants and events? Nonprofits grow and sustain themselves through the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, known as donor engagement.  How can your organization grow by integrating donor engagement into its annual giving program? This workshop will help you determine how to facilitate this shift at the staff, leadership, and Board of Directors levels.


Angela Barnes, MBA, CFRE
Interim Vice Chancellor of External Affairs, Indiana University East

Angela D. Barnes, MBA, CFRE, has joined Indiana University East as the Interim Vice Chancellor of External Affairs after ten years of advancement experience and fifteen years in marketing roles. Her work includes guiding transformative initiatives for nonprofits in higher education, human services, and the arts. An accomplished leader, her most recent role has been as Managing Director at Carter Global, a consortium of consultants advancing philanthropy worldwide. There she worked with an array of clients to build capital campaigns, overcome significant institutional or external challenges, and guide teams to implement and run effective full-service development operations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Questions to determine why your organization is reliant on grants and events.
  • Determine the annual giving data needed to influence a change to a relationship building model.
  • Understand the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship process.
  • Explore effective methods to ease your organization into relationship building activities, including effective plans.
  • Work through real-life challenges, utilizing donor engagement tools.

Elevate Your Cause for Black Philanthropy Month: A Celebration of Transformational Leadership

Join us in celebrating Black Philanthropy Month, for an insightful panel discussion with transformational leaders within the community. This engaging conversation will feature impactful community leaders, who have transformed lives by garnering philanthropic support on behalf of their causes. Our panelists will share their experiences, and strategies on how to effectively build a balanced revenue stream of strong membership, donors, grants, and corporate philanthropic support. This discussion will include developing a constituency, philanthropic impact on the community, stewardship, and ways to build sustainability.


LaShonda Williams, MPA, CFRE
Trainer, Fundraising Academy
Associate Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, South Texas College of Law


Jeff Shaw, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Harris-Stowe State University

Marcus Brewer, Special Projects & Development Director, Civic Heart Community Services

Eileen Morris, Artistic Director, The Ensemble Theatre

Key Takeaways:

  • Elevate your cause by effectively conveying your case for support.
  • Discover unique prospecting strategies implemented by leaders in field.
  • Increase knowledge on donor and membership retention methods.
  • Learn methods to strengthen volunteer engagement to increase impact.
  • Amplify stewardship communications through multichannel media.

Fostering Connections: Enhancing Engagement With Your Nonprofit

In today’s dynamic nonprofit landscape, cultivating strong relationships and engaging stakeholders is vital for the success and sustainability of your organization. This workshop aims to provide nonprofit professionals and leaders with valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance stakeholder engagement. Through interactive discussions, case studies, and hands-on activities, participants will gain a deeper understanding of effective engagement practices and acquire actionable skills to foster meaningful connections!


  • Jarrett R. Ransom, MBA
    President & CEO, The Rayvan Group
Hannah Berger Headshot

Energize Your Organization with Major Gifts and Prepare for Capital Campaigns

Major gifts are energy! They power new initiatives, sustain programs, and support BIG ideas! Thriving nonprofit organizations rely heavily on Major Gifts to reach their annual fund objectives and support Capital Campaign objectives.

Major Donors are essential long-term partnerships and invest in your vision, mission, and values. But before you can successfully secure a major gift from a major donor you need to define it and determine how you prospect for that level of gift.

Major gifts are the foundation of successful Capital Campaigns. Campaigns fund new equipment, buildings, and endowments to name a few. So, what planning goes into creating a Capital Campaign? What does a fundraiser need to know before starting a Capital Campaign? We’ll chat about that, and so much more!

Join Hannah Berger and Fundraising Academy on April 26 to learn how you can create an effective Major Gifts program and launch a successful Capital Campaign.

Presented by:

  • Hannah F. Berger, MPA, CFRE
    Founder & Principal, The Philanthropy Coach

Spring into Monthly Giving

Donor retention and sustaining philanthropic support is paramount to a healthy nonprofit. A well-defined monthly giving program can create a source of ongoing support for your organization, while also opening the door to new donors who care deeply about your cause. This webinar will provide donor engagement and retention strategies to build and sustain a monthly giving program.

Presented by:

  • LaShonda Williams, MPA, CFRE
    Trainer, Fundraising Academy
    Associate Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, South Texas College of Law
Muhi Khwaja

Stewardship & Engagement: Increasing Donor Loyalty

Fostering donor loyalty is an ongoing activity. The way you engage with donors after they make a gift is as important, or perhaps even more important, than the gift itself. Keeping all levels of donors involved and inspired can be the difference between a good fundraising practice and a great one. During this webinar, you will learn how to make your supporters feel every bit as important as they are, as you learn effective communication strategies to showcase impact and inspire major donors to continue to provide financial support. Join this webinar to learn how you can increase donor loyalty through creative stewardship and meaningful engagement strategies.

Presented by:

  • Muhi Khwaja, MPA, CFRE, CFRM
    Trainer, Fundraising Academy and Co-founder & Director of Development and Philanthropy, American Muslim Community Foundation
Jack Alotto

Management Tools to Make you a More Effective Fundraiser

Every successful fundraiser needs management tools to navigate the relationship-driven Cause Selling Cycle. How do you use management tools to work smarter, not harder? Are you wasting time in qualifying prospects? Do your management tools help you assess and understand your donor’s needs?

Management tools enable fundraisers to efficiently use their time and increase their productivity so that they can raise more money to advance their organization’s mission. Management tools also assist fundraisers in planning and budget control. With a new calendar year ahead, join this webinar to learn how effective management tools can reduce stress and enable more productive fundraising teams.

Presented by:

  • Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE
    Fundraising Consultant and Trainer, Fundraising Academy

Six Foundational Tools for Today’s Fundraising Professional

Fundraisers are the bridge between donors and the great impact that can be made in a community. All of this is done by cultivating a culture of giving. But how do you prioritize your career and build a strong foundation in this nuanced, relationship-driven profession?

Much of your success as a fundraiser hinges on what you do before you ever call on the first prospective donor. Today, success in the fundraising profession relies on your abilities to communicate the right knowledge about your cause and gain important insight about your donors. It also calls for the effective use of technology, data, and other analytic tools.

This webinar will dive into six key foundational elements needed to build a long-lasting and rewarding career in fundraising that prioritizes genuine connections. Join presenter Tamika Franklin, CFRE and explore how to foster lasting relationships and develop a career plan for self-motivation and goal setting in the fundraising profession.

Presented by:

  • Tamika Franklin, CFRE
    Senior Director, Southern California Major Gifts, UC Berkeley
Adrianna O'Donnell, CFRE Headshot

Digital Philanthropy: Relationship-Building through Online Fundraising Strategies

Donors are consistently exposed to a great number of emails and digital touchpoints. So, how do you rise above the noise, make your organization stand out, and showcase your cause’s impact in a way that motivates donors to give? This webinar will present new ideas so you can connect with your donors through an intentional digital strategy. Analyze your email communication cadence and content, learn how storytelling for specific audiences can remind donors why they connected with your organization, and implement digital plans that support growing a culture of philanthropy in your community. With a digital strategy focused on relationship-building, your fundraising teams can learn how to turn one-time gift-givers into long-term, loyal supporters of your organization.

Presented by:

  • Adrianna O’Donnell, MBA, CFRE
    Director of Philanthropy, San Ysidro Health

Building Donor Loyalty with Transparency and Trust

Giving to nonprofit organizations is based on a foundation of trust and transparency, which is an integral part of the Cause Selling Cycle. Trust is the foundation on which philanthropy is developed and sustained. So how do nonprofit organizations build and nurture trust among their donors? Recognizing that transparency and accountability play a role in building trust, this webinar will explore ethical principles that nonprofits must practice to develop and sustain donor loyalty.

This workshop will explore the topics of ethics and accountability through real-life scenarios and provide you with tools to implement sound ethical principles. These tools will help you build a culture of accountability in your organization, support your fundraising work, and create loyal donors.

Presented by:

  • LaShonda Williams, MPA, CFRE
    Trainer, Fundraising Academy
    Annual Fund Director, Prairie View A&M University

Events: Goal Setting Strategies!

Events are an important tool for fundraisers and can have an immense impact! A strategic event can offer relationship-building opportunities, create chances to connect with your constituents, and involve the community you serve. Learn how to re-evaluate your organization’s event strategies and discover how goal setting can help you and your team produce an event that maximizes Cause Selling strategies!

Presented by:

  • Laura Rice, MBA, CFRE
    Senior Director of Sustaining Philanthropy, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
  • Muhi Khwaja, MPA, CFRE, CFRM
    Trainer, Fundraising Academy and Co-founder & Director of Development and Philanthropy, American Muslim Community Foundation

Cause Chat: A Conversation About Black Fundraising and Philanthropy

This August marks the 11th anniversary of Black Philanthropy Month, which celebrates and elevates African-descent giving. Celebrate with us as we set aside time to connect, reflect, and grow your impact with an enlightening conversation about Black fundraising and philanthropy.

Gain insight on this important topic with our esteemed colleagues: Tamara Craver, LaShonda Williams, Vincent Wilson and Marcus Brewer. All of our panelists are seasoned professionals with backgrounds in education, consulting, healthcare, and social services. Join us to hear their insights, through practical and applicable stories, for engaging black fundraisers and philanthropists to support your mission.

Further your fundraising skills by carrying these insights into your everyday work!


  • Tamara Craver – President & CEO, Reality Changers


  • LaShonda Williams – Annual Fund Director, Prairie View A&M University
  • Vincent Wilson – Deputy Director of Development, Obama Foundation
  • Marcus Brewer – Special Projects & Development Director, Change Happens!
Jack Alotto

Case for Support: Your Secret Donor Engagement Tool

An organization’s case for support is one of the foundational pillars of fundraising because it clearly defines what your organization does, why what you do matters and is relevant to those you serve, and, most importantly, why people should support your cause. Your campaigns and programs/activities begin with a case for support. Once your case for support has been shared, reviewed, edited, and finalized, you can use it to develop numerous fundraising and marketing materials like grant proposals, fundraising letters, brochures, newsletters, and press releases. Furthermore, a case for support can deepen your engagement and conversations with your donors and prospects.

This webinar will walk you through how your case for support can inform how you navigate critical activities and conversations that move your prospects toward a successful ask.

In this webinar, you will:

  • Explore which elements of your case for support you can use when you are uncovering your prospects’ interests, values, and connection to your cause
  • Identify which components from your case study will help you deepen your engagement with donors and prospects through meaningful conversations
  • Assess how to enhance your donor presentations by sharing case elements that are important to donors
  • Use your case for support to organize your solicitation plan with individual donors

Presented by:

  • Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE, Trainer, Fundraising Academy

Handling Donor Objections: Getting to Yes

Successful fundraisers see objections for what they really are: opportunities! There’s no getting around it. If you’re a nonprofit fundraiser, you will face objections from your pro-spects and donors. Instead of trying to avoid or ignore them, let’s embrace them!

An objection is vastly different from a rejection. When you view objections with a welcom-ing attitude, they become valuable and may help guide you toward a successful ask and deeper relationship.

Sometimes objections are straightforward, but other times, they indicate that the prospect is interested in what you are saying. Classifying and clarifying the objection helps you se-lect the best technique for addressing them. This webinar will give you the knowledge to successfully navigate your donor’s questions and hesitations so you can continue to culti-vate the relationship towards a successful ask.

In this webinar, we will:

  • Learn how to uncover hidden concerns or questions.
  • Categorize objections and explore techniques to address them.
  • Become familiar with the six-step plan for dealing with resistance.
  • Discover how to leverage social media to anticipate and forestall any possible donor concerns.

Presented by:

  • Hannah Berger, Founder & Principal, The Philanthropy Coach
Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE (Fundraising Consultant and Trainer, Fundraising Academy)

Fundraising Action Planning

What does fundraising action planning accomplish? A proper fundraising action plan creates a framework and foundation for your organization’s activities and programs. Your plan will ultimately set forth how your organization will support the communities you serve day in and out, and how your fundraising activities will ensure your organization’s health and growth.

Planning clarifies the strategies, values, and vision of our organization. Planning tests our mission and engages the hearts and minds of staff and board. Planning answers, the important question of why our organization matters, what results we expect so that we can make a difference, and it provides us with the directions we need to get to our results.

This webinar will guide you through the fundamental steps to:

  • Develop your rationale for creating a fundraising action plan.
  • Explore questions to ask prior to starting your planning process.
  • Map out the key planning steps.
  • Curate resources and templates to kickstart your planning today.

Presented by:

  • Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE (Fundraising Consultant and Trainer, Fundraising Academy)
Muhi Khwaja

Donor Conversations in a Hybrid World

Philanthropy as we know it has changed. New virtual tools have created new avenues for human connection, and fundraisers are faced with the challenge to deepen relationships with their donors in a quasi-virtual climate. As a fundraiser, you may have gained new donors with whom you have only connected virtually. Or, you may have discovered new donors in your database with whom you have never connected. How do you introduce new prospects with your organization and connect with your existing donor base without the opportunity to meet with them in person? The good news is you can still develop strong, authentic relationships with your donors in a virtual or hybrid format.

In this webinar, we will discover how you can reignite donor relationships, uncover your donor’s “Why,” and align your cause with what matters most to them. Fundraisers have the opportunity and privilege of connecting with people, discovering what they truly care about, learning their personal stories, and connecting them with meaningful causes. Join Muhi Khwaja and Fundraising Academy Cause Selling Education so you can confidently engage your supporters and convert them into lasting champions for your organization.

Presented by:

  • Muhi Khwaja, MPA, CFRE, CFRM - Trainer, Fundraising Academy
Christa Stoneham

Prospecting In A Hybrid World

Today, many fundraisers are facing new challenges and opportunities in this fundraising climate. The way we approach and conduct philanthropy has permanently shifted, and as fundraisers, we must revisit how we cultivate and retain our donors in a quasi-virtual world. As a fundraiser, you may be new to an organization, or you may have new donors you have not yet cultivated. Perhaps you’ve never met your donor in person, as your entire relationship has been built virtually! In this webinar, you’ll explore how you can use these situations to your advantage and ultimately discover the most important fact of all — your donor’s “Why.”

Prospects are the lifeblood of fundraising. Join presenter Christa Stoneham and discover the vast resources you have within your own database to identify and qualify current and future prospects. We’ll walk you through the steps you must take before you ever approach your donor, as well as the steps that will further your prospecting efforts and set you up for fundraising success.

Presented by:

  • Christa Stoneham, President and CEO, Houston Land Bank
Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE (Fundraising Consultant and Trainer, Fundraising Academy)

Ten Epic Fails and How to Overcome Them

Let’s take a breath, celebrate all that you’ve accomplished, then reflect and refine your plans for this new year!

What worked for you and your team last year? What tools, skills, and strategies will you apply to reach your goals this year? What didn’t work? Often, missteps and failures are perceived as just that: failures. With this mindset, fundraisers miss out on the opportunity to uncover critical lessons and develop new best practices from which their organizations can benefit.

It’s time to shift the narrative! This webinar will help you reframe “failures” as a hidden asset for your fundraising toolkit. Jack Alotto, CFRE, will reflect on his memorable missteps, exploring how he and his team dissected past mistakes and created new opportunities for their organizations.

Join us to learn how you can recover from your own “epic fails,” build your fundraising skill sets, and help your organization’s achieve ultimate fundraising success.

Presented by:

  • Jack Alotto, CFRE - Trainer, Fundraising Academy
Adrianna O’Donnell

Transforming Your Major Gifts Strategy

Major gifts are critical to the success of an organization’s annual fundraising goals. In this webinar we will begin developing your Major Gifts strategy for the new year. Dive deeper into your current donor database and begin crafting a prospecting and stewardship plan that supports cultivating major gifts on a one-to-one basis with your individual donors.

Learn how the Cause Selling Cycle can help you build longer-lasting relationships with your donors to help sustain your organization. Preparation is key to a successful Major Gift ask. Engage in a discussion with Adrianna and leave with strategies you can activate right away!

Presented by:

  • Adrianna O’Donnell, Director of Philanthropy, San Ysidro Health
Laura Rice

Popping the Question and Securing Donor Commitment

Confirming gifts from donors is the natural conclusion to a successful presentation. Nonetheless, asking for the gift can be intimidating for any fundraiser, particularly if they cannot anticipate potential roadblocks. In this webinar, we will present strategies for welcoming and navigating donor objections to ultimately secure donor commitment. Participants are invited to engage in discussion and take away effective closing tactics from the field.

Join presenter Laura Rice, CFRE, and fill your fundraising toolbox with evidence-based closing tactics, strategies to shift donor hesitancy into commitment, a nuanced understanding of unsuccessful closing, and the ability to process and learn from rejections. Walk away with renewed confidence and a fresh perspective on making The Ask.

Presented by:

  • Laura Rice, CFRE, Senior Director of Sustaining Philanthropy, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
Ryan Ginard

Nonprofit Moneyball — Identifying the New Tech, Trends, Talent, and Tools to Hit Your Fundraising Goals

The “Moneyball” thesis is simple: By using statistical analysis, small-market baseball teams can change their odds for success by accruing assets that are undervalued or overlooked by other teams (and selling ones that are overvalued). Through a Cause Selling lens, this thesis could be compared to a small organization regularly securing large donations that have traditionally been captured by larger national entities and institutions such as medical research organizations, hospitals, global humanitarian organizations, and more.

In today’s society, where nonprofit sector information is more accessible and transparent than ever before, it’s not just the mission of the more established organizations that yields larger donations. There are considerable disparities at play, and one of them is the ability to secure the very best in fundraising talent and the systems and tech that support their continued success.

Cause Selling, a relationship-driven fundraising model, prepares emerging fundraisers to more intentionally and authentically develop lasting relationships with their donors. Developed using future-proof, for-profit sales best practices, the eight-step Cause Selling Cycle guides fundraisers through a strategic process to identify qualified prospects, connect them with their cause, and transform their prospects and donors into lifelong supporters and champions. This webinar will explore how to leverage Cause Selling principles to set yourself apart, attract new revenue sources, and future-proof your career.

Presented by:

  • Ryan Ginard, Director of Development, The University of Texas at Austin
Tamika Franklin

Stories from the Field: Cause Chat with Black Fundraising Professionals

Join us for an interactive panel discussion on Black experiences in professional fundraising. Moderated by seasoned fundraising practitioner and Fundraising Academy instructor Tamika Franklin, this conversation will explore multiple perspectives and help you build on your experiences and background knowledge as an emerging fundraiser. From their careers as fundraisers of color, the panelists will share how they leverage background knowledge as an asset to grow professionally. Build on your own professional experiences with these insights to inform and enrich your fundraising practice.

This August marks the 10th anniversary of Black Philanthropy Month, which celebrates and elevates African-decent giving. Celebrate with us as we set aside time to connect, reflect, and grow your impact.

Presented by:

  • Tamika Franklin, Director of Development, Preuss School UC San Diego
Lenise Andrade

Fresh Starts: Reigniting Donor Relationships

Today, many fundraisers are finding themselves facing different challenges and opportunities in the current fundraising climate. As a fundraiser, you may be new to an organization, or you may have new donors you have not yet cultivated. Perhaps you have never met your donor in person, as your entire relationship has been conducted virtually! This webinar will explore how you can use these situations to your advantage and ultimately discover the most important fact of all – your donor’s Why.

Presented by:

  • Lenise Andrade, Senior Philanthropy Officer, San Diego Botanic Garden
Miguel Lopez, Prospect Research Analyst, The San Diego Foundation

Career Advice for Emerging Leaders: Cause Chat with Nonprofit Professionals

Join us for a live panel discussion on exploring philanthropy and building successful nonprofit careers. This conversation will focus on key recommendations for emerging nonprofit professionals. Moderated by a Fundraising Academy alumni, our panel of mentors will share their stories and experiences in the fundraising world. Learn from your peers and the amazing community of experienced fundraisers and nonprofit professionals to find resources to help you succeed.


  • Javier Guerrero, President and CEO, Coastal Roots Farm
  • Suzanne Stone, Chief Strategic Solutions & Programs Officer, Livestrong
  • Michael Riordan, Director of Marketing, Compass Community Center

Presented by:

  • Miguel Lopez, Prospect Research Analyst, The San Diego Foundation
Tony Beall, Sr. Director, Office of Program Administration, SEC Programs

The Nonprofit Show – Cause Selling Cycle Series

The Nonprofit Show logo

Dive deep into each step of the Cause Selling Cycle as Tony Beall, Sr. Director of Fundraising Academy, joins the American Nonprofit Academy on The Nonprofit Show to share his stories and best practices. Tony is joined by co-hosts Julia C. Patrick, CEO of The American Nonprofit Academy, and Jarrett Ransom, The Nonprofit Nerd and CEO of The Rayvan Group. In this series, you will learn how to connect potential donors with your cause and build stronger relationships with them.

Presented by:

  • Tony Beall, Sr. Director, Office of Program Administration, SEC Programs
Tim Hogan (Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Roadtrip Nation)

What to Ask and When to Ask it: Questioning Strategies for Donor Conversations

In this webinar, you will learn how to structure meaningful, question-driven conversations that will help build lasting relationships with donors. Because the entire process should be focused on the donor, the Need Discovery step is the most critical. It’s there for you to ask questions and get to know your donors so that you can discover what matters most to them. At its core, fundraising is engaging donors and learning what they do, how they do it, who they do it with, and why they do it that way. Find the answers to those things, and you can align what matters most to them and your cause. Together we will study the functions served by various types of questions and when to use them in the Cause Selling Cycle.

Presented by:

  • Tim Hogan (Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Roadtrip Nation)
Sharyn Goodson

Lessons Learned: Fundraising During COVID-19

The past year of COVID-19 has been a wild ride for nonprofits, full of unexpected challenges, new daily realities, and, in many cases, increased demand for services. Now we can look back at 2020 and reflect on the best practices that nonprofits have implemented in our new virtual world. Take a dive into the lessons learned and how fundraisers can continue supporting their organizations into 2021.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXwHfUia9lk

Presented by:

  • Sharyn Goodson, CFRE — Vice President of Philanthropy & Organizational Development, Leichtag Foundation
Hannah Berger, Director of Individual Giving & Communications, A Place Called Home.

Supercharge Your Fundraising Board

Your board of directors are your strongest, most loyal volunteers. They believe in your cause. They have made a commitment to advance your cause. How do you channel this drive and passion and guide your board into becoming a strong fundraising driver for your organization? This workshop will provide you with the tools to approach these conversations with your board, find the right fundraising fit for each member, and supercharge your board into a thriving fundraising machine.

Presented by:

  • Hannah Berger, Director of Individual Giving & Communications, A Place Called Home
Fundraising Academy Cause Selling Education logo.

Inside The Mind Of A Donor: Cause Chat With Philanthropist Laura Galinson

Join our February webinar for an intimate conversation with long-time philanthropist Laura Galinson. We will explore the importance of building authentic relationships with donors and dive deeper into understanding what drives a donor to give.

Presented by:

  • Laura Galinson, Director of Community Relations, Mission Driven Finance
  • Sharyn Goodson, CFRE, Vice President of Philanthropy & Organizational Development, Leichtag Foundation
Fundraising Academy Cause Selling Education logo.

Stewardship in 2021: Preventing Donor Fatigue

As a result of the pandemic, donors are being bombarded with donor requests and nonprofit are suffering from donor fatigue. This webinar will explore what donor fatigue looks like, its causes, and how to use Cause Selling strategies to overcome it. You will learn tips to turn your donors into long-time supporters of your organization. This will be a 90 minute webinar.

Presented by:

  • Tony Beall, National Director, Fundraising Academy
  • Traci Allyn Shur, CFRE, Director of Philanthropy, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation; and Fundraising Consultant
Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE (Fundraising Consultant and Trainer, Fundraising Academy)

Listen Your Way Into a Gift: Virtual Conversations with Donors

In this webinar, you’ll learn the central role of Need Discovery in the Cause Selling Cycle, review questioning techniques and the questions every donor needs to answer, as well as learning effective techniques for developing genuine listening skills.

Presented by:

  • Jack Alotto, Trainer, Fundraising Academy