Workshop: Writing Compelling Appeals

October 28 & 29, 2020 from 1-5:00pm ET (Online)


Writing well is one of the most important skills a fundraiser can possess. And while you don’t need to be an award-winning author to write strong appeals, you do need to be able to make the case for support in a clear and compelling way. Developing messages that resonate and selecting words that motivate can make all the difference. By refining your writing skills, your appeals are more likely to get read and your prospects are more likely to respond with a gift.

Join us on October 28th and 29th for a two-day interactive workshop that will provide you and your colleagues with a framework for writing compelling appeals for your fundraising efforts.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Refine writing skills and learn best practices in messaging and appeals
  • Participate in interactive exercises and focused small-group discussions
  • Network with peers to share ideas and experiences
  • Obtain workshop handouts and other materials
  • Earn CFRE credit
  • And more!

This event is ideal for annual giving, communications, and other advancement professionals at educational institutions who wish to improve their writing skills for direct appeals.

  • Save $200 when you register by September 25th
  • AGN Members save an additional 20%
  • Receive further discounts when registering multiple attendees from one institution


(all times are EDT)

Day 1

12:45pm - Workshop Sign-In Begins

1:00pm - Welcome/Overview of the Day

1:15pm - Getting in Sync with Your Audience

2:00pm - Active Critiquing and Rewriting (Small Group Breakouts)

2:45pm - Break (30 minutes)

3:15pm - Structuring Your Appeals

4:00pm - Active Critiquing and Rewriting (Small Group Breakouts)

4:45pm - Wrap-up/Homework Assignment

Day 2

12:45pm - Workshop Sign-In Begins

1:00pm - Welcome/Overview of the Day

1:15pm -  Incorporating an Effective Ask

2:00pm - Active Critiquing and Rewriting (Small Group Breakouts)

2:45pm - Break (30 minutes)

3:15pm - Adapting Your Appeal to Multiple Channels

4:00pm - Active Critiquing and Rewriting (Small Group Breakouts)

4:45pm - Final Thoughts/Wrap-up


Amanda Davis | Oklahoma State University Foundation

Amanda Davis serves as the Associate Vice President of Annual Giving and University Programs at the Oklahoma State University Foundation, where she is responsible for the strategic execution and management of a comprehensive annual giving program, including general university, college, and departmental annual fundraising efforts. Amanda has more than 15 years of advancement experience and has held leadership positions at Oklahoma City University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of New Orleans. She holds a B.A. in English and Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.P.A. from University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Meredith Johnston | The Scripps Research Institute

Meredith Johnston is the Senior Director of Philanthropy at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where she currently oversees the comprehensive fundraising efforts. She's led annual and major gift programs at The University of California, Riverside and the University of California, San Diego and served previously as the Associate Vice President for Annual Giving at Oklahoma State University. A recognized industry speaker and CASE presenter, Meredith holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Texas.


Dan Allenby | Principal & Founder at AGN Resources

Dan is an author, speaker, and consultant who has worked with academic institutions for over two decades to train their advancement staff and volunteers. A recipient of the prestigious CASE “Crystal Apple” award for teaching excellence, Dan is an internationally-recognized expert on annual giving and alumni engagement. He chaired CASE’s Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals and its Annual Giving Workshop for five collective terms and served on the faculty for CASE’s Summer Institute in Educational Fundraising. His book—Ideas for Annual Giving—offers the latest designs for helping institutions increase annual giving and boost alumni participation. Previously, he served as the Assistant Vice President for Annual Giving at Boston University, and also led annual giving and member marketing efforts at Tufts University, Georgetown University, and the National Geographic Society. Dan received an MBA from Boston College and a BA from James Madison University, and a certificate in the Management of Communication Organizations from Tufts University.

For more information about this workshop, please contact us at 888.407.5064 or inf[email protected].