Workshop: Writing Compelling Appeals

September 22nd & 23rd 2021 from 1-5:00pm ET (Online)


Writing 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 prospects are more likely to read your appeals and respond with a gift.

Join us on September 22nd and 23rd 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.

  • AGN Members save an additional 20%
  • Receive further discounts when registering multiple attendees from one institution


(all times are EDT)

Day 1

12:50pm - Workshop Sign-In Begins

1:00pm - Welcome/Overview of the Day

1:15pm - Getting in Sync with Your Audience

Learn how to address different audiences and craft messages that communicate your institution’s stories in a compelling way.

2:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions, while actively sharing, critiquing, and rewriting sample appeals.

2:45pm - Break (30 minutes)

3:15pm - Structuring Your Appeal

Discover how to organize your copy in a way that draws a reader in, builds momentum, and flows smoothly.

4:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions, while actively sharing, critiquing, and rewriting sample appeals.

4:45pm - Test Your Knowledge/Wrap-up


Day 2

12:50pm - Workshop Sign-In Begins

1:00pm - Welcome Back

1:15pm - Enhancing Your Ask

Find out how to craft an “ask” in a way that stands out and motivates prospects to make a gift.

2:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions, while actively sharing, critiquing, and rewriting sample appeals.

2:45pm - Break (30 minutes)

3:15pm - Adapting Your Appeal to Multiple Channels

Hear from and interact with a panel of experts as they discuss ways to integrate messages across a variety of channels in an orchestrated way.

4:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions, while actively sharing, critiquing, and rewriting sample appeals.

4:45pm - Test Your Knowledge/Wrap-up


Amanda Davis |  The University of Oklahoma Foundation

Amanda Davis is the Assistant Vice President for Campaign Leadership at The University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. where she is responsible for leading the development and execution of campaign fundraising strategies. Previously she served as the Associate Vice President of Annual Giving and University Programs at the Oklahoma State University Foundation and has held other 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.


Gina Fiorillo |  Rutgers University Foundation

Gina Fiorillo is the Senior Director of Annual Giving at the Rutgers University Foundation, where she manages multichannel fundraising efforts including direct mail, phonathon, and email. Her 20-year career includes work at Kean University and Douglass College as well as several non-profits including Slow Food USA and the George Street Playhouse. Gina holds a B.A. in English from Douglass College and an M.P.A from the School of Public Affairs & Administration, Rutgers University.


Meredith Johnston | The Scripps Research Institute

Meredith Johnston is the Vice President of Philanthropy at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where she oversees all of the organization’s 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.

Christy Moss | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Christy Moss is the Vice President of Membership and Marketing at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Alumni Association. Over the course of her 15-year career in advancement, she has led efforts in annual giving, stewardship and donor relations, communications & marketing, data analytics, and event strategy, and has worked on three capital campaigns. A speaker with CASE, she has also published multiple times in the Journal of Education Advancement and Marketing. Christy holds a B.A. in Communication from Greenville University and an M.S. in Information Science from the University of Illinois

Tracey Palmer | Palmer Communications

Tracey Palmer is the Principal/Writer/Editor for Palmer Communications. For more than 20 years, she has specialized in writing, editing, coaching, and project management—helping schools and colleges tell their stories, connect with their constituents, inspire their communities, and raise more money. A recipient of CASE’s Crystal Apple award for outstanding teaching and a CASE Laureate, Tracey is also a regular presenter at industry writing conferences. She is the founder of Chicks Who Write, a professional networking group for women who write in greater Boston. Tracey holds a BA in American literature from the George Washington University and an MA in communication from Suffolk University.

Dan Allenby | Principal & Founder at Annual Giving Network

Dan is an author, speaker, and consultant who has worked with educational institutions for over 25 years to improve their fundraising results. An internationally-recognized expert on annual giving, he is the recipient of CASE’s prestigious “Crystal Apple” award for teaching excellence. His book – Ideas for Annual Giving – offers designs for helping organizations increase their levels of sustainable philanthropic support. Dan served as the assistant vice president for annual giving at Boston University during its $1 billion capital campaign, and previously led fundraising and marketing programs at Tufts University, Georgetown University, and the National Geographic Society. He served on the faculty for CASE’s Summer Institute in Educational Fundraising, and chaired its Senior Annual Giving Professionals Conference and Annual Giving Workshop for five collective terms. Dan holds a B.A. in History from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from Boston College.

For more information about this workshop, please contact us at 888.407.5064 or