Workshop: Writing Compelling Appeals

October 28 & 29, 2020

Overview


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.

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

Program

(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

When it comes to writing a successful appeal, knowing your audience is imperative. Identifying key segments and developing thoughtful messages will prepare you to craft strong solicitations, helping to ensure that prospects appreciate the needs of your institution and respond with support.

2:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions with colleagues, while actively critiquing and rewriting sample appeals using some of the lessons learned during the general sessions

2:45pm - Break (30 minutes)

3:15pm - Structuring Your Appeals

Once you’ve established the foundation for your messaging, it’s time to start putting everything together. A good appeal is not only clear and compelling; it also contains important details that are clearly organized to build momentum and empower the donor to take action.

4:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions with colleagues, while actively critiquing and rewriting sample appeals using some of the lessons learned during the general sessions

4:45pm - Wrap-up/Homework Assignment


Day 2

12:45pm - Workshop Sign-In Begins

1:00pm - Welcome/Overview of the Day

1:15pm -  Enhancing Your Ask

After you’ve created a sound outline and draft for your appeal, it’s time to go back and strengthen the ask. Understanding and implementing the key elements of an effective ask will help it stand out and resonate with prospects.

2:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions with colleagues, while actively critiquing and rewriting sample appeals using some of the lessons learned during the general sessions

2:45pm - Break (30 minutes)

3:15pm - Adapting Your Appeal to Multiple Channels

When your appeal is complete, it’s time to send it out. Utilizing multiple solicitation channels—and doing so in an integrated and orchestrated way—will ensure that your messages do not just get through, but that they truly stand out to prospects.

4:00pm - Small Group Breakouts

Engage in small group discussions with colleagues, while actively critiquing and rewriting sample appeals using some of the lessons learned during the general sessions

4:45pm - Final Thoughts/Wrap-up

Faculty


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.

 

Stacy Buono | RWJBarnabas Health

Stacy Buono is the AVP of Annual Giving and Donor Relations for RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey, where she oversees the direct mail, stewardship, online giving, and employee giving programs for each of the system’s 11 hospitals, as well as the hospice program and behavorial health center. Her two decades of experience as a professional writer include nonprofit consulting, and creating and running annual giving programs for educational and healthcare institutions. Stacy holds a BA in Journalism from Douglass College, Rutgers University.

 

Vanessa Carta | UMass Boston

Vanessa Carta is the Director of Donor Engagement and Stewardship at UMass Boston, where she oversees all stewardship outreach, including cultivating the institution’s relationships with endowment donors. Her decade of experience in advancement also includes roles with the annual fund and as a frontline development officer for a graduate school, centers, and institutes. She currently serves on the Santa Clara University Alumni Association Board of Directors and as regional vice president of their Boston chapter. Vanessa has an MA in Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance from UMass Boston and a BA in Religious Studies and Sociology from Santa Clara University.

 

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 AGN Resources

Dan is an author, speaker, and consultant who has worked with educational institutions for more than 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 a M.B.A. from Boston College.

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