Workshops

The following workshops can be combined and adapted to meet your organization’s specific needs, both in terms of fundraising priorities and timelines.

Fundraising Fundamentals: This is our most popular presentation.  It is designed for volunteer board members and professional staff working in concert.  This workshop unravels some mysteries and myths about fundraising.  It takes the fear out of solicitation and puts the emphasis on other aspects of the process.  What works and what does not work?  How do we best spend our limited resources in an efficient and effective manner?  Why are some organizations so good at fundraising?  These topics are presented in an accessible and enjoyable way.

This workshop is most effective when preceded by telephone interviews with attendees to gauge their experience and manage their expectations around specific topics.  Also available is the option to follow up post workshop to ascertain how each individual wishes to contribute to the fundraising process once their knowledge has been expanded.

Time required: 4 hours in session

Special Events: Most organizations produce at least one special fundraising event each year.  Participants in this workshop learn how best to plan, execute and evaluate their organization’s events, what to avoid, how not to burn out volunteers and which kind of events produce the best results.  This workshop is most effective when an audit of previous events is performed before the workshop and the details of that audit are presented to the board or board committee during the session.

Time required: 2 hours in session

Endowment Funds: This workshop defines endowment funds and explores both the up side and the down side of establishing one.  It outlines how to get started, what donors expect and why they give to endowments, what policies are required to support an endowment and how to know if your organization is ready for one.  This workshop is most effective when presented to a board of directors after review and requires some preparation by the Executive Director or CEO.

Time required: 1 hour in session

Creating Effective Boards: Involvement of the board is critical for any organization wishing to raise major gifts and grow sustainable giving programs.  But sometimes boards are too caught up in governance to dedicate the resources necessary to fundraise effectively.  This workshop explores the traits of effective boards and examines everything from board self evaluations, recruitment, education, committee structures, planning and policy development; all the things that are best to have in place before fundraising can begin in earnest.

This workshop is most effective after planning and agenda review by the Executive Director, individual interviews by telephone with board members and some pre-workshop preparation by the board members themselves.

Time required: 4 to 6 hours in session

The Art of the Ask: Asking is the part of fundraising that raises the greatest fear among inexperienced staff and volunteers.  In this workshop, a step by step process is outlined along with tips for preparing the team, the best choice of words and working with responses from donors.  This workshop is most effective as a coaching session for those willing to serve your organization as solicitors.  But it can also remove the fear of asking from those who are hesitant to even consider it.

Time required: 1 hour in session

Tax Receipting: If your organization has charitable status, you may not be clear on the rules and regulations required by the CRA when it comes to accepting donations and specifically how to receipt them.  This workshop explores and explains the various rules and is designed to keep you out of trouble with both your donors and the government. There have been a lot of changes to federal regulations over the past few years and we do our best to explain each and every scenario to you.

This workshop is most effective when preceded by an exploration of your current receipting practices so that specific issues relevant to the organization are addressed within the session.

Time required: 1.5 to 2 hours in session

Grant Writing: Writing grants is an art form.  The most successful grant writers use systematic methods to collect information, state their case and report back to grant makers.  Workshop attendees learn to plot a path to success and to practice these new skills. This workshop is most effective when attendees arrive prepared with relevant information concerning their own organization which can be applied to the exercises given in class.

Time required: 2 days in session with exercises, 6 hours without exercises

Mission, Vision and Values: Non-profit organizations can easily become stretched too thin with increasing demands for services and shrinking resources.  Sometimes, it is necessary to re-focus on where we came from and where we are going.  This workshop is designed to help your organization review its mission, update its vision and define its values, all of which are critical to successful fundraising.

Time required: varies depending upon your current state of readiness around these three issues.  The subjects can be divided between separate board meetings for easier digestion.

The Meaning of Money – Why Some People Just Can’t Ask for It: Money is a loaded topic in our society and our personal experiences with and attitudes toward money can affect our ability to raise funds for our favourite organizations.  Created originally for board members, this workshop has proven helpful to executive directors and other staff members who work for non-profits as well.  Once participants become more aware of their own issues around money, Abundance can provide some helpful suggestions for stepping outside your own boundaries to become successful askers.  Consider this as a Boot Camp for The Afraid.

Time Required: 2 hours in session

Fundraising in Tough Economic Times: This session seeks to clarify how the thought processes of donors change during a recession and how best to consider responding to these changes.

Time Required: 2 hours in session

Expressing Gratitude: The first step to the next gift begins with a strategically planned protocol for thanking donors.  This session outlines how we acknowledge, recognize and steward donations and assists your organization to create a tailored Gratitude Grid that you will need to have in place BEFORE asking for another donation.

This workshop is most effective when Abundance is given the opportunity to audit your current gratitude protocol and materials in order to make the best possible recommendations.

Time Required: 2 hours in session

Volunteers: How to find them, manage them and keep them.  We could never do what we do without the help of our unpaid staff.

Time Required: 2 hours in session