Advance 2021: Road Warriors

Thank you to everyone who made Road Warriors a success! Participants have been emailed post-event resources and information.

The 201-level Cohort Series is continuing in April and May. All times are Eastern.

All Fundamentals Workshops in the Road Warriors track will be facilitated by Jeff Hilperts, Senior Associate, Bentz Whaley Flessner.

Fundamentals Workshops

DAY 1: TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2021

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm EDT | Roundtable

Welcome: Celebrating Successes from 2020

We made it through 2020 … now let’s shine in 2021! Advance will help participants stay ahead of the curve and innovate with new projects this year. This kickoff session will set the stage for success as participants share in a guided discussion and begin networking.

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm | Roundtable

Fundraising in Today’s Environment

Life (and fundraising) as we know it has changed in the past year and will likely never be the same. Certainly there have been challenges and disappointments in dealing with never-ending cancellations and social distancing, but there also have been bright spots and new opportunities. We’ll look at lessons learned in 2020 and discuss how the virtual landscape is changing fundraising … for good.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm | Workshop

Discovery Fundamentals

Learning objectives: Overview of the major gifts cycle and how to move contacts through the process. Identify your prospects and build a strategy.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Workshop

Cultivation Fundamentals

Learning objectives: How to build a plan that grows your engagement with individual and subgroups of donors. Learn some of the best tools available and best questions to ask to build a relationship with a potential donor.

WATCH: Sample from the 2020 Cultivation Workshop



12:15 pm – 12:45 pm (Optional)

Lunch and Learn

Digest what you learned on Day 1 as we bite into the second day of Advance. This casual networking session will allow you to discuss what you’ve learned so far and meet other attendees. FFE hosts will share additional resources and expert sources that you may find helpful.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Workshop

Solicitation Fundamentals

Learning objectives: Know when it’s time to make the ask. The art of having strong, clear communication. Avoid common fundraiser pitfalls.

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm | Workshop

Stewardship Fundamentals

Learning objectives: How and why to say thank you. How to share gratitude and expand your impact.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm | Roundtable

Donor Stories and Lessons Learned

In the last Fundamentals Workshop, participants will share their own donor stories — the good, the bad, and the ugly. This closing roundtable will send Road Warriors into the Cohort Series experience with a mindset for success and eagerness to learn more.


Cohort Series

After learning the basics in the fundamentals 101 workshops, participants can build ongoing connections through a weekly 201-level cohort series that allows for a deep dive into specific individual projects. You will be asked to prepare information on real-life examples from your day-to-day activities to discuss with the group as part of this cohort’s coursework. All series discussions are Fridays from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Eastern.

The Cohort Series will be facilitated by Jeff Hilperts, Senior Associate, Bentz Whaley Flessner and Justine Rosenberg Thomas, Director of Advancement, Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation. Additional topical experts in the subject of the week will be invited to provide additional context — stay tuned!

APRIL 30, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

CULTIVATION: How to Get How to Get and Run a Successful Meeting

Who’s in your portfolio? What steps did you take that secured a key meeting? Practical application discussion: Specific cases, questions, tools.

MAY 7, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

SOLICITATION (Part 1): Major Gift Proposals

How did you clearly communicate your organization’s needs? What allowed you to build a strong bond with the donor(s)? Practical application discussion: What goes in your successful proposal. How you are stewarding a major gift.

MAY 14, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

SOLICITATION (Part 2): Blended Asks and Securing Planned Gifts

Connecting a donor’s personal philanthropic goals with your organization’s long-term plan. Practical application discussion: What are the unique benefits of a blended ask? What does the outreach for planned gifts look like in 2021?

MAY 21, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

STEWARDSHIP: Completing (and Resetting!) the Cycle

What should be your next steps after a successful solicitation? Immediate and long-term outreach planning. Why strong stewardship may be the best way to cultivate the next gift. Practical application discussion: What techniques received the strongest donor response. Meaningful follow-up tips.