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Curriculum Session 4

Saturday, February 2 - 9:45-10:45 a.m.

Crystal Clear Communications Through Story

Casey Fuerst

A crystal clear message — website, print, email, and in-person donor calls — is absolutely critical to getting what you are asking for. When you are too vague or the information you share is cluttered and hard to understand, your audience is going to check out. You must quickly and clearly communicate who you are, what problem you solve for them, and easy-to-understand steps to get to the solution. This workshop will give you the StoryBrand formula for building your communications and walk you through easy steps to building your elevator speech. You’ll walk away with immediate, easy-to-implement tools to improve your materials and presentations. Whether you are new to your job or a high-level executive, what you learn here WILL help you improve — your impact, your bottom line, and your clarity.


Reference: Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller

Use Capital Campaign Strategies to SPARK Annual Giving

Andrea Kihlstedt

In this session, you will learn five ways to increase your annual giving by applying essential capital campaign practices. Topics will include ways to: 

  • Use campaign tools to structure your program

  • Structure the case for maximum results

  • Involve volunteers in soliciting lead gifts

  • Establish a challenge fund to spark giving

  • Determine a board giving goal


You’ll leave the session with new ideas you can use to breathe new life into your annual fundraising.

Planning, Positioning, and Partnerships

Dan Lee and Kaarin Austin

Join Dan Lee and Kaarin Austin from Pacific Lutheran University as they share four case studies that suggest new approaches you can apply this year to grow donor engagement; blur the boundaries between major and planned gifts; and shorten the time from discovery to cultivation and solicitation.

Planned Giving Motivation and Execution… and Steps to Implement Today

Susan Stellmacher

We are in an intergenerational transfer of wealth representing trillions of dollars. Yet, planned giving is still new in the marketplace of fundraising for many organizations. Now is the time for you to be proactive instead of reactive! 


Evaluating the motivation and execution of planned giving provides valuable insight that is extremely important and relevant. Rooted in research and experience, there are steps you can take to create strategy and yield monetary results in planned giving for your organization. You will leave being better equipped to reap the greatest possible rewards for your planned giving program.

Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to IGNITE Your Strategy

Matt Hewitt

Many organizations aspire to be data-driven in their approach to fundraising. However, most of the time this aspiration comes far too late in the process, usually after the strategy has been solidified. In this session we will explore how to flip this process around and use data to inspire and IGNITE your strategy.

After this session, you will be:

  1. Shocked (or maybe not) how important data is to your planning process

  2. Prepared to take the next steps to add some data-driven approaches to your organization

  3. Able to understand the importance of using data to inform your strategy

The High Performing Team: Building, Assessing, and Engaging an Ideal Team

Heather Eddy

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Likely a group of colleagues, employees, board, and/or leadership is changing the world, and does so as a team. It takes intentionality for a team to become and remain high performing. Yet many teams are assembled quickly, hiring is made for a specific focus, and the entire balance of the team is often an afterthought. Increasingly, we hear the words like “trust” and “loyalty” as reasons why people leave a position (voluntarily or not). From the outside, we see trust and loyalty as key factors in a team’s overall success. This session will look at all the facets of a high performing team … how to hire, how to inspire, how to evaluate, and how to recalibrate.  Whether you are a long-time, new, or want-to-be manager, you will learn insights on building your teams and ensuring they are passionate, vibrant, and accountable.

Exploring Faith With Secular Students and Worship Guests: Where do We Begin?

Brent Dahlseng

How do we teach and preach in a culture that is quickly becoming secular?  In this workshop we will work collaboratively to share ideas and experiences as we work to think through processes so that: This Changes Everything.  Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences so we can learn together.

HR 102

Erika Heer

What do you do when you find yourself with an employee who might not be the right fit anymore, has performance issues, or maybe attendance issues? During this presentation, we take you through the steps of performance reviews, performance improvement plans, progressive discipline, and termination.

Continuing Education Planning for You and Your Staff

Debbie Tonne

Investing in ourselves and our staff can be easy to overlook as we go through the routines of the days and years. However, professional development is not just about learning, it is also about inspiration and passion. The types of experiences we invest in for ourselves, and the types of experiences we provide for our teaching staff can make the difference between having a dull, out-of-date program and having a vibrant, unique program.

SPONSORED SESSION: Development 101: Core Essentials of Successful Development

Tim Kurth

What are the three key components of good development? How do you establish a robust annual calendar of development activity? You can reliably set and track daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. Learn how to establish solid lead measures that will result in successfully reaching your lag measures. Know what you’re doing and know how to communicate what you’re doing to your Executive Director, board, and staff. Discover the science behind the art of development.

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