The TDS Difference

Taking Donors Seriously® is about principles that have stood the test of time - it's not about tactics or what's hot today. We'll help you get organized, develop a plan, and then spend the majority of your fundraising time and effort on the things that get you the best results. Then you can get all the funding you need to maximize your impact, and do it in a sustainable way.

Imagine being able to:

  •  Achieve your fundraising goal earlier in the year
  •  Have the resources you need to make a bigger impact
  •  Be more relational and less event-driven with your fundraising>
  •  Eliminate "donor fatigue" and stop wearing out volunteers
  •  Spend less time on fundraising and more on your bigger mission
  •  Spend more time thanking than asking
  •  Not feel like you're fundraising all by yourself
  •  Have donors who feel like partners instead of ATM machines

Topics Covered

  • An overview on giving
  •  Six key principles in fundraising
  •  Developing a case statement and messaging
  •  Building a volunteer advancement/development team
  •  Identifying, prioritizing, and managing your prospects
  •  Strategy and methods for planning fundraising
  •  Creating and executing your fundraising plan
  •  The Asking process: How to engage prospects and invite them to give

Key Outcomes

  • Gain time-tested principles and practical applications for cultivating major donors over a lifetime
  •  Complete a working Case Statement to present to donors
  •  Identify and engage a volunteer fundraising team
  •  Create a vetted and prioritized list of prospective donors
  •  Develop a strategy for getting in front of the right individuals in order to reach a funding goal
  •  Write a comprehensive year-long fundraising plan

Course Curriculum

  • 1


    • Introduction to TDSO and Syllabus

    • People are the Biggest Givers

    • Finding New Donors

    • The Six Key Principles of TDS

    • The Taking Donors Seriously Framework

    • Assignment

  • 2

    The Case for Support

    • The Case for Support

    • The Case: Theme and Need

    • Assignment - Theme and Need

    • The Case: Mission and Lifetime Value

    • The Case: Programs and Accomplishments

    • Assignment - Mission, Lifetime Value, Program and Accomplishments

    • The Case: Vision and Financial Need

    • The Case: Gift Plan and Profile of Leadership

    • Assignment - Vision, Budget, Gift Plan and Profile of Leadership

    • How to Use the Case for Support

    • Assignment - Presenting the Case for Support

    • Ten Elements of a Case for Support

    • Gift Plan Calculator/Template

    • Sample Case Statements

  • 3


    • Defining Leadership

    • Forming Your TDS Team

    • Recruiting People for your TDS Team

    • Sample TDS Team Job Description

    • Assignment

  • 4


    • Identifying Prospects

    • Prioritizing Prospects

    • Windshield2020 - Part 1

    • Windshield2020 - Part 2

    • Windshield2020 - Part 3

    • Assignment

    • Managing Prospects

    • Assignment

  • 5

    Strategy and Plan

    • A Few Do a Lot...

    • Donor Strategies

    • The Plan

    • Creating your Plan

    • Developing your Core Strategy

    • Annual Plan Template

    • Assignment

  • 6


    • The Art and Science of Fundraising

    • Asking, Part 1

    • Asking, Part 2

    • Three Ways to Ask for a Gift

    • Asking: A Case Study

    • Conclusion

    • Assignment