Giving Tree Associates believes the right facilitator can transform a group meeting experience. Over the past nine years we have facilitated hundreds of strategic planning sessions, skill building trainings and board retreats, so we know what works and what doesn’t.

Training and Meeting Facilitation Topics
Recent Presentations

Whether your organization is looking for a meeting facilitator, a solicitation trainer, or group skill building opportunities, retreats and workshops are some of the most important events on a board or professional team’s calendar. Yet many executive directors, directors of development and board members express dissatisfaction with their past experiences. Our focus is on providing our clients with the right fit for their meeting and starting from an outcome-based planning and strategy platform.

How Giving Tree can help with your Training and Meeting Facilitation:

  • Help you clarify the goals for your meeting so that they are meaningful, measurable and achievable
  • Develop an agenda that is tailored to your needs, instead of fitting you into another group’s template
  • Recommend facilitation modalities that produce the best results and involve maximum group input
  • Keep the group motivated, attentive, engaged and on task
  • Take care of note-taking, materials preparation, post retreat planning and a full set of recommendations regarding action items and next steps
Training and Meeting Facilitation Topics

Our Training and Meeting Facilitations are designed with your goals in mind. From determining motivations for giving to sharpening your fundraising skills, we’ll lead the right facilitation for your organization. See below for a sample of training and meeting facilitation topics.

Advanced Moves Management: Cultivation, Stewardship and Donor Recognition
For seasoned development professionals and lay leadership, this session will sharpen fundraising skills as participants take their stewardship program to the next level. We will learn how to get more out of each move by creating customized, individual cultivation and stewardship calendars for each major donor or prospect.

The Board Retreat/ The Role of the Board (and/or Development Committee) in Fundraising
During this session, we will together identify the three key areas of board engagement: strategic decision-making, fiscal oversight/fundraising, and relationship building. We will discuss the responsibilities that fall under each category and the type and size of board necessary to achieve these goals. Participants will answer questions about the talents, skills and characteristics of the ideal board/committee recruit. Participants will have the opportunity to update or complete committee role descriptions, recruitment strategies and work-plans. Last, participants will develop specific fundraising and relationship building goals to be shared with the group.

Building and Maintaining a Culture of Philanthropy
Who bears responsibility for improving your organization’s attitude toward philanthropy? And what does it really mean to build a culture of philanthropy anyway? Who must be involved in the effort? Is it measurable? During this session we will identify the key characteristics of a strong philanthropic culture and provide participants with concrete tools and resources to either get you started or take your organization to the next level. As we examine storytelling, the board’s role in development and the building blocks for success, we will explore the attitudes, understandings and behavior that define the difference between a culture of charity and a culture of philanthropy.

Developing Your Lay Leadership Team
Engaging volunteers to lead the way in our campaign efforts can be challenging, but your campaign will not maximize its success without a strong lay leadership team. We’ll cover what you need to know about identifying the characteristics of a powerful fundraising committee, training your leadership and empowering them to become strong relationship managers for the organization.

Moves Management 101
New to major gifts? Intended for development professionals and lay leadership who are taking a first step in developing a formal cultivation/stewardship program. Learn the strategic moves to make with donors and prospects to keep them close when you are not soliciting. Participants will learn how to decide who to involve in the process and how to track each move.

The Power of Story
Storytelling has often been said to be at the heart of any successful conversation about giving. How do you harness the power of storytelling to convey your philanthropic messages? In this interactive session, professionals will learn how to identify the characteristics of a powerful story, how to create his/her own story, and to elicit stories from donors and prospects. They will also learn how to use stories effectively in their cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship work.

The Professional (or Lay Leader) As Relationship Manager
Participants will explore their role as relationship builders for the organization. How do we build on the momentum of the last visit? What are the next steps we can take to manage relationships, use “moves management” techniques to increase giving, and promote the organization to the community at large? We will examine the giving continuum and focus on real day-to-day tactics we can use to continue to bring new and returning donors to the organization.

Prospect Identification and Research – The How and Why
How do organizations develop campaign prospects and what can we learn from prospect research about our current and future donors? This session will focus on strategic prospect list development and the options you have for donor research. Via specific research methods and best practices in assessing capacity, learn who your best prospects are and how to find out more about them.

Solicitation Training
During this session we will explore campaign messaging, motivations for giving, discomforts around solicitation, and changing our mindset for greater results. We will then move on to the mechanics of the ask, including prospect identification, appointment making, asking for the gift, the value of face-to-face solicitation, common put-offs and follow-up to the meeting. We will conclude with role-plays and feedback.

The Vision: Donor Centric Campaign
What truly motivates an annual, capital or endowed major gift? Is it about the case for giving? The relationship with the solicitor? Or donor recognition? Staff and leadership will explore motivations for giving and answer questions about why stakeholders choose to invest at a major gift level. Participants will also learn more about thinking and talking about campaign from the donor’s perspective.

What Do I Need For The Meeting? Developing and Using Solicitation Materials
What should I have in my “toolbox” for cultivation and solicitation meetings? What do I need to know about the donor to bring the right information to the ask? Together we will examine the elements of successful campaign marketing collateral and identify the key questions to be answered in pre-solicitation prep work.

Recent Presentations

Giving Tree Associates has partnered with numerous nonprofit organizations to lead their training and meeting facilitations.

  • February 2017: Camp Judaea – Board Solicitation Training
  • February 2017: Lake County Haven – Board training; Capital Campaign Committee Solicitation Training
  • February 2017: Prizmah National Day School Conference – Building a Highly Effective Board
  • February 2017: Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago JLearn Program – The Essence of Time Management
  • January 2017: Ottawa Jewish Community School – Recruiting, Retaining and Engaging the Day School Board
  • December 2016: Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE-LA) in Los Angeles – Mastering Cultivation and Stewardship and Campaign Messaging for Your Target Markets (session for development directors)
  • December 2016: Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas – The Role of the Board in Campaign
  • November 2016: Prizmah: Governance and Fundraising Academy – Building your Annual Campaign Plan; Making the most of Challenge and Matching Gifts
  • November 2016: Seattle Jewish Day School – The Role of the Board in Campaign
    November 2016: Richmond Jewish Day School – The Role of the Board in Campaign
  • November 2016: National Young Leadership Cabinet – Strategic Planning
  • November 2016: Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago JLearn Program – The Essence of Time Management
  • November 2016: The Epstein School – The Role of the Day School Board
  • November 2016: Association of Independent Jewish Camps – Stewardship
  • September 2016: B’nai Shalom Day School – Role of the Board in Development
  • September 2016: Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford – Solicitor Preparation; Training and Staff Development
  • August 2016: Torah Academy of Bergen County – Executive Committee Training; The Role of the Board
  • August 2016: Gindi Maimonides Academy – Board Solicitation Training
  • August 2016: Ezra Academy – Board Retreat
  • July 2016: Temple Beth-El – Endowment Solicitation Training
  • July 2016: Jewish Federation of North America – National Young Leadership Professionals Retreat
  • May 2016: JPRO – Developing Your Lay Team: The Role of the Board & Fundraising Committee in Capacity Building
  • May 2016: National ELI – If I Only Had the Time: Re-Thinking the Head of School’s Role in Development; The Endowment Campaign: Managing Priorities
  • April 2016: Temple Beth-El – Endowment Solicitation Training
  • April 2016: Highland Park Community Foundation – Board Facilitation
  • March 2016: Israel Cancer Research Fund – The Power of Your Story; SWOT Analysis; The Role of the Lay Leader; Maximizing Your Event Revenue
  • February 2016: Gindi Maimonides Academy – The Role of the Day School Board Member
  • February 2016: PEJE Governance & Fundraising Academy – Donor Cultivation
  • January 2016: Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning – Board Training – The Power of Your Story
  • January 2016: The Frisch School – Role of the Board
  • December 2015: Maimonides School Boston – Board Solicitation Training
  • December 2015: Upstart Chicago – Role of the Board, Prospecting & Cultivation
  • October 2015: JUF Women’s Board – Presentation
  • October 2015: Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chicago Conference – Building Your Fundraising Committee
  • September 2015: Hebrew Academy of Montreal – Board Solicitation Training
  • August 2015: Akiva School Montreal – Solicitation Training
  • August 2015: JOIN for Justice – Board Retreat
  • August 2015: San Diego Jewish Academy
  • July 2015: URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute – Board Retreat Training – The Role of the Board in Fundraising
  • July 2015: Maimonides School Boston – Board Retreat Training – The Role of the Day School Board
  • July 2015: PEJE Governance and Fundraising Academy – How to Build an Annual Campaign Plan; Cultivation; Alumni and Grandparent Giving
  • June 2015: Vancouver Jewish Federation – Solicitation Training; Building a Culture of Philanthropy for the Professional Team
  • June 2015: Ezra Academy – Board Meeting Facilitation – The Role of the Day School Board
  • June 2015: Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey – Create a Jewish Legacy –  Capital and Endowment Campaigns: Activating the Integrated Campaign Environment
  • June 2015: Reading in Motion – Full Day Board Retreat
  • May 2015: PEJE National Endowment and Legacy Institute (ELI) – Building a Culture of Philanthropy; Positioning Your School for Leadership Giving; Rethinking the Head of School’s Role in Development
  • March 2015: National Jewish Day School Conference – Building and Maintaining a Culture of Philanthropy
  • February & March 2015: The Jackson Chance Foundation – Prospect Identification and Storytelling
  • January 2015: No Shame on U – Board Retreat
  • December 2014: Family First Center of Lake County – Solicitation Training
  • November 2014:  Women in Development North – The Role of The Board in Fundraising
  • November 2014: The Hillels of Illinois – Building a Culture of Philanthropy
  • October 2014: Jewish New Teacher Project – Relationship Based Fundraising
  • October 2014: Share Our Spare – Prospect Identification & Research
  • August 2014: Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School – The Role of the Board and Development Committee in Fundraising
  • August 2014: Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School – Campaign Leadership Training
  • July 2014: PEJE National Summer Development Conference – The Strategic Role of Events and Maximizing Their Potential
  • June 2014: Reading in Motion – Board Retreat
  • May 2014: PEJE National Endowment Legacy Institute – Donor Centric Campaign
  • April 2014: Israel Cancer Research Fund Chicago – Individual Goal Setting
  • April 2014: Purple Asparagus – Strategic Planning Retreat
  • November 2013: Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City – Campaign Leadership/ Solicitation Training