Mastering “The Ask”: Nonprofit Fundraising Strategy & Prep (Virtual)

Laurel Westmoreland

  • Session 1
    September 2, 2020
    8:30 am - 12:30 pm EST
  • Session 2
    September 9, 2020
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Fundraising all comes down to asking! Does the idea of asking intimidate you? The most misunderstood step in the fundraising process, “the ask” is often what holds back an effective fundraiser from fulfilling their potential.

As a result of this two-part program you will learn to:

  • Understand the elements of making a face to face fundraising call
  • Create a solicitation strategy
  • Make the appointment
  • Prepare for and make the call
  • Plan for the follow-up
  • Define a successful solicitation and learn from every ask, whether or not you get the gift

The first session is an exploration of best practices and practical tips on making “the ask.” We will examine the most common obstacles and how you can overcome them, and identify how to best equip yourself for successful solicitations. You will learn how to prepare in order to have better results at every donor meeting.

The second session is a hands-on practice session based on what you learned in session one. In addition to your own hands-on experience with the ask, this session teaches you how to conduct role play exercises in your own organization with volunteers, staff and board members who participate in solicitations.

Who should attend:  Anyone who is asking for support for a nonprofit organization: fundraising staff, CEOs, Executive Directors, Board Members, and volunteers.


Join us for this program as Sara Leonard, MBA, CFRE helps you increase confidence and comfort levels in making “the ask.”  Sara is a solutions-oriented advancement professional with over 25 years’ experience in development and administration in the nonprofit field.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tampa and an MBA from the University of South Florida.  She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and has been named as a Master Trainer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

She has worked in the nonprofit sector raising funds for healthcare, educational and cultural organizations. She managed development operations including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, managing annual giving, major gift cultivation and solicitation, training and management of staff, board and volunteers, foundation and corporate support, sponsorships, annual funds, special events and in-kind support. She is widely considered an expert in crisis fundraising and has guided organizations through capital campaigns – both large and small.

The founding director of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Fund Development Academy, Sara launched the Sara Leonard Group in April 2015 to provide consulting, coaching and training to fundraisers, CEO’s and nonprofit board members. She continues to serve as an instructor for the Fund Development Academy.

Sara serves on the board of directors of the Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and New Tampa Young Life.  She is a former board member of the AFP Florida Caucus.  She lives in Tampa with her husband and two children.

Virtual-September 2, 2020  8:30a -12:30p  and September 9, 2020  2:00-4:00pm
Only $105.00 (when logged in) thanks to the support of our partners and funders

Please note that registration will close at 11:55 pm on August 31, 2020.

CFRE Continuing Education Points
Full participation in this program is applicable for 6.0 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

If you need special accommodations to participate in any of our classes or events, please contact us at 813-287-8779.

Multiple Registrant Discount
Receive 10% off each registration after the first (cannot be combined with any other discounts).

NLC/Children’s Board of Hillsborough County No-Show Policy – effective July 1, 2018
The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County (CBHC) has asked NLC to reframe our no-show policy for their providers.

Effective July 1, 2018 CBHC-funded organizations using codes to claim CBHC-funded seats at NLC trainings or events will be responsible for payment of registration and processing fees in the event of a no-show. Please read the full no-show policy here.

Visit the Registration & Payment Policies page for answers to many questions regarding payment, attendance, substitutions, cancellation and refunds.

There may be photographing of the training for use in our marketing materials. If you do not wish to be captured on film, please alert staff when you check in for class. 

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United States


Zoom details will be provided to registrants about one week prior to the training date.