2019 Forum on Strategic Fundraising: Building Generosity

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Snack Time Session: Help that Puppy Grow! What Dogs Can Teach Us About Donor Cultivation

Speaker: Cole Eckerman, Bellevue Arts Museum

Time: Thursday, June 6 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.

Presentation Description:

How long should you wait before you reaching out to a donor and cultivating a relationship? What is the opportunity cost of not acting soon enough? In this session, you will hear the story of the 150-pound English Mastiff Lagertha to learn how the largest pup in the litter ended up being the runt, and see what parallels exist between raising (wo)man’s best friend and your relationship with your best donor.

You will learn how to identify the warning signs of a donor relationship headed for the danger zone, tips on using data analytics to identify potential major donors, easy-to-use formulas for thank you notes, and the best practices of donor cultivation. There will also be dog puns. Lots and lots of dog puns.

Key Take-Aways: A handout with:

  • The formula with the best thank you notes
  • The warning signs of a donor relationship in trouble
  • A picture of a dog

Shop Size: Suitable for any size shop

Expertise Level: Suitable for all levels

About the Speaker


Cole Eckerman has been a fundraiser for 14 years. She moved to Seattle in 2006 to work on the election and stayed for the weather. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bay Path College with a Master’s in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy, and received her BA from The Evergreen State College. Cole lives in Madison Valley with her husband Nathan, son Edward, and their two dogs, Rue the chihuahua and Lagertha the English Mastiff.



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Interpreter services are available upon request during registration.