Training details

calendar_today Tuesday, December 7, 2021

access_time Eastern: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Central: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mountain: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Pacific: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

place Online

attach_money $99

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Storytelling is one of the most important tools in an individual giving fundraiser’s toolkit. However, for as much time as fundraisers spend thinking about what stories to tell their donor community, they often don’t pay the same attention to how they’re telling it.

Yet focusing on the details of writing—tone, vocabulary, and narrative structure—is enormously important, for even the best, most inspiring stories can get lost in a poorly written piece. Furthermore, best practices in writing for development vary by channel and intent. There are nuances to writing a piece that arrives via snail mail versus email, as well as differences in how to approach a cultivation piece versus a solicitation.

Learning to write for individual giving takes intention and practice. In this hands-on virtual workshop, you’ll learn how to take your storytelling skills to the next level by thinking like a true copywriter.

In the first half of this workshop, you’ll be introduced to the latest insights from the field of philanthropic psychology, which argues that fundraising copywriting is a unique mix of storytelling and writing directly to the donor’s values and identity. You’ll also learn how to strategically edit your writing and formatting based on the channel and intent of your content. In the second half, you will have the opportunity to rethink, revise, and peer review a piece of writing based on your new skills.

Preparation: We encourage each participant to prepare for class by selecting an existing or draft direct mail letter, solicitation email, or stewardship communication for revision. The workshop will include opportunities to work on the draft and share with peers for feedback.

About the Presenters:  Thread Strategies

The Thread team consists of experts in various fields of fundraising who have worked in development departments both large and small. We’ve raised revenue in well-resourced environments where everything executes according to industry best practices, as well as shops that had to be scrappy and inventive to secure every dollar. We love our work because it affords us the opportunity to share our knowledge and know-how with organizations that are directly making our communities stronger and more equitable places to live.


Qualifies for
3 CFRE point(s)

Additional information

With the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we know it’s a challenging time for everyone. To support your work and ensure our trainings are more accessible during this difficult time, we’re offering this program at an early-bird price of $49—half of the standard cost. The price increases to $99 on November 30, 2021.

How our virtual workshops work:

Within one business day of your registration, you will be enrolled in this course and receive an email from our eLearning platform, Bridge. This email will have instructions on how to create your own online account in Bridge as well as a link to access your course.

In Bridge, you will be introduced to the course and instructor and be provided with a link to the live session, which will be held in Zoom on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 1:00–4:00 pm ET/10:00 am–1:00 pm PT.

We recommend using Firefox as your browser. Visit Bridge for more information on accessing courses, navigating through a course, and viewing its technical requirements. You can learn more about Zoom by accessing this page. You will have access to the course for 90 days after enrollment. The course fee entitles purchaser to one computer log-in which cannot be shared. In addition, no refunds, transfers, or credits will be issued.

Unable to attend the live session? While we strongly encourage you to attend the highly-interactive live sessions, we will record the live meetings and circulate the recording to all course participants within 24 hours of the meetings.

By enrolling in this training, you agree to grant Candid permission to document this session with photography, film, and/or video. Material captured may be used in future publications, brochures, or other printed materials used to promote Candid. Please inform the instructor(s) if you do not agree to these conditions.


  • Understand how to integrate storytelling, writing to the donor’s values and identity, and fundraising into one piece of writing.
  • Adjust your writing and formatting choices based on channel and intent.
  • Think strategically about your narrative structure and information-sizing.
  • Employ the key signatures of writing for individual giving.
  • Revise and improve a piece of individual giving copywriting.

Intended audience

  • Advanced
  • Fundraising & development staff
  • Marketing, communications, external affairs


Holly Richardson Director, Thread Strategies
Tracy Shaw (she/her) Principal, Thread Strategies
Loree Lipstein (she/her) Founder and Principal, Thread Strategies