Academic leaders devote their professional careers to both deepening their subject matter expertise and honing their leadership and administrative skills. Now, with an increasing emphasis on fundraising in their job descriptions, leaders in higher education must learn the skills necessary for gaining financial support from donors. To address this need, academic leaders can put the researched-based findings of Advancement Resources, a global leader in professional development education in philanthropy, to work for them in learning the skills necessary for success in fundraising.

In Professional Fundraising for Deans and Academic Leaders, participants delve into donor motivation and proven process concepts in uncovering and connecting with the philanthropic passions of donors. Designed as a shared experience for both academic leaders and their development colleagues, this training demystifies the fundraising process by focusing on the essential roles that leadership plays in helping donors and potential donors make significant contributions to your institution’s mission, vision, and funding priorities.

At the heart of the training, participants will learn the elements for crafting a compelling Opportunity Story—a simple, yet effective means for the academic leader to convey their important work to others in a way that inspires support—and receive feedback from their academic and development peers as they create and practice sharing their own Opportunity Story using one of their real-life funding priorities.

Participants can experience this dynamic, highly interactive virtual training from the privacy of their office or the comfort of their own home. They will walk away with a toolkit filled with vital skills, processes, and tools that will pave the way to connecting and working with donors. Both the knowledge shared by our accomplished facilitators and the invigorating discussions with fellow participants will prime academic leaders for success as they partner with their development colleagues in achieving fundraising goals.


Upcoming Workshops

June 13–14, 2024 | Denver, CO

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Academic presidents
Academic executive leaders
Department chairs/heads
Senior faculty/researchers
Other academic leaders
Development Professionals (attend along with their academic leader) 



$1,150 USD per participant*
(Early bird rate of $1,050 USD.)

*The workshop investment is for one (1) academic leader to attend. To enhance the culture of philanthropy at participating organizations and cultivate strong working relationships, we encourage the academic leader to bring their development professionals at no additional cost.


Learning Objectives

  • Identify the primary motivators for meaningful philanthropy.
  • Craft and articulate their vision for their unit as a compelling philanthropic opportunity.
  • Participate effectively in donor meetings and in invitations for major philanthropic contributions.
  • Engage with donors in a way that helps them deepen their emotional commitment to the organization, or a specific project or program.
  • Leverage the roles of faculty, staff, and volunteers to build a robust culture of philanthropy.
  • Provide meaningful Return on Philanthropic Investment that deepen donor commitment and inspire continuing contributions.




During Professional Fundraising for Deans and Academic Leaders I could begin to see academic leaders gain an understanding of the whys of fundraising, and connect with the work of their development teams.

—Chief of Staff to the President & Director of University Communications


All of it – this was amazing!

—Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education


I think the thing that struck many of us was the articulation of the distinct roles of the academic leader versus the development professional in the donor journey/meetings. My colleague and I both commented this was a real challenge for us and we had never formally been briefed or advised on how to manage this.

—Development Professional


The balance of context, theory, and practice was great, and the opportunity to take part in the training along with my dean [was invaluable]. I’ve done many fundraising trainings in my career, but none alongside my academic partner.

—Director of Development