Fundraising Training, Nonprofit Leadership Seminars, & Board Retreats

People are always engaged in Marc Pitman's fundraising & leadership trainings  Photo by Katie Davenport

"Marc is just plain inspiring. He makes everything about asking so easy and filled with joy. You can see the audience sit up straighter and grow in confidence as he speaks."

Tom Ahern, Donor Communications Expert
Ahern Communications, Ink
Providence, RI

Nonprofits, associations, and conferences around the world invite Marc to come speak in issues of personal and organizational leadership, marketing, time management, personalities, and fundraising. Since he firmly believes fundraising is all about leadership, just about the only think Marc loves more than asking for money is training board members and "normal" people to ask!

Subscribe to the Ask Without Fear! newsletter and receive fundraising training right in your in-box!

As an added bonus, you'll receive "21 Ways for Board Members to Engage in Fundraising" e-book for free!

Thank you so much for speaking at our retreat last week. You were a hit! I am really grateful that you made me look so good. 😉

Training Organizer

Sample Trainings

Marc is always willing to work with a team's goals. But we know it can be helpful to see a list of trainings. So we've here are some of the sessions he's given. Put all together, he calls this "The Nonprofit Fundraising Institute."

Ask Without Fear!

Asking for money is as scary for people as death and public speaking. But it doesn't have to be! Learn a simple "R.E.A.L." method that takes much of the fear out of the process. This workshop is perfect for nonprofit employees and volunteers and will give you proven techniques to improve your fundraising skills

You'll learn:

  • a 4-part system to structure your solicitation
  • actual phrases to use during your solicitations
  • and a powerful way to overcome objections, even before they happen!

In the full day training, you'll also learn:

  • the 7 most common mistakes nonprofits make in asking for money
  • a simple 3-step tool to help you articulate your message

"Marc A. Pitman’s Ask Without Fear training is the most inspiring ask-training on the market. This workshop opens up the door for tremendous resource gain for those that attend. Marc provides invaluable advice, great stories, tools and overall stellar experience in addition to the fun and energy!"

Becky Taylor, Development Coordinator
Infant Crisis Services
Oklahoma City, OK


The Power of We: Harne​ssing the science of stories to break down silos and win as a team

It is natural that as a nonprofit grows the more specialized the people, processes, and tools become. And while it’s true that “good fences make good neighbors,” sometimes we become so focused - so task oriented - that “silos” begin to divide us. Unity wanes, efficiency suffers, and we begin to lose touch with something more important: the why. But that’s what we love about stories. The stories we tell and hear help answer the “why?” question and they connect us back to the team and critical importance of the part we each play. In this session, Marc shares:

  • the surprising emerging science about stories
  • the way storytelling can be harnessed internally to break down silos
  • how storytelling can enhance fundraising, even by volunteers and board members
  • and how to hardwire collecting stories into regular rhythms

You'll leave this session inspired and reinvigorated with a practical set of tools to immediately apply across your organization.

Marc brought great energy and information to our chapter’s annual, daylong February Focus on Fundraising program. We had the highest attendance the event had seen in many years. I am still hearing positive feedback from attendees.

Jennifer J.E. Wampler, MBA, CFRE
President, AFP Mid-America Chapter, Kansas City
Sr. Director of Development, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance | UMKC Foundation

Telling Your Nonprofit's Story

We are natural born storytellers. But all too often, we in the nonprofit world aren't good at telling our story. This session will equip you and your board members to be master nonprofit storytellers and help you cast your vision and mission in ways people will remember!

You'll learn:

  • the basic components of all compelling stories
  • how a trip to the supermarket can help you make your story engaging
  • what an "elevator pitch" is and why it can quickly become stale, and
  • a really easy way to keep all your communications fresh and "on story."

For more information, go to: Who's Telling Your Story?

Marc A. Pitman doing fundraising training for an AFP chapter meeting"Marc is a gifted presenter. He has a knack of speaking to a group but making each person in the group feel as if he were talking directly to them. He thinks on his feet and incorporates what he's learned about people in the group into his presentation in a constructive way. Thoroughly enjoyed his presentation."
Christina Turner, Taranaki Regional Coordinator
Computers in Homes
Hawera, New Zealand

Asking Without Fear! II: How to Handle Objections

You've asked a prospective donor for money but they don't respond with a "yes" or a "no." What do you do? This workshop will help you create strategies to handle objections before you meet with your prospect and when you are face-to-face with them.

You'll learn:

  • 5 things to like about objections
  • 4 times to handle objections
  • practical phrases to use when you're talking with the prospect

Fundraising 101

Raising money for nonprofits isn't rocket science but it's not all common sense either. This seminar geared for nonprofit board members and others new to nonprofit fundraising will share some easy-to-apply principles based on decades of fundraising excellence. This is helpful both for people new to the field, but experienced pros find this session full of useful reminders.

You'll learn:

  • the only 3 types of communication you'll need
  • how many times to say "thank you" between solicitations
  • the difference between annual funds, capital campaigns, and endowments
  • a simple model for your setting up a fundraising effort

Fundraising 101 is now an online course you can have each of your board members take. Learn more at

Capital Campaigns for Beginners

Every nonprofit seems to be conducting a capital campaign. Is this the best use of you organizations time and resources? Come to learn the basic, easy-to-understand overview of the process of preparing for and conducting a capital campaign.

You'll learn:

  • the 3-parts of a campaign
  • the typical flow of a campaign from feasibility study to public celebration
  • a simple tool to help you set your campaign goal
  • 4 different capital campaign models
  • and tips on hiring outside counsel

Creating Donor Evangelists

Do you know how to move your donors from check writers to raving fans--people that talk about your organization everywhere they go? This seminar explores simple, inexpensive techniques you can use to build a community of "evangelists" for your cause.

Some of the things you'll learn include:

  • 4 practical ways to build buzz,
  • 7 ways to build to create community within your donor base
  • how knowing about Napster can help your nonprofit,

For a more complete list of all you'll learn, go to the Creating Donor Evangelists page.

Fundraising in the Bible

Many faith-based organizations are surprised to learn that there are examples of fundraising in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures. Learning those stories frees them up to confidently seek full funding for their cause! In this seminar, you'll learn:

  • How biblical heroes like Moses, David, Hezekiah, Nehemiah, and Paul raise funds
  • What Jesus meant by not letting your left hand know what your right hand was doing
  • Why it's biblical to seek funding from any source and to have both clergy and lay people do the asking!

Boards 101

Whether you work for a nonprofit or you're on the board, chances are you haven't been trained in the appropriate roles of the board. Come and learn the roles a board is supposed to play and ways to increase effective communication with the board and the nonprofit staff. There's even a bit on nonprofit storytelling! This seminar is great for both board members and employees of nonprofits.

You'll learn:

  • the 2 major jobs of the board
  • tips to help board meetings be more productive
  • 4 major mistakes board members make
  • simple tools to help the board chair communicate with the executive director

Keeping the Plates Spinning: Time Management & Goal Setting in a Small Office

How do you balance interruptions and planning? How do you meet your departmental goals when the priorities change daily or hourly? How do you keep all the plates spinning and determine which plates are truly important? When schedules are tight, every unexpected occurrence impacts your entire day. No matter how small the interruption, the ripple effects may be felt throughout your organization! You'll walk away from this session with incredibly practical tools you can use immediately to help you regain a measure of sanity in your work day. Big offices find this helpful too!

You'll learn:

  • 6 powerful tools to help tame the task-list tiger
  • how minding your P's and Q's can be crucial to getting your important things done
  • 4 steps to identifying which goals give you the most return on your investment of time
  • and practical ways to "manage up" so that your supervisor or board understands what you do


Coordinating Your Communications: Reinforcing Your Image to Raise More Money

So often our nonprofits have publications "because everyone else does" without evaluating their effectiveness. This seminar will help you take a fresh assessment of your communications and give you practical tools to more effectively share your message.

You'll learn:

  • 10 easy steps to make your e-mail more effective
  • a simple 3-step process to coordinating all of your organization's communications
  • best practices for direct mail, websites, and print publications

"Afraid of asking for money? Marc has the cure."
- Joanne Fritz,

Pictures of fundraising coach Marc A. Pitman speaking to board members and nonprofit leaders

Google+ for Nonprofits

Google now has its own social media platform--Google+. This one is going to be around a lot longer than their earlier attempts with Buzz and Wave and it has tremendous potential for nonprofits!

You'll learn:

  • Why you want to have a Google+ page--and have your staff have Google+ profiles too
  • How to use Google's features to make yourself easy to find
  • How to use Hangouts to connect with supporters and even your board
  • Why Google+ can be helpful even if all your donors aren't there yet!

Successful Fundraising in a Recession

Recessions can be one of the toughest times to raise money for nonprofits. But billions of dollars will still be given away this year. Will they be giving to yours?

In both the "Fundraising in a Recession" keynote speech and the full-day seminar, you'll learn:

  • How the recessions affect our thinking
  • What makes this recession different from others
  • What the NBA can teach us to help overcome that paralysis
  • Effective use of Google
  • How to ask for money in a way that makes it easier for donors to say "Yes"

Read more and see video clips of happy attendees at: Successful Fundraising in a Recession

FaceTwitLink? TwitteredIn? TheLinkedBook?: An introduction to social media for fundraising

You're hearing a lot about Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And your board is telling you people are raising serious money with social media. But what is "social media"? Where did it come from? And can you really raise money with it? This session will show you what the tools are, where they came from, and how to use them to fund your cause.

Some of the things you'll learn include:

  • Why your website is the start of all your social media plans
  • 3 real-life uses of Twitter and Facebook that have raised tens of thousands of dollars in a few days
  • How to use Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and YouTube for your cause
  • Why building your email list may be the most important part of your social media outreach

Fundraising on the Web: it's more than just a "birthday wish"

Online fundraising grabs the attention of board members and development staff. And for good reason, giving online is the fastest growth area in philanthropy. The way people talk about it, raising money on the web is as easy as having supporters do the "birthday wish" thing on Facebook. But successful online fundraising isn't that easy. Fundraising on the Web gives you the strategy to make your online fundraising successful.

You'll learn

  • the 5 best ways to raise less money online
  • how incredibly successful online initiatives like Twestival and Tweetsgiving raised amazing amounts of money on the web
  • and the steps you'll need to take to see your online fundraising bring in the money!

Looking for online training?

Are you looking for online training? Check out: