Book Linda to Speak to Your Group

Are you responsible for providing quality training programs for your AFP Chapter, your statewide association, your national organization or your own agency? Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE offers a wide variety of workshops and webinars that can be tailored to your group.                               


Fees are based length of the program. Travel expenses will be billed at actual cost. Please contact me at to schedule a program or to see full descriptions of these topics.  I am also available to do books signings at live presentations.

If you don’t find the topic you would like to schedule, contact me and I will develop a program that meets your needs.

I am available to do keynote presentation, half day workshops, 90-minute talks, and webinars.

Topics include:

1. Developing Your Case for Support

Whether your organization is embarking on a capital campaign, preparing grant proposals or developing your annual fund materials, the Case for Support is the first critical element in your fundraising program. In this interactive workshop, we will learn the importance of the case and how it is used, list the key elements in a case for support, evaluate case statements and prepare an outline for your case statement.

2. Get Rid of Your Nominating Committee

Most boards can benefit by rethinking the way they recruit board members. In this session, we will discuss why nominating committees usually don’t work and an alternative that can assure a better way to identify, cultivate, recruit and retain board members that are committed to the mission of the organization, understand their role as a board members and are willing to help the organization meet its goals, especially in the area of fundraising.

3. The New Donor

The three keys words in fundraising are—Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. In this session, we will discuss why people give or don’t give to nonprofit organizations and why they stop giving! We will talk about the new donors—what to expect from them, what they’re looking for, and how to approach them. We will share methods for identifying the donors who have an interest in your organization and how to build lasting relationship with them that will lead to an ultimate gift.

4. Building a Development Committee

One of the best ways to assure that your organization’s development plan will be implemented is to have an effective Development Committee. This committee, when successful, can lead and inspire the Board to raise money they never dreamed possible. This session will discuss who should serve on the Development Committee, what the committee’s role is, and how to recruit the right people to serve on the Development Committee.

5. Is It Time for a Development Audit?

How does your development program measure up to accepted standards? Are you doing as well as your competition? Is your development program growing or is it stagnant? Does your organization have a philanthropic culture?  What tools can help you assess your performance? How do you find the time to “take stock” of your program?

6. The Road Less Traveled: The Pathway to the Big Gift

Individual giving accounts for approximately 85% of all charitable contributions in the United States. How can your nonprofit follow the path that will lead to landing the big gifts? Major gifts are defined differently by each organization, but every organization needs to know the 95/5 Rule and how to implement it to assure a diverse, stable funding stream. In this class we will discuss ways to identify, cultivate, and solicit major donors. The role of the board, staff, and volunteers in this process will be discussed.

7. Strategic Planning Essentials

Every organization needs to plan, but sometimes implementing the plan is a challenge. In this session we will discuss the steps to developing a workable strategic plan and how to assure that the right people are involved in the planning process. We will talk about the process and the product; and discuss ways to avoid “Analysis Paralysis,” assuring that your plan is a living breathing, vital part of your organization's life.

8. Involving Volunteers in Your Development Program

Are you effectively using volunteers in all aspects of your development program? Learn the various roles volunteers can play that will increase the results of your fundraising efforts.  We will discuss the role of staff, board, and volunteers in the development program, where to find good board members and volunteers, how to recruit them, and how to keep them involved and energized by offering them orientation, support, education, and recognition.


9. Raising More Money from Your Local Business Community

Is business philanthropy dead or dying? If so, how can we resurrect it? Does it even exist? If your organization has relied on corporate support in the past or is thinking about how to best approach businesses in a new way this session will be one you don’t want to miss.  Based on research for my book, this session will discuss the challenges facing businesses and how nonprofits can develop win-win situations to encourage business philanthropy.   We will discuss how to approach business leaders, how to motivate them to become involved in your organization, and how to develop a business appeal.


10. Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign?

 In this session we will look at the organization’s internal and external readiness to conduct a campaign. We will discuss the infrastructure needed to run a successful campaign—board involvement, staffing, technology, and the case for support. Participants will evaluate their readiness to conduct a campaign and critique campaign case statements. We will also discuss the planning/feasibility study—do you need one, what you should expect from the study, and what to do if the study says you are not ready for a campaign.


11. Using the Capital Campaign Feasibility/Planning Study to Strengthen Your Organization

Not everyone who has been through a feasibility/planning study is clear on how valuable and effective it was.  This session will help participants understand if their organization is sufficiently prepared for a major campaign. This session looks beyond the basic questions of goal setting, strength of leadership, and volume and quality of volunteer solicitors available and helps participants make use of this unique opportunity to address major organizational issues that can help them going forward, whether or not they proceed with a capital campaign.


12. Raising Money for Your Organization (Almost Painlessly)

An in-person workshop for board and staff of nonprofits that need to increase their fundraising results. Does your organization need to increase its fundraising results? Is your board unaware of, uninterested in, or not sure how to implement their fundraising role? This workshop if for board members and staff of nonprofit organizations to come together and work as a group on how to improve their fundraising results.


13. The Development Plan—The Foundation of Success

Is your organization stuck in the special event mode? Does your board refuse to accept their fundraising responsibility? Does the rest of your organization’s staff wonder what the development office actually does all day? Is your organization dependent on grants as its sole source of funding? Have you wondered why your development plans do not get implemented? If so, this workshop is for you. In this session, we will discuss the reasons a development plan can help assure success in your fundraising efforts; how to involve your organization's leadership, both staff and volunteers, in the process; how to assure that the plan will be implemented; and how to evaluate success. Participants will leave with a preliminary development plan for their organization.

14. What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising…..And How You Can Fix It?

This workshop, based on the book by Ellen Bristol and Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE will help you look at how your fundraising efforts are really going. Participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to complete the Leaky Bucket assessment online prior to the workshop. Results for organizations nationally and results for workshop participates in particular, will be reviewed during the workshop. Participants will then be given some ideas on how to fix their fundraising and stops the “leaks” in their own “buckets.”

15. Fundraise Like a GENIUS

Einstein's definition of Genius: “One percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” This workshop will cover keeping yourself inspired to do the fantastically important work of fundraising for your nonprofit and practical tips to help you keep perspiration at a minimum.  Inspiration—how to keep yourself going in fundraising, why your work is important, and how to keep yourself inspired and motivated. Perspiration—setting your organization up for success: Infrastructure, the role of board, staff and volunteers in fundraising, setting up a fundraising calendar, prioritizing fundraising tasks, using metrics to evaluate success.

16. Get Rid of the “Willie Sutton Theory” of Business Fundraising

Fundraisers: Do You Subscribe to the Willie Sutton Theory of Fundraising? Okay, many of you way too young to know who Willie Sutton is. In fact, even an old geezer like me was born after he was already serving a life sentence in the Eastern Penitentiary. But, as a former banker, I knew of his reputation. You’ll hear more about Willie and how his philosophy pervaded the fundraising world. And, more importantly, how to get rid of it! Your instructor, Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE, had more than thirty years’ experience as a nonprofit staff member, consultant, and spent eleven years in the business world, so she’s going to give you her secrets for raising money from the business community. She’s helped organizations turn this philosophy around and “go straight,” something Willie never did.

17. Building a Fundraising Board

Does your board refuse to accept their fundraising responsibility? Are they willing but not educated/trained in fundraising? Does the board lack enthusiasm for fundraising? Have you wondered if it is time for an extreme makeover of your board? If so, this class is for you. In this session, we will discuss the role the board plays on the development team; how to involve them in the fundraising process; how to assure that they will enthusiastically get involved with the fundraising efforts of your organization.


18. Organizing Your Capital Campaign

Your study has been completed; everything is a go; now, how do you assure a successful campaign? It has been said that before the campaign can be successful, it must succeed on paper.  In this session we will discuss the key elements of the campaign plan: timeline, budget, and the campaign cabinet. The three critical elements of a successful campaign will be highlighted.


19. Fundraising as a Profession

Development is one of the highest turnover jobs in the nonprofit world. Why? Many development officers find it difficult to succeed at their job because their organizations have a weak philanthropic culture; therefore, they move on to an organization where they believe they will have more chance to succeed. Can professional fundraisers work from within their organizations to build the philanthropic culture and make their jobs more satisfying? What does it take to create a philanthropic culture in your organization? The development officer must learn the keys to working within their organization to build a philanthropic culture that will encourage philanthropy, increase fundraising effectiveness, and result in job satisfaction.

20. Donor Cultivation Strategies

Many organizations think fundraising is limited to sending out a letter, holding an event, or writing a grant proposal. Fundraising is really about the development of relationships. Relationship building takes time, whether the organization is approaching individuals, corporation or foundations. In this webinar we will discuss tools, events and activities that can be used to cultivate relationship with all of these constituencies which can result in bigger gifts, more rewarding relationships, and increased involvement of donors.

21. Building Strong Donor Relationships

The three keys words in fundraising are—Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. In this webinar, we will discuss why people give or don’t give to nonprofit organizations and why they stop giving! We will share a method for identifying the donors who have an interest in your organization and how to build lasting relationship with them that will lead to an ultimate gift.

22. Making the Consultant Relationship Work

If you have ever hired a consultant or are thinking about hiring one, learn how to make the most of the consulting relationship. What you need to know about the way consultants work and when you need a consultant. We will talk about the various types of consultants are available for nonprofits and how to choose the right consultant for your organization.


23. Getting Your Board and CEO to Embrace Fundraising

You have your development plan in place. Now, how to you get your board and your CEO to get involved in implementing the plan? Even if they have said they would embrace their fundraising role, they might still feel “it isn’t my job,” or “isn’t that why we hired a development director?” In this webinar we will talk about why CEOs and boards think like this and how you can get them not only willing to get involved but excited about the opportunity to help with your fundraising efforts.

24. Seven Ways to Thank a Donor

Experts say you should thank a donor seven times before asking for their next gift, but you can’t just say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! In this webinar we will talk about acknowledgement and recognition and how to make your donors know you really care!

25. Revitalizing Your Development Office: 30 Steps in 30 Days

Many development officers are so relieved when the fiscal year or calendar year comes to an end, they don't even want to think about work over the summer. The year-end mailings are done, the events are on hold until fall, the grant deadlines have all been met, so let’s just take some time off.  Our donors are not available during the summer so what do we do to fill our time? Why not spend the next month getting ready so you can hit the ground running in the year ahead!


26. Two Part Series:

Building Your Case for Support    

Whether your organization is embarking on a capital campaign, preparing grant proposals or developing your annual fund materials, the Case for Support is the first critical element in your fundraising program. In this webinar we will discuss the importance of the case and how it is used, list the key elements in a case for support, and learn how to evaluate case statements.


Presenting Your Case for Support

Once you’ve developed your case you need to translate it differently for the many different audiences you will be approaching. In this webinar we will talk about how to identify your stakeholders and how to present your case to the in a way that will want them to support your organization.

27. Seven Ways to Ask for a Gift

We all know that personal solicitation is the most effective way to ask for a gift, but it is the only way? How do we assure that we are spending the right amount of time on the various fundraising programs our development office runs? In this session, we will list a sure-fire strategy to help you plan your time effectively while finding the time to spend on those top major donors.


28. So, You Wanna Be a Consultant

If you have thought about consulting to nonprofits, or you’ve already hung out your shingle but aren’t sure if this was really the right career move, this session is for you! We will discuss the pros and cons of consulting, talk about why many consultants fail even though they “have what it takes,” and how to decide what type of consulting you want to do. Marketing strategies for increasing business will also be discussed.

29. Exposing Five Myths of Capital Campaigns

We often think capital campaigns are rocket since and our staff and boards are terrified at the very thought of a campaign—they dwell on the “pain” part of it. In this session, we will dispel five common myths of capital campaigning. Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE will draw on her thirty plus years of experience with capital campaigns, ranging from $350,000 to more than $30 million.  Come find out what these myths are, whether they are somewhat true or totally false, and what you can do to overcome them to run a successful campaign.

Okay, we’re going to share the first myth: “Capital Campaigns totally different from any other fundraising you’ve done before.” True or Myth? We ran it through Linda’s version of PolitiFact and she says it’s twenty percent true/eighty percent false.  While there are some differences, much of what is true in a capital campaign can also guide you with all your fundraising efforts. So, even if you never run capital campaign, came hear how the truths of capital campaigns can help all your fundraising efforts. And you’ll find out what the other four myths are, how much of them are true, and how can assure success for your campaign.

30. Cultivation Events: A Major Key to Successful Fundraising

Donors don’t just drop from the sky, especially major donors. You need to build strong relationships with donors first. So how do you tell your story in a way that builds passionate donors before you ask them to invest in your organization. A successful cultivation event, or a series of events, just might be your answer. In this session you will hear success stories and learn how to plan the right event(s) for your organization.