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FAQs

Is this a self-paced program?

It is not 100% self-paced, but it does offer a great deal of flexibility. You are able to choose when and where you watch the training videos, so you do not need to do it on our schedule. In addition, coaching calls are scheduled by you and your coach, so those can be set up to work with your schedule.

That being said, we do provide some structure with the program. For example, the Field Staff track is 12 weeks. We do this to encourage participants to build and maintain momentum with their work, and so there is a defined end date. Leaving things totally open-ended would likely result in some participants taking longer to complete the training than they’d like.

Of course, if you are eager to get the work done faster than prescribed, we are happy to work with you to accomplish that.

Why is the program spread over multiple weeks?

Many of our participants are already working in the field or in development positions, and spreading the program over multiple weeks makes the time commitment more manageable for them.

Further, we believe that the training will be most effective if you apply what you’re learning in small doses, over a period of time, rather than “drinking from a fire hose.”

Do you use video conferencing?

We typically conduct our coaching calls by telephone. However, if the need arises, we can certainly coach you via videoconference.

What if I fall behind?

We know that over the course of several weeks, things can come up to knock you off track. We’ll work with you to help get you back on track and complete the training in a timely manner. Keep in mind that in order for the coaching calls to be meaningful, you will need to have completed the appropriate assignments before the call.

Is it OK to work ahead?

Yes! We have divided the training into sections that should represent a manageable workload for participants who are doing this in addition to their “day job.” However, if you are able to commit more time to your training and assignments, it is perfectly fine to work ahead.

How is the Major Gift Officers’ track different from the Field Staff track?

Major gift officers that work in the development office of a larger nonprofit have different responsibilities and activities than someone who is raising their own support. For example, a major gift officer usually does not develop the Case document, whereas a field staff person likely would. The core principles are the same with both tracks, but the areas of emphasis are tailored to each type of participant.

Why don’t you do live training?

Online videos offer several advantages over live training. First, the content is delivered consistently, the same way every time. Second, this approach allows you to watch the videos at your convenience – no need to travel somewhere else, and no need to conform to the trainer’s schedule. You can watch the videos in your office during the day, or at home outside of normal working hours – whatever works best for you.

(By the way, the coaching calls – which are one-on-one – are live!)

Is there any homework? What is that like?

Every week you will an assignment that allows you to apply what you are learning to your own situation. The amount of time required to do the work varies across participants and situations, but it is estimated to be about two hours per week.

How much time each week does this require?

Watching the videos and doing the assignments typically will require about two to three hours per week. Coaching calls would add about another hour in the weeks they take place.

Is ongoing coaching and accountability available?

Yes. Many participants value having someone check in with them once or twice a month, to address challenges and to offer encouragement and accountability. We offer coaching that extends beyond the completion of the training program. For more information, click here.

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes, we do offer discounts for groups of five or more from the same organization. Please contact us to discuss this.

How can I get help paying for this training?

This is an investment that has a lot of leverage – not only will it pay off over the rest of your career, but your increased focus on your core mission will also multiply the impact of your work. Many times one or more of your major donors would be willing to pay for the training, as an investment in you.

Also, in some circumstances, we are also able to spread the payment out over a few months to reduce the burden.

How are you qualified to train and coach people in fundraising?

TDS Online coaches are experienced consultants who have provided development counsel and wisdom to dozens of individuals and organizations. Most of them also have direct personal experience raising support for themselves or larger organizations.

For more information about our coaches, click here.

Is Taking Donors Seriously® sustainable? Or am I going to be in the same situation next year?

Yes, the principles and strategies are sustainable, because you are learning how to build relationships with supporters and engage them in your mission for a lifetime! We are not teaching tactics that work well the first time but then lose their effectiveness.

Not only should you experience an improvement in your fundraising results in the near term by implementing Taking Donors Seriously®, but as you continue to nurture those relationships, and your supporters become increasingly excited about your mission, your long-term fundraising results will be improved as well.

Can you tailor your program for my organization?

Yes. While the core principles don’t change, we can make adjustments in the timeframe, assignments, coaching, and delivery to better suit the specific needs and situation of your organization. Let’s talk!

How do I sign up?

You can register on this site by completing this form.