Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Blog

How to Convince Your Leaders You Should Attend the Fundraising Academy [Template Letter Included]

If you’d like to attend the Fundraising Academy, but need help convincing your leaders that the investment is worth it, here are 11 reasons to share with them:

1. 80 CFRE education points

Thinking about the CFRE designation? The Academy is eligible for 80 CFRE education points, which satisfies the entire education portion of the application! Even if you’re not quite ready to apply for the certification, the education points are good for 5 years, so if you decide to pursue the designation down the road, you’ll have the training you need. 

2. Great content with actionable takeaways

With 30 unique learning modules covering Basics of Fundraising, Cause Selling/Social Skills, Major Gifts, and Planned Giving, the Academy will help you improve your skills in all aspects of fundraising. Our content focuses on industry-proven best practices to make sure you can apply what you’re learning to your role right away. If your boss still isn’t convinced here’s a couple stats that we think speak for themselves:

  • 91% of our participants are very satisfied with the course content

  • 76% of our participants can immediately apply what they learned (now that’s ROI!)

3. Industry-recognized speakers

We’re bringing in some of the Valley’s leading nonprofit professionals so you can learn directly from leaders that are making a huge impact in our community. We think our curriculum is top-notch, but we know it’s the personal experiences, examples, and stories from our instructors that really make this program valuable.  

4. Connections and networking

You’ll have the chance to make lasting connections with your fellow participants who share your passion for the sector. In this cohort-style program, you’ll learn what’s working for your colleagues and have the opportunity to brainstorm solutions to common challenges together. 

5. Opportunity to perfect your pitch

You’ll walk away from this Academy feeling confident that you could pitch your organization to any potential donor. At the end of the program, you’ll participate in a pitch contest where you’ll use the skills you’ve learned to craft the perfect message to convince potential donors that your organization is the right fit for them.

6. Chance to win prizes for your nonprofit

Not only will the pitch contest help you with your presentation skills, you’ll also have the chance to win prizes for your organization. Past prizes for the top pitches have included a full-page ad in the AZ Business Angels magazine (a $1700 value). Winning the full-page ad more than covered the cost of participation in the Academy!

7. Team discounts

If your team is large enough to send two people to the Academy, there are additional savings: your organization can send two people for just $750. You can’t beat $375 for 80 hours of quality fundraising training!

8. Value

Even without the team discount, at $750, the Academy provides a great value. Comparable programs often cost at least 2x more. And out-of-state fundraising conferences? You’re talking about 1000s of dollars in savings.

9. Conveniently located

The Academy is centrally located at Rio Salado College in Tempe, making for a relatively easy commute from anywhere in the Valley. And since it’s local, you won’t have the expensive travel costs that you’d have with an out-of-state program or conference. 

10. Access to speaker slides

Your learning won’t stop when the Academy is over. We’ll send you the speaker slides so you can go back and review any of the concepts you’ve learned throughout the year. 

11. Wi-Fi access

We know sometimes it’s hard to take a full day away from the office, but you can assure your team that you’ll be able to stay in touch with our free Wi-Fi.


Need a little more help getting the approval? We’ve put together a pre-written request letter, so you can personalize it a bit, then just copy and paste into an email.

Download the Request Letter Template



Discover more about the author, Alex Coleman