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Virtual Lunch-In: Groundhog Day, Take 2: Fundraising Psychology During Uncertain Times

  • Friday, March 05, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
  • Zoom
  • 62


  • For individuals who are not personally members of VAFRE but whose organization has one or more paid members.
  • For those individuals who are members of VAFRE. Please note, at this moment we are not allowing nonmember registrations, but we anticipate having space available for nonmembers prior to the program date.
  • For individuals who are not members of VAFRE and whose organizations do not have another member.
  • For members who purchased their season pass last year.

Registration is closed

This is a special repeat presentation of our February 2nd Lunch-In.

Due to technical difficulties, a number of registrants were not able to participate in the original presentation of this session on February 2nd.  For those nonmembers who  registered  but were unable to access the original session, please e-mail or call 804/368-3398 for the registration code.

As a society, we agreed that we were going to get all of the turmoil (pandemics, civil rights protests, elections, etc.) out of the way in 2020, right? Well, sorta’… It turns out that we’re still in some fairly choppy waters, fundraising-wise.

And yet, some things never change. Uncertainty, regardless of the cause, creates some very predictable “rules” for fundraising. These rules are not good things, and they are often driven by underlying psychological forces. How many times has a board member told you that now is not the time to be asking for money? Or your CEO wonders aloud if we should hold-off on asking for that lifetime gift? How many times have you hesitated before picking up the phone to call a donor? These are psychological responses that become rules. Don’t ask. Not today. I don’t want to bother anybody.

You are not alone. These are challenging times for society, and they can be brutal times for how we feel about fundraising. Understanding our brain and how it reacts to challenges can allow us to reconsider and break free of these fear-based rules. We can decide, to quote Phil, Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day: “I'm not going to live by their rules anymore.” 

Approved for 1 hour of CFRE credit.

Our Speakers

Alan R. Hutson, Jr., MPA CFRE, The Monument Group

Alan Hutson is the managing partner of The Monument Group, which for 24 years has helped nonprofit organizations tap their fundraising potential. He is also a senior consultant at the management centre (=mc), a London-based nonprofit management consultancy, and serves on the Decision Science team to help organizations change behavior in a pro-social way. 

Whether he is revamping annual fund structures or managing capital campaigns, Alan’s recommendations include staff and volunteers involved, in a sustained way, in the fundraising process. Alan’s work has resulted in nonprofit organizations raising over $150M (US-based clients). His international engagements have included UNICEF, International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Alan’s leadership within the nonprofit world can also be seen in his volunteer work. He serves as The Monument Group’s representative for the Giving Institute, and he recently rotated off the board of AFP Global. Locally, he has served on the boards of the local AFP chapter (Past Board Chair), Circle Center Adult Day Services (Past Governance Committee Chair), and 1708 Gallery (Past Finance Committee Chair).

Alan lives by the philosophy of Margaret Mead: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Amanda Macdonald, The Monunment Group

Amanda Macdonald has been a consultant for The Monument Group for five years. Prior to that, she had two decades of development experience at organizations that include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of Richmond, Richmond Ballet, Richmond SCPA and VCU’s School of Engineering. Throughout her career, Amanda has utilized methods learned from her work at larger scale development offices and applied them to organizations with fewer development staff members. 

While Amanda’s vast experience includes running annual giving campaigns, creating a planned giving program, managing a prospect pipeline, and grant writing, her strength lies in building a solid foundation that enables all of these fundraising pieces to work together seamlessly. Amanda uses this strength to help small development offices streamline their development operations so that staff can spend more time meeting with donors and prospects and less time in front of the computer.

A dedicated member of Richmond’s non-profit community, Amanda currently serves as a member of the Development Committee for the Children’s Museum of Richmond, where she previously served as the Chair of the Associate Board. Amanda is on the Board of the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she is the Co-Chair of the Inclusive Fellows program and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. She also serves as a Co-Chair of a Grant Review Committee for Impact 100, and is a past board member of 1708 Gallery.

Our Schedule

  • 12 p.m. Program begins
  • 1:15 p.m. Adjourn

Registration Fees

Although there are no meal and facility costs associated with a virtual event, there are still expenses involved. In light of this, VAFRE will be charging as follows for this webinar:

  • Member Registration. There is no fee for members to register for this event. Guests of members will be $8. You must log in to select this option. 
  • Member Organization. If you are not a member, but you work in the same office as a VAFRE member, select this option to register yourself and your guests at $8 each.
  • Nonmember Registration. If you are not a VAFRE member and do nor work in the office of a VAFRE member, select his option to register yourself and your guests at $16 each. Or consider becoming a member of VAFRE in order to access reduced registration fees. 
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