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Strategic Fundraising Communication: Meeting Donors Information Needs (SOLD...

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Johnson Center for Philanthropy

201 Front Avenue SW

2nd Floor

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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*** This event is SOLD OUT and the waitlist is FULL. ***

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn Series

Strategic Fundraising Communication: Meeting Donors Information Needs

Not all donors are the same — and they don’t all respond to the same types of messages. The days of merely “getting the word out” are in the past. Successful nonprofits need to tailor their messaging and their platforms to the donors they’re trying to reach, factoring in the needs and mindsets of current and potential donors as they go.

In this Brown Bag Lunch & Learn session, you’ll learn:

  • How to align your communications strategy with your donors’ expectations, making it easier for you to share the story of your organization, and easier for donors to find the opportunity to connect.
  • How to be more strategic and successful in appeals. Rather than appealing to donors based on their capacity to give, fundraisers would be more successful strategically responding to the nature and sources of information donors seek.

Presenter: Tim Penning, Ph.D., APR
Cost: Free!

Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch to this event. Water, coffee, and tea will be provided.

Download a parking pass for this event.


This presentation is based on “Nonprofit Financial Communication: Donors Preferred Information Types, Qualities and Sources,” a chapter in the 2018 book “Handbook of Investor Relations and Financial Communications” edited by Dr. Alexander Laskin of Quinnipiac University and published by Routledge.


Tim Penning, Ph.D., APR, is a tenured professor who teaches courses in public relations and communication management in the School of Communications at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He is the Coordinator of the Advertising and Public Relations major program. His research interests include the influences on public relations content, investor relations, nonprofit public relations, and public relations history.

He also is a public relations consultant, calling his business Penning Ink. He writes a blog about advertising and public relations in West Michigan: http://gr-pr.blogspot.com/

Following his career in journalism, Dr. Penning was communications director for an international mission agency, media relations manager for Grand Valley State University, and public relations director for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

He was won several awards for his public relations work and research and was named "PR Professional of the Year" by the West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in 2001 and 2005, and 2014. He is active with the Public Relations Society of America, having served as president of the West Michigan chapter in 2004 and on its board for seven years, and now serves on a national committee to promote PR accreditation. He has also advised the GVSU student chapter of PRSSA and its student-run firm for more than 12 years. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society.

Academically, Dr. Penning has a B.A., Journalism, Central Michigan University; M.A., Organizational Communication, Western Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in Media and Information Studies from Michigan State University.




In the case that you are unable to attend a workshop or course after registering, please call Sherry at 616-331-7585 or email collvers@gvsu.edu in advance of the event to be refunded or credited for another event.

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Date and Time

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Johnson Center for Philanthropy

201 Front Avenue SW

2nd Floor

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

View Map

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