Donor Relations: Maintaining Strong Relationships With Your Donors

Fundraising organizations earn loyalty and trust from their constituents through the thoughtful handling of gifts. In this course, learn practical and actionable best practices.

group of professionals

Perhaps the most important way a nonprofit organization builds loyalty and trust with its constituents is through the thoughtful handling of gifts. Fundraising organizations show their donors how much they care with solid acceptance policies, timely acknowledgement procedures, strong recognition programs and focused stewardship strategies.

This course meets the prerequisite requirement for the Fundraising Operations Certificate and the prerequisite requirement for the Comprehensive Fund Development Certificate and the elective requirement for the Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives (LINE) Certificate.


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
CPNL3054.S18.1 Lori Hood Lawson, Ali R. McLane Online 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Central time Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Instructor: Lori Hood Lawson

Job Title: Co-Founder & CEO


Degree(s): Bachelor of arts in English and psychology and a master of science in information studies

Lori Hood Lawson, co-founder and CEO of, helps to keep the nonprofit sector current in the latest issues and trends. Previously, Ms. Hood Lawson served as director of strategic solutions for Kintera P!N, where she managed a team of consultants, serving more than 300 nonprofit organizations in identification of prospective donors via wealth screening. While at Kintera, she also helped bring to market P!N’s desktop product as a web-based solution. Before joining P!N, Ms. Hood enjoyed the role of associate director of research for The Florida State University Foundation, where she received the Administrator of the Year Award and served on the New Employee Orientation Committee and The Committee for Acknowledgement and Recognition of Employee Excellence.

Ms. Hood Lawson is a member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement International (APRA) where she serves as a member and former chair for its Ethics Committee; member and former co-chair of its Online Curriculum Committee; and member of its Body of Knowledge Committee. She has served on the board of the Florida chapter of APRA, most recently as president and director-at-large. Ms. Hood Lawson also is a member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals Best Practices Committee for Prospect Development and a member of ARMA International. She was a member of the fundraising operations certification task force and served as adjunct faculty and mentor for the fundraising operations certification program at Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership. She holds a master’s degree from The Florida State University School of Information and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University. She is a voracious reader, a frequent author of articles and blogs, and a speaker at industry conferences. She also served as editor for David Lawson’s book, Big Good: Philanthropy in the Age of Big Data & Cognitive Computing.

Job Title: Chief Consultant

Organization: McLane Consulting

Degree(s): Bachelor's and master's degrees in communications studies

Ali R. McLane is currently the chief consultant of McLane Consulting since spring 2016. Before her transition, she was the director of prospect management and research at the University of Houston in April 2015, after spending 16 years as a prospect development consultant. Most recently she was a senior associate in the development operations practice of Bentz Whaley Flessner.  In her 16 years of consulting, including her ten years as a developer for Prospect Information Network (P!N), she has provided prospect development counsel to more than 600 clients representing every nonprofit sector.  Her areas of specialty include database management, prospect screening, identification, research and relationship management.  Ms. McLane is a leading innovator in applying software technologies and “back-room” strategies to advance the philanthropic agenda for nonprofits of all scopes and sizes. She is the chair of the fundraising operations certification program at Rice University Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, as well as, teaching the prospect research and donor relations classes and serves as a mentor to the students working toward the certification. Before her years as a prospect development consultant, she enjoyed a career at both public and private educational institutions.  She was a development researcher at Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and The University of Tulsa. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications studies from Texas Tech University. In 2015, she joined the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication Advisory Board.  Ali is a co-founder, past president, and board member of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers (APRA). Ali is past president of APRA of Greater Houston and is a charter member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, serving on their prospect development best practices committee. Ms. McLane is a volunteer with APRA International, serving on the 2010 Nominating committee and the 2011 APRA International Conference Curriculum Planning Committee, 2013 on-line education committee. She is a frequent conference presenter, including APRA, AFP, CASE, AHP and specialized fundraising organizations.

Term: Spring/Summer 2018

Start Date: March 28, 2018

End Date: March 29, 2018

Schedule: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Central time

Length: One Wednesday and one Thursday

Fee: $285

For AFP Members: $242

CEUs: 0.8

CFRE: 8 points

Note: This course is not currently accepting registrations. Please select JOIN WAITLIST to receive a notification when registration is open for the 2018 fall session.

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