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, Ali R. McLane
FORMAT: Online
SCHEDULE: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Central time
START DATE: 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 has been a fundraising operations consultant for more than 20 years, specializing in prospect screening development, analysis and implementation. As one of the original owners of Prospect Information Network’s P!N, the screening product that ultimately became ResearchPoint, Ms. McLane developed the first comprehensive vetting and implementation program for screening results, working with more than 500 clients. Prospect Information Network was ultimately acquired by Blackbaud in 2008. 

In 2017, Ms. McLane joined Lois L Lindauer Searches, an executive recruiting firm specializing in the Advancement industry. Prior to LLLS. Ms. McLane worked at consulting firms like Bentz Whaley Flessner and Dini Partners, as well as higher education, University of Houston, University of Tulsa and Texas Tech University and Health Science Center.

Ms. McLane is the co-chair of the Fundraising Operations certification program at Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, teaching the Prospect Research and Donor Relations classes, while also serving as a mentor to the students working toward the certification. She is also an instructor at Austin Community College’s Center for Nonprofit Management.

Ms. McLane is a co-founder, past president, and board member of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers (APRA). She is a 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 online education committee. She is a frequent conference presenter, including APRA, AFP, CASE, AHP and specialized fundraising organizations.

Ali holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications studies from Texas Tech University. She is an active member of the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication Advisory Board.

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, APRA and AASP 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 2019 spring session.

You Might Also Like…

Prospect Research and Analysis

Melissa Bank Stepno
Ali R. McLane

Essentials of Gift Administration

Kate Goldberg
Clint Shipp

Fundamentals of Constituent Relationship Management

Bond T. Lammey
Emily Walsh