baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
20NTC Session

Creating Kick-Ass Major Donor Communications


Whether you’re writing an email, making a call, or crafting a capital campaign case for support you’ll use to make that 8-figure ask, major donor communications must do three things. This session will share what they are, show you lots of examples, and give you 5 writing and 5 design tips so you can produce better major donor materials in-house.

Attendees will be able to…

  1. Understand three basic principles that underpin all major donor communications
  2. Learn to write and design better materials
  3. Reconsider donor engagement and communications strategically

Target Audience

Fundraisers and communications people who support them


BrandingCampaignsDonor Retention


Sarah Durham


Big Duck and Advomatic

Sarah is an entrepreneur and creative consultant with a passion for helping nonprofits communicate more effectively so they can advance their missions.

She founded Big Duck ( in 1994 to help nonprofits increase their visibility, raise money, and communicate more effectively. In 2019, she acquired Advomatic (, which builds and supports websites for nonprofits. She spends her days guiding these businesses and talking with nonprofit leaders about their communications.

The author of Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2010) and The Nonprofit Communications Engine: A Leader’s Guide to Managing Mission-driven Marketing and Communications (Big Duck Studio, 2020), Sarah’s expertise has been borrowed by NPR, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Guidestar, and others. She is a sought-after speaker on branding, fundraising, and other nonprofit communications topics. She was named a “top fundraiser under 40” by Fundraising Success magazine in 2006, and one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company magazine in 2010. As an adjunct professor at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Sarah taught strategic communications to other aspiring nonprofit communicators for many years.





March 25, 2020


1:00pm – 1:30pm

Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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