Getting Oriented

Effective Cultivation Techniques: The Ties That Bind

Anne Melvin

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.


Strategic cultivation is what distinguishes a solid fundraiser from a really outstanding performer. Are these skills firmly in your wheelhouse? We all know that moves management is essential to moving a prospect from mildly interested to wildly supportive. But how do you do that? What is the secret? There are many, and in this session, we will explore the multiplicity of things you can do to engage and inspire your prospect. From creative engagement moves, to asking probing questions that get your prospect’s juices flowing, this session will help you expand your repertoire of effective donor cultivation strategies, and allow you to practice forming strategies that will work for your personal style and your nonprofit's unique characteristics.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explore a variety of effective cultivation strategies.
  2. Learn to ask strategic questions that move your prospect along the pipeline, and help you understand when she or he is ready to be asked for a gift.
  3. Learn how to leverage the unique characteristics of your nonprofit to sculpt one-of-a-kind cultivation experiences.


CFRE: Approved for 1.5 points

CAP: Approved for 1.5 hours CE Credit

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Anne Melvin


Anne Melvin has worked as both a volunteer and a professional in the field of development for over two decades, holding positions of increasing responsibility at various schools at Harvard University, including Harvard College, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Harvard’s central University Development Office. In eight different positions at Harvard, her experience runs the gamut of development’s major functions, with career stops in the annual fund, major gifts, stewardship, gift planning, and operations. For the past three years, Anne has directed the fundraiser training and overall development education program at Harvard’s central development office.

Anne is a member of AFP, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and the CGP Leadership Institute. She speaks regularly around the country to professional development organizations specializing in donor motivation, gift planning, gift solicitation, and other topics critical for successful frontline work. She trains nonprofit development staff nationwide through her private practice, ATM Consulting. Anne is active on boards, serving as the chair of the fundraising committee for the Ethiopia Education Initiatives, Inc, and secretary of the Wellesley Education Foundation. She enjoys a ‘busman's holiday’ fundraising for her alma mater in Massachusetts and Little Traverse Conservancy in Michigan. Prior to joining Harvard, Anne practiced real estate law in the Boston area. She is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.