Confident Fundraising, The College Edition

Academics and fundraising now go hand-in-hand, and today's Deans are increasingly being called upon to contribute to their academic institution's fundraising appeals.  Are you ready for this opportunity? 

Confident Fundraising™ helps College Deans transform their relationship with fundraising away from discomfort and toward Confidence--building sustained, authentic relationships with donors through unwavering focus on mission, adding time into the equation, and using creative stewardship and follow-up.

Institutions count on Deans to lead in producing prepared students and ensuring rich academic discipline - a challenging role that will never change. More and more, though, a Dean's career must include strong leadership in producing sizable gifts, a skill often learned by Deans only through trial and error.

Confident Fundraising™ offers Personalized Coaching for College Deans who want to learn high-level personal solicitation strategies that produce – every time. Using simple tools that are easily applied, Deans learn how to approach this work confidently through the coaching model which is vital to your success. Attending a training session is useful, but most of the material learned stays in that place, or falls to the bottom of a deep To- Do list when you return to your office. Coaching offers the opportunity to learn, review, revisit and apply these simple yet powerful tools working with your own personality traits, innate characteristics and professional skills. Weekly or twice-monthly coaching sessions keeps the material front and center and helps you move high-level prospects through the pipeline towards closing the gift.

You will become a Confident Fundraising Dean – a college Dean who is personally able to connect with people who are passionately committed to “purpose;” who understands the benefit of injecting time into a worthwhile and authentic relationship; and is fearlessly able to offer a highest-level giving opportunity when it feels right to people who care the most about the institution's mission.


  • Susan Axelrod works privately with college Deans to coach them in high-level personal solicitation strategy, exploring the perspectives of both the dean and donor roles in a purposeful discussion about giving and impact [philanthropy], rather than a transactional conversation about money [fundraising].
  • Using a methodology developed over a 30-year career, Susan teaches Deans how to tap into a donor's universal desire to do something worthwhile and be remembered.


  • Personal Fundraising Coaching for College Deans to become confident with high-level donor solicitation, applying strategies and methods for Deans to use with potential donors.
  • Coaching time includes up to 8 hours per month, typically 1 hour/week, or 2 hours twice monthly, plus all preparation and follow-up. Coaching hours done in person, via telephone or Skype.
  • One 2-day in-person session at your site with Susan [all expenses additional, submitted for reimbursement]-up to 3-hours each day.
  • Questions via text and email – up to 4 hours per month.
  • Teaching and Tracking Tools.

Packages can be customized to suit your specific needs. Please call for more information.

Fee: The standard fee for this one-semester coaching packing is $2,500/month, minimum 4 months commitment. Available to work over summer months.

Please contact Susan at 518.495.4573 to discuss your personal Fundraising Coaching needs.

“As a College Dean, fundraising is in my job description, but no one ever really trained me. It was just expected that I would know what to do when my Development Officer called. Before I met Susan, ‘fundraising’ was just a big jumble of knowing I had to get money. Now, after just 3 meetings, fundraising feels easy and fun. Thank you!”          
         ~ Dean at Southwestern State University

After working with Susan, you will:

  • Shape your story of success that you can share with your donors, staff and board.
  • Set more meetings with donors and prospects, and be ready to make the ask.
  • Connect more deeply with donors by identifying how your vision connects with their passions.
  • Create an organizational platform of philanthropy for your donors.
  • Feel CONFIDENT and learn to love fundraising.

Call Susan Axelrod today, and help your donors find out what their legacy will be.
CONTACT: 518.495.4573

    Please note: Susan guarantees increased confidence in fundraising activity and skill by participants or money back. There is no guarantee on fundraising results, however Susan does check-in with participants during service delivery to maintain value.

     No names of donors are ever shared or brought to new clients. Confidentiality clause included in coaching agreement.