Workshops & Events

Workshops & Events

Asking Matters Fundraising Symposium

4/19/2021 - 4/23/2021

Please note the times vary daily. There unique sessions each day designed toward nonprofit staff and others targeted for nonprofit boards.


Whole Org Participation: Invite as many members of your team and board to participate for one flat rate

$175 Whole Org Registration for DANA Members | Registered Before March 31st, $225 after (with code: DANAaskingteam)

$350 Whole Org Registration for Non DANA Members

Individual Participation: Register for a single user

$95 DANA Members (with code: DANAasking)

$190 Non DANA Members

Event Details

The world may have changed, but fundraising fundamentals - and challenges - remain. Join acclaimed fundraising expert and author Brian Saber to find and develop your personal Asking Style. Whether you are a development director, board member, program manager, or major gifts officer, this hands-on workshop will help you take the anxiety out of the ask by honing in on your natural strengths. This symposium features an online workshop series for nonprofit staff on fundraising best practices and asking styles, three one-hour webinars for board members to attend, and additional opportunities to connect with experts and peers across the state.


Who Should Attend: Nonprofit development staff, leadership teams, program directors and managers, multi-hat nonprofit staffers, board members, reluctant fundraisers, and anyone interested in learning how to leverage their asking style!

All sessions will be recorded and the recording will be available to all registered participants. Participants who are unable to attend one or more of the sessions will still have access to all course materials.

Montana Nonprofits is committed to making our online courses as accessible as possible to all learners. 

Please contact us with any concerns or requests.


This symposium will explore:

  • Your Asking Mindset
  • The Asking Styles
  • Donor Styles and Cycles 
  • Selecting Prospects, Making the Ask, and Thanking and Recognition
  • Trending Fundraising Topics


Monday, April 19 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM | Welcome + Introduction to the Symposium

Tuesday, April 20

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM | The Current State Of Donor Retention And What Fundraisers Can Do About It with Steven Shattuck of Bloomerang

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM | Asking Matters for Staff: Session One

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Asking Matters for Boards: Asking Styles

Wednesday, April 21

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM | Coffee Talks with Development Professionals and Experts

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM | Asking Matters for Staff: Session Two

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Asking Matters for Boards: The Donor Cycle

Thursday, April 22

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM | MNA Development Staff Affinity Call

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM | Asking Matters for Staff: Session Three

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Asking Matters for Boards: The Case for Support - Your Story

Friday, April 23

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM | Tying it All Together: Peer Planning for Fundraising

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM | Asking Matters for Staff: Session Four


Brian Saber, Asking Matters: Symposium Featured Speaker

Brian has spent his entire career ASKING for money for non-profits. From his early days as a student leader and telethon caller (!) to his six years in charge of major and principal gifts throughout the Midwest for Brandeis University, to his two stints as an executive director, every position involved significant face-to-face solicitation. And he is still honing that art today, cultivating and soliciting select major donors for various clients.

Brian harnessed all that frontline experience to become a sought-after trainer, coach, and consultant around the country and abroad. His work is transformative. He develops major gift programs, conducts campaign feasibility studies, creates training courses, and coaches top-level staff, taking organizations to the next level.

Having spent most of his career with organizations having budgets under $10 million, Brian is well aware of the fundraising challenges smaller organizations face. He knows most organizations can’t afford consulting services, or even a half-day training by a professional. It’s just not in the budget.

With that perspective, Brian created a resource that all non-profits could afford. With his cofounder, Andrea Kihlstedt, Brian built Asking Matters – a web-based company that trains people how to ask for money and motivates them to do it! As the least expensive and best quality resource in the field, he promises Asking Matters will help countless organizations continue to do incredible work for their causes.

Steven Shattuck, Bloomerang: Symposium Sponsor and Coffee Talk Speaker

Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang.

A prolific writer and speaker, he curates Bloomerang’s sector-leading educational content, and hosts our weekly webinar series which features the top thought-leaders in the nonprofit sector.

Steven got his start in the nonprofit sector producing fundraising videos and other digital content for organizations like Butler University, Girl Scouts, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Heart Association.

Steven volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and the Study Fundraising Steering Group at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University. He is also an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving.

Steven has contributed content to the National Council of Nonprofits, AFP, NTEN and Nonprofit Hub, and is a frequent conference speaker, having spoken at AFP International, NAYDO, Cause Camp, ADRP, the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, and Planet Philanthropy to name a few. He is a co-author of Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition.

He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers – How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media (2020).

Recipient of the David Letterman Scholarship, Steven graduated with honors from Ball State University in 2006 with a degree in Telecommunications and Creative Writing. He resides in Indianapolis with his wife, son and daughter.

Hannah Cortez and Breanna Polacik, The Dottedi: Coffee Talk Sponsor + Speaker

Breanna Polacik, FOUNDER & CEO

She’s got an energy that makes others feel empowered, and you can usually find her at the front of the line leading towards change – which is exactly why she founded The Dotted i. Through this firm, she’s able to help others pave the way to a better future. Having the opportunity to work alongside some of the most courageous and powerful nonprofit leaders (she can’t wait to meet the rest of you out there!), she gets satisfaction that her kids will grow up in a healthy environment.

Bre is one of only 3 Grant Professionally Certified professionals through the Grant Professional Certification Institute in MT. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Development from Montana State University. Her strengths lie in crafting a budget that tells a story, tugging at the heartstrings of funders, and finding those hidden grants that are gems. She’s multi-passionate so her clients’ passions become hers too – making it easy for her to use that fuel to earn those grant dollars!

A Montana native, who loves all of the unique communities to be found, resides in Bozeman. She dreams of having her own mini-farm one day, is married to one hell of a chef, and they spend their free time enjoying every minute with their two smart and kind girls, Liv and Kena.


Our resident extrovert and “Chatty Kathy”, Hannah is the queen of in-person meetings, attending networking events, and building relationships with our nonprofit clients. She loves to learn about how our clients want to change the world and is passionate about seeing projects succeed.

Hannah has a background in human development, education, and community health which gives her a well-rounded approach to grant seeking for nonprofits and building relationships with funders. She joined The Dotted i team in 2017 and supports nonprofits through thoughtful project development and successful grant writing. As the daughter of a journalist, her investigative spirit lends itself to thorough research and identifying the details that will really sell your organization’s story! Her passion shines when she’s educating others which is why you’ll often find her presenting at nonprofit conferences or leading one of our Mastering Grants Trainings.

Hannah is a Montana transplant originally from sunny California (not the Southern part, the middle of the state where happy cows come from!) Drawn to the sunshine, you can often find her hiking, fishing, camping, or enjoying a book in her hammock when it’s warm outside. When she’s not enjoying the great outdoors, in her free time you’ll find her spending time with family and friends or hunting down the best tacos in Bozeman.

Additional Information
Event Contact:
Todd Pipkin
Contact Organization:
Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA)
Contact Description:
DANA is pleased to bring you this workshop through our partnership with Montana Nonprofits. For registration questions, please contact Shelby Rogala at 406-449-3717
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