November 2016: The Science (and Art) of Persuasion: Anne T. Melvin, Harvard University

November 30, 2016 @ 9:00 am – December 5, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
American Hebrew Academy
4334 Hobbs Road
NC 27410
Sharon Tripp, Administrator

The Science (and Art) of Persuasion: Anne T. Melvin, Harvard University 


At its heart, fundraising is about persuading people to give away money. How the best fundraisers do it is an intangible art, but there is hard science behind the six universal principles of social influence that sway people: liking; authority; reciprocation; social proof; scarcity; and commitment and consistency.  We will examine each of these, how we unknowingly use them, how we can use them more intentionally, and putting them to good use for the charities we care about. First, we’ll dive into social science experiments that underlie the six principles of social influence. Next, we’ll look at ways to apply those principles to your one-to-one interactions with prospects as well as marketing. Sometimes small changes in presentation or behavior can yield large changes – and larger gifts. Make sure you understand the subtle, unspoken language of social influence, and that you’re not accidentally “saying” the wrong thing to prospects.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the six social science principles of liking, social proof, reciprocity, authority, commitment and consistency, and scarcity.
  • Learn ways to use all of these principles in your fundraising practice with prospects and donors, marketing pieces, and volunteers.
  • Understand the unspoken and little-understood forces that motivate all of us.
  • Secure more gifts by understanding how to apply these principles to your daily work.

Afternoon Panel: “Planned Giving Road Warriors – How Do We Do It?”

This session will be focused on a ‘nuts and bolts’ approach with Panelists:

Facilitator: Carolyn K. DeFrancesco, J.D., Director of Planned Giving, Elon University

Susan R. Gutterman, J.D., Endowment Director, Jewish Foundation of Greensboro

Lawrence C. Jerome, Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Cone Health

Lee Knight, Legacy Gift Planning Advisor, UNC Wilmington

Anne T. Melvin, Director of Training and Education, Harvard University

  • what training should a planned giving professional have?
  • what planned giving training should a major gift officer/ VP/President have?
  • how should a planned giving portfolio be created?
  • how should visits be prioritized- capacity? history of giving? location?

If these are the questions you ask yourself, or you have great ideas for friends and colleagues, enjoy this session moderated by Anne Melvin with our panelists who, like you, come from different sizes and types of non-profits with varying levels of experience.AmericanHebrewSchool

Our Presenter:
Anne T. Melvin
Director of Training and Education
Alumni Affairs & Development
Harvard University
annemelvinAnne Melvin has worked as both a volunteer and a professional in the field of development for the past two decades. In recent years, Anne specialized in planned giving, negotiating and closing gifts for various schools at Harvard. As Deputy Director of Gift Planning at Harvard College, she directed the marketing portion of Harvard’s gift planning efforts for 12 years, revamping their approach to marketing and tripling its lead generation, as well as working with prospects and soliciting and closing gifts. Anne is a member of the Planned Giving Group of New England and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. She speaks regularly about planned giving around the country to development professionals, specializing in marketing, development techniques, fundraiser training and gift solicitation and negotiation. She oversees and leads all the internal fundraiser training programs at Harvard’s central fundraising office. She is a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning’s Leadership Institute. 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.



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