top of page
Sunrise over Sydney_edited.jpg

Sydney, NSW | Australia

SEPTEMBER 5-6, 2024

Join the Donor Relations Group in Sydney
this September!

It's been a while since we've shared the 4 Pillars of Donor Relations with our friends down under, so grab your team and get ready for two full days of inspiration and engaging professoinal development. 

Join us for the 4 Pillars Conference in Sydney on September 5-6, 2024 and immerse yourself in DRG's comprehensive donor relations training. From foundational principles to cutting-edge trends, Lynne will teach and inspire you as she brings our key concepts and proven strategies to life! This conference offers unparalleled insights into creating exceptional donor experiences.  

During this two day event, you'll take a deep dive into Lynne Wester's 4 Pillars of Donor RelationsThen, you'll learn proven techniques and strategies to retain more donors through Behavior-Based Donor Relations, and refine your writing skills and perfect the art of Writing for Donor Relations

Our 4 Pillars Conferences are unrivaled professional development experiences for anyone interested in enhancing their donor relations efforts and elevating their skillset. You'll leave this conference equipped with new knowledge and a clear path forward to create amazing donor experiences, improve donor retention, and amplify your fundraising success!

Register today and get ready to join Lynne on this transformational journey!

Conference Overview


Day 1: The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations

The first day of the conference is based on Lynne Wester's book, The Four Pillars of Donor Relations. This interactive learning experience is perfect for anyone new to donor relations or even the experienced professional. Filled with fresh content and real-life examples, day one of this conference will teach you the basics of donor relations as well as next practices and new industry trends.

We'll dive into the first two, must-have pillars of The Four Pillars of Donor Relationsacknowledgment and stewardship—to help you assess your current program and identify where and how you can advance your efforts. You'll learn good, better, and best practices for tax receipts, acknowledgments, impact reports, as well as our proven strategies for success in these two vital areas of our work. 

Then, we'll explore the final two pillarsrecognition and engagement. You'll learn why and how nonprofits are moving from dollar-based to behavior-based recognition programs, the importance of crucial conversations around gift agreement policies and procedures, and see examples of how donors really want to be recognized and engaged with your organization. You'll return to your organization ready to create amazing experiences that will surprise and delight your donors. 


All participants who complete the comprehensive training on the 4 Pillars of Donor Relations will be awarded a digital certificate and badge.


Our team will bring each topic to life as they share personal stories of tragedy, triumph, ridicule, and redemption. You’ll leave inspired and energized, equipped with tangible ideas that you can implement immediately with any size staff or budget.

Day 2: Half-Day Workshops

Morning Session | Increasing Donor Retention Through Behavior-Based Donor Relations

Let’s face it—"the way we’ve always done it" is fading into the background as new efforts emerge. But some shops are still stuck in traditional thanking methods, usually based on gift amounts, to define their communication and recognition efforts. It’s 7 times cheaper to retain the donors you have than to acquire new ones. The reality is, we have finite resources—both with our staff and budgets—and we must strategize ways to satiate many donors with different interests and needs. By developing a program based on donor behaviors, in lieu of arbitrary giving amounts, we can ensure we are communicating gratitude and impact to our donors at all levels of giving.

During this half-day workshop, you will learn:

  • How to identify priority donor behaviors you need to reinforce

  • How to craft personal communications for these groups

  • Strategy development to increase donor retention

  • Why behavior-based practices are in alignment with core principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion

Afternoon Session | Writing for Donor Relations

Join us for an immersive half-day workshop that transforms traditional donor communications into compelling narratives that inspire and engage. This workshop is perfect for donor relations professionals eager to elevate their writing skills beyond basic acknowledgments to meaningful storytelling across diverse mediums.

During this workshop, you will learn: 

  • Core Writing Skills: Learn the essentials of crafting acknowledgment letters, stewardship reports, and more.

  • Storytelling Expertise: Discover proven frameworks for telling engaging and inspiring stories.

  • Diverse Media Engagement: Expand your expertise into writing impact reports, event and video scripts, and social media content.

  • Strategic Communication: Learn targeted communication strategies to develop consistent and engaging messaging that resonate with various donor levels.

  • Advanced Techniques: Delve into sophisticated areas like data storytelling and crafting messages for high-level executives such as VPs or CEOs.

  • Brand Voice & AI Tools: Define your organizational voice with AI-driven tools and persuasive practices to refine your communication approach.

  • Avoiding Pitfalls: Identify common traps and focus areas to maximize your impact without wasting resources.

CFRE Eligibility: This conference has been approved for 7.5 CFRE points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.




September 5, 2024

The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations


$275 USD

September 5: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


Lunch is included 


September 6, 2024

Behavior-Based Donor Relations and Writing for Donor Relations Workshops

$275 USD

September 6: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


Lunch is included


September 5-6, 2024

The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations & Day 2 Workshops

$500 USD

September 5: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Setpember 6: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


Lunch is included both days

Full 2-Day Conference Experience

September 5-6, 2024

$500 USD

Bring your team!

Save 10% on 3 or more full conference registrations with the code TEAM10.

Lunch is included each day. A light breakfast will be served each morning. 

Please note any dietary restrictions at the time of registration. 


Meet Your Speakers


Lynne Wester

Founder & Principal

Colton Withers

Director of Operations


Rave Reviews


This is an extremely valuable, fun, interesting and interactive conference experience filled with lots of relatable information, ideas and perspectives, energy and humour. One of my fave conferences ever attended!

Taking Meeting Notes

The Four Pillars Conference was a phenomenal experience. It was one of the most rewarding investments in my career, and I hope to share how my organization benefits in the near future. This is a must for all Donor Relations professionals.


 I was grateful to dive deeper into industry trends, changes and challenges, and gain real-life suggestions and applications of how to push forward and navigate changes successfully... If you're looking for a stuffy presentation, this is not for you. If you're looking to escape survival-mode and jump start revival-mode with your teams, DRG are your people.


This conference didn't feel like a conference---it was an experience! The DRG Group clearly applied what they know about donor relations to every piece of the conference. It was personal, memorable and valuable. Thank you to the entire team for a great three days.


Conference Schedule

Day 1: Thursday, September 5

The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations

9:00 AM | Introduction: Roadmap to the 4 Pillars

9:15 AM | Pillar One: Acknowledgments

A good acknowledgment is about more than just saying, "thank you." In this session, we'll teach you how to craft expressions of gratitude that will surprise and delight your donors. We'll discuss gift acceptance and receipts, thank you letters, pledge reminders, behavior-based thank you's (e.g., first-time donors), and more.

10:30 AM | Break

10:45 AM | Pillar Two: Stewardship and Reporting

Discover unique ways to show donors the true impact of their generosity. Demonstrating transparency and remaining donor-focused are key. We'll discuss broad-based and individual impact reports, how to prioritize your work based on audience and resources, and the components that go into an effective report.

12:00 PM | Lunch Break

1:00 PM | Pillar Three: Recognition
Events, giving societies, public displays—there are many ways to recognize donors (even some you should avoid). We'll discuss what to keep, what to leave behind, and how to create meaningful experiences that will make lasting impressions, and leave donors wanting more.

2:15 PM | Break

2:30 PM | Pillar Four: Engagement

A donor is engaged once they are emotionally invested and committed to an organization. In this session, we'll show you what it takes to get them there. We'll share examples and ideas that you can implement at your organization to connect donors to your mission and turn them into loyal supporters.

3:45 PM | Wrap-Up & Q&A

4:30 PM | Day 1 Ends

Day 2: Friday, September 6

Half-Day Workshops

9:00 AM | Introduction and Agenda for the Day

9:15 AM | Part 1: Increasing Donor Retention Through Behavior-Based Donor Relations

10:30 AM | Break

10:45 AM | Part 2: Increasing Donor Retention Through Behavior-Based Donor Relations

12:00 PM | Lunch Break 

1:00 PM | Introduction to Writing for Donor Relations

1:15 PM | Part 1: Writing for Donor Relations

2:30 PM | Break

2:45 | Part 2: Writing for Donor Relations

4:00 PM | Wrap-Up & Q&A

4:30 PM | Day 2 Ends



Special thanks to our hosts at UNSW Sydney!


UNSW - Sydney

Tyree Energy Technology Building, LG03

Michael Hintze Theatre
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia


Can't wait to dive into Lynne's content?

Grab your copy of the book that started it all—The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations—and discover why Lynne's 4 Pillars framework is the guide that every donor relations shop needs. A brilliant partner to the 4 Pillars Conference, this book contains a dozen examples of creative communications with donors from real institutions and 60 pages of appendices offering specific advice on everything from what to include in a gift acceptance policy to donor event management. Learn the framework during the conference, and keep the book as a reference for everyone at your organization for years to come!

4 Pillars Book 2023

Ready to take your donor relations to the next level? The 4 Pillars of the Donor Experience—knowledge, strategy, culture, and emotion—builds upon the foundation of the 4 Pillars of Donor Relations, and lets us understand the fundamental truths behind why donors continue to respond to our work, continue to give, and deepen their relationships with our organizations. 


In the The 4 Pillars of The Donor Experience, Lynne breaks down the philosophy of donor engagement while providing concrete strategies, tangible examples, and a whole slew of images and samples from organizations across the nation doing great work. Now available in print or as an audiobook!


Our Sponsors

Our sponsors allow us to keep our prices low while still providing you with the best experience possible. Thank you to our friends who partner with us to make these conferences and workshops possible. We couldn't do it without you! Click on their logos to learn more about the incredible work they're doing. 

MSP Cultivate Logo.png
bottom of page