Inspired Fun Coach – Lori Cloninger Sweeney

Inspired Fundraising Coaching

Emotionally intelligent coaching tailored for the donor and the development professional

Inspired Coaching Founder Lori Cloninger Sweeney has more than 35 years’ experience in fundraising, ranging from her alma mater Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, to Claremont McKenna College and Brentwood School in Southern California, to Oregon State and OHSU Foundations, and now with Providence Foundations in Oregon. She has taught fundraising in workshops and in an ongoing certification course at Portland State University, a partnership with the Willamette Valley Development Officers organization.


Lori approaches fundraising from a completely donor-centered focus–the fundraiser sets up the donor to make all the choices in the philanthropic journey, from the initial meeting to the ultimate gift. Her coaching is pragmatic and practical—and fun. You and your organization will receive hands-on, useful information and role-playing experiences. Though the most recent part of her career has been in major gifts, she applies all that she has learned and shares experiences that are real-life, not from a book. Lori has been described as a “fundraiser’s fundraiser.”

The coaching and mentoring Lori provides is personalized to each client–tailored for both the personality and approach of the individual fundraiser and the culture of their non-profit organization. In 1:1 sessions, Lori outlines how to approach donors, cultivate them creatively, ask for and negotiate gifts and–most importantly in the decision matrix–close the gift commitment. As part of the coaching experience, the development professional and organization receive:

  • a coaching summary of strategies for top prospects
  • prospect pipeline review and growth strategies
  • practice making calls and asking for gifts
  • an agreed-upon calendar for future creative cultivation and stewardship activities
  • suggestions for how the organization can develop a culture of philanthropy

Clients will be asked to prepare for meetings and complete action plans prior to each meeting to gain the most from the coaching experience.

The Ideal Client

Development professionals and organizations who want to build their fundraising skill set quickly, efficiently and meaningfully are the best fits for Lori’s coaching. The program is narrowly defined to improve the skills of an eager fundraiser supported by his or her organization—whether that non-profit is big or small. Fundraisers should enter coaching eager to “work a plan” and refine their style and approach to be more successful. Fundraisers and organizations should share Lori’s donor-centered approach to fundraising.