Fundraising & Development Cohort


“The shared experience and needs of everyone participating has made for fruitful and generative conversations. It is invaluable to spend time with people sharing similar concerns, values, and approaches to their work.”
Justin Forbes
The FOCUS Group

Meet Your Cohort Leaders

Brad Layland is the CEO of The FOCUS Group. The FOCUS Group’s mission is to build the Kingdom of God by helping ministries and nonprofits have the financial resources they need to fulfill their missions. The FOCUS Group currently serves over 100 organizations around the world, including twelve classical Christian schools. Brad lives in St. Augustine, Florida, where he is a founding parent and serves on the board of trustees for Veritas Classical School. In addition, he serves as the board chair for Young Life St. Augustine and Christian Surfers USA, and as an elder at Good News Presbyterian Church (PCA). Brad earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida and a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Seminary.
Brad Layland
The FOCUS Group
Justin Forbes has been involved in teaching and training for multiple years, working with nonprofit organizations, churches, and the national Training Department of Young Life. Having spent 10 years in the field with Young Life, Justin is experienced in recruiting, training, and developing teams that engage in volunteer development, fundraising strategies, and donor relations. He is passionate about developing a vision of donor development that engages donors in ministry, helping them participate in God’s work in the world. Justin holds degrees from Flagler College, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently serving on the faculty of Flagler College as the director of the Youth Ministry program, and professor of Youth Ministry. Justin is on the local board for Young Life, loves his local church, and is kept busy by his wonderful six children and (not as wonderful) small dog. He and his wife, Bethany, live in St. Augustine Florida.”
Justin Forbes
Director of the Youth Ministry Program,
Flagler College


Office Hours

Bi-monthly “Office Hours” for 1-1 direct access to Brad Layland and The FOCUS Group team co-leader to ask specific questions about your school and situation in between virtual meetings.


Intimate group of 8-10 participants to ensure relational depth and connection with colleagues from across the country.


Access to the Taking Donors Seriously® e-learning course for high-level training and as a reference tool.


Access to a “tool box” via a shared folder of carefully curated collection of tools, resources and articles.


Social gatherings with cohorts at SCL regional and national gatherings. 


This program is for anyone serving as a fundraising and/or development leader in a classical Christian school. The goal of this cohort is to understand and implement the basics and to root out bad habits while establishing the good.


  • Twelve monthly virtual meetings, each 90 minutes in length, to include a brief presentation on a key topic and open discussion time for issues and challenges.
  • Early sessions will focus more on training, with the later sessions focused more on implementation and execution.
  • One to two hours of monthly homework in between meetings – i.e., applying the training.
  • The FOCUS Group will conduct prospect giving capacity research on a list of 200 names per participant.
  • Review of a draft case statement by a consultant from The FOCUS Group.

Cohort Syllabus

  • Key principles of fundraising
  • Annual funds versus capital campaigns
  • The Taking Donors Seriously® framework
  • What is a “case statement”?
  • The 10 key elements of a case statement
  • How to use a case statement
  • How to best leverage key staff members
  • How to recruit volunteers to help with fundraising – and manage them effectively
  • How to engage your board in fundraising
  • Identifying and segmenting prospects
  • How to us prospect research
  • Segmenting your donor list
  • Applying the 80/20 principle
  • Developing a cultivation strategy for each prospect and donor
  • Developing a year-long annual fundraising plan to achieve your goal
  • The art and science of fundraising
  • The four stages and four steps of the cultivation process
  • How to make an “Ask”
  • How much should I ask for?


Fundraising & Development Cohort

$ 2,950 Regular Price
  • SCL Member Schools receive 10% discount
  • Monthly Payment Options Available


In order to keep the group sizes small, and maximize effectiveness, we will take applications on a first-come, first-served basis. This application has no obligation. Once you apply, we will personally reach out to you to answer any questions after reviewing your application. If you are approved, you will be informed of the specific start date for your cohort, asked to sign a commitment to the cohort, and given a link to submit payment. Some individuals will be waitlisted until there are enough applicants to form a new group. We will keep you updated as to your application status.