Workshops and Testimonials

David Westerlund leads improv workshops for groups of any size. Whether you are a leader of people for a non-profit, a company, a jail/prison, a school, or a faith community – contact David to discover how an improv workshop is a great opportunity for embodied learning and joyful interaction for your people.

David has led improv workshops for companies, arts and environmental organizations, social service agencies, inmates in county jail, and at the AFP Advancement Northwest annual Forum.


I knew right away that Improv for Fundraisers would be so interesting. Instead of watching a power point, we’d be doing something! We all know that the major part of our work is interaction with other humans. I feel there is a tremendous amount of power in learning how to be present, to listen, and to respond positively.  You literally have to expect “anything” to come out of the mouth of a donor.  So, Improv is a dynamic tool for any fundraiser to learn.  Kudos on a well presented, fun, educational opportunity.  I will remember this material!

Jeanne Galloway
Dir of Development
National HQ, College Success Foundation
Seattle, WA


I was a bit skeptical coming into this.  I’m not good at making stuff up on the spot and I didn’t want to look silly when I couldn’t think of things to say.  The progression we went through gradually invited us to step out more and more.  It was such a fun, supportive environment that it became easy to think creatively.  I had a great time laughing with my co-workers and I’m taking away how powerful it is to say yes and embrace different ideas instead of shutting them down right away.

Sarah Strickland
Fundraising Coach, Youth Dynamics
Burlington, WA



I was compelled to try an improv class with David because of what he taught me about its power to reframe narrow perspectives, improve communication, and break down barriers. At the same time, I was scared to take the risk. Being spontaneous in front of others was pretty far outside my comfort zone. David’s facilitation created a safe place for me to explore improv, and I came away feeling more confident, both in myself and in the power of improv. As an elementary school leader, the lessons of improv, such as the stance of “yes, and…”, are useful in every-day interactions, and I can envision powerful ways to bring this tool to staff and to students. I look forward to continuing to learn!

Analisa Ficklin
Principal, Cordata Elementary School
Bellingham, WA


David made a morning of professional development truly fun for my staff. We were able to do some thought-provoking improv games that got the whole group talking, all the while laughing and developing new group jokes. We walked away with a lot of self-reflection and food for thought about how we work together that could’ve taken a lot more time and a lot less enjoyment.  I highly recommend this kind of workplace interaction!

Renee Suhr
Owner/Artist Stray Cat Studio
Beaver Falls, PA


I found the class helped me listen to the people I’m involved with in the games. And paying very close attention to what they are saying, and what they are doing. And that made me more aware of where they are at, and I could adjust my actions accordingly. Those kind of skills are pretty fundamental to communication. And anytime we can improve communication in a church (and other organizations) it a big win.

Mike Hess
Interfaith Coalition


David modeled the behaviors and attitudes as well as taught them to us. He was totally congruent with his message…And I feel like I gained some more control over that inner critic, and I also became a lot more aware of offers and when offers come and that how I respond to them is a choice. And I also got a little more comfortable with the idea of not needing a plan.

Tim Surratt, Ph. D.
Retired Physicist


I have twice had the privilege of participating in improv workshops facilitated by David for groups of varying ages and improv experience. Both workshops were inspirational, fun and empowering for me. David is fully present, communicates clearly and encourages people to join in as they are able. I am not without inhibitions. Improvisation feels scary to me but I soon found myself jumping in and taking risks. David knows how to use the right combination of exercises to gently bring people on board, learning to trust themselves and the group. The time went by quickly and everyone grinned, laughed and learned. 

Paul Neufeld
Kingfisher Farm
Surrey, British Columbia


Workshop: Improv for Fundraisers

Description: Meeting with a donor is like improv. There’s no exact script. Improv teaches us to be present to what’s happening, listen deeply, build something together, play, and reinterpret failure. We cognitively know these are important skills, but unless we embody them, they won’t magically appear in a donor meeting. Improv teaches our body/mind what’s essential for our work. This workshop include participating in partner improv games, debriefing, and discussing the carryover to the fundraising profession.

No theatre experience whatsoever needed. This workshop is helpful for development professionals, Executive Directors, and board members.


David did a great job facilitating “Improv for Fundraisers’’ with our 20 staff people. What he shared in the workshop about creating new neural pathways and habits is really important. We prepare for a donor meeting – preparing our talking points and communicating with the donor so our agenda won’t through them for a loop, so they are ready, but then we need to let go and just listen and follow the energy path. And the improv trains our neural pathways, gets it into our physicality- so we can do that when the stakes are high. That’s really good stuff. Hire David to lead an improv workshop – it’s a great investment. And what’s more your people are guaranteed to enjoy it!

Christie Goode
VP Advancement, A Rocha Canada – Environmental Stewardship


I had the pleasure of attending an improv workshop taught by David Westerlund. In one short hour, he was able to immediately create an environment that encouraged interaction, covered valuable tools from improvisation and showed how they could be applied to the workplace, and had us experience several improv exercises. If you are looking for a fun, educational and interactive workshop, hire David!

Jean Hamilton
Speaking Results, Founder & Principal
(attended ‘Improv for Fundraisers’ at the AFP Advancement Northwest Annual Forum in Seattle, WA with 55 other participants)