Workshops and Testimonials

Contact Reincorporating to discover how an improv workshop is a great opportunity for your team to unlock joy and collaborative energy.  David facilitates improv workshops for non-profits, fundraising staff, businesses, school faculty and administration, faith communities, people in recovery, and those transitioning from incarceration back home to our communities.

Recent Testimonials – 2018

At United Way, we work to build communities where people have homes, students graduate, and families break the cycle of poverty.  With a vision this big, we need massive resources – and a focused team ready to harness them. Fundraising is a team sport anchored in trust and my team had recently been through some tough transitions resulting in high turnover, territorial behavior, and needless conflicts.  At the end of David’s improv workshop though I looked around and saw something I hadn’t seen in a long time – one joyous team! Many staffers came up to me the next day and said it was one of the best days at work ever. Ever!  I attribute this transformation to David’s improv workshop.  It was a perfect way to embody this joyous way of being that is critical to have in this work – being present to each other and discovering what we can accomplish together. I gladly recommend him and his workshops as a great way to bring a fresh dose of joy and collaborative energy to your organization!”

Erica Wiley
VP of Development
United Way of King County
Seattle, WA

About 40 of our staff members gathered in a circle in the library for our improv workshop with David. Some were excited, many were apprehensive, and most were confused about how an improv workshop could impact our collective work. As the workshop got started, we all felt the energy shift. Through interactive games and laughter, David taught us the power of “Yes, And…”  David knew how to create a safe space for all, no matter how “out of their comfort zone” they originally felt improv would be. As we got more comfortable, he challenged us to try some things that stretched us out of our comfort zones, and invited us to reflect on what happens to us emotionally and even physically when we approach one another with openness to building upon one another’s creativity.  When the session came to a close, David asked participants to share a word or phrase to capture the experience. Joyful, necessary, bonding, community-building . . . these were the kinds of words we heard. In the days that followed, one person after another extended their appreciation for the opportunity, and an interest in learning more. As a school staff, we have limited time to gather for collaboration and professional development, and there are many important things for us to address. This hour was incredibly well-spent, and something I will plan again in the future, because it brought us together in a unique way, that helped us to draw on our own and one another’ strengths, and to carry those into the days that followed.

Analisa Ficklin
Principal, Cordata Elementary School
Bellingham, WA

David’s improv workshop felt very freeing, because we got to play together. Especially in the work we do – working with people experiencing homelessness — there is a lot of relational give-and-take that goes on between staff and guests, among the staff, and its really fantastic that your workshop requires us to tune in to each other… to really hear and see what’s happening and be able to respond in a way that is helpful. There’s a real power in people feeling like others are attentive to their presence – what they are saying, and who they are.

Hans Erchinger-Davis
Executive Director
Lighthouse Mission
Bellingham, WA

We hosted David to facilitate an improv night at our men’s recovery house. The guys were apprehensive ahead of time but agreed to participate.  By the end of the session, everyone was laughing and fully engaged.  David led us through a series of activities that were non-threatening, and yet increasingly more engaging.  We talked about how the activities related to the challenges the guys face from day to day.  We had a good time, met the goals of our group session, and all agreed that we wanted to do it again sometime.  Thanks David!

Alan Muia
Executive Director
New Earth Recovery
Mount Vernon, WA

More Testimonials

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

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

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

Dave came to work with our staff for an hour-long improv session. Hearing his story about working in correction facilities was inspiring, and I felt lucky to be a part of this session. Dave was engaging, funny, and organized. The activities he had us do got us up and moving, interacting, and working with each other, and most importantly laughing. I came out of that session feeling re-energized. I especially appreciated the connections he was making to people (kids in particular) in trauma which directly relates to the work we do in our building. I was able to take many of the activities we did as a staff and do them in my classroom. The activities supported the relationships among my students, helped my students build synchrony among each other, and used cooperation to build character.

Stephanie Horsfall
2nd Grade teacher
Cordata Elementary School
Bellingham, Washington

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)