Major League Major Gifts

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This six-installment series is a focused approach to transforming your resources. Major League Major Gifts provides an in-depth examination of the motivations for making transformative gifts, outlines effective methods to connect prospective major donors with your cause, and guides you step-by-step from meeting a potential supporter for the first time to closing and stewarding their life-changing gift. Major League Major Gifts is effective for board members, organizations with development and executive staff, and is a terrific pre-cursor to a campaign effort.


Session 1 – Put the FUN Back in Fundraising!

Length: 47 minutesAuthor: Heidi HancockComplexity: Easy

In addition to setting goals we examine who is responsible for fundraising, the life-cycle of a donor and what that life cycle looks like in your organization.
In this session you will

  • Determine personal reasons for supporting cause
  • Describe the two fundraising models
  • Identify donor life-cycle fundraising activities
  • Evaluate current prospect base
  • Establish methods to re-engage donors

Session 2 – Move from Transaction to Transformation

Length: 54 minutesAuthor: Heidi HancockComplexity: Standard

What’s the difference between transactional fundraising and transformational? How do you move a donor onto the path to transform your organization?
In this session you will

  • Discern the differences between transactional and transformational fundraising
  • Identify activities to engage prospects and donors at the highest level
  • Find the prospects who are most likely to transform your cause

Session 3 – Find the Right Connection

Length: 88 minutesAuthor: Heidi HancockComplexity: Standard

Fundraising is more than a presentation and a request for support. How do you connect your prospect with what motivates them to make a gift? We’ll discuss how to find the connection with your donor or prospect. In this session you will

  • Determine what intellectual and emotional benefits your community, constituency, and donor/prospect receive from your cause
  • Learn critical interviewing skills to determine potential motivations and interest level in supporting your cause
  • Learn how to find out what motivates your donor/prospect in an informal setting
  • Determine your cause’s main strategic objectives
  • Learn how to engage your donor/prospect in a formal setting with a goal of long-term involvement and support

Session 4 – Major Gift Solicitations – The Legwork Behind the Scenes

Length: 54 minutesAuthor: Heidi HancockComplexity: Standard

A successful major gift request is 95% cultivation and preparation and only 5% solicitation. You’ll set your preparation, practice, and approach steps and we’ll discuss how to get the best request for the largest gift on the table. In this session you will

  • Select your sources for ‘intelligence’ about your prospects and donors
  • Learn how to interpret information to determine the best request for the largest gift
  • Establish rehearsal goals for fundraising meetings

Session 5 – Major Gift Solicitations – The Ask

Length: 66 minutesAuthor: Heidi HancockComplexity: Standard

In this session you’ll learn best practices for presenting your Major Gift request. We’ll discuss structuring your request, getting the “ask” out, closing techniques, and how to refocus your prospect on the urgency of your mission. In this session you will

  • Set individual steps to position your cause for the best gifts
  • Develop the agenda to follow during the request that leads to success
  • Determine specifically what to say during your request
  • Discover the most effective techniques for handling responses to requests

Session 6 – Major Gift Solicitations – Closing and Stewarding

Length: 61 minutesAuthor: Heidi HancockComplexity: Standard

70 percent of your donors will require additional time to make their gift decision. Success is in the follow-up to the solicitation. It’s time to close that gift! Your success in fundraising doesn’t end at gift receipt, but with donor retention and gift upgrades. In this session you will

  • Learn the most effective closing techniques
  • Discover when and how to increase a new gift
  • Set your specific acknowledgement steps
  • Develop your donor re-engagement plan for stewardship of their gift and cultivation for the next request
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