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Major Gift Solicitation Strategies

Empowering Fundraising Professionals

Nearly 90% of the more than $300 billion in charitable contributions in this country comes from individuals. The most effective and efficient way to raise money from individuals is through personal, face-to-face solicitation. Yet many development and advancement operations spend most of their time on direct mail appeals, special events, e-solicitations or telemarketing. And in today’s “new normal” and intensely technological work place, the personal approach is more important than ever.

This two-day program will provide both the fundamentals and processes of a successful major gift solicitation strategy as well as the opportunity for hands on training through major gift solicitation role play exercises.

Participants will explore their own leadership strengths in a highly interactive and experiential learning environment where they will apply the science of persuasion and the art of storytelling to craft a concise personal introduction which can be utilized as a piece of the major gift solicitation strategy. Participants in this program will be able to conduct successful major gift solicitations and implement a major gift solicitation program immediately after participating in this program.

Upcoming Sessions

  • Apply Online
    September 29-30, 2016
  • Apply Online
    October 5-6, 2017
  1. New and Experienced Major Gift Officers
  2. CEOs and Executive Directors of Nonprofit Organizations
  3. Board Members of Nonprofit Organizations
  4. Team Members with Development Responsibilities at Nonprofit Organizations who want to learn more and/or become major gift officers
  5. Administrative Professionals who support the major gift solicitation process
  1. A broad scope understanding of philanthropy today, specifically the state of major gift solicitation
  2. The opportunity to craft a personal and professional introduction that will help in future major gift solicitation visits
  3. Knowledge and understanding of the keys to major gift solicitation success
  4. A detailed overview of the major gift solicitation process from identification to cultivation to solicitation to stewardship and follow-up
  5. A detailed step by step guide of a “best practices” major gift solicitation visit
  6. If desired, participation in an actual solicitation role playing exercise
Trends in Major Gift Solicitation
  1. Overview of the current climate in Major Gift Solicitation and a brief look at current data

Leadership Story Lab
  1. Understand fundamental story framework
  2. Incorporate essential story elements
  3. Craft a brief and brilliant professional introduction
  4. Practice and deliver stories with guided feedback

The Essential Elements of A Successful Major Gift Solicitation Program
  1. Developing and presenting a clear case for support/investment
  2. Prospects
  3. Organizational and board leadership
  4. Creating a climate for giving and a culture of philanthropy

Understanding the Major Gift Solicitation System
  1. Setting visits and meetings
  2. Visit benchmarks
  3. Before and after the visit
  4. Tracking commitment, pending decisions
  5. Acknowledgement and stewardship

The Anatomy of a Best Practices Major Gift Solicitation
  1. Strategy/preparation
  2. Breaking the ice
  3. Setting the agenda
  4. Presenting the case
  5. Asking Questions
  6. Asking for the gift/investment and the art of “closing”
  7. Follow-up, next steps
Jennifer Paul - Academic Director; Assistant Director, Center for Nonprofit Management, Kellogg School of Management

Esther Choy - Founder of Leadership Story Lab, Guest Lecturer, Kellogg School of Management

Leo Latz - Principal, Latz & Wall

Liz Livingston Howard - Clinical Associate Professor of Management; Director of Non-Profit Executive Education

Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall

Kellogg Conference Center
340 East Superior Street
Maps and Directions

Programs typically start promptly at 8:30 am and end by 5:00 pm each day. Once you have registered and paid for a program, you will receive a detailed schedule which includes daily start/end times, session titles, and faculty names.

Program Fees
All two and three-day programs cost $950.00 each. Up to 50% scholarships are available for all of our nonprofit executive education programs for those working in nonprofit organizations. Additional funding available for Charter Schools.

Application Deadline
The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay in Chicago.
Download Recommended Hotel List

Cancellation Policy:
Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend.  Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund.  Participants are allowed three rollovers, after the third rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.  

 *Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation.  Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option.  The participant must continue with the rollover process.

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