Seize the Opportunity

Seize the Opportunity

Seize the Opportunity —

High-Impact Strategies for Major and Planned Gift Fundraisers

2020 and 2021 brought unimaginable challenges to nonprofit organizations facing the consequences of the coronavirus COVID-19. These challenges will continue. And they will get better. While there is no “perfect moment” to raise money, never has the need been more acute for a sophisticated approach to the vital topic of philanthropy.

Donors become more selective in Challenging times. They give to organizations they care greatly about. Those organizations have done an outstanding job of thanking them properly and often, and where they feel their gift has been celebrated and used effectively.


There are actually important advantages to raising funds in challenging times.

1. You will plan and prepare more carefully. There will be riveting attention to detail.

2. You will settle only for first-choice leaders. And you are more likely to enlist the best because competition for their time will be less encumbered.

3. Your leaders will take their responsibilities more seriously. They will understand the need for longer and more careful preparation. And they will appreciate your higher standards of selection and performance.

4. The fact that you are raising funds at this time underlines the importance of your cause. And
the urgency.


Core Course

Moves Management™ — A system for building deep, life-long affinity and commitment with probable donors. These relationships reliably lead to major gifts. This is true no matter how your organization defines a major gift. Each major gift probable donor is assigned to a Moves Manager. This is the person who makes certain that the donor is appropriately cultivated, solicited, and thanked. The Moves Manager is a professional fundraiser. In these two sessions, you will learn the road map which leads the way to success— the relationship between the Moves Manager, Natural Partners, Primary Player, and the Probable Donor.

The Art of Asking — Asking for a gift isn’t selling or persuading people to do something they don’t want to do. When discovery and cultivation are done well, asking should be nothing more than nudging the inevitable. This session explores how to get the visit and make the ask. 

Role Play for the Art of Asking — Apply the Art of Asking framework in a safe, judgment-free setting by role-playing the ask. Participants tell us this is one of the most valuable exercises of the entire seminar. 

Storyliving: Creating Transformational Major Donor Journeys — They are not your donors, rather you are their cause. This session explores research-based major donor personas, to provide key insights into their unique perspectives. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be empowered to create transformational donor journeys. 

Mastering the Major Gift Fundraiser Mindset — Mindset makes great fundraisers great. This session pulls back the curtain on what the most successful fundraisers think, feel, and do to prepare and sustain themselves to perform at their best.

The Art of Listening — Jerold Panas considered listening the most powerful skill a fundraiser can possess. Fortunately, it’s a talent that can be learned and mastered. This session will explore the psychology and practice of actively listening to your way to a gift and a satisfied donor. 

The Intentional Fundraiser — Too often the important work of major donor development comes second to the urgency of grant application deadlines and event-based fundraising activities and endless ‘to do’ lists. The Intentional Fundraiser is a system for high-performance to help you prioritize, organize, and achieve your goals.

Multi-Channel Communications. Inspiring Donors in this Age of Digital Fundraising — In the world of direct response fundraising, the key to success is getting the right message, to the right person, through the right channel, at the right time. How do you integrate your messages cohesively across all channels, especially digital, to maximize the performance of fundraising campaigns? How do you balance your online solicitations with stewardship? How are you conveying the impact of a donation?  In this two-session seminar, you’ll learn how to leverage data, comprehensive testing, and creative content to convert prospects to donors, retain them, and grow their loyalty to your organization.

Enhancing the Role of the Volunteer — We are seeing the return of the volunteer not seen widely since the 1970s— the major donor who uses his/her networks, natural partners, philanthropy, and business savvy to open doors for our institutions, enlist the help of others, ask for gifts, and give. We will discuss this and its impact on the future.

Women Navigating a New Tomorrow — In their relentless pursuit of a better tomorrow, today’s most visionary women see the world, not as it is, but what it could be — and then do something about it. Learn how to mobilize this powerful demographic. If you are not engaging them… someone else is.

Transforming Your Annual Giving and Major Gifts Program in Preparation for a Major Gift Initiative or Capital Campaign — Learn the critical decision points in selecting the appropriate funding model. Discover the 21 significant factors in assessing the right time to launch your program. Prepare staff, administration, and board members to optimize success.
Stewardship and Donor Retention— How we say thank you distinguishes our organizations and deepens our relationships. In this session, we will revisit how you can make your stewardship efforts more dynamic and impactful.

Cultivating Gifts from Millennials — A recent giving study concludes that today’s Millennial generation is fast becoming a major force in philanthropy. A noted economist recently shared this important fact, “Millennials will be the richest generation ever.” [Paul Donovan, Chief Global Economist, UBS Wealth Management] Are you ready for the Future of Philanthropy? We’ll discuss proven strategies to help you get there.

Foundation and Corporate Giving — Corporations and foundations are taking different approaches to grantmaking amid the coronavirus pandemic. We will examine the changes in their giving priorities, the impact on nonprofits, and how best to navigate these changes.

Lessons Learned from the Pandemic and the Impact on Major Gift Best Practices — We all know that life as we know it will never be the same after the COVID-19 global pandemic! How does this life-altering event impact best practices in the major gift arena? This session will challenge us to consider what we should return to and what we should change.

Getting in the Door — Making that First Appointment Happen – This session focuses on how to consistently get the first appointment with a prospect. Our discussion will teach 9 items required to prepare for a good cold call with a prospect. Thirteen steps to achieve a great cold call with a prospect, and how to overcome common objections from probable donors. This session will improve your confidence and consistency to land that ever so difficult— and so critical— “first appointment.”

Conversations about Legacy Gifts & Donor Advised Funds — Cash Alternatives and the Role they Play in Deepening Donor Relationships. For decades, major and planned gifts have been considered mutually exclusive. As tax laws (and tax rates) change and the way wealth management firms do business evolves, the aspirational gift your donor would like to make may best be accomplished using a “cash alternative,” or combination of cash and cash alternatives. Donor-Advised Funds, IRAs, and appreciated securities are arrows in your quiver when it comes to soliciting gifts of all sizes. In this session, you’ll not only learn how these gifts work, but you’ll walk away confident in your ability to discuss them with your donor and your donor’s trusted advisors.

Leadership and Program Inventory — Definition of True Fundraising: “An exchange of values that meet the needs of the donor and advances the mission of the organization.” Common failures in seeking funds for worthy causes. Dollars chase ideas and never catch up to the need. Authenticity beats audacity every time. Ask yourself, “Do you try to win or help? Do you present or involve?” During this session, we examine six important fundraising verities.


Prioritizing High-Impact Strategies to Secure Your Greatest Success

Our program remains focused on major gift strategies. It will reflect the unique challenges organizations faced last year, the impact, and how to strategically plan for the future. We are including as much time as possible, for small group interaction, panel discussions, and one-on-one opportunities with our faculty members. Our purpose is to bring additional depth, understanding, and recommendations to your organization.



Throughout the day, at every break, faculty will be available to you to meet one-on-one to discuss any questions you may have. We call this ParkBenching! There’s limited registration to ensure extensive interaction and provide maximum personal attention.

Our commitment is to work with you during these difficult times. We understand what your organization is going through. Together we will work through the challenges we are facing. Between today and when we are together, we will have a clearer understanding of what we must all do to reach our greatest potential.

Seminar Online Registration
Seminar Brochure

June 2022 Location

Costa Mesa, California – June 6-8, 2022 – SOLD OUT
The Westin South Coast Plaza
686 Anton Blvd Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Seminar group room rate: $199 plus tax.
Last date for group rate is May 16, 2022.

Registration Fee

Standard Individual Registration: $1540 US
Group rate (4 or more): $1530 US
CEO or Supervisor: $1520 US

We offer discounted rates for CEOs/Supervisors (when they attend with staff), and for groups of 4 or more from the same organization.

Registration fee includes breakfast and lunch each day and reception on Monday evening from 5pm– 6pm

Breakfast – 7:15am
Program – 8:00am-5:00pm
Reception – 5:00pm-6:00pm

Breakfast – 7:15am
Program – 8:00am-5:00pm

Breakfast – 7:15am
Program – 8:00am-2:30pm

When attempting to take advantage of these special rates, please download our PDF Registration Form and send in ONE form per Registrant. Scan forms and email to:

Online Registration does NOT allow for discounted rates or information for multiple Registrants.

Please call our office (800-234-7777) with questions regarding which rates may apply to your group or how best to register.

There is something quite special that happens when the CEO or supervisor joins staff for a Seminar experience.

We are committed to this important concept and offer a special fee of $1520.00 for the CEO or Supervisor when they attend with staff.

Download Registration Form (PDF) for checks, POs, and credit cards to mail.



Event details:


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