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Seminars to Move You Forward

High-Impact Strategies for Major and 

Planned Fundraisers



Cincinnati/ Covington, Kentucky March 16-18 

Costa Mesa, California April 27-29

Nashville, Tennessee June 1-3

Brochure PDF

Seminar Online Registration 

The Art of Asking, Seize the Opportunity, and Successful Campaigns & Major Gift Initiatives

“Fundraising is not something you do to someone. Asking for a gift is something you do for someone.”

During these three days we will provide you with a structure that ensures the gift. Faculty will address all important determinants of success in raising the most money, in the shortest amount of time, to the greatest joy of the donor.

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The Dynamics that Drive Major Gifts and Identifying Your Top Probable Donors for Planned and Major Gifts

We’ll discuss institutional positioning strategies, market segmentation, donor profiles, and gift options - and how they affect the exchange relationship. 

Learn what forms donors decision-making and the type of involvement that is most important to them. Is it a planned gift, or a major gift? Is it a renewal gift or newly acquired gift? There’s a distinct difference between an ongoing annual gift and the elements that occur in a major gift. When you make your call, you must be aware of the components of each.

What are the qualifiers of a major donor? Financial capability is primary. Is their interest in your organization cultivatable? As the size of the donor’s gift decision grows, we explore what occurs in that process and how best this is handled by the organization.

Managing The Major Gifts Process Through Moves Management™

A pragmatic, workable framework for managing the long-term relationships involved in major gift fundraising. You will determine the sequence of donor decision-making, and where your organization might fit along with their obligations already in place.

Who are the natural partners and primary players in the process of securing the major gift. We will discuss the important role of the moves manager. Donors give to the magic of an idea. Invite your probable donor to consider investing in your organization.

The Anatomy of a Gift Solicitation

Every solicitation varies according to the donor.  Every ask must be back by a case for support. You talk about benefits, not needs, not features. Donors are skeptical of the institution that isn’t financially stable.  They give to bold, heroic, and audacious programs rather than needy institutions.

You won’t get a major or planned gift by sending a letter. And you won’t get a gift by calling on the telephone— not of the size you want. To get a gift at the level required, you’re going to have to call on the donor in person.

There will be solicitation. There will be negotiation. And there will be closing. We discuss each step, the problems that can arise, and the opportunities that help you come out a winner.

Developing and Implementing Strategies for the Major Gift

We explore all areas of making a successful ask involving the Fundraiser, the Volunteer, and the Donor. There is extensive interaction and role playing that is fun and instructive. You will learn to design strategies so it is clear:

WHO does the Asking?
WHAT are you asking for?
HOW much are you asking for?
WHERE are you asking?
WHEN are you asking?

Responding To Objections

Great opportunity stands beside you in the form of objections. They are important because they tell you where you are in the solicitation process. You need to understand what the prospect really means by a question or expressed concern. This session will provide you with techniques for responding to objections and learning to interpret hidden meanings and messages. If there is hesitancy you need to probe and to listen.

Is it the institution?
Is it the project?
Is it the amount I asked for?
Is it the timing?

Build An Effective and Successful Team— The Role of the Board, Staff, and Volunteers in Major Gift Fundraising 

All have a role to play. Volunteer leadership empowers. The staff designs and implements. The CEO leads. In these challenging times, we cannot control how much is given, but we can control how we involve people. We can control how we tell our story, how we approach the ask, how we follow up, and how we say thank you.

The Intentional Fundraiser

What story does your calendar tell about you? Is 60% or more of your time focused on achieving your priority goals or responding to other people’s priorities?

Too often the work of donor development comes second to urgent event deadlines or the constant barrage of incoming email and internal meetings. Whether you’re the solo fundraiser or part of a large team, The Intentional Fundraiser is a system for taking control of your time. Establishing role clarity, priorities and performance metrics.

Rewrite the story of your fundraising and major gifts program with intention! Participants will receive The Intentional Fundraiser Toolkit for high performance. 

Women are 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. 

Women are the economic power house of the 21st century. The fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy. The way they act and the way they think is the way the world does business today. Women have the wealth and ambition to be a major force in philanthropy. They seek a deeper level of involvement in the organization or cause through investing their Time, Talent and Treasure to make a big and lasting impact! 

Learn how women leverage their resources, networks and their results-driven mindset in innovative ways to achieve impact!
 Different generations of women give in very different ways, but the common threads among women clearly distinguish their giving style from that of men. Learn how successful organizations embrace the current era of transformation and mobilize women to drive lasting change? 

What can be learned from women navigating unconventional pathways to power and pushing boundaries in order to create new possibilities in the world around them?
The Bottom line— women control more then 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. and Women are responsible for purchasing 85-95% of all goods and services sold in the U.S. 

This train has left the station... time to jump onboard. Re-imagine your major gift strategy to engage the most powerful voice in Philanthropy—WOMEN!! 

The Importance of Case Statements

Tom Ahern says, “The key motivator for giving is not need, but opportunity.” Your real job in donor communications is to bestow purpose in exchange for support. Is your vision relevant? Is it important? And, most important, is it urgent? Tell your story. Sell the dream.

The Key Purpose of Technology in Fundraising is—

“To enable and insure the proper funding of your organization’s mission with the least cost possible.” Technology = Donor Retention = Success

What is donor retention and why is it important? Donor retention is a measure of how many donors continue to donate to your organization. Nonprofits with a high donor retention rate have long-term supporters who come back year after year. Nonprofits with a low donor retention rate need to continually acquire new donors or larger gifts to keep up.

Do you know what your attrition rate is? If you don’t, you’re not managing properly— attrition is your enemy. We will explore the art and the science of retaining digital donors.

Stewardship is the Key to Donor Retention

Stewardship isn’t important. It is everything. It takes 41/2 times the resources,
staff, and effort to get a new donor as it takes to get a renewal.
How quickly the gift is acknowledged has a tremendous impact on the donor’s attitude regarding your organization. We will discuss the secrets to getting that second gift.

Developing Cultivation Strategies using Social Media to Engage Donors

The goal of social media is to build a community. Followers are your online supporters: foster them like anyone else in your database. Twitter followers expect different messaging than your Facebook followers, just like your direct mail list expects different messaging than does your email newsletter list .

Getting the Visit is 85 percent of the Way to Getting the Gift

A very high percentage of major gifts are given through a face-to-face visit however, this is not always possible for all organizations. The role of social media in cultivating your donors, and the secrets of optimizing your online process for maximum dollars raised.

Understand the Essential Elements and Necessary Mechanics of a Major Gift Initiative, a Mini Campaign or a Capital Campaign

In today’s philanthropic environment, organizations must strategically plan, and design an approach that will enhance your major gift program. We will explore every step in the planning and winning a successful effort. There are many different funding programs. What kind of program is right for your organization?

A one-time initiative
Continuous campaign

The Feasibility Study

Commitment of Leadership.
Competing Campaigns
Perception of Need
Major Support (Raise Sights)
Acceptance of Plans (Build Ownership)
Human Need Recognition
Mid-Course Correction for All Types of Campaigns

Use Analytics to forecast Your Potential

Analytics have been around for a long time. Businesses use them every day to identify the purchasing behaviors of their clients, and the characteristics of their best clients. Once these traits are quantified, they begin to look for existing and prospective clients that most closely resemble their best clients.

You can rate your prospects according to their donor behavior and their wealth. Applying these evaluations to the donors in your database allows you to create the equivalent of a topographic map of your prospect pool. You can segment your prospective major gift donors into four key quadrants from high to low capacity and from high to low affinity.

Once done, you can then chart a course to engage those with the ability to become your most significant philanthropic investors. Spend your time and energy with the people most likely to support your organization.

Brochure PDF

Seminar Online Registration 

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2020 Dates and Location 

Cincinnati/ Covington, Kentucky - March 16-18

The Marriott Cincinnati RiverCenter - Reservations
10 West RiverCenter Blvd Covington, KY 41011
Seminar group room rate: $149 plus tax

Costa Mesa, California - April 27-29

The Westin South Coast Plaza - Reservations
686 Anton Blvd Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Seminar group room rate: $199 plus tax

Nashville, Tennessee - June 1-3

The Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University - Reservations
2555 West End Ave Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615.321.1300
Seminar group room rate: $219 plus tax

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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 5:00pm– 6pm

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

Breakfast - 7:15am
Program  - 8:00am-4:00pm

Breakfast - 7:15am 
Program - 8:00am-3:30pm

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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 a 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 card to mail.














    Who Should Attend

    • All staff, board members, volunteers involved in fundraising.
    • Organizations that can benefit from an infusion of gift income.
    • Newcomers to the field, and those who have been at it for awhile.
    • Fundraisers who want to grow professionally.
    • Those who would like to have their professional batteries recharged.
    • Those who want to become more effective and successful at fundraising.
    • Those who choose to be the best they can be.

    Limited Registration

    There’s limited registration to ensure extensive 
interaction and provide maximum personal attention.

    Philosophy (But Not Much!)

    It’s important to consider what’s new in major gifts fundraising and how this affects making the ask.

    Developing Prospect Strategies

    The real art of major gifts is in the development of strategies. How do you develop the touch? You’ll practice strategies and skills in a small group setting.

    Inside the Head & Heart of a Philanthropist

    Understand the spirit and heart of those who give major funds. We attempt to have a philanthropist join us. You will be able to probe and ask questions regarding the spirit and motivations of their giving.


    CFRE Continuing Education Approved Provider Programs

    ICG is an approved provider of CFRE continuing education. All courses presented are submitted to CFRE International for review and approval.


    Here Are Some Things You Will Take Home From a 2019 Institute Seminar

    A Registered Certificate of Seminar participation and completion.

    PLUS...Valuable resources from our Tool Chest that will enhance your fundraising with more than two hundred presentation outlines, checklists, relevant reprints, and a host of fundraising tools to put to immediate use upon your return.

    PLUS...Regular mailings from the Institute & Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners regarding new ideas in fundraising, pertinent new techniques, and innovative approaches to getting the gift.

    PLUS...A group of men and women— fellow alumni— with whom you will be networking and in regular contact.

    Seminar Scholarship Application

    A limited number of partial scholarships are available. The Review Board of the Institute will be particularly encouraging to relatively new organizations, those that serve primarily a minority constituency, or those especially affected by cutbacks in government funding. Scholarship Application (pdf)