Major and Principal Gifts


This course will provide a comprehensive view of major and principal gift development work for students who seek to build upon their experiences gained in the introductory session. Participants will gain an understanding of the philosophy and strategies implemented in major gift development including prospect identification, how to initially engage a potential major gift donor, the process of cultivation and moves management, effective proposal writing, making a successful ask and on-going donor stewardship. Students will practice fundamental major gift development skills by developing their own prospect strategy, producing essential documents to support the process, and engaging in role playing activity to simulate interaction with prospects and donors.

What you will learn

Course Overview: An Introduction to Major and Principal Gifts

In this module, you will be able to recall terminology used related to acquiring and managing Major and Principal Gift donations. You will be able to use guides to help develop and manage a Major Gifts Program. You will be able to identify eight elements of belief and confidence that indicate the likelihood of substantial giving. You will be able to recognize a prospective major gift donor and be better able to motivate their giving.

The Major and Principal Gift Process

In this module, you will be able to recognize the purpose and goals of prospect research and identify elements of prospect research. You will be able to examine how to determine a prospect’s capacity for philanthropy. You will be able to research and identify potential prospects for your organization.

Prospect Cultivation, Strategy Development and Getting the First Appointment

In this module, you will be able to start the cultivation process and open the door with a prospective donor. You will be able to identify the objectives of an initial visit. You will be able to reflect on the donor’s interests and building donor involvement.

Writing the Major Gifts Proposal, Solicitation and Negotiation

In this module, you will be able to write an effective proposal for major or principal gift development. You will be able to consider the structure of a successful solicitation strategy and practice making ‘the ask.’ You will be able to use closing techniques and negotiate with your prospective donor.

What’s included