Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations

In 2021 Americans gave $484.85 billion to nonprofit organizations. Of that sum, $326.87 billion (67%) came from individuals, whether singles, couples, or families. In addition, $46.01billion (9%) was received from bequests, a form of individual giving.  In total, dollars from individuals amounted to $372.88 billion, or 76% of American philanthropy. Support from foundations and corporations lagged far behind. This has been the norm. 
Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations  is a survey course that explores how organizations realize their major gift fundraising potential. Organizations in all sectors - social services, health and wellness, medical and scientific research, the arts, the humanities, education, the environment and conservation, international rescue of all species - are heavily dependent on major gifts to operate today and in the future. Major gifts are key to realizing aspirational goals. 
We will identify signs of organizational readiness and understand the donor life cycle, including prospect identification and qualification, cultivation (relationship-building), solicitation (making the ask), and gift accounting and donor stewardship. We will explore the vital role that Boards play in the major gift process, and look at other forms of volunteer engagement. We will discuss the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. While gifts from individuals will be emphasized, foundation and corporate fundraising will be introduced. 
While mindful of individual/organization confidentiality, students will be encouraged to share their experiences, offer suggestions, and seek feedback from classmates and the instructor in a welcoming and supportive space. 

  • Introduction to Major Gifts Fundraising, Including Organizational Readiness
  • The Donor Life Cycle
  • The Role of Boards and Board Development, including diversity, equity and inclusion on Boards and among volunteers, donors, and advancement staff
  • Research, Analytics, and Moves Management
  • Making the Ask
  • Foundation and Corporate Fundraising

This course is eligible towards the completion of the Certificate in Fundraising . Bundle your coursework and earn a professional credential that communicates knowledge and skills gained. Declared Certificate students receive 10% off of courses within the program.
Note: Full participation in Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations is applicable for 15 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Knowledge of the solicitation process and management tools, such as moves management, prospect research, and identification of the top 25 to top 100 major prospects
  • An understanding of the ethical and legal aspects of confidential information
  • An understanding of the partnership between fundraisers and board members in the solicitation of major gifts

Ideal for

  • Major gift officers or directors in small nonprofits
  • Development committee members
  • Career changers with interest in the nonprofit sector
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.