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Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations

In 2019 Giving USA™ reported that U.S. charities received $449.64 billion, of which $309.66 billion (69%) came from individuals. Over the past years, nonprofits have reported that major gifts are providing more than 70 percent of contributed revenue, sometimes rising to as high as 85 percent. In mid-June 2021 Giving USA™ will release 2020 fundraising results for the U.S. nonprofit sector. Despite the impact of the global pandemic, we can expect that individual donors will continue to dominate U.S. philanthropic giving.

Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations focuses on the theory and practice of major gift fundraising. Students will review the donor life cycle, including major donor prospect identification, qualification, cultivation (relationship-building), solicitation, and stewardship. Planning and implementation strategies for these activities will be provided. Students will explore organizational readiness for major gifts success. The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion will be addressed. Gifts from individual donors will be emphasized but seeking support from foundations and corporations will also be introduced.

While mindful of donor/volunteer/organization confidentiality, students will be encouraged to share their professional/volunteer experiences, offer ideas, and seek feedback from classmates and the instructor in an open and welcoming space.


Note: Full participation in Major Gifts for Nonprofit Organizations is applicable for 20 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.