Start raising consistent, reliable revenue with more 5 and 6-figure donations
Get a clear, step-by-step system to land the major gifts you need for your mission
(without feeling intimidated, overwhelmed or stretched too thin)
If you’re a fundraiser, Executive Director or non-profit leader looking to consistently grow sustainable revenue for your cause, you probably already know that you need a successful major giving program.
You’re ready to stop working reactively, putting out financial fires and scrambling to replace lost revenues, with fewer fundraising options.
You know it’s time to get focused on what’s going to get the biggest bang for your fundraising buck, and raise the kind of money you need to achieve transformational change through your organization’s crucial work.
You’ve likely also heard that individual major gifts represent a huge opportunity for growing your fundraising - the largest source of charitable giving comes from individuals at an estimated $309 billion, or 69% of total giving (Source: Giving USA 2020)
And for organizations that are doing the right things, major gifts will only increase, despite the current crisis.
Here’s what you might not know
Even if you’re already experiencing some success with your fundraising, having a step-by-step system to raise more major gifts can:
Create consistent, reliable revenue growth (at a high ROI)
A successful major gifts program can bring you the predictable and sustainable revenue you need now more than ever. And while fancy galas and golf tournaments may have once cost you upwards of 50 cents to raise a dollar, for major gifts that cost is just 5 to 10 cents a dollar (if you master an effective system.)
Replace lost revenue & recession-proof your fundraising
Overnight, you may have lost multiple important sources of planned revenue for 2021. Donors know. Many who haven’t yet been asked are willing to step up and give more to the charities they already support. Tapping into that generosity will be instrumental in getting through the crisis and the coming recession. When you focus on building truly meaningful relationships with major donors, they’ll stand by your side through thick and thin.
Open doors to truly transformational gifts
If you’re just diving into major giving, you probably won’t be landing multi-million dollar donations right away. But sometimes magic can happen when you start taking consistent, strategic action - when you really commit to raising 5 and 6-figure gifts for your cause, it’s not unusual for 7-figure gifts to follow.
Even though the reasons to raise more major gifts are clear, the path to doing it successfully is anything but.
If you’re like most fundraisers, you’ve tried to start landing bigger gifts, but got stuck before you generated any real momentum, likely because...
You’re pulled in too many directions. Focusing on the right things to grow a sustainable and successful fundraising program would be easier if you weren’t already stretched too thin.
Getting started is the hardest part. No one has ever created a plan or system for you to follow to successfully raise major gifts. You don’t want to jeopardize relationships by approaching it wrong… and you might not know where to start looking for major gifts.
Meeting with donors is too hard. Maybe you’ve made a courageous commitment to getting in front of more big donors - yet you feel like you’re spending all your time chasing people to say yes to a meeting, or worrying about how to meet remotely.
It’s intimidating. Some days, the prospect of working with wealthy folks makes you feel so far out of your depth, you worry you’ll make a faux pas that will cost your organization.
Here’s why most charities aren’t successful at major gifts
Without a step-by-step process or system to follow, most organizations will continue getting pulled off track, chasing the latest unproven fundraising tactic instead of focusing on a path that will bring them lasting security and sustainable growth.
And luckily for you, there are very few organizations out there doing major gift fundraising effectively.
Chances are, other organizations in your space are leaving a huge amount of money on the table because they aren’t following a proven process to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations.
Which means this is a golden opportunity for you to get focused, take action, and start landing those big gifts you deserve - and raise the money you need to really start moving the needle for your mission.
The 4 myths that are killing your major gift fundraising
You’re too small for big gifts
A lot of fundraisers feel like major gifts are the exclusive domain of large organizations with huge teams, a staff of major gift specialists, and seemingly bottomless resources.
But the reality is, small and mid-sized shops are perfectly positioned to raise more 5 or 6-figure gifts, and have some significant advantages over big shops.
Many large charities don’t start counting a gift as major until it’s well past the $100,000 mark. This means you have an incredible opportunity to build powerful relationships with generous donors who aren’t even on the radar for a lot of big shops.
You need to have everything perfect before you get started
Fundraising and nonprofit leadership tends to attract a lot of Type A personalities (myself included!).
While Type A tendencies can keep many elements of our fundraising growing and moving forward, they can have a significant downside - like striving for impossible perfection.
Do you find yourself hesitating too often, waiting for perfect conditions before taking action to move towards your major gift goals?
Often, when we feel we aren’t ready, or we don’t have all the facts, we’re actually getting in our own way and sabotaging our chances of success.
Implementing effective major gift strategies, techniques and tactics is so important. But the truth is, your mindset can be the one thing that can make or break your success.
Perfect is the enemy of good fundraising. Getting started and taking imperfect action is always going to move you closer to hitting your goals.
You don’t have enough time for major gifts
You already know major giving isn’t a quick fix - it’s a serious commitment to the future success for your fundraising.
Your organization has limited resources, and as a fundraiser, you have hundreds of competing priorities on your time.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably already decided building your major gift program is a top priority for 2021-22, and the decade ahead.
There’s an opportunity cost involved every time you make a choice in how you spend your time. And chances are, you could be moving some low-value tasks off your plate to carve out some space in your calendar to start taking action to raise more 5 and 6-figure gifts for your mission.
Your time is a limited resource – say yes to spending it where it really counts!
You need to raise awareness first - then the money will naturally follow
I’ve seen organizations waste a lot of time and money on this persistent myth (a favourite of many boards!).
While these campaigns may have raised awareness, they didn’t raise a dime.
When you prioritize using a proven approach to growing major gifts, you’ll be raising awareness about your cause in a way that has real impact - by having meaningful conversations to uncover what truly matters to each of your donors.
Here’s the truth about fundraising in 2021 (and beyond)
Yes, some forms of fundraising are now harder — if not impossible.
Some donors will be tightening their belts, including corporate sponsors and individuals.
You could let this news get to you - but I think your crucial work to change the world for the better is far too important to give in to Chicken Little Syndrome!
In fact, most high-dollar donors plan to maintain—or even increase—the amount they give this year (Campbell Rinker).
To hit your fundraising goals, and create the consistent, reliable revenue growth you need, it’s going to be more important than ever to make sure you’re using a proven approach.
Chances are, you already have most of the ingredients you need for major gift success - you just need a clear plan to help you take your fundraising to the next level.
That’s why I’m so excited to be introducing...
Major Gift Master Plan
I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from more than 20 years of successful fundraising and broken it down into a clear, comprehensive program that teaches the effective implementation of a plan to raise more 5, 6 and even 7-figure gifts.
I’m a veteran of campaigns ranging from $5M to $200M across the arts, education, health and human services sectors, and during the Great Recession, I increased fundraising revenue annually, including a 20% year-over-year increase for four consecutive years.
I’ve seen first hand what works, and what doesn’t - this means I teach a proven, road-tested approach to growing major gifts at your organization (even if you’re a smaller shop).
You’ll learn the high-level strategies behind successful major gift fundraising - but more importantly, you’ll also have it broken down into a step-by-step execution guide that leaves nothing out, and takes nothing for granted.
Major Gift Master Plan is the only program of its kind that:
- Combines high-level strategy and practical tactics into a scalable step-by-step system that can be implemented in small, mid-sized and large shops.
- Includes a LIVE training, coaching or Q and A session every week, so participants can get timely answers to questions, support addressing specific challenges and reinforcement of successful strategies in real-time over the course of the program.
- Gives participants lifetime access, so fundraisers can continue to draw on the advice of peers and get ongoing upgrades as the program expands to include new content, templates and resources.
So, if you’re ready to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations without feeling intimidated, overwhelmed or stretched too thin, here’s how we’ll get you there.
Mastering Major Gift Psychology
Implementing the effective strategies, techniques and tactics you’ll learn in this program is so important - but your mindset is the one thing that can make or break your fundraising success.
That’s why we’re starting with a clear framework to recognize the difference between tackling an external challenge to your major gift success - and when you need to overcome the internal barriers that are holding you or your organization back from taking action.
Identify the three types of limiting beliefs, and where they come from
Learn about the two mindsets that impact our fundraising results - and the daily behaviours you need to cultivate for sustained success
Recognize and address the most common fears that stop most fundraisers from moving forward on their major gifts
A simple but powerful exercise to shift your beliefs or challenge your organization to push ahead, so you can pursue major gifts with confidence every week
Building Your Powerful Pipeline
Where do you start looking for more major gifts for your cause? This is the one area where so many fundraisers get stuck when they are building their major gift program.
In this module, you’ll learn about the big mistake many charities are making when it comes to building their pipeline - and I’ll break down exactly how to create a powerful pipeline so you are ready to take action with your prospects in Module 3.
Clearly define what qualifies as major giving for your organization (many organizations are leaving money on the table because they don’t have this right!)
Identify exactly where to find your hottest prospects by clearly mapping out your Circle of Community
Create and prioritize your list of top donors and prospects using the 3 C Process. (Connection, Capacity and Conviction)
The major donor rating template I use to help clients master 5, 6 and even 7-figure major gifts
Connecting and Cultivating
Now that you’ve identified and prioritized your top prospects, you’re ready for my favourite part of the program - taking action to create a powerful connection directly with your next big donor!
With Major Gift Master Plan, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel - you can start implementing a proven approach to building relationships with your major gift prospects using the templates, speaking points and tried-and-tested tips included in Module 3.
Understand the key channels for connection and take stock of your potential engagement opportunities, so you never run out of ways to meaningfully reach out to your donors and prospects
Create an action plan template so you know exactly what you need to do and when to move a prospect towards a greater investment in your mission and vision.
Set up an effective and repeatable process to contact and qualify donors for your major gift program
My ready-to-roll Qualification Kit, including samples, scripts and fill in the blank templates to identify top opportunities
If you want to begin securing more 5, 6 or even 7-figure gifts, individual donors need to
be presented with aspirational giving opportunities that inspire a bigger investment.
Starting to develop a compelling case for support that outlines aspirational opportunities for
giving is one of the most important steps you will take to support your fundraising
growth. Ultimately, if you want a $1M individual major gift, you need to be presenting donors
with a million-dollar vision!
Avoid the big mistakes most organizations make when building their case
Get a step-by-step process for creating an irresistible case for giving
Learn key strategies for raising more unrestricted gifts
The Compelling Case Framework to quickly create cases for aspirational giving opportunities, based on the donor
Making Meetings Magic
Have you ever left a donor meeting thinking, “what just happened?” You had a nice chat, gave an update on your programs… but you didn’t move the needle any closer to a major gift.
Or, maybe you put off the meeting altogether because you didn’t feel confident steering the conversation.
(And let’s face it. That meeting uncertainty is only heightened now, with no option but to build relationships remotely.)
Getting more strategic about how you use your time in donor meetings can help take your relationships to the next level.
Time with your donors is far too precious to waste - in this module, I’ll show you how to make the most out of every minute of your hard-won meeting with your next big donor… even if it’s over a Zoom call.
Learn the behind-the-scenes secrets for having the most successful meetings with donors - as well as the common pitfalls to avoid
How to make the most strategic use of your time with a potential major donor
Understand when, where and how to “make the ask” - and how to figure out when the donor is ready to make and waiting to make a commitment to your cause
The Major Gifts Donor Meeting Plan template I use to move every donor conversation towards a goal
Systems to Sustain Success
Last (but definitely not least!) I’ll be showing you how to maintain and effectively implement all the strategies and tactics you’ve acquired after officially graduating from Major Gift Master Plan.
With the right systems to sustain your success, taking daily action to grow your major gifts will become second nature - and if you remain consistent and persistent, you’ll see how more 5 and 6-figure gifts will follow!
Learn a simple Moves Management framework you can implement to ensure you keep working on strategically building your donor relationships, one day at a time - and nothing important falls through the cracks
Understand the basic segmentation strategies you need for your data, so you can ensure you are continuing to build your powerful pipeline and spot any hidden gems in your donor base
Measure what matters so you can monitor your progress to major gift goals — and avoid overlooking important opportunities
The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system I use at every stage of moves management, from identifying to stewarding donors
Get access to all of this — and more — when Major Gift Master Plan starts again on February 22nd
If you’re ready to join me and a small group of your fundraising peers, sign-up by February 18th.
Here’s whats inside:
The program’s core content is delivered weekly, in six modules, over the course of eight weeks.
You’ll get two implementation weeks in the program to give you extra time and support to complete your work, and take practical action on your major gifts.
Every resource I share is inside your student portal — with forever access, including free access to new templates, tools and modules I add in months and years to come.
Major Gift Master Plan is approved for CFRE continuing education credits
That means full participation in Major Gift Master Plan is applicable for 8 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.*
Your no-risk, money-back guarantee
I’m fully confident that the value of Major Gift Master Plan far outweighs the price of the program.
That’s why I offer a 90-day no-risk refund policy to all my students.
If by May 23, 2021, you don’t feel you’ve received value from the program, you can email me personally at [email protected] - simply show me you’ve completed the course work, and I’ll give you your money back, no further questions asked.
Now, it’s easier to get approval for this game-changing professional development
You’re already busy — and pitching your organization on the case for investment is just one more to-do. That’s why we’ve done the work for you.
We've prepared an approval kit for you which includes:
- Decision Maker's Guide to Major Gift Master Plan
- A fill-in-the-blanks email template you can use to request approval
“Emma’s teaching style is open and approachable - she created a community for us so I felt like I was learning with a team of people, and not stuck in just another webinar. I left with a better understanding of major gift fundraising, the foundation of skills to succeed at it, and the confidence to start developing a Major Gift program at my organization now.”
Candice McCavitt, Manager of Development
"Before joining Major Gift Master Plan I was struggling with donor calls during Covid-19. Thanks to the program I gained useful tips and confidence, and I have a bigger tool kit and better understanding of moves management. Emma you are awesome!"
Nancy Reyes, Manager, Development
Advanced Time Management System for Fundraisers
As a free bonus, you’ll get training on the system I’ve developed over years of coping with increased demands on my time — while generating increasingly larger donations. Learn how to manage the urgent and important, so you can conserve the time it takes to raise more major gifts.
Private Major Gift Master Plan Facebook Group
Become part of a community of like-minded fundraisers all working towards the same goal - keep one another accountable, trade feedback, and get real encouragement along the way.
Live Weekly support
Receive ongoing support as you move through the program, and get all your most pressing questions answered with a live Q and A session, training or coaching session every week.
What people are saying…
“Before we began working together, a Major Giving Program did not exist. Now we have a better understanding of our current and lapsed donor capacity, and have hired a Major Gift Director to begin building the foundation of our Major Gift Program. ”
Meredith Roberts, Director, Communications & Annual Giving
“After working with Blue Sky Philanthropy last year, the results of our holiday appeal DOUBLED! Emma was able to provide great insight on how we could better engage with our donors - we’ve incorporated new strategies into our individual giving plan and we have a higher rate of returning donors because of the way we are interacting with them.”
Joelle Ferreira, Development Officer
“Emma was invaluable in guiding me, building my confidence and holding me accountable. I accomplish more in my day because I don’t ‘go down a rabbit hole.’ If you work with Emma, you’ll learn what that means!”
Melanie Brooks, Development Manager
If you’re ready to take action on implementing a plan to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations, are coachable and open to feedback, Major Gift Master Plan is perfect for you.
However, this program isn’t for everyone. Major Gift Master Plan is NOT for you if…
You want a quick fix
Building a successful major gift program takes time. Major gifts are not a quick fix, so you need to commit for the long term to see true results.
Your organization is brand new to fundraising
If you’re a newly founded nonprofit, or are just starting a fundraising program and have no individual donors, I recommend you focus first on building your fundraising foundation basics before you dive into major gifts. Organizations that will get the best results with Major Gift Master Plan already have a base of individual donors supporting their work.
You want to learn how to get big corporate gifts or foundation grants
This program is focused on individual major giving. While many individual donors may be business leaders and have family foundations they grant through, I don’t teach about corporate fundraising or grant writing in Major Gift Master Plan.
*Participation in Major Gift Master Plan may assist you in learning or reviewing concepts covered on the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) examination as detailed on the Test Content Outline provided by CFRE International. CFRE International does not sponsor or endorse any educational programs and the Major Gift Master Plan program was not developed in conjunction with CFRE International.