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2017 Supremely Successful Asking

Understanding the anatomy of a major gift from identification to getting the appointment to securing the gift to stewardship


Chicago, Illinois - The Westin Hotel - February 27-28, 2017

Costa Mesa, California - The Westin Hotel - April 3-4, 2017
(waiting list only, please call our office: 800-234-7777)

Download: The Supremely Successful Asking brochure

What Others Say About This Seminar


This Seminar is for anyone who is involved in asking for gifts— Board Members, Volunteers, the entire Staff. 
It provides every element in securing the gift. If you have the responsibility 
of soliciting, this Seminar is for you. 
Or if you wish to move into Major Gifts in the future, this will be a tremendous asset for you. And for your resume.

High Impact Professional Development

The future belongs to the organization that has a strong, vital, major gifts program. Never has the need been greater for an effective approach to asking for the gift and securing it.

The major gifts will come to the fundraisers and institutions that understand the vision and the dreams that motivate donors. 
This Seminar is designed especially for those who don’t yet have the confidence necessary to make the call and for those who are coaching others to make the ask. Through role-playing and analysis, you will sharpen your skills in this area.

You’ll discover the anatomy of a major gift and understand how to market these gifts properly. You learn a strategy for getting the appointment. From prospecting to closure to stewardship, this Seminar embodies it all. You will leave this Seminar with renewed vigor, commitment, and enthusiasm for our special field of endeavor.

Seminar Overview

  • What Makes a Great Fundraiser
  • Transform Your Annual Gift to Enhance
  • Your Major Gift Program
  • How to Use Expert Storytelling to Build Support for Your Program
  • The Challenges Major Gift Fundraisers Face
  • Six Steps to Raise a Major Gift
  • Getting a Face-to-Face Visit
  • The Art of the Ask
  • The Influence and Impact of Women
  • Measuring Your Effectiveness
  • What Motivates a Gift
  • Handling Objections
  • Coaching Your Volunteers to Ask for Gifts


The Institute faculty is the very finest in the country. We will be including many more faculty members in the next few weeks.


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Four Distinct Activities During Our Seminar

The first is what we call ParkBenching.
Mark Twain once wrote that the most profound learning experience a person can have is to have a great teacher on one end of a log and a student on the other. Well, we do that, but we skip the log !

In ParkBenching, every registrant at the Institute has the opportunity for a one-on-one conference with a faculty member. The session is open-ended, with no prohibition on the topic.

How to advance in the profession, how to deal with a Chair that's not effective, having a problem with the boss, looking for a new job. You name it— whatever needs to be discussed.

Second is the Buzz Group. The name says it all. Buzz Groups are highly interactive sessions covering vital topics— every possible area that leads to a successful development program.

The Buzz Group is lead by a faculty member. Attendees are divided into small teams. In each Seminar there are the least two, one-hour Buzz Groups. The way they are scheduled, registrants can attend their choice of subjects during the two-day Seminar.

The 360 Rap is the third. 360 Rap provides an extraordinary opportunity for registrants to analyze a faculty presentation. Here's how it works.
The faculty member presents a topic. At the tables, following the presentation, in groups of six, registrants examine the material. Turn it inside-out. Review it again. Challenge. Explore. Analyze. Most important, they talk about the take-aways from the lesson they can put into use immediately back home.

The fourth is SnapShots. In small groups, registrants discuss challenging situations they will likely face somewhere along the line in their career. The scenarios are taken from actual cases. Tough situations. What is the proper solution? The group decides.

Attending a Seminar is an extraordinary experience. Many say it's the most effective and exciting coaching experience they have ever had. These four special activities, added to one of the most outstanding faculties available, provide a remarkable opportunity to learn, explore, and practice.

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14 Reasons Why You Should Attend This Seminar 

If you want to:

1. Get over the fear of asking
2. Hone your skills at asking
3. Make certain you get the appointment
4. Learn how to listen more effectively
5. Understand what a “no” means
6. Go from “no” to “maybe” to “yes”
7. Uncover the most motivating factor of the probable donor
8. Learn what makes a great fundraiser
9. Determine which of the 5 levels of giving your probable donor falls in
10. Handle the first 60 seconds of the visit
11. Know when in the visit is the proper time to make the ask
12. Learn the words that transform a visit into an ask
13. Learn to listen as if you are hard of hearing
14. Discover how a gift starts from the heart to the brain to the checkbook

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Seminar Format


7:15 - 8 am - Breakfast
8:00am - 12 noon - Morning sessions

12noon - 1:30 pm - Working Lunch

1:30 - 5:00 pm - Afternoon sessions

5:00 - 5:45 pm - Reception
Second day ends at 3:30pm.
Breakfast, lunch and the reception are included with
 your registration. The evening is your own.

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2017 Dates and Location

Chicago, IL – February 27-28, 2017
The Westin Hotel

909 N. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: (312) 943-7200
Room rate: $159 plus tax - Cut-off date for special rate: February 3, 2017

Costa Mesa, CA – April 3-4, 2017

The Westin South Coast Plaza

686 Anton Blvd

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 

Phone: (714) 540-2500
Room rate: $199 plus tax - Cut-off date for special rate: March 11, 2017

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Registration Fee

Standard Individual Registration: $845.00 US

We offer discounted rates for CEOs/Supervisors (when they attend with staff), for those that attend multiple Seminars, and for larger groups. When attempting to take advantage of these special rates, please download our PDF Registration Form and send in one form per Registrant. Online Registration will NOT account for discounted rates or Registrant information for multiple Registrants. Please call our office (800-234-7777) if you have any questions regarding which rates may apply to your group or how best to register.

If you attend more than one Seminar, you receive a discount of $50.00 off each additional Seminar.

There is something quite extraordinary that happens when the CEO or supervisor joins a staff member for a Seminar experience. We are so committed to this important concept that we offer a special fee of $765.00 for the CEO or Supervisor when they attend with staff.

We offer a special rate for a group of four or more registrants from the same organization. The supervisor for the group pays $765.00 and the rest of the group pays $795.00 each.




Download Registration Form (PDF>> for checks, POs and credit card to mail or fax.

  • Thoughts-Philanthropy-light-bulbstacked Weekly Series - Click Here!


    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 unit credits. All courses presented are submitted to CFRE International for review and approval. A CE Tracker is available at all Seminars.


    Here Are Some Things You Will Take Home From a 2017 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)