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2018 Major Gift Roundtable—Reaching the Pinnacle

High Impact Professional Development


Chicago, Illinois - The Westin Hotel - March 21-22, 2018


Registration for 2018 Seminars opens October 1, 2017

This Seminar is for the intrepid professional who wishes to take a quantum leap forward in securing the major gift. To register, we recommend you be in a senior position or in the field for five years or more. It will be especially helpful for those who have taken our Seize the Opportunity Seminar.

Part 1: Building Your Leadership to Full Potential. It will be especially helpful for all who lead a staff— an opportunity to mold your group into a creative, effective, and spirited team that will reach its highest aspirations. You will learn the critical differences between managing and leadership. How a leader must adapt to change, have the willingness to abandon power and control, and inspire others to willingly and fully participate.

Part 2: Transforming Your Annual Giving and Major Gifts Program in Preparation for a Major Gift Initiative/Campaign. How do you define a major gift initiative/campaign in your organization? You will learn the critical decision points in selecting the appropriate funding model. We discuss the 21 significant factors in assessing the right time to launch your program and how to prepare staff, administration, and board members to optimize success.

Part 3: Strategic Communications and Design. How to weave your Mission Statement and Vision Statement into all your material and publications and make them come alive. And here is something special; we’ll ask you to send us some of your material in advance of the Seminar. It will be critiqued for relevancy, urgency, clarity, and action.

Part 4: Enhancing the Roll of the Volunteer. We are seeing the return of the volunteer not seen widely since the 1970's— the major donor who uses his/her networks, natural partners, philanthropy, and business savvy to open doors for our institutions, enlist the help of others, ask for gifts, and give. We will discuss this and its impact on the future.

Part 5: Women and Philanthropy.
Women are the fastest growing segment of the US economy.
Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men and staying in business longer.
Women of color are starting businesses at 6 times the rate of men.
Women control 83% of all checkbooks in America.
We discuss the Important Role of Women in Philanthropy and the essential benefits to your organization of a Women’s Initiative Program.

Part 6: Donor Centric Fundraising. What Motivates a Donor? It is probably true that there is no single factor which plays the dominant, overriding motivation in propelling a large gift to your institution. It is a number of factors and timing. To settle for this thesis will most likely put you on the losing side! Donors do have a certain path they follow, and there is a singularity to their rationale. We will discuss these factors that motivate large gifts. For purposes of this discussion, we will consider large gifts as any donation in the range of mid-six figures or more.

Part 7: Stewardship— Donor Retention & Attrition. Knowing what your attrition is should be something you measure every month. It is your most critical element in your development program. If you haven't been measuring it and don’t know the percentage of attrition— shame on you. Next in importance to getting the gift (note this well) . . . is stewardship. You will be given an instrument for measuring your effectiveness. Take the test. Score yourself and add the points. If you are 63 and above, you are well on your way to developing strong relationships and retaining your donors. Anything below 63 indicates you have work to do. You are probably losing more donors that you should.

Part 8: The Essential Skills that Make You a Really Successful Major Gift Fundraiser. You know people in the field who you feel are really great, well beyond their contemporaries. What are the special qualities, personal habits, professional attributes they bring to their work? What are the skills you need to acquire— or the proficiencies you need to sharpen— to be a successful fundraiser? In this session, we will explore the challenges and the success factors in your role as a major gift fundraiser. The skill-set you need isn’t a collection of tools. It’s a commitment to the organization— and to the donor— that’s deeply rooted in your own personal integrity, your growing self-confidence, and your commitment to building relationships.

Distinct Activities During Our Seminars

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, registrants at the Institute have the opportunity for a one-on-one, twenty minute session 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 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 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 opportunity for registrants to analyze a faculty presentation. 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.

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

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Seminar fees: $895.00. Plese call us for group rates: (800) 234-7777 or (312) 222-1212.

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2018 Dates and Location

Chicago, IL – March 21-22, 2018

The Westin Hotel

909 N. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: (312) 943-7200



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    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)