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Certificate Course: Major Donor Fundraising Specially designed training for securing major donations from a variety of sources

Major Donor Fundraising can provide an important contribution to realising your organisation’s ambitions. It is therefore critical to develop skills to ensure the effectiveness of efforts to secure these large financial sums. Knowing which techniques to employ and how best to implement them is vital to maximising the prospects of your Major Donor Fundraising efforts.

Finding suitable individuals and developing a relationship with them are necessary processes for securing major donations. Once a relationship has been established, it is common to work together with your potential donor to develop a project and this requires a specific skillset that you will learn in this course. Understanding the needs and desires of your potential donor and being able to incorporate them into such a project are keys to successful Major Donor Fundraising.

This course covers the three key types of Major Donor Fundraising: individual major gifts, corporate partnerships and legacy fundraising. These domains of Major Donor Fundraising make it distinct from other forms of fundraising and it is therefore critical to undertake each of these areas, and the characteristics that are unique to them, well to ensure your organisation is realising its fundraising potential.

Objective & Target Group

This course will teach you the specifics of Major Donor Fundraising as distinct from other forms of fundraising, and will cover the three key areas of Major Donor Fundraising: individual major gifts, corporate partnerships and legacy fundraising. The course will equip you with the skillset to find donors and their affiliates, contact them and develop lasting relationships with them over time. Emphasis is placed on techniques for engaging with individuals to achieve your fundraising objectives. You will also be equipped with an understanding of how to guide the development of a project with your potential donor to give it the greatest chance of success. You will possess strategies for effectively managing the key relationships required for securing the major donations you desire.

The target groups of this course are individuals who are engaged or will engage with existing and potential major donors and who wish to understand how to maximise the value of potential major contributions. Also, those seeking to become skilful collaborators on projects with major donors and those looking for a comprehensive approach to donor engagement, covering different types of major donors and instilling essential techniques for fostering strong relationships.


  • Context of Individual Major Gifts in a fundraising strategy.
  • What exactly is Individual Major Gift Fundraising?
  • Where does it sit inside a fundraising strategy?
  • What are the key conditions for successful Individual Major Gift Fundraising?
  • The eight steps for successful Individual Major Gift fundraising
    • Research and preparation
    • Engagement and cultivation of potential Individual donors
    • Who should ask for an Individual Major Gift?
    • How will you prepare for an asking meeting?
    • What should you say in a meeting to ask for a gift?
    • What do you do once we have secured the gift?
    • Working with volunteer leadership and senior staff to secure Individual Major Gifts?
    • Stewarding Individual Major Gift donors and their donor journey.
Gill Jolly

  • Principles of corporate partnerships
  • Types of corporate partnership
  • Current trends in corporate partnerships
  • Developing long term corporate partnerships for your charity or NPO
    • Companies and sectors to align with
    • Identifying prospects and contacts
    • Ethical considerations
    • Developing your assets
    • First contact: cold calls and emails
    • Building relationships
    • Influencing and negotiating skills
    • Persuasive and compelling proposals
  • Delivering and maximising long term partnerships
    • Partnership essentials
    • Successfully starting a new partnership
    • Developing and maximising partnerships
    • Integrating your partnership into your charity or NPO and partners’ business
    • Successful partnership renewals
  • Practical examples
  • Group Work
  • Individual to do plan to take away
Sabrina Nixon

  • What is Legacy Fundraising?
  • The Legacy Fundraising Cycle and its applications:
    • Research
      • Current research: Understanding the legacy market throughout Europe and the world
      • Why and when we make and change wills/testaments
      • The motivations for leaving a legacy and developing a vision to match the motivation
      • Key research methods to find your donors and others (volunteers, staff, boards etc.)
    • Prospects
      • Who are your best prospects? Prioritising your donors and others
      • Communications
      • Identifying all possible communication channels and maximizing the potential for each channel to encourage legacy giving through story telling and message development
      • Distinguishing the best story tellers and the stories they should tell
    • Evaluating Success
      • Techniques on how to evaluate performance and success
  • Potential pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Best-practice tools and strategies for implementing and executing the Legacy Fundraising Cycle in all stages and situations
Richard Radcliffe

If you have any further questions on our courses or the NPO-Academy in general, give us a call at +49 30 5200 43430 or contact us via e-mail at We look forward to hearing from you.