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Regular small donations can minimally sustain an organization for a while, but frequently development professionals must develop a plan to meet annual budget or capital needs for future growth. In this course students will learn to identify and cultivate major donors, prepare, conduct and document their conversations with major gift prospects, and review the different forms of gifts worth accepting and seeking. Additionally, students will discover the benefits of building a planned giving program for any size of nonprofit. Skills and knowledge to listen for donor cues and discuss different planned gifts will be developed to meet the financial needs of tomorrow.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze budget needs to plan for major gifts
  • Define and develop successful strategies to secure major gifts
  • Research and identify potential donors
  • Practice, conduct, and document interactions with prospects
  • Identify conversation cues when speaking with donors and share the basics of planned giving
  • Understand the basic concepts of planned giving
  • Market planned gifts and Incorporate a planned giving program into their organization


Full participation in Major Gifts and Planned Giving is applicable for 30 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Note: Although you can take any course in any order we recommend you start from the required course Introduction to Fundraising and Development. If you are not interested in pursuing the Professional Certificate in Fundraising and Development you can enroll in any single class.

Enroll in our free online Fundraising and Development Information Session HERE to learn how our fully online Fundraising and Development Certificate and career services can help you shape your career plans.

For questions, please contact the Program Manager at

Course Number: BUSA-41024
Credit: 2.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Fundraising and Development

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