ORG617: Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Course Description

In this course you will learn to develop and expand major gifts and planned giving programs in your organization. You will learn how to identify potential major donors and their characteristics. You will also learn how to organize a major donor database and how to build relationships with major donors. You will learn how to develop a strategy and tools to implement planned giving. The final project for this course will be to develop a major donor and planned giving plan for your organization.

Please Note: In order to complete the assignments for this course, the student needs permission to study an organization in depth.

Course Objectives

  1. Describe how major donor and planned giving programs can be designed to be a ministry (or act of service) to donors.
  2. Develop your organization’s donor databases, prospect research and systems to support its major donor program.
  3. Write a plan to develop prospects and then prepare for and secure a first visit with a prospective major donor.
  4. Develop a plan for major donor solicitation and a model case for support statement to use with major donors.
  5. Create a plan for effective major donor follow-up both after the initial ask and continued cultivation after a gift, including strategies for thanking both in person and through letters/email.
  6. Design a plan to develop a planned giving program for your organization, including researching potential consultants to work with to develop your program.
  7. Develop a planned giving plan for your organization.
  8. Develop a comprehensive major donor and planned giving plan for your organization.

Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Certification Credit
This course has been approved to count as 45 continuing education credits for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Certification.

Self-Paced Version of Course

There is a self-paced version of this course that is available every term that is only available to students in our self-paced Fundraising Certificate program. Students may not be in the self-paced Fundraising Certificate program simultaneously with any other program due to US Department of Education regulations.


Course Materials & Tuition

Greenhoe, J. (2013). Opening the Door to Major Gifts: Mastering the Discovery Call (1st edition). CharityChannel Press. ISBN: 978-1-938077-10-4.  $9.95
Tumolo, J. (2019). Simplify: A Simple Approach to Building a Sustainable Planned Giving Program. SkillBites LLC. 978-1-942489-80-1.  $9.95
Total Cost of Course$819.90  

On-Site Requirements

This course requires that the student work with a nonprofit to conduct interviews with the following people: Director of Development or Chief Executive Officer, Nonprofit Organization. See letter with sample interview questions