Philanthropy & major donors

You and major donors: using your strengths for good

You’ve read the manual, so you know how a major donor programme should work. But how does it work in practice? What happens in that first meeting? What can go wrong – and how can you avoid it? How do you start that conversation so it flows? What will the philanthropist ask you, and how can you give a good answer? And then, what next? How can you follow up and turn that first conversation into a gift?

In this hands-on session, you will be led through the real-life practice of major donor fundraising, using case studies of real philanthropists with whom our speakers have worked. The focus of the masterclass will be on you, your personality, your story, your concerns, and your energy, and how you can use those personal strengths and resources to build relationships with philanthropists. You will leave with a personal plan for working with major donors that is based on your own strengths.

Who is it for?

Fundraising directors, CEOs, major donor fundraisers, impact investment officers.

Learning outcomes

  • Learn how to develop first conversations with philanthropists
  • Practice initial conversations in the safety of a seminar room
  • Debate and uncover the ethical limits between your private persona and your role as a major donor fundraiser
  • Understand how your personality plays out with major donors
  • Learn to use your natural strengths to motivate a philanthropist


Christopher Carnie
Founder & consultant, Factary
Elsbeth Takkenberg
Strategic Advisor, Major Gifts & Legacy Fundraising, Tijdelijk Takkenberg