Raising money from high value donors in the 21st century: Systematic relational approaches to engage and build lasting relationships with high value donors

One non-profit development truth is that authentic, donor-centred fundraising results in more donors giving more money than otherwise. This is most true for major donor fundraising. Donor -centric fundraising remains a challenge regardless of the size of the organisation. It is a challenge that is exacerbated in the 21st century, in which data privacy, technology, and new fundraising modalities increasingly play a key role in our lives. If you want to be successful at anything, you need to face the core truths involved, no matter how challenging.


These are some hard truths that we, as major donor fundraisers, need to face:   

  • There is a crisis of trust … at all levels! 
  • Competition is fierce everywhere 
  • The donor pyramid – is it dead? 
  • Donors are engaging with your organisation without you even knowing about it 
  • It’s about the “feel good” factor
  • Donors are not equal, and they should not be treated as such 
  • Major donors, legacy supporters, and planned giving donors have earned the right to decide if they want to be part of your so called “caseload” 
  • Money follows programme
  • Major gifts fundraisers desperately need more time, support, and love!  


Aimed at:

  • Organisations interested in increasing effectiveness and efficiency of their high value development programmes
  • Anybody interested in learning about high value gifts fundraising challenges and how a systematic relational approach can help them improve their fundraising results


Learning outcomes:

  • Better understand the role systematic approaches, sustained by technology, can play in engaging and building lasting relationships with high value donors 
  • Leverage the cost benefits of proper systematic-relational fundraising to engage high value donors 
  • Learn how to disrupt your major gift fundraising tactics


Miren Ispizua-Bilbao (Denmark)
Global Partnerships & Philanthropy, UNHCR
Reem Abdelhamid (Saudi Arabia)
Lead (Strategic Partnerships, PSP North Africa), UNHCR