Connect your donors to the heart of philanthropy through the researched-based techniques you will discover at The Art and Science of Donor Development. This workshop will infuse your work with deeper meaning—both for you and your donors—as you explore the facets of a truly donor-centric approach to major gift fundraising. During this experience, you will learn how to facilitate engagement with your donors that leads to greater commitment to your organization’s priorities.

As a global leader in professional development education, Advancement Resources uses our research-based findings to uncover the threads that are woven into the art of major gift fundraising. Then, we translate those findings into the science of proven process concepts to bolster your important work.

Experience this dynamic, highly interactive virtual training from the comfort of your own home or the privacy of your office. Walk away with a toolkit filled with essential process concepts in development. Both the knowledge shared by our accomplished facilitators and the invigorating conversations with your fellow participants will prime you for success in major gifts fundraising.


Upcoming Workshops

August 5–9, 2024 | Virtual Workshop
27–28 November 2024 | London, UK
December 10–11, 2024 | Virtual Workshop

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Major gifts professionals
Development leaders
Planned giving officers
Other development professionals interested in expanding their major gifts mindset




Workshop including 3 individual coaching sessions: $2,950 USD per participant
(Early bird rate of $2,750.)


Workshop including 3 individual coaching sessions: $2,950 USD per participant
(Early bird rate of $2,750.)

Every registration for The Art and Science of Donor Development now includes 3 individual coaching sessions with one of Advancement Resources’ experienced coaches.


Learning Objectives

  • Use the Donor Commitment Continuum and the Donor Development Chart to identify and grow the level of commitment donors have to your organization’s priorities, projects, and programs.
  • Describe and implement the seven steps of the donor-centered Process for Facilitating Donor Development.
  • Recognize the two primary motivators for contributions most meaningful to donors.
  • Move donors beyond loyalty giving to drive larger and more meaningful, passion-based philanthropic investments (meaningful major gifts).
  • Prioritize your donor portfolios based on the Priority Grid to determine who you should spend your time with, what to do with that time, and what questions to ask.
  • Utilize a variety of methods to secure meetings with donors and potential major donors, including using value propositions and leveraging referrals/introductions.
  • Describe a five-phase donor meeting process that leads to action.
  • Craft and deliver an Organizational Update within a donor meeting that leads naturally to a philanthropic conversation.
  • Conduct the Process for Locating Philanthropic PassionTM with donors to uncover deep seated philanthropic passions related to the organization’s priorities, projects, and programs.
  • Work with colleagues to apply your learning to plan a strategy to advance donor relationships with the organization.
  • Prepare for and invite financial commitment using a six-point outline.
  • Recognize the three components of meaningful return on philanthropic investment from the donor’s perspective.

Download The Art and Science of Donor Development Syllabus and Learning Objectives below.

Virtual Offering Syllabus

In-Person Offering Syllabus



I attended The Art and Science of Donor Development at the tail end of the pandemic.  The material covered, the rich discussion, and small group discussions all lent well to helping my team build a sustainable development strategy for the future.

—Deputy Director of Development


This workshop reminded us of the value and importance of our work. We were able to think from the donors perspectives and refresh our knowledge and practices in a more structured, effective and efficient way.

—Development Professional


In all of my years in the profession, I’ve not experienced a better primer on what motivates and inspires donors and staff alike to achieve their best.

—Vice Chancellor, External Affairs



CFRE ConEdLogo 2022


This workshop is applicable for continuing education points in the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.