Fundamentals of Major Gift Fundraising

Content Contributor: J. Paul Fridenmaker, Fellow for Advancement and Partnerships, Tandon Institute

Facilitator: Kyle Vander Meulen, Senior Consultant, American Philanthropic, Chicago Office

Category: Resource Development

Last Day to Register: April 2, 2018

Module Start Date: April 9, 2018

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a fresh and renewed confidence regarding the deeply relational ministry that one has with their major donors
  • Implement practical action steps to upgrade your major donor program
  • Create vital parts of a major donor program, such as your case for support, and fresh stories of transformation from your ministry
  • Follow a stellar approach to networking that will increase the number of people you are in touch with for potential major gifts
  • Develop new connections to colleagues who can stay in touch for mutual learning, networking, and encouragement


Module Overview

Major gift fundraising is a critical part of any nonprofit organization’s portfolio, yet securing major gifts requires wise planning and implementation. This module is designed to introduce simple yet important principles to illustrate the fundamentals of major gift fundraising. This includes the sacredness of the task, and the deeply relational playfulness and fun of this work. Participants will have ten weeks of interaction with fellow colleagues, while engaging in reading and discussions built around the concepts presented in each session. Upon completion of this module you will be able to implement creative strategies and tactics for a successful major donor program in your organization.


Requirements for Receiving Credit

Credit for the module will be determined on the following criteria:

  1. Successful completion and submission of five Reflection assignments demonstrating that the participant has read required resources and reviewed the presentation content
  2. Engage in all topic forum discussions for all five sessions

Required Textbooks

"Getting Naked," Patrick Lencioni
"Biblical Model of Development," article by Rich Haynie: To be provided in online module for Session Four.
"A Spirituality of Fundraising," Henri Nouwen
"The Third Conversion," R. Scott Rodin

Facilitator Bio

Kyle Vander Meulen, Senior Consultant, American Philanthropic, Chicago Office

Kyle Vander Meulen, Senior Consultant, American Philanthropic, Chicago Office

Kyle Vander Meulen is a senior consultant in the Chicago office of American Philanthropic, a strategic consulting and services firm that helps nonprofit organizations raise more money to accomplish their mission. He has extensive experience with grant writing, event management, donor research, and foundation and corporate strategies. Kyle provides expert knowledge to his clients in major donor clubs; planned giving; board development; strategic planning; annual reports; leadership and personnel searches; and departmental management and coordination. Prior to joining American Philanthropic, Kyle worked as a senior project associate with Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project and as an executive assistant to theologian Michael Novak at the American Enterprise Institute. Kyle studied Christian history and theology as an undergraduate at The George Washington University and Theological Ethics as a graduate student at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He lives in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.