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WVDO Presents: Raising Major Gifts and Deepening Donor Relationships

Willamette Valley Development Officers (WVDO)

When: February 5, 2010

8:00 am - Registration/continental breakfast

8:30 am - 12:00 pm - Program

Location - Rose Quarter

Cost: $50 WVDO Members $65 Non-Members

Register at: www.wvdo-or.org Questions? 503-274-1977 or [email protected]


As we begin to lift out of our recession-fueled doldrums of the last 18 months, we know one thing for sure: fundraising and the nonprofit sector are different now. Organizations feel skittish about making grand future plans and donors are adopting a “wait and see” attitude toward giving. Regardless of the economy, children must be educated, the hungry fed, the sick need to be healed, and the show must go on.

This workshop will focus on three main points:

· Setting realistic fundraising goals for our times

· Understanding what motivates your major donors and developing strategies to leverage those motivations

· Deepening relationships with those donors

We will address the most important elements of major gift fundraising, identify challenges unique to this time in history, and explore donor values and motivations. We ask participants to come prepared to share their experiences and to have in mind specific donors for whom to create strategies (no names necessary, of course!). Over the session, we will also share trends from and projections from both local and national resources including Giving Institute, research commissioned by Bank of America asking wealthy Americans for information about their giving, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. This workshop will be theoretical, practical, and interactive – plan to break into smaller groups for lively discussion.

Target Audience: Fundraisers who currently have a major donor program/plan and are facing challenges due to ongoing economic difficulties and cautious donor attitudes.

What are the learning objectives for the session?

· Creative thinking in the face of challenges

· Long-term major donor strategies

· Identify the best use of your time, energy, and human/financial resources

· Tips for ongoing sustainable fundraising


Aggie Sweeney, CFRE, President and CEO, of The Collins Group has 35 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. As co-owner of the country’s largest woman-owned fundraising consulting firm, Ms. Sweeney has a well-earned reputation as an insightful listener and as a “developer of nonprofits” who can direct organizations not only toward fundraising success, but also sound business practices. In her consulting role, she has provided fundraising counsel to more than 60 organizations including 24 campaigns with goals totaling over $350 million. She serves on the Board of the Giving Institute, and holds a BA from Colorado State University and an MPA from the University of Colorado .

Liz Reilly has been Major Gifts & Capital Campaign Director at Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette for a little over a year. Before joining PPCW, Liz learned most of what she knows about fundraising from colleagues and clients she met in her five years at The Collins Group, where she managed feasibility studies and provided campaign counsel for a variety of nonprofits. Outside of work, Liz serves on the board of City Club of Portland. She holds BAs in Anthropology and English, and a minor in French, from Vassar College.