Major Gift Catalyst: Master the art of frontline fundraising

About Course

Welcome to Major Gift Catalyst! This course is for major gifts officers and anyone handling a portfolio of major donors. I am excited to be your guide on your journey to master major gifts.

The course material offers you video discussion on every aspect of major gifts, templates, samples, and quizzes. Most importantly, we will spend time together in one on one sessions adapting what you have learned to accomplish your individual goals.


Your Instructor

Mariya Yurukova, MBA, CFRE

There is an art and a science to fundraising. My approach combines the subtle art of relationship building with the science of a systematic, organized and strategic lens on doing the right thing the right way. With more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, I have had the privilege to raise over $20 million for the organizations I represent and have worked on gifts ranging from millions to direct marketing campaigns for first time donors. I have transformed dormant portfolios, built brand new ones and doubled or tripled fundraising results in less than a year every time.

My educational background includes a B.A. in Psychology and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing, both from Brock University. This combination of in-depth understanding of human behaviour along with understanding of organizations and marketing allows for a strategic approach to fundraising that takes organizations’ strengths and weaknesses into consideration while focusing on human-level impact and return on effort.

What Will I Learn?

  • Build and organize a portfolio of potential donors
  • Organize and research information on your donors to create strategic cultivation plans
  • Secure donor visits and maximize your interactions during a visit
  • Build a case for support and make major gift asks
  • Create fundraising plans and establish goals
  • Enhance your major gift work by including planned giving and other tools in your arsenal
  • Position yourself for success and manage your career one major gift at a time

Topics for this course

31 Lessons6h

Module 1: Defining major gifts, organizing and prioritizing your donors?

Learn how to build a portfolio of major donors from scratch, how to organize your donors and prioritize those most likely to give. Learning outcomes: - Identify major gift threshold for your portfolio - Build a portfolio from a variety of sources - Estimate capacity and engagement - Organize your portfolio - Utilize the donor engagement matrix to prioritize your donors - Develop strategies to overcome common roadblocks to success
Defining major gifts24:29
Organizing and prioritizing your donors15:51
Roadblocks to success11:03
Step by step guide: How to build a portfolio scratch7:04
Module One Housekeeping
Pop Quiz – Lesson One

Module 2: Donor Engagement?

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Module 3: Donor Visits?

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Module 4: The Ask?

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Module 5: Creating Fundraising Plans?

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Module 6: Stewarding Major Gift Donors

Module 7: Planned Giving and Special Campaigns?

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Module 8: Career Advancement?


Bonus Module: Strategic Donor Cultivation in Higher Education?

A comprehensive list of donor cultivation activities for higher education along with strategies for engaging with academics