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Grow your major gifts and recession-proof your fundraising

The step-by-step formula to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations so you can achieve the impact you dream of 


If you’re a fundraiser or non-profit leader looking to consistently grow sustainable revenue for your cause, you probably already know that you need a successful major giving program.

You’re ready to stop working reactively, putting out financial fires and scrambling to replace lost revenues, with fewer fundraising options.

You know it’s time to get focused on what’s going to get the biggest bang for your fundraising buck, and raise the kind of money you need to achieve transformational change through your organization’s crucial work. 

You’ve likely also heard that individual major gifts represent a huge opportunity for growing your fundraising - individuals continue to give 9 out of every 10 dollars, so effectively engaging donors must be at the top of your to do list. (Source: Giving USA 2022)

And for organizations that are doing the right things, major gifts will only increase, even during times of crisis. 

Photo of Emma Lewzey

Here’s what you might not know

Even if you’re already experiencing some success with your fundraising, having a step-by-step system to raise more major gifts can:

Create consistent, reliable revenue growth (at a high ROI)

A successful major gifts program can bring you the predictable and sustainable revenue you need now more than ever. And while fancy galas and golf tournaments may have once cost you upwards of 50 cents to raise a dollar, for major gifts that cost is just 5 to 10 cents a dollar (if you master an effective system.) 

Replace lost revenue & recession-proof your fundraising

You may have lost multiple important sources of planned revenue over the past couple of years. Donors know. Many who haven’t yet been asked are willing to step up and give more to the charities they already support. Tapping into that generosity will be instrumental in getting through these times of uncertainty and ongoing recovery.  When you focus on building truly meaningful relationships with major donors, they’ll stand by your side through thick and thin. 

Open doors to truly transformational gifts 

If you’re just diving into major giving, you probably won’t be landing multi-million dollar donations right away. But sometimes magic can happen when you start taking consistent, strategic action - when you really commit to raising 5 and 6-figure gifts for your cause, it’s not unusual for 7-figure gifts to follow. 

Even though the reasons to raise more major gifts are clear, the path to doing it successfully is anything but.

If you’re like most fundraisers, you’ve tried to start landing bigger gifts, but got stuck before you generated any real momentum, likely because...

  • You’re pulled in too many directions. Focusing on the right things to grow a sustainable and successful fundraising program would be easier if you weren’t already stretched too thin.

  • Getting started is the hardest part. No one has ever created a plan or system for you to follow to successfully raise major gifts. You don’t want to jeopardize relationships by approaching it wrong… and you might not know where to start looking for major gifts. 

  • Meeting with donors is too hard. Maybe you’ve made a courageous commitment to getting in front of more big donors - yet you feel like you’re spending all your time chasing people to say yes to a meeting.

  • It’s intimidating. Some days, the prospect of working with wealthy folks makes you feel so far out of your depth, you worry you’ll make an irreparable mistake that will cost your organization.

Here’s why most charities aren’t successful at major gifts

Without a step-by-step process or system to follow, most organizations will continue getting pulled off track, chasing the latest unproven fundraising tactic instead of focusing on a path that will bring them lasting security and sustainable growth.

And luckily for you, there are very few organizations out there doing major gift fundraising effectively.

Chances are, other organizations in your space are leaving a huge amount of money on the table because they aren’t following a proven process to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations. 

Which means this is a golden opportunity for you to get focused, take action, and start landing those big gifts you deserve - and raise the money you need to really start moving the needle for your mission.

The 4 myths that are killing your major gift fundraising

Myth 1
You’re too small for big gifts

A lot of fundraisers feel like major gifts are the exclusive domain of large organizations with huge teams, a staff of major gift specialists, and seemingly bottomless resources. 

But the reality is, small and mid-sized shops are perfectly positioned to raise more 5 or 6-figure gifts, and have some significant advantages over big shops.

Many large charities don’t start counting a gift as major until it’s well past the $100,000 mark. This means you have an incredible opportunity to build powerful relationships with generous donors who aren’t even on the radar for a lot of big shops. 

Myth 2
You need to have everything perfect before you get started

Fundraising and nonprofit leadership tends to attract a lot of Type A personalities (myself included!).

While Type A tendencies can keep many elements of our fundraising growing and moving forward, they can have a significant downside - like striving for impossible perfection.

Do you find yourself hesitating too often, waiting for perfect conditions before taking action to move towards your major gift goals?

Often, when we feel we aren’t ready, or we don’t have all the facts, we’re actually getting in our own way and sabotaging our chances of success.

Implementing effective major gift strategies, techniques and tactics is so important. But the truth is, your mindset can be the one thing that can make or break your success. 

Perfect is the enemy of good fundraising. Getting started and taking imperfect action is always going to move you closer to hitting your goals.

Myth 3
You don’t have enough time for major gifts

You already know major giving isn’t a quick fix - it’s a serious commitment to the future success for your fundraising. 

Your organization has limited resources, and as a fundraiser, you have hundreds of competing priorities on your time.

If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably already decided building your major gift program is a top priority.

There’s an opportunity cost involved every time you make a choice in how you spend your time. And chances are, you could be moving some low-value tasks off your plate to carve out some space in your calendar to start taking action to raise more 5 and 6-figure gifts for your mission. 

Your time is a limited resource – say yes to spending it where it really counts!

Myth 4
You need to raise awareness first - then the money will naturally follow

I’ve seen organizations waste a lot of time and money on this persistent myth (a favourite of many boards!).

While these campaigns may have raised awareness, they didn’t raise a dime. 

When you prioritize using a proven approach to growing major gifts, you’ll be raising awareness about your cause in a way that has real impact - by having meaningful conversations to uncover what truly matters to each of your donors.

Here’s the truth about fundraising in 2023 (and beyond)


The recession is not just coming - it’s already here. 

Some fundraisers and nonprofit leaders will give in to fear, overwhelm and inaction just hearing the word. 

But not you. Because you know that your crucial work is far too important to give in to Chicken Little Syndrome! 

To hit your fundraising goals, and create the consistent, reliable revenue growth you need, it’s going to be more important than ever to make sure you’re using a proven approach. 

Chances are, you already have most of the ingredients you need for major gift success - you just need a clear plan to help you take your fundraising to the next level. 

That’s why I’m so excited to be introducing...

Major Gift Master Plan logo

Major Gift Master Plan

I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from more than 20 years of successful fundraising and broken it down into a clear, comprehensive program that teaches the effective implementation of a plan to raise more 5, 6 and even 7-figure gifts. 

I’m a veteran of campaigns ranging from $5M to $200M across the arts, education, health and human services sectors, and during the Great Recession, I increased fundraising revenue annually, including a 20% year­-over-year increase for four consecutive years.

I’ve seen first hand what works, and what doesn’t - this means I teach a proven, road-tested approach to growing major gifts at your organization (even if you’re a smaller shop).   

You’ll learn the high-level strategies behind successful major gift fundraising - but more importantly, you’ll also have it broken down into a step-by-step execution guide that leaves nothing out, and takes nothing for granted. 

Major Gift Master Plan is the only program of its kind that:

  • Combines high-level strategy and practical tactics into a scalable step-by-step system that can be implemented in small, mid-sized and large shops. 
  • Includes LIVE interactive group coaching and Q & A sessions, so participants can get timely answers to questions, support addressing specific challenges and reinforcement of successful strategies in real-time over the course of the program.
  • Gives participants access for the lifetime of the course, so fundraisers can continue to draw on the advice of peers and get ongoing upgrades as the program expands to include new content, templates and resources.  

“MGMP provided a great road map for us to follow and has given us a step-by-step process for our major giving program. This program has huge value for the money. It is a very practical and hands on course with tangible outcomes that puts you well on your way to success!” 

-Stephanie Christensen, Executive Director 

By the end of this program, you will:

  Know how to create a powerful pipeline, and build and prioritize your list of top donors and prospects for your organization

 Have an effective and repeatable qualification process to identify and contact potential donors for your major gift program

 Implement the Compelling Case Framework to quickly create cases for aspirational giving opportunities, tailored to each donor

 Learn the formula for effective major donor meetings - be able to assess when the donor is ready to commit to your cause, and understand how to make a successful ask 

 Understand a simple Moves Management framework to strategically build your donor relationships (and ensure nothing important falls through the cracks)

 Develop a clear Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system your organization can use to measure your major gift growth

Enroll in Major Gift Master Plan today:

6 monthly payments of



A one-time payment of



If you're ready to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations without feeling intimidated, overwhelmed or stretched too thin, here’s how we’ll get you there.


Module 1

Mastering Major Gift Psychology 

Implementing the effective strategies, techniques and tactics you’ll learn in this program is so important - but your mindset is the one thing that can make or break your fundraising success. 

That’s why we’re starting with a clear framework to recognize the difference between tackling an external challenge to your major gift success - and when you need to overcome the internal barriers that are holding you or your organization back from taking action.  




  • Identify the three types of limiting beliefs, and where they come from  

  • Learn about the two mindsets that impact our fundraising results - and the daily behaviours you need to cultivate for sustained success

  • Recognize and address the most common fears that stop most fundraisers from moving forward on their major gifts 

Module 2

Building Your Powerful Pipeline

Where do you start looking for more major gifts for your cause? This is the one area where so many fundraisers get stuck when they are building their major gift program. 

In this module, you’ll learn about the big mistake many charities are making when it comes to building their pipeline - and I’ll break down exactly how to create a powerful pipeline so you are ready to take action with your prospects in Module 3.  


  • Clearly define what qualifies as major giving for your organization (many organizations are leaving money on the table because they don’t have this right!)

  • Identify exactly where to find your hottest prospects by clearly mapping out your Circle of Community

  • Create and prioritize your list of top donors and prospects using the 3 C Process. (Connection, Capacity and Conviction)

Module 3

Connecting and Cultivating

Now that you’ve identified and prioritized your top prospects, you’re ready for my favourite part of the program - taking action to create a powerful connection directly with your next big donor!  

With Major Gift Master Plan, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel - you can start implementing a proven approach to building relationships with your major gift prospects using the templates, speaking points and tried-and-tested tips included in Module 3.   


  • Understand the key channels for connection and take stock of your potential engagement opportunities, so you never run out of ways to meaningfully reach out to your donors and prospects

  • Create an action plan template so you know exactly what you need to do and when to move a prospect towards a greater investment in your mission and vision.  

  • Set up an effective and repeatable process to contact and qualify donors for your major gift program  

Module 4

Inspiring Investment

If you want to begin securing more 5, 6 or even 7-figure gifts, individual donors need to be presented with aspirational giving opportunities that inspire a bigger investment.

Starting to develop a compelling case for support that outlines aspirational opportunities for giving is one of the most important steps you will take to support your fundraising growth. Ultimately, if you want a $1M individual major gift, you need to be presenting donors with a million-dollar vision! 


  • Avoid the big mistakes most organizations make when building their case 

  • Get a step-by-step process for creating an irresistible case for giving

  • Learn key strategies for raising more unrestricted gifts

Module 5 

Making Meetings Magic

Have you ever left a donor meeting thinking, “what just happened?” You had a nice chat, gave an update on your programs… but you didn’t move the needle any closer to a major gift.

Or, maybe you put off the meeting altogether because you didn’t feel confident steering the conversation.

Getting more strategic about how you use your time in donor meetings can help take your relationships to the next level.

Time with your donors is far too precious to waste - in this module, I’ll show you how to make the most out of every minute of your hard-won meeting with your next big donor… even if it’s over a Zoom call.


  • Learn the behind-the-scenes secrets for having the most successful meetings with donors - as well as the common pitfalls to avoid

  • How to make the most strategic use of your time with a potential major donor 

  • Understand when, where and how to “make the ask” - and how to figure out when the donor is ready to make and waiting to make a commitment to your cause

Module 6

Systems to Sustain Success 

Last (but definitely not least!) I’ll be showing you how to maintain and effectively implement all the strategies and tactics you’ve acquired after officially graduating from Major Gift Master Plan. 

With the right systems to sustain your success, taking daily action to grow your major gifts will become second nature - and if you remain consistent and persistent, you’ll see how more 5 and 6-figure gifts will follow!


  • Learn a simple Moves Management framework you can implement to ensure you keep working on strategically building your donor relationships, one day at a time - and nothing important falls through the cracks

  • Understand the basic segmentation strategies you need for your data, so you can ensure you are continuing to build your powerful pipeline and spot any hidden gems in your donor base

  • Measure what matters so you can monitor your progress to major gift goals — and avoid overlooking important opportunities 

Since joining Major Gift Master Plan, I’ve been promoted to Director of Development, my team surpassed their annual goals, and I love the coaching piece of my new role. Thank you Emma - my biggest concern before the program was not being confident enough. You taught us to be ourselves, and trust our skills.

-Nancy Reyes, Director of Development

Here’s what you’re getting when you enroll in Major Gift Master Plan today

The Major Gift Master Plan Online Implementation Program - $3,997 value
6 Interactive Group Coaching Sessions on Zoom with Q and A - $2,997 value
Done-For-You Quick Start Tools and Templates - $1,997 value
Bonus Expert Trainings  - $497 value
Exclusive Members Community - $497 value

Total Value - $9,985

But because I want to make Major Gift Master Plan available to more fundraisers who need this system, I’m pricing everything inside the program at just...

6 monthly payments of



A one-time payment of



“This program helped me build confidence in my outreach…I already had a donor commit to a 5-figure gift, which was five times larger than any of their previous gifts - and the same donor would consider a 6-figure pledge in the future.” 

-Manager, Major Giving


Plus get these bonuses to reach your big fundraising goals (and ROI) faster

NEW: 6 LIVE Group Coaching and Q and A Sessions

Receive interactive support during live group coaching and Q and A sessions on Zoom, where you can get real-time advice, troubleshoot your plans and work your toughest fundraising challenges.

$2,997 value

Done-For-You Quick Start Tools & Templates 

Get access to the insider optimization tools I use with my clients including the Strategic Donor Meeting Template, Prospect Qualification Kit, Donor Action Plan and more 

$1,997 value

Bonus Expert Trainings

Learn from successful fundraising experts on topics including talking to your donors about legacy giving, advanced time management, using surveys to identify your best major gift prospects, and more.

$497 value

Private Major Gift Master Plan Facebook Group

Become part of a community of like-minded fundraisers all working towards the same goal - keep one another accountable, trade feedback, and get real encouragement along the way. 

$497 value

Your no-risk, “try it, test it, apply it” money-back guarantee


I’m fully confident that the value of Major Gift Master Plan far outweighs the price of the program. 

That’s why I offer a 90-day no-risk, "Try it, test it, apply it" refund policy to all my students. 

If you don’t feel you’ve received value from the program within 90 days of joining, you can email me personally at [email protected] - simply show me you’ve completed the course work, and I’ll give you your money back, no further questions asked.

What people are saying…

"MGMP gave me an eye-opening, valuable framework for managing major gift fundraising that I somehow missed in my eight years in the profession. Wish I could rewind and start over with this new knowledge!"

- Susie Graham, Executive Director of Development

“Whether you are new to major gift fundraising or have experience in the field, this program will provide you with lots of practical steps you can take to help your MG program grow.  I loved all of the ‘hands on’ suggestions that Emma provided and now MG fundraising is not nearly as intimidating as it once was for me.”

-Denyse Newton, Executive Director


“Emma’s teaching style is open and approachable - she created a community for us so I felt like I was learning with a team of people, and not stuck in just another webinar. I left with a better understanding of major gift fundraising, the foundation of skills to succeed at it, and the confidence to start developing a Major Gift program at my organization now.”

Candice McCavitt, Manager of Development

Enroll in Major Gift Master Plan today:

6 monthly payments of



A one-time payment of




Frequently Asked Questions

Burning Q’s your fellow fundraisers and non-profit leaders have asked before enrolling in Major Gift Master Plan


Now, it’s easier to get approval for this game-changing professional development 


Many students make the smart decision to personally invest in Major Gift Master Plan to build their skills and advance their own careers. 
However, I know some of you may be relying on approval and funding from your employer. And if that’s the case, I have a special bonus for you!
I’ve created a done-for-you approval kit you can simply download, customize and send in just a few minutes.  

Your approval kit includes:

  • Decision Maker's Guide to Major Gift Master Plan
  • A fill-in-the-blanks email template you can use to request approval
Download the Approval Kit Now

Enroll in Major Gift Master Plan today:

6 monthly payments of



A one-time payment of



A final, personal message from Emma…

I know these past couple of years may have turned your life and work upside down and inside out. 

It’s challenging to figure out how to navigate the “new normal” in fundraising right now - but now is not the time to retreat into our old, ineffectual ways of raising money. 


Six months from now, where will you be if you continue to simply…

Continue fundraising reactively, stuck in constant crisis mode - instead of taking the lead and implementing effective strategies that allow you to touch more lives with your important work? 

Will you still be on the exhausting treadmill of transactional fundraising, lying awake at night worrying about the stability and sustainability of your revenue?

If you’re ready to raise the kind of money you need to achieve transformational change through your organization’s crucial work - this is your opportunity to nix the fear, overwhelm and doubt, and take your future into your OWN hands.


The best thing about this program is that your return on investment will be inevitable if you commit to implementing the strategies, and taking consistent action from a place of confidence in your ability to succeed.

And the more successful you become in your fundraising, the greater your impact can be.

I believe that you can do this—there’s no reward for doing it the hard way, but there is a whole toolbox of step-by-step strategies and support waiting to carry you through 2023 and beyond. 

If you’re still reading this, I know that you’re feeling called to shake up your fundraising, and start raising more 5, 6 or even 7-figure donations for your cause.

And while you can absolutely learn to navigate it all on your own…I want to help you get started.

(And whether you choose to join me or not, I want you to know that you’re capable of so much more than you know.)

I’ll be with you every step of the way, and I couldn’t be more excited to kickstart your major gift journey with you.


Major Gift Master Plan logo

The powerful step-by-step system you need to raise more 5 and 6-figure donations

Enroll in Major Gift Master Plan today:

6 monthly payments of



A one-time payment of


*Participation in Major Gift Master Plan may assist you in learning or reviewing concepts covered on the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) examination as detailed on the Test Content Outline provided by CFRE International. CFRE International does not sponsor or endorse any educational programs and the Major Gift Master Plan program was not developed in conjunction with CFRE International.

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