Reimagining Relationship Building for Major Gift Officers

Last updated July 22, 2021

Reimagining Relationship Building for Major Gift Officers

Last updated July 22, 2021

Discuss with your peers the best practices for combining virtual and traditional relationship building strategies.


During the pandemic, many institutions had a banner fiscal year because of an unanticipated amount of major gifts. This has proven to advancement leaders that the major gift officer role can be done successfully remotely. As a result, now that institutions are returning to in-person work, albeit with greater flexibility than before, it is time to apply the best of what was learned from virtual engagement work and incorporate it into the traditional model – redefining the role of the major gift officer.

Join us online to discuss how to make smart choices related to how you build relationships with your major donors using a combination of traditional and virtual strategies. This training will be led by Rebekkah Brown, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Muhlenberg College and P. Kevin Williamson, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Major Gifts and Constituent Giving at North Carolina A&T. You will engage in conversations with your peers on how:

  • Discovery work has changed by becoming more efficient
  • Closing and documenting gifts are being done electronically
  • Travel schedules can be made more strategic

Who should attend?

This is a discussion-based event that will require all participants to share their insights and lessons learned. If you are a major gifts professional or manage a team of major gift officers, join us and come prepared to share your solutions, ideas, and perspectives.


September 23, 2021

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time


During this three-hour virtual training, you will discuss the following:

    1. Discovery work
      Discovery work has never been done virtually before the pandemic; in fact, it was widely considered taboo even to try it. Yet, shops were forced into virtual discovery work that unexpectedly led to success at many institutions. Learn what virtual discovery work practices shops are keeping—and discarding—as the major gift officer role moves into a new hybrid workforce model.


    1. Closing and documenting gifts
      Finalizing a major gift in person has always been the crowning moment that showcases the alignment of interests between the major donor and the institution. Most advancement shops had never imagined this work could be done virtually. However, some institutions over the past 18 months have closed the largest gifts in their histories, virtually. Learn from your peers how other institutions are approaching this practice. In what circumstances should closing and documenting gifts remain virtual, and when should it be in person?


  1. Travel schedules
    Face-to-face, in-person meetings with major donors was a staple of the major gift officer role. That is no longer the case. Knowing that not every meeting needs to be face-to-face to be successful anymore, you will discuss how major gift officer travel schedules can be more strategic with your peers.