Transformational Gifts: Attaining the Gift of a Lifetime

This event has ended.

Transformational Gifts: Attaining the Gift of a Lifetime

This event has ended.

Develop a cultivation plan for transformational gift donors.


Transformational gifts are often the result of decades of strategic stewardship efforts that culminate in a gift that impacts the institution for generations to come. However, understanding what motivates and compels donors to make a transformational gift is a key aspect that is missing at many shops. To advance the vision of your institution, you must learn to successfully navigate both the internal and external complexities of high-level donors and gifts. 

Join us to learn valuable strategies for cultivating and soliciting your top donors in ways that can alter the future of your institution. You will learn how to: 

  • Inspire donors to make a transformational gift. 
  • Develop a successful proposal. 
  • Cultivate and solicit donors with transformational capacity. 
  • Implement a stewardship plan for transformational donors. 

Included with your registration is a workbook with action-planning worksheets and stewardship tools that will be invaluable as you develop your transformational gift strategy. 

Who should attend?

This conference will be most valuable if you have a specific donor in mind whom you wish to cultivate, solicit, and steward. Principal, major, and planned gift officers, as well as vice presidents of advancement, directors of development, and stewardship/donor relations professionals, will leave with a comprehensive transformational gift strategy for their institutions.


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Monday, breakfast on Tuesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.


DAY ONE | Monday, December 11, 2023
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)


Registration and Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Welcome and Introductions
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



The Complexity and Promise of Transformational Gifts 
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Each of the expert speakers brings their own unique transformational gift experience. In this panel discussion, learn the key points and top lessons in stewardship and cultivation through multiple disciplines, such as science, technology, medicine and working with families in helping them pass their philanthropic values onto the next generation. 



Morning Break
10:00 – 10:15 a.m.



The Transformational Donor Cycle: Understanding and Unlocking “Institution Advancing” Opportunities 
10:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Cultivating, soliciting, securing, and stewarding a transformational gift requires a deep understanding of the transformational donor cycle. Using current trends to inform and guide our conversation, we’ll focus on essential aspects to prepare you for success. From knowing how to identify a transformational donor and align donor interests with institutional priorities, to navigating stewardship after the gift is made, you’ll learn the anatomy of a transformational gift and the strategies associated throughout the process.   



11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.



Building and Aligning the Vision 
12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Aligning the values of your institution with the donor’s passions and abilities leads to transformative opportunities. However, building and aligning this vision is a complex and highly personalized process from beginning to end. Learn how to achieve this strategic alignment by focusing on institutional ambition, donor interest, and the ability to deliver on your promise.  



Afternoon Break
1:45 – 2:00 p.m.



TopTier Cultivation & Solicitation 
2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Creating a clear path for your donor requires ownership of a priority within your institution and a demonstration of the challenge the gift will be able to solve. By working through this process—one that leads to top-tier cultivation and solicitation—your institution will reap rewards for years to come. Learn what this looks like by understanding engagement tiers and how they can apply to the prospects in your network. 



Transformational Donor Due Diligence
3:15 – 4:00 p.m.
Building upon the previous session, you will assess your current donors, vision, and partnerships for transformational viability. With the support of your colleagues, peers, and faculty, you will identify the ideal strategy and timeline to move your donor forward.



Day One Wrap-Up and Q&A
4:00 – 4:30 p.m.



Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.



DAY TWO | Tuesday, December 12, 2023
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)


Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Developing the Proposal
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Gift proposals come in many forms, but transformational gift proposals take craft, precision, and significant detail in order to demonstrate the future return on investment. Learn the detailed expectations of transformational donors as well as the critical components of what a successful proposal looks like.



Morning Break
10:00 – 10:15 a.m.



Donor Relations for Top-Tier Donors
10:15 – 11:30 a.m.
High-level stewardship is required for high-level donors. In this final session, you will learn what the most effective style of stewardship looks like for transformational donors. By understanding how critical next-level donor relations are for securing transformational gifts, you will prepare your team for the cultivation of the next gift that advances the vision and mission of your institution.



Debrief Discussion: Next Steps, Q&A
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The closing session of this program will be a debrief discussion, allowing you to articulate your next steps upon returning to campus. Our expert speakers will be available to answer additional questions during this time.


Save on In-Person Conference Registrations

Attend any three in-person conferences for $5,000 for Members ($5,500 for Non-Members) – or $1,667 dollars per registration for Members ($1,833 for Non-Members) – with a Conference 3-Pack. There’s no one way to use your 3-Pack!

  • Send 3 people to the same conference
  • Send 3 individuals to different conferences
  • Experience 3 different conferences yourself

Learn More


The training will be conducted in person at Academic Impressions’ Denver-based office at:
5299 DTC Blvd, Suite 1400, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Nearby hotel suggestions:

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – 3-star hotel
8300 E Crescent Pkwy, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Distance from office: 0.5 miles if driving, 0.3 miles if walking

Reduced Room Rate of $119 per night at the newly renovated Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center. Click here to book. Reserve by November 19, 2023. 


Denver Marriott Tech Center – 4-star hotel
4900 S Syracuse St, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 0.9-1.2 miles, depending on route


Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center – 4-star hotel
7800 E Tufts Ave, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 1.1 miles