Fundraising Nest & Xponential

Major Giving Accelerator

Gain The Knowledge, Skills & Confidence To Raise Large Gifts From High-Net-Worth Individuals For Your Nonprofit

An easy to follow, self-paced online course that will teach you how to develop and succeed with your Major Gifts Fundraising program.

Get Lifetime Access To The Major Giving Accelerator Course

Approved CFRE Education Provider

Full participation in the Major Giving Accelerator is applicable for 6 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

*Participation in the Monthly Giving Accelerator 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 (educational program title) was not developed in conjunction with CFRE International.

Instructed By The Experts In Major Gifts Fundraising

You’ll learn from the founders and directors of Australia and New Zealand’s largest firm of fundraising and philanthropy specialists, Xponential.

Craige Gravestein

Chief Big Gifts

“As ‘Chief Big Gifts’, I’ve spent the past 25 years facilitating and raising hundreds of millions of dollars in partnership with hundreds of not-for-profits. The success of that work has contributed to transformational changes in healthcare, education, animal welfare, religious and social services. Passing that experience on to others ensures it lives on.”

Brian Holmes

– FFIA, M.Edplus

“I love what I do. That’s the reason I’ve been doing it for more than 25 years. I love that I’ve been able to help so many amazing people, organisations and causes raise millions of dollars. The industry recognition of our success is valued but tomorrow morning I get another opportunity to make a significant difference by bringing big givers and wonderful causes together again.”

Roewen Wishart

High Value & Strategy Director

“For over 20 years, I’ve helped to create the difference which transformational major gifts bring. It feels personally rewarding to see the chemistry happen between great donors and great causes. I take pride in helping not-for-profits to building great fundraising teams, and great relationships between not-for-profits and significant donors.”

Testimonials on the expertise of Xponential

“We needed to implement a Major Gift Program and refine our practices in cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors across global regions, based on best practices. Xponential and Roewen came highly recommended to us as they had the expertise in this area. Roewen had the experience and expertise to guide and support me through implementation and ongoing development strategies of a major gift program. By providing the knowledge and best practices for a major gift program, it allowed us to increase our revenues through major gifts.”

Cath Downes
Senior Donor Relations and Development Manager at Cambodian Children’s Fund

“Hiring Xponential to assist with the development of a case for support and the initial stages of our capacity campaign was the best decision my organisation made! My team and I worked closely with Brian Holmes to develop the tools and structure required for success, with their decades of experience we were able to not only draw from industry knowledge and practices but track records that helped to engage and encourage our board and most importantly our donors!”

Antonia Makkar
General Manager, Philanthropy at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

“We chose Xponential because of their great references and professional submission. With little experience on how to raise philanthropic funds, Xponential guided us on the steps required to seek and close donors. Their structured process for fundraising, personal service and flexibility was instrumental in our success. We exceeded fundraising expectations and retained member satisfaction/trust. We would definitely recommend them to others.”

Rob Parker
Commodore at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

Why Major Gifts?

Xponential’s Australian Major Gifts Benchmarking Study 2023 showed that the median return on $1.00 spent on major gifts fund raising was $8.90
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Due to a significant increase in migration, asset price growth and life expectancy; The number of high net worth individuals in Australia alone has grown to over 635,000*
Globally the number of high net worth individuals sits at approx 53,000,000*** which presents a huge opportunity for major gift prospecting for your nonprofit

The 'Xponential Effect' To Propel Your Nonprofit

The Major Gifts Fundraising Accelerator moves through a cycle of six separate sessions where you’ll understand how each piece works together sequentially, but also fits together systematically, to give you the maximised opportunity for success for your Major Gifts Fundraising program.

Session #1 - Introduction To Major Gifts Fundraising

Lessons: 4

In this session you’ll learn how investing in a major gifts fundraising program can transform your organisation.

You’ll also gain the confidence to discuss the importance of major gifts fundraising to key stakeholders, as well as understanding a consultant’s role in the process and the key differences between a major gifts program vs a capital campaign.

“At the end of this masterclass, you will have the knowledge to start your own major gift program. Or if you’re already running a programme, to be able to improve on that programme and take the next step in what you’re able to deliver into your organisation.” – Craige Gravestein

Session #2 - Identify

Lessons: 6

In the Identify session of the accelerator course, you’ll identify what exactly you are raising the funds for and do you have a compelling case.

As well as going through the process of identifying your most likely donors who are going to give to your projects and the research tools that can help you during this process.

“The number one thing in the early stages, is that as your organisation looks at its needs, it also looks at the donor’s needs when it comes to committing the gift. And one of those needs is simply ‘I need to feel that I’m contributing to something successful.’” – Brian Holmes

Session #3 - Develop

Lessons: 8

In the Develop session you’ll start developing your case for support as you prepare for donor engagement.

You’ll understand how to prepare the right material collateral for the amount you’re looking to raise, as well the systems recommended to have place, how and where to allocate time, and how to get the right staff and advocates involved in your major gifts program.

“Gone are the days where we could just say 30 years ago, ‘oh the way we should employ a major gifts officer is someone who is a good salesperson or someone who wears the old school tie or someone who used to be a sports celebrity.’ Those days are gone. – Roewen Wishart

Session #4 - Engage

Lessons: 3

Often a key area missed by nonprofits when asking for a major gift is the engagement phase.

Engaging your donors in your cause can raise the bar significantly in the gift amount you receive from your donors. Learn how to maximise the engagement opportunities you have with your donor so they can not only give a gift, but also influence others to join your program.

“Unfortunately, many organisations, when they hear a donor may have an interest, they jump straight to the ask. ‘Oh, they’re interested. Let’s ask them to give.’ And interest shows that, yes, you’re going to get a gift. But it’s that engagement, it’s that involvement that determines the size of the gift. So, you can jump from interest to the ask, but you’re probably going to get the minimal gift.” – Brian Holmes

Session #5 - Ask

Lessons: 10

After going through the stages of Identify, Develop and Engage, you’ll now gain the confidence to make the ‘Ask’ to your donors for that major gift you’ve been preparing for. But how exactly do you go about asking for a gift?

Here you’ll identify your role in the asking process and know exactly what cues in the conversation to look out for to ensure a successful outcome for your program.

“It’s really important for you to be able to identify the words that you would use so that you can be comfortable. You know you’re comfortable when there are words that you can rattle off without having to think about it too much.” – Craige Gravestein

Session #6 - Nurture

Lessons: 5

Once the gift has been received, success! Your job is done … right? Not by a long shot! 

Nurturing your donors is a vital stage in your major gifts program to ensure your donors not only give again, but so they motivate others to give as well. You’ll gain the skills to ensure you’re thanking your donor’s generosity in the right way.

“It’s (Nurture stage) the part where good practise can help you to enjoy a very high retention rate amongst your major donors, which will be a fabulous legacy of high returns in future years.” – Roewen Wishart

Course Testimonial

"I recently completed the Major Gifts Fundraising Accelerator course. I found it useful, specific, and well-paced. The information is presented in an easy to digest way with plenty of examples and some very handy PDFs. I particularly liked the videos as I'm a visual learner. I worked on our data and CRM as I did the course, completing much of the philanthropic strategy work that was needed as I went. This was super useful and very practical. I have a decade of experience in the non-profit sector but have not had a specific focus on major gifts until now. This course has been great for me to get up to speed with that very particular donor niche and I feel confident about our Major Gifts strategy and plan as a result."
Pollyanna Darling
Former Head of Community & Philanthropy at Carbon Positive Australia

Lifetime Access

You get lifetime access to the Major Giving Accelerator which means you'll get access to new content that becomes available and revisit lessons at any time

Self-Paced Learning

Don't worry about falling behind as all our courses are self-paced and are available in your own time 24/7 to fit in with your schedule

Who Is The Course Designed For?​