Washburn & McGoldrick’s Intensives workshops are the most effective training and coaching programs for gift officers from the most experienced mentors in educational fundraising.

Our Intensives—no-nonsense seminars and one-on-one coaching—provide the industry’s leading training and mentoring to advance your team’s skills, confidence, and results. Each of our experienced trainers is a former vice president at a nationally recognized college or university with a proven track record in leading, mentoring, and direct fundraising. The personalized training we provide is affordable, effective, and dynamic.

In today’s philanthropic environment, educational leaders are committing significant resources in staff and technology to partner with donors, realize visionary goals, and maximize gift income and engagement. Trustees and senior management expect measurable returns on these investments. Customized, expert training to boost your gift officers’ top performance and accountability has never been more critical. Find out what some of our clients say about our Intensives program on the Testimonials page.

Newly refreshed and updated for today’s virtual adult learning, Washburn & McGoldrick’s Intensives workshops have now been reimagined to adapt for online delivery.

The new online curriculum provides the full breadth of content as our in-person workshops. An added benefit is that the entire curriculum has been updated to support the work of gift officers during times of social distancing. Our on-line workshops are based on the “absorb, do, connect” model of e-learning by William Horton. The key concepts of this tested and proven approach are absorbed via pre-recorded single-topic tutorials, interspersed with interactive live video class sessions. During the live video class sessions, participants apply what has been learned through case studies, role plays, rapid response exercises and small group breakout sessions. All of this is followed up by one-on-one coaching sessions with Washburn & McGoldrick workshop leaders to reinforce the key points of the classroom sessions.

  All of our offerings can now be delivered on-line or in person.  

Major Gift Workshops

Creating Major Gift Success — our foundational training for gift officers

Customized Training for Your Team — Creating Major Gift Success is a highly interactive program that challenges your team to work collaboratively, think strategically, shorten their time horizons for productivity, and practice the language of engagement, solicitation and closing. It is customized for your institution with a case study, role plays, and rapid response exercises drawn from our experience and your own campus examples.

Summer Workshops — are designed for gift officers from a variety of institutions, often including gift officers who have joined a team that already participated in Creating Major Gifts Success on campus, or gift officers from individual institutions who are looking for best-in-class training.  In several cases, small teams of gift officers from one institution have participated, using time between tutorials and class meetings to discuss and implement the best practices immediately. The added advantage of the summer workshop is that each participant can build their professional network through the highly interactive live class sessions, and benefit from three personal coaching sessions with one of the Washburn & McGoldrick instructors during and following the course.

The Summer Workshop for 2020 will be delivered on-line from July 20 to July 31. The workshop is broken into three modules and the on-line delivery is through Zoom.

  • Module 1: portfolio analysis and prioritization/understanding wealth and philanthropy
  • Module 2: discovery and qualification skills
  • Module 3: preparing and asking for gifts/closing gifts
  • Final session: time management and meeting your performance goals

Each module has a combination of Zoom class meetings with interactive activities for break-out sessions and role plays, and pre-recorded Tutorials (15 total) for the development officers to review and study on their own. During the course of the workshop there will be a total of eight Zoom class meetings and 15 topic-based Tutorials (8-12 minutes each) to review.  We provide two one-hour one-on-one coaching sessions during the workshop, and a third a few weeks later, so that participants have private time to discuss concepts and how they are connecting what they have learned to their own work. From start to finish, the on-line Intensives takes two weeks to complete with four one-hour Zoom sessions each week interspersed with specific Tutorials and coaching sessions.

Creating Major Gift Success 2.0 — Advanced Asking and Closing Skills

Our Creating Major Gift Success 2.0 — Advanced Asking and Closing Skills workshop deepens asking and closing skills.  It is a follow-up program, best approached after participation in our foundational Creating Major Gift Success workshop. It refreshes the key concepts and best practices of the first workshop, and goes even deeper into asking for gifts, responding to different types of donor questions and negotiating a successful “close.” The workshop covers different ways of presenting gift opportunities along with deeper study of “difficult” donor meetings, eight approaches to closing a gift, and developing language that demonstrates the impact of donor support.  Participants also learn how to prepare CEOs, volunteers and campus content experts (including faculty), for active participation in gift solicitation.

As with our foundational Creating Major Gift Success workshop, this training can be provided just for your team, or through a workshop in which with participants from a variety of institutions.  It can be delivered in-person or virtually.

Planned Giving

Planned Gift Essentials

This workshop will help every gift officer understand the basic language of planned giving, the different planned giving instruments that will help donors expand their philanthropic capacity, and the stages of life when donors are most likely to be receptive to information about planned giving. It will also address how to organize and market a planned giving program successfully and how to integrate the program into the fabric of the institutional development program.

Financial Fluency and Donor Life Stages

This workshop helps gift officers understand donor investment, retirement and estate planning goals, and how these goals may influence philanthropic decisions. In the Life Stages session, gift officers learn to identify and understand the financial, social, and personal decisions donors face at different ages with attention to designing specific gift arrangements that can help donors address those issues while helping your institution meet its philanthropic goals.

Additional Workshops

Managing Up, Down and Across

This workshop for those with management and fundraising responsibilities focuses on setting team and individual goals and monitoring progress including during times of social distancing and work-from-home periods, dealing more effectively with challenging team members and cross-campus partners, motivating academic and administrative leaders to focus on fundraising priorities, and time management.

Workshops for Board Members and Key Volunteers

Educational institutions expect their Board members and other key volunteers to be enthusiastic participants in the development process to secure philanthropic support for the institution. Some trustees and volunteers are experienced and eager, while others hope that they will be assigned to other committees! Many who want to be helpful still look for assistance in understanding their role and responsibilities. Our workshops are specifically planned to help your Board members and volunteers partner better with the President/Head/CEO and the development staff to become more effective and have more fun while doing it.

Workshops for Deans, Department Chairs and Faculty

Combining theoretical understanding of how philanthropy works, and a very practical understanding of the role Deans, Department Chairs and faculty can play in the development program, these interactive programs help interested academics and program leaders become more knowledgeable, practiced and confident in planning and implementing development strategies. It helps them how to use their own powerful stories to inspire donors to become involved and to support their teaching, scholarship, research and co-curricular programs.

We’re direct, sensible, and accessible. And, we’re fun to work with!