The Systems of Success

The MGO's complete guide to getting out of the office, getting in front of more prospects, and building a sustainable major gifts pipeline.

Raise more money now. Raise more money in the future. Get the proven systems used by highly-successful major gifts officers.

The future belongs to the organizations—and to the fundraisers—who can close major gifts. One after another, after another, after another.

This doesn’t happen by accident. It isn’t luck either.

Top performers are more systematic than they appear. You can learn their foolproof systems.

And their seemingly “natural people skills?” Much of it is learned behavior and reliable scripts. You can get these too.

Are you brand new to fundraising? Great! Welcome.
(And, pro tip: Don’t waste months digging in old files and “researching” your prospects. Start building relationships NOW.)

Or perhaps you’re an experienced major gifts officer. Also great! I want to show you how you can get more. More meetings with top prospects, more big gifts, and more the peace of mind. How? By setting up the major gifts systems that will guarantee your future success.

Big Wins Drive Results

You’ve had those moments, right? Moments of clarity. The ones where you look up from your day-to-day busyness and wonder, Are we focused on the right things? Am I focused on the right things?

Like when your team is agonizing over your organization’s next fundraising appeal. Every word has been scrutinized. You’re on the 13th draft.

And then you have a moment of clarity: Does any of this matter? All these small tweaks?

Maybe they’ll lead to a few more gifts. Or a few hundred more dollars. Although you’re pretty sure you’ve already burnt through thousands of dollars in staff time.

Or, how about when your annual fundraising event is coming up?

It’s a huge production. Everybody at the organization will focus on it for the next three months.

And sure, you net $100,000. But again…those pesky moments of clarity. You start doing a little mental math:

Well, that $100,000 figure doesn’t account for staff time…

Let’s see. Three months of everyone’s time equals roughly 25% of annual salaries...

Subtracted from the $100,000 we say we raise…

Or, maybe it’s not so much moments of clarity that make you re-think priorities as it is the pressures of the job.

You put tons time and energy into your next event. It goes well, but afterward your Executive Director says, “Everything came together nicely, but we need new blood. I feel like I just keep seeing the same people.”

So you're back at work the next week and you commit yourself to building new relationships. You’re going to get out of the office more. You’re going to go on more donor visits!

You send a few emails, get a little traction, maybe meet with a donor or two. But, after a few weeks, mailing projects and events are taking up all your time again.

Before long, you realize it’s been about a year since your org last received a major gift. And, if you’re honest with yourself, you’re not sure when the next one will come. Or who will give it.

Now, picture it this way…

You’re as busy as ever, but you go about your work with a sense of calm.


Because you see a clear path to your fundraising goal.


You’ve set up proven systems. You've planned the work. And now you just need to work the plan.

You know that big gifts from your biggest givers are going to get you 80-90% of the way to your goal. You know who you’re going to ask. You know when you’re going to ask them.

And you know that you’re asking enough people to get the number of “yes” answers you need to reach your goal.

Sure there are still events to plan and mailings to get out—those things aren’t unimportant. But they have their place. And you don’t allow them to get in the way of what’s most important: your major gifts pipeline. You've built it, nurtured it, and now it's delivering results.

Your Executive Director is happy. She’s meeting new people every month as you position her to cultivate certain donors and solicit others.

And there’s no mystery around major gifts anymore. You’re getting a steady stream of them. In fact, you’re able to project forward and you have a good sense for when the next one is going to come in. You have a cohort of warm prospects who are ready to solicit within the next six months. And you have another group that will be ready in 12-18 months.

Two different ways to experience the same job, right? Why the difference?

In the first scenario, you were working hard, but never breaking through. The result? Anxiety. Frustration.

In the second scenario, you accomplished a whole lot more. And felt better about your work!

Why? Because you started with the big pieces—major gifts. You didn’t blow 90% of your time and your budget chasing $100 checks.

You set up a system for generating big gifts at the very center of your operation. You ran the system, and everything else fit around it.

The results? You enjoy your job much more. You’re raising more money. Your boss, your colleagues—they’re happy too. They’re recognizing your good work, and even making themselves available to help.

Playing to Win

Two very different approaches indeed. And I’ve lived both of them.

Like many new gift officers, I received very little training when I first started. I mostly went with the flow of things and focused a lot on events.

But were we raising any money? Meh.

I got interested in major gifts when I realized that, with one or two of them, I could raise as much money as we were at our events. And with far less effort and expense.

But how was I going to learn to fundraise in this new way? There wasn’t anyone around to teach me.

Sure, I did webinars and went to conferences. I learned a lot about fundraising—theory, big pictures stuff. But what I needed was more practical. How do I put a portfolio together? How do I set up meetings with potential donors?

Slowly, but surely, I figured it out. And I learned how to be systematic and strategic in my approach instead of ad hoc.

I also realized that many donor relationships start and grow in similar ways. This is true even though each donor is different. There’s a process. And, in fact, I could systematize much of it to keep me on track and end the guesswork.

Fast forward some years. As the leader of a fundraising team, I now have a system that I teach new gift officers during their onboarding process.

My own experience taught me that it's critical to give gift officers frameworks, tools, and scripts early on—the foundational systems of major gifts success.

These systems are also the key to getting off to a strong, fast start. And I’ve been thrilled with the results:

  • My fundraisers are on the phones scheduling appointments by the end of their second week.
  • They meet with donors within their first month.

Too many fundraisers have had experiences like mine: no direction, no training, and no clear expectations. For new gift officers, this type of environment can be crippling.

And many experienced gift officers are doing fine work, but they aren't maximizing their potential. With a few systems and a little focus they could be raising a whole lot more.

Introducing The Systems of Success:
The gift officer’s complete guide to getting out of the office, getting in front of more prospects, and building a sustainable major gift pipeline.

Whether you’re brand new or a seasoned professional, I want to help you jumpstart your major gifts fundraising.

And I want to help you achieve sustainable success over the long-term.

Since I started Fearless Fundraising, I’ve been flooded with questions like:

How much time should I devote to major gifts fundraising every week?

How can I get out of the office and meet with more donors?

How many times should I attempt to reach my prospects before giving up?

What do I say to get someone to want to meet with me?

That’s why I’m making my Ultimate Major Gifts Officer Boot Camp available online. You’ll get everything you need to dominate your portfolio, get out of the office, and ultimately, close more major gifts.

The first video course is now open. It's call The Systems of Success.

Here’s exactly what you’ll learn:

  • Lesson 1: Mastering Your Portfolio: How to turn that list of prospect names into a pipeline for major gifts.
  • Lesson 2: Turbocharging Your Outreach: You won’t raise major gifts sitting in your office. My outreach system will get you out the door and in front of more prospects.
  • Lesson 3: What to Say and How to Say It: Tested, word-for-word phone and email templates you can repurpose for your own outreach.

The Systems of Success is an online course. No software; nothing to install. All the material will be available to you whenever and wherever you have an internet connection.

And, since all of the teaching is by video, you'll be able to work through the material on your own time and at your own pace. There are no webinars or other scheduled activities that might compete with your busy schedule.

As you go through the program, you’ll:

  • Learn my outreach system for getting more meetings with more prospects. (Lesson 2)
  • Develop your very own “Outreach Playbook” to ensure you stay on track and moving toward your goals every day. (Lesson 2)
  • Take your big, scary, annual fundraising goal and use it to calculate a personal, “Weekly Outreach Goal.” (Lesson 1)
  • Learn what to do if a prospect doesn’t return your phone call. (Lesson 3)
  • Get tested, word-for-word phone, text message, and email scripts, so you’ll know exactly what to say when trying to set up meetings. (Lesson 3)
  • Hear how you can work with you boss to set realistic fundraising goals. (Lesson 1)
  • Understand best practice for how many attempts you should make when reaching out to a prospect and when to make them. (Lesson 2)
  • Get word-for-word responses to counter the most common objections to meeting. (Lesson 3)

REAL EXAMPLES from fundraisers getting REAL RESULTS

"Great info that is easy to understand! The course contains a process that, if followed, will allow you to be successful."

- Mike LaFortune, Director of Parent and Family Philanthropy, University of Maryland

"As a newcomer to major gifts, I wanted to understand how to organize my prospect list and my outreach. This course was helpful in providing a framework for my work."

- Angie, Escudero, Senior Development Director, ‎Canine Companions for Independence

"An accessible and very informative training program created by the person who writes the best blog about major gift fundraising."

- Avram Kluger, Senior Major Gifts Officer, Lawrence Technology University

"Great resource! Helpful for getting new fundraisers off to a quick start and a good course correction for those who may be off track. "

- Monique Anderson, Vice President of Development at North Dakota State University Foundation and Alumni Association

Get instant access now

I’ve put it all together for you—all my best strategies and tactics for building a pipeline of major gifts and sustaining it over the long term. It’s the same exact system I use to train gift officers. It gets them out the door and in front of prospective donors within their first month on the job

You’ll get three video modules containing nearly 120 minutes of strategies and tactics you can put to use today. You’ll also get downloadable worksheets to guide you in applying the material to your own work. And you’ll get plenty of word-for-word phone, text message, and email scripts to adapt for your own outreach.

You’re committed to your organization. Don’t leave major gifts to chance—it’s the biggest and most important piece of your fundraising effort. I want to give you everything you’ll need to set up the systems that will generate major gifts for years to come.

Try it, there's no risk

I know you’re going to love The Systems of Success. And if you don’t, I insist you get your money back—100% of it.

The material in this course has been rigorously tested; I know it works. How? Because I’ve used it to set up productive major gift pipelines at organizations large and small.

This is what I want for you. So, I invite you to take action today. The Systems of Success will give you a blueprint for major gifts success. Commit to the program for a few weeks and I know you’ll be happy with the results.

If you’re not, you’ll get your money back. No hidden surprises. Just send in your completed worksheets within 30 days of purchase. We’ll both know you gave it your best shot, and you’ll get a 100% refund.

Get Instant Access to The Systems of Success for only $157

Enroll in the Course Now!

If this course helps you cultivate, solicit, and close even a single $5,000 gift, your ROI will be over 3,000%. It's easily the best value you'll find in major gifts training.

REAL TACTICS you and your team can use today

Think about the last conference you went to. Sure, you enjoyed meeting some new peers, and maybe you got a jolt of motivation that lasted a few days. All well and good, but for $800-1,200 (plus travel expenses!) you got a lot of big picture info and only one or two takeaways that actually made a difference to your day-to-day work.

Another option would be to hire a major gifts consultant. Price tag: $15,000-25,000.

You could sign up for any number of $200-350 webinars. You’ll get plenty of big-picture stuff, but again, maybe just one or two things that will impact your day-to-day.

With The Systems of Success, it’s all tactical; it’s all actionable. You and your team can put it to work today. You'll be up-and-running in no time and on your way to creating a pipeline that delivers major gifts to your organization.

You'll get the exact process that I use—it’s a blueprint, step-by-step instructions.

And you’ll get the exact words I use when reaching out to donors and prospects. My phone, text message, and email scripts are ready for you to copy and paste.

Get Instant Access to The Systems of Success for only $157

Enroll in the Course Now!

There is one more option. You could do nothing.

You could choose to not take action. Price tag: $0

But, as any MBA will tell you, don’t forget to consider the opportunity cost.

How much will the years of trying to figure it out on your own cost you and your organization?

How much will it cost to continue hoping for more major gifts instead of developing a pipeline that guarantees them?

That’s not you.

Top performers take action. They invest in their future success. And they do it by putting themselves in touch with the best information from the best sources.

Get Instant Access to The Systems of Success for only $157

Enroll in the Course Now!