How to Build and Implement an Extraordinary Major Gifts Program

How to Build and Implement an Extraordinary Major Gifts Program
How to Build and Implement an Extraordinary Major Gifts Program

Date(s): -
Location: San Diego, CA
Certification Credits: 20 IACP

Schools are driven by the ever-increasing demand for more funding, yet are also aware of return on investment. Therefore, many focus their fundraising efforts on major gifts. This workshop explores the latest methodology for creating a fundraising program that produces generous returns, now and in the future.


Topics include how to systematically inspire and retain donors, create an efficient fundraising team, demystify planned giving, and cultivate major donor relationships. Participants will leave with a new understanding of how to immediately maximize opportunities and increase fundraising potential.


    • Learn about the major gift funnel and how to calculate the total value of a major gift.
    • Discover how to create an efficient fundraising team.
    • Train your staff and volunteers to become effective and dynamic solicitors.
    • Master and implement the “Five Rules of Engagement.”
    • Understand how to magnify prospects’ potential for making major gifts.

    Who Should Attend

    School Heads, Development Directors, Major Gift Officers, Board Chairs, and Development Committee members, along with other interested Trustees, will all benefit from this workshop.

    Herb Soles

    Herbert P. Soles, CFRE, IAP-L

    ISM Consultant


    Herb provides consulting services in the areas of development and fundraising. His expertise includes extensive knowledge of major gifts programs, endowment, and planned giving as a way to increase donors’ capacity to give at leadership levels.

    Current Role

    As a member of ISM’s Advancement Team, Herb:

    • Consults in the areas of major gift fundraising, capital campaigns, and staff development
    • Serves as one of the planning architects for ISM’s weeklong Advancement Academy
    • Acts as an instructor and mentor during Advancement Academy
    • Co-teaches ISM’s Summer Institute workshop on capital campaigns

    He holds the Leader Certification through ISM’s International Advancement Program (IAP−L) and is a Certified Fundraising Executive.

    Herb has coached advancement teams that have been recognized twice by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in the Achievement in Mobilizing Support Award competition. He has received seven other national awards for alumni participation, publication improvement, and fundraising management.

    Herb has presented at 21 national education conferences, including CASE, NAIS, and NAES.

    Prior Experience

    Herb served as Headmaster for Development at Norfolk Academy, VA, where he helped close a $40 million capital campaign for endowment and a new performing arts center. He also headed development programs at St. Stephen’s School ($10 million) and Flint Hill School ($2 million), both in VA. He collaborated on a $15 million campaign at St. Albans School, a day-boarding school in Washington, D.C.

    Herb also directed an advancement program that raised more than $31 million in gifts and pledges at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, FL, and helped complete a campaign for $65 million to be used for endowment and campus improvement at Norfolk Academy.

    A recipient of CASE’s Steuben Crystal Apple and CASE’s Robert Bell Crow Award, he served as Chair of the 37th CASE-NAIS national conference. He has been a member of the judging panel of the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards for Independent Schools, chairing it for six years. He also served 11 years on the faculty of the CASE Summer Institute for Independent School Advancement Professionals.

    Herb has participated on or been a member of the CASE Alumni Relations Commission, the Development Advisory Committee for the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Development Steering Committee of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington. He is a former Program Chair and President of the Planned Giving Study Group of Greater Washington. In Helen Colson’s book, Philanthropy in Independent Schools, Herb authored the chapter on planned giving.


    Herb holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Virginia, VA, and has done graduate work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

    The workshop kicks off on Sunday, with registration from 2–3 pm, followed by the opening session, a reception, and Get to Know You dinner. You will have a full day of sessions and networking on Monday, with the workshop wrapping up at noon on Tuesday. If you are traveling by air, please make your flight departure time 3:00 pm or later.

    Sunday, October 20

    2:00–3:00 pm Registration

    3:00–5:00 pm Session 1

    5:00 pm Reception and Dinner

    Monday, October 21

    7:00 – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast

    8:00 – 9:15 am Session 2

    9:15 – 10:15 am Keynote

    10:15 – 10:30 am AM Break

    10:30 – 12:15 pm Session 3

    12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch

    1:15 – 3:00 pm Session 4

    3:00 – 3:15 pm PM Break

    3:15 – 5:00 pm Session 5

    5:00 pm Networking Reception

    Tuesday, October 22

    7:15 – 8:15 am Continental Breakfast

    8:15 – 10:00 am Session 6

    10:00 – 10:15 am AM Break

    10:15 – 12:00 pm Session 7

    How to Book Your Room

    Workshop Location

    Doubletree by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
    7450 Hazard Center Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92108

    ISM's room block is open for online or call in reservations. 

    Reserve Your Room

    1. Use this link to make your reservations.
    2. Call the hotel directly at 619-297-5466 and ask for the Independent School Management or ISM room block.

    Note: Do NOT make any non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive a communication from ISM that the workshop is confirmed to run.

    About the Hotel

    The DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego - Mission Valley puts you in the center of San Diego. The Mission Valley hotel is conveniently located next to the trolley stop, which offers easy transportation to a variety of the city’s top attractions including Old Town, Little Italy, Petco Park, San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, and San Diego State University.

    It offers some of the largest guest rooms in Mission Valley and are pet-friendly. Each room has 400 sq. ft. of contemporary space with high-quality amenities. Standard Wi-Fi is complimentary for Hilton Honors members who book direct. It also offers an indoor and outdoor pool plus a 24-hour fitness center.

    • Adjacent to the San Diego Trolley, it's a quick ride to historic Old Town and 10 minutes to downtown
    • Walk/bike path to Fashion Valley Mall, connected to Hazard Center shops and restaurants
    • Largest guest rooms in Mission Valley
    • Heated indoor/outdoor pools, 24-hour fitness center, and business center
    • Pet-friendly

    Things to do in San Diego

    Located in the heart of Mission Valley, this DoubleTree hotel near the University of San Diego is just steps from the San Diego Trolley. This provides easy transport to a range of attractions, including the historic Gaslamp Quarter, SDCCU Stadium (formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium) and Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.

    Indulge in some retail therapy at the Fashion Valley Mall, a large mall in San Diego with many fine shops, and within walking distance of the hotel. Discover the world-famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld® San Diego, and LEGOLAND® California, or explore the museums and gardens of Balboa Park. Enjoy one of San Diego’s 94 championship golf courses, including world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.


    How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

    It is essential that your school approves the following email addresses from ISM:


    You will be receiving all communication—including your confirmation email and access to your workshop's Google Drive account—from these emails.

    What does my registration fee include?

    All workshop materials, breakfasts, lunch or dinner daily, and social hours are included.

    What is not included in my registration fee?

    Hotel accommodations and travel expenses, other meals not noted.

    What should I wear?

    Meetings rooms are generally cold, as temperature control in meeting spaces and large convention centers is difficult. Please bring a sweater, jacket, or sweatshirt.

    What should I bring?

    You’ll receive a letter from your workshop instructor letting you know what to bring. However, please bring a laptop or tablet for online access.

    Can my special dietary requirements be met?

    Absolutely. Just give the Workshops Department a call at 302-656-4944, and we'll make sure your needs are accommodated.

    Should I need medical or dental attention, where should I go?

    Should you need medical attention in a non-emergency, notify ISM staff and the hotel staff. The hotel can recommend what facilities are available, and may be able to supply transportation. In an emergency, call 911.

    Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

    We will correspond with you through email as soon as your workshop is confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to its start date. Occasionally, we may be forced to cancel an unconfirmed, scheduled workshop due to insufficient registration. So we ask that you do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive notice that your workshop is confirmed. (ISM will not be responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by your airline or travel agent.)

    Tuition Payment and Cancellation Policy for In-Person, Group-based Programs

    Tuition must be paid in full 10 business days prior to the start date of the in-person, group-based program. An attendee with a balance due on the start date will be denied entrance to the program until the balance is paid in full.

    Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing, faxing to 302-656-0647, or mailing to: Professional Development Coordinator, ISM, 1316 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE, 19806.

    • Cancellations received more than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will be fully refunded. Gold Dollars will also be fully refunded.
    • There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 15 business days before the start of the program. For registrations paid for with membership Gold Dollars, the member school will receive a 50% refund of Gold Dollars.
    • Non-payment of tuition or no-show to the event does not constitute a cancellation. Full tuition will be due and payable.

    The Substitution Option and Wallet Option

    Should an attendee need to cancel less than 15 days prior to the start date of the workshop, the school has two options to avoid penalty. Schools may also exercise these options at anytime for cancellations. 

    1. The school may substitute another employee.
    2. The school may bank the funds for a future ISM registration. These funds must be applied to a professional development event within one year from the start date of the original workshop. After one year, the funds will be forfeited. To use banked funds, please call the Professional Development Coordinator at 302-656-4944 x152.

    *We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.



    Image of a teacher and students in class
    Image of a teacher and students in class

    Our Guarantee

    ISM believes in providing quality and excellence in all of our events and in ensuring the satisfaction of everyone who attends. Nearly 100% of our participants say they would recommend our events to their colleagues. If you are not satisfied with your event for any reason, ISM will credit the fee you paid toward another similarly priced workshop or will refund it.

    If you have any questions, click below to send us an email. 

    Workshop Registration

    Register for your workshop online by filling out the form below. If you'd prefer to register by mail, download our registration form.

    Image of a teacher and students in class
    Image of a teacher and students in class

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