Learn – Network – Grow

In a Community of
Fundraising Peers

MGM Locations:


Foundation Center

312 Sutter Street @ Grant

San Francisco, CA

6th Fl. Conference Room



Children's Hospital & Research Center Foundation

2201 Broadway (near Grand)

Oakland, CA

6th Fl. Conference Room

note: building entrance is off of 22nd St.



Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM







Full participation in DER programs may be eligible for CFRE International certification points.

Major Gifts Magic!

Major Gifts Magic (MGM) is a free, peer support forum for major gifts officers and directors to share major gifts fundraising strategies and tactics, meet challenges, and solve problems. Peer leaders with expertise in each session's topic will help address issues identified by the group. MGM co-hosts Gillian Gray and Jill Jacobs facilitate discussion and encourage all participants to contribute. 

All MGM meetings are free of charge and held either at the
Foundation Center in San Francisco, or other East Bay locations (see below for more details). 

 Major Gifts experience preferred. 




Getting that vital First Meeting with a Major Donor  


Date & Time:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
3:00 - 5:00 PM



Foundation Center

312 Sutter Street, Suite 606

San Francisco, CA




We know that meeting prospects and donors in person is the most powerful way to establish a connection and begin building a relationship that will lead to a major gift. This workshop will offer practical strategies for securing that important first meeting and is designed for all fundraisers who are tasked with qualifying major gift prospects through donor visits. New and experienced gift officers are welcome as the workshop will include opportunities to share your stories of success as well as instances that proved challenging. Some of the discussion points we will cover are:

  • Prioritizing who to approach
  • Developing strategies for getting the meeting
  • Creating the most effective contact plan
  • Staying positive in the face of rejection



Tim Whalen is the Associate Director of Development for Individual Giving at the San Francisco Symphony. He works closely with executive and board leadership to direct and advance all aspects of individual giving. Together with a team of six major gift officers, he is responsible for raising over $23 million annually in major and planned gifts. With over 20 years of fundraising experience, Tim has extensive experience in the Arts, including ACT, Cal Performances and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.



Major Gifts Magic is a free, peer support forum for major gifts officers and directors to share major gifts fundraising strategies and tactics, meet challenges, and solve problems.




Gillian has a passion for making the world a better place. She started her career with Voluntary Service Overseas and has worked for local government, stimulating inner city recreation. After an MBA, she moved into management consulting for Global 500 corporations, government and nonprofits. Her experience has honed her skills in developing relationships to effect change and secure major funding. 



Major Gifts Manager, The San Francisco SPCA

Jill Jacobs is the Major Gifts Manager at the San Francisco SPCA and has 17 years of experience in development and 10 years of experience in major gifts.  She has also worked at Homeward Bound of Marin, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and created a development department from scratch as the Development Director at Buckelew Programs, a regional organization that serves adults with serious mental illness.



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