Track: Organizational Excellence

This session will begin with a 30-minute interactive discussion of:

  • The role of major gifts in the organization
  • How they fit into a comprehensive resource development plan
  • Basic principles of raising major gifts

Following the discussion, participants will form small groups practice asking for major gifts for their organizations. The presenters will circulate, observing and fielding questions from the small groups. During the concluding 10 minutes of the session, groups will report their observations and share how rehearsal practice fits into the solicitation plan.

Learning Objectives:

  • The potential impact of major gifts to your organization by mining your mailing lists and networks of volunteers and donors
  • How to identify those interested and capable
  • How to inform and engage them in your vision and mission
  • How to ask them for financial gifts
  • How to thank and steward your donors and volunteers


  • Leonard P. Iaquinta, president, Excellence in Communications
  • Barbara Ritchie, principal, Barbara Ritchie Professional Coaching Services

Leonard P. Iaquinta
Excellence in Communications

Len Iaquinta is recognized as a strategic and tactical thinker, often contributing to professional practice journals and presenting at professional meetings and the continuing education nonprofit certificate programs of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He has spoken frequently at Alliance for Strong Families and Communities conferences over the past 16 years. Known for his breadth of skills and depth of experience, Iaquinta is a career fundraiser of millions of dollars in major gifts, grants, and periodic funds. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University (Medill School) and Columbia University in the City of New York (Pulitzer School) respectively. He also is the past president of the Racine-Kenosha (Wisconsin) Estate Planning Council.

Barbara Ritchie
Barbara Ritchie Professional Coaching Services

Barbara Ritchie is a former president of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and former Executive Director of the Griffith Centers for Children Foundation. She was a member of the National Association of Homes and Services for Children Board of Directors and was instrumental in the merger of that organization with Family Service America to form the Alliance for Children and Families.

She increased resources for 12 years as director of operations, chief development officer and chief financial officer of Denver Children’s Home. She joined Griffith Centers for Children in 2005 and has been recognized for her turnaround of the current organization in the face of disruptive change.