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Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

Major Gifts and Planned Giving: The Fundamentals

Designed to impart the fundamentals required for success in major gift and deferred-gift fundraising, this course will cover research and prospect strategies, practical tools for donor cultivation, prospect management and tracking, volunteer involvement and solicitation techniques for major gifts. Senior fundraising professionals will share their real-world solicitation experience and guide participants through solicitation exercises. They will provide an overview of planned giving vehicles, discuss the components of a successful planned giving program and review ways to integrate it into the development operation.

Course Details:

Fall Session Date: Thursday, December 1, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (breakfast and lunch provided)
Fee: $255 For AFP members: $217
CEUs: 0.7
CFRE: 7 points

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Lisa M. Chmiola, CFRE, is the director of major gifts and planned giving at St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic college preparatory girls’ school in Houston, Texas. She is responsible for transformational fundraising, particularly related to capital campaigns and the 1906 Society for legacy donors. Previously she served as director of advancement for the University of Houston College of Technology, where she oversaw fundraising, alumni relations, marketing and communications efforts. She was part of a task force in 2009 to develop the college’s social media sites, strategy and policies. She has presented several times locally, nationally and internationally on fundraising and social media, and was responsible for the AFP Houston chapter’s social media site development. She is a certified AFP Master Trainer and an official member of the AFPeeps, a flock of volunteers dedicated to spreading the word about AFP and the International Conference on a variety of social media outlets. She serves on the AFP International Collegiate Chapter Support subcommittee, and the task force that coordinates the annual National Philanthropy Day Honors event. She currently serves on the Planned Giving Council of Houston board as president-elect. Lisa’s 14 years of development experience also includes fundraising for the American Heart Association and the City of Lake Charles, Louisiana. In addition to a bachelor’s in journalism at UH, she earned a master’s in public relations from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lisa is also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston, and a graduate of Leadership Houston’s Class XXIX and the Center for Houston's Future LeadershipNEXT program.

Jennifer Reeves, CFRE, is a seasoned development professional with more than 18 years of experience with progressively responsible roles in large multi-part academic- and health-related institutions as well as leadership positions in social service-based nonprofits and private K-12 education. Her experience includes a proven track record of successful major gift fundraising including demonstrated success in identifying, personally cultivating, soliciting and closing leadership-level gifts. Previously, she served as a major gifts officer for the Houston Food Bank, the nation’s largest food bank and member of Feeding America. Ms. Reeves is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, with an emphasis in English and psychology. She is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and holds CFRE certification. She currently serves as vice president of advancement for Family Services of Greater Houston (Family Houston).

Brenna Baumann-Gonzalez


"Great speaker, very engaging, good humor, kept class fun in addition to educating."