Leadership Gift School

Nonprofit CEOs and Development Directors are invited as a team, to attend this highly valued education program in Charlotte NC. Six sessions, over a period of eight months, offer a unique experience to build highly trained teams who can effectively advance the way fundraising is implemented. This is the first theory to practice classroom program in the country, tailored to raise the bar of regional philanthropy. As a member of this peer learning community, you will discover what it takes to build and grow the most successful philanthropy program possible for your unique organization. Throughout the eight sessions, you will hear from experts and donors, review the field research, read the professional literature, examine case-studies, and participate in class and out-of-class assignments to ensure the effective implementation of LGS principles. Over the last four years, 123 nonprofit leaders from 59 nonprofit organizations have graduated from this highly acclaimed program, evaluated by an independent UNCC study.

• Increase individual giving and reduce dependency on corporate support
• Design/implement leadership gift strategies unique to each organization
• Create funding opportunities that will attract major gifts: 10,000 to 1M range
• Improve understanding of donor psychology and philanthropic behavior
• Develop relationships with donors/grantors that result in long-term funding
• Increase board involvement in philanthropic advocacy & action
• Expand responsibility for ethical fundraising, beyond the development office
• Make major/leadership gift development a top priority of the organization

CEOs and Development Directors are both required to participate in all sessions. Board members are invited to attend two afternoon sessions. Applications are required to ensure a diverse group of nonprofits that are prepared to implement the established practices; please email your interest in attending future cohorts here.

Cohort Six begins October 6 and will include 24 nonprofit leaders from 9 regional agencies.   Patton McDowell will serve as lead faculty for this cohort.

President, PMA Consulting LLC

Patton McDowell has spent his entire career in fundraising and nonprofit leadership.  He started his consulting practice in 2009, and his firm has worked with over 160 organizations in the Carolinas. Before starting PMA Consulting, he spent a decade in higher education as Vice President for Advancement at Queens University, after serving in the same role at UNC Wilmington, where he was the youngest vice chancellor in the UNC system.

Prior to his tenure in higher education, he worked as the state Program Director for Special Olympics North Carolina (Raleigh, NC), and as an Assistant for Education & Training for Special Olympics International in Washington D.C. Patton is a native of Elizabeth City, NC, and received a BA in English Education from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He received his MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens, and is pursuing a doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California.

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