As medical schools, medical centers and hospitals/health systems of all sizes look to increase philanthropic support to help offset the dramatic, immediate impact the pandemic has had on earned revenue, building a robust major gifts program has been critical to supporting the mission. GG+A is committed to helping you be successful in this work. This Masterclass is our premier educational program designed specifically for advancement professionals in medicine and healthcare who serve in frontline fundraising roles.

Whether your team is a few officers or a large group of professionals, this Masterclass is devoted to the art and science of major gifts work in academic medicine and healthcare. We encourage you to send one or two individuals.

They will hear industry experts share best practices, powerful insights, and memorable examples of their experience raising major gifts and providing counsel to those who do. Through lessons on HIPAA, best practice examples of working with physicians and volunteers, and guided discussions on each stage of the gift cycle, participants will gain a deep understanding of major gifts best practices and learn how to deploy them.


When: November 9 – 11, 2020
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET


Six Focused Workshop Topics and Two Post-Webinar Follow-Up Sessions


Continue scrolling to learn more about the three-day Masterclass, register, and process your payment for $595.

Academic Medicine and Healthcare Major Gifts Masterclass:

Schedule at a Glance


Monday, November 9


1 p.m. ET

Session 1:  Essential elements of fundraising success: understanding institutional priorities, HIPAA laws, and effective portfolio management

In this workshop, we will share key statistics of giving in medicine and healthcare including the mix of revenue between individuals, organizations and special events, address fundamental truths and myths about fundraising within HIPAA, and summarize the dramatic impact philanthropy can have on institutional priorities like breakthrough research and patient care. We will also introduce portfolio management with a focus on the grateful patient process and physician engagement. This session introduces how participants come to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward grateful clients, all of which is furthered explored in the next sessions.


2:30 p.m. ET



3 p.m. ET

Session 2: Securing, Preparing for, and Conducting Qualification Visits​

This session is aimed at the truths about qualification work: how to connect, overcome objections and follow up. We will also explore key objectives for your first interaction as well as what information is most important to learn.  We want to help you face the challenge of understanding with whom you want to invest time, energy and effort.


Tuesday, November 10


1 p.m. ET

Session 3: Strategic and Effective Cultivation

In order to secure the best gifts, cultivation must be much more than lunch (especially Zoom lunch). In this session, we will discuss effective approaches to engaging prospects in discussion and capturing information that helps decide where to take the relationship next. Then we will explore how to develop a deep understanding of prospects’ motivations for giving and philanthropic passions. Participants will learn how to engage and move prospects towards donor readiness for both in-person and virtual settings.


2:30 p.m. ET



3 p.m. ET

Session 4: Managing the ask – soliciting, negotiating, and closing gifts

Successful solicitations require thoughtful planning, the right partners, and the ability to deal with objections. This session will prepare you to know when the time is right to make the ask, how to deliver a successful proposal, and how to strengthen the likelihood of a mutually joyful outcome.


Wednesday, November 11


1 p.m. ET

Session 5: Strengthening relationships through stewardship

Poor stewardship diminishes a donor’s inclination to make future gifts while excellent stewardship increases future giving.  In this session, we will focus on why stewardship matters so much, what donors think about stewardship, and the roles officer’s play in stewarding their donors.  We will also review elements of effective stewardship plans.


2:30 p.m. ET



3 p.m. ET

Session 6: A comprehensive fundraising program – understanding expendable support, endowments, and planned giving

Major gifts fundraising is a critical part of your institution’s fundraising program, but to build a comprehensive program we must understand all ways that donors want to support your mission. This session will focus on building a bridge between expendable or current use needs, endowment opportunities and using planned gifts as part of a joint ask to heighten total giving.


Masterclass Faculty


Jeff Nearhoof, Senior Vice President,
brings over 30 years of experience leading advancement and development programs in both public and private universities. Jeff has extensive experience in prospect and donor cultivation and management, data analysis, strategic thinking, and employee management and mentoring. He brings a depth of experience spanning multiple industries.

Prior to joining GG+A, Jeff was Vice Chancellor for Advancement at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as well as Senior Vice President at the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). In these roles, Jeff was responsible for leading all aspects of UIC advancement and implementing philanthropic initiatives as directed by the Chancellor. He also coordinated the priorities of UIC leadership and deans as well as volunteer and alumni relations, and oversaw a team of 90-plus development and alumni relations officers. In the fall of 2017, Jeff was responsible for the launch of a comprehensive campaign with a $750-million goal.

At the same time, he launched the University’s first UIC Alumni Association and was responsible for managing all aspects of alumni communication and engagement. During the quiet and public phases of the campaign, UIC realized an increase in leadership level asks and dollars raised each consecutive year. Previously, Jeff served as Associate Dean for Development/Executive Director of the Feinberg Campaign after being promoted from Assistant Dean for Development and Director of Individual Giving at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

Jeff led Feinberg’s effort to implement a grateful patient giving program and, as Executive Director, coordinated and led all aspects of the Feinberg campaign planning activities in coordination with the University’s development leadership and leadership at its affiliated hospital. Before his work at Northwestern University, Jeff served in advancement roles at University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Case Western Reserve University College of Engineering, the Cleveland Institute of Art, Lyric Opera Cleveland and Cleveland Ballet.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Bowling Green State University.


Albert Novak Jr.

Al Novak, Consulting Vice President,
brings over 40 years of experience in development and advancement offices at higher education institutions. As part of the firm’s Teaching + Coaching practice area, he coaches clients on the core competencies of major gift fundraising and provides both group and individualized feedback to bolster fundraising outcomes.  

Albert currently serves as the Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Excela Health, a not-for-profit health system that is the sole provider of health care in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In this role, Albert acts as the lead fundraiser for Excela and the chief administrative officer for the system’s two supporting foundations.  

Prior to Excela, Albert served as the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the University of Pittsburgh. During this time, he led university advancement and alumni programs, managing a staff of 140 people and a budget of $15 million. He and his colleagues planned and successfully led the largest campaign in Western Pennsylvania history, exceeding the original $2 billion goal by an additional $135 million. In addition, he improved the overall daily functioning of the department by establishing a metrics-based career ladder for major gifts officers and modernizing the advancement database.  

At the University of Pittsburgh, Albert also served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate and Foundation Relations. Before that, he served as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Carnegie Mellon University. In both of these roles, Albert helped establish and develop foundation and corporate gift, grant, and stewardship objectives and facilitated open communication channels between multiple offices in the school.  

Earlier in his career, Albert served as Director of Development for the former School of Urban and Public Affairs (now H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management) at Carnegie Mellon University. He began his career at Saint Vincent College as a Development Officer in Annual Fund and Special Gifts.   

Albert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Saint Vincent College and a Master of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. He is a member of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and has presented at Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) conferences on fundraising analytics, diversity in the workplace, and fundraising leadership.


Registration Information

Registration fee $595


  • Registered attendees who cancel 10 or more business days prior to the Masterclass will be refunded the full registration fee.
  • There will be no refunds for cancellations made fewer than 10 business days before the start of the programme. However, should an attendee cancel fewer than 10 business days prior, another attendee from the same organisation may attend instead at no additional cost.
  • A no-show to the Masterclass does not constitute a cancellation. No refunds will be given to no-shows.

Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing Keli Change at

Confirmation of Masterclasses

Occasionally, GG+A may be forced to cancel a scheduled workshop due to insufficient registration. If this is the case, we will cancel the workshop no later than 10 business days prior to the start date. In the unlikely circumstance this happens, registrants will receive a cancellation notice 10 business days prior to the start of the Masterclass.