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As we emerge from the pandemic and cultural organizations look to increase philanthropic support, building or growing a robust major gifts program will be critical. GG+A is committed to helping you be successful in this work. This Arts & Culture Major Gifts Bootcamp is our premier educational program designed specifically for advancement professionals in cultural organizations who serve in frontline fundraising roles or support those who do.

The Bootcamp is devoted to the art and science of major gifts work in cultural institutions. You 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, case studies, and guided discussions, participants will gain a deep understanding of major gifts best practices and learn how to deploy them.

When: August 10 – 12, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CDT
via Zoom


digital engagement

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


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

Arts & Culture Major Gifts Bootcamp:
Schedule at a Glance


Tuesday, August 10


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

Session 1: Moving from project fundraising to portfolio management

Will fundraising for concerts, exhibitions, and productions produce the greatest fundraising results? This session will focus on moving from transactional fundraising for projects to developing deep relationships based on your organization’s ongoing mission and impact, and how to manage portfolios to ensure attainment of individual and office goals.

12:30 p.m. CT


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CT

Session 2: Communicating institutional priorities and impact

Sharing your organization’s vision and the impact that a significant gift will have is essential to meeting your goals. In this session, we will provide guidance to help you align your fundraising strategy with your organization’s priorities, articulate your case for support, and define impact.


Wednesday, August 11


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

Session 3: Building relationships – qualification and 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.

12:30 p.m. CT


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CT

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.


Thursday, August 12


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

Session 5: Working with key fundraising partners

In this current environment, collaborating with key partners such as board members and institutional leadership is more important than ever. Yet many organizations struggle with how to deploy leadership in ways that advance fundraising objectives. This session will provide a framework for engaging your board and staff leaders in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship in ways that are effective, meaningful, and efficient.

12:30 p.m. CT


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CT

Session 6: A comprehensive fundraising program – working with annual giving, planned giving, and endowment fundraising

Major gifts fundraising is a critical part of your institution’s fundraising program, but to build a comprehensive program we must collaborate with our colleagues. This session will focus on building a bridge between leadership annual giving and major gifts that helps move donors up the philanthropic continuum, using blended gifts to advance major gift conversations, and developing pathways for endowment fundraising.

Bootcamp Faculty


Suzanne Hilser-Wiles

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President
partners with GG+A clients around the globe to help them elevate their fundraising by offering more than 25 years of experience in advancement, program building, and campaign planning and implementation. Among her current and recent clients in the arts and culture sector are the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Center Theatre Group, Folger Shakespeare Library, the Getty, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Tate. Prior to joining GG+A, she held senior fundraising positions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she served as Vice Chancellor for Advancement, overseeing fundraising, marketing, and communications for this public conservatory.

Suzanne joined GG+A in 2011 and was appointed to the firm’s executive committee in 2013. In 2016, she became the firm’s first woman president in its nearly 60-year history. In addition to her other responsibilities, she leads the firm’s Europe and U.K. practice.


Chris Begley

Chris Begley Senior Vice President
joined GG+A in 2018 to bring her deep museum experience to a wide variety of arts and culture clients.

She enjoys collaborating with clients to find solutions to their biggest challenges and brings particular expertise in program analysis, crafting inspirational messaging, identifying opportunities and strategies for growth, and strategic planning and priority setting. Among her current and former clients in arts and culture are California Academy of Sciences, Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Getty, Lyric Opera Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, and Tate.

Before joining GG+A, Chris spent three years as the Vice President of Development at the American Academy in Rome, where she oversaw all aspects of fundraising in the United States and in Italy. Chris also enjoyed a seventeen-year career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, at which she occupied a full range of fundraising positions.


Eric SnoekEric SnoekSenior Vice President
brings to the firm 30 years of development and advancement experience. He has extensive experience in individual giving; advancement planning and management; capital campaigns and campaign planning; training development staff and Board members; engagement programs; stewardship programs; moves management; and volunteer management. Among his current and former arts and culture clients are Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Sarasota Orchestra.

Eric works with clients to build sustainable fundraising success in campaigns and in ongoing development efforts, serving as a consultant, coach, or in an interim management role. Specifically, he has experience in evaluating contemporary advancement programs; identifying opportunities and strategies for growth; organizing fundraising priorities; guiding the planning and execution of major campaigns; and managing all facets of advancement programs, including principal and major gifts, planned giving, annual giving, alumni relations, and stewardship. His fundraising and consulting experience makes him particularly qualified to understand the distinct culture and opportunities at a wide range of institutions, including complex public universities, private colleges, independent schools, hospitals and health care systems, and cultural institutions.

Anne Kohn Consultant
brings to the firm more than 15 years of professional experience in the performing arts. Since joining GG+A, Anne has worked across all sectors of nonprofits with a particular focus and passion for arts and cultural clients such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, California Academy of Sciences, Folger Shakespeare Library, Bishop Museum, and League of Chicago Theatres. Prior to joining GG+A, Anne served as Managing Director at Bristol Riverside Theater in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

Before her work at Bristol, Anne was Associate Managing Director at the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, DC, where she managed a $20 million budget and implemented an organization-wide communication plan. Her other professional roles have included founding No Rules Theatre Company, serving as marketing manager, assistant director, and grant writer at various performing arts organizations in Ohio and North Carolina.

Anne holds a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Management from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Hiram College

Feedback from previous Bootcamp participants

“I was very impressed with the Bootcamp – absolutely the best workshop I have attended!”

“GG+A’s Bootcamp provided clear, specific recommendations. So many other training sessions keep things vague and general, so I really appreciated the specificity – it is much more actionable.”

Registration Information

Registration fee $595


  • Registered attendees who cancel 10 or more business days prior to the Bootcamp 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 program. However, should an attendee cancel fewer than 10 business days prior, another attendee from the same institution may attend instead at no additional cost.
  • A no-show to the Bootcamp does not constitute a cancellation. No refunds will be given to no-shows. Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing Damian Chlanda at

Confirmation of Bootcamp

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 Bootcamp.