As cultural organisations look to increase philanthropic support to help offset the dramatic, immediate impact the pandemic has had on earned revenue, building a robust major gifts programme 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 proramme designed specifically for fundraising professionals in cultural organisations who serve in frontline fundraising roles or support those who do.

This Masterclass 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 our arts and culture clients. 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: Spring 2021 – TBD


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

Continue scrolling to learn more about the three-day Masterclass. Registration and payment details will be available soon.

European Arts & Culture Major Gifts

Schedule at a Glance


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 organisation’s ongoing mission and impact, and how to manage portfolios to ensure attainment of individual and office goals.


Session 2: Communicating institutional priorities and impact

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


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.


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.


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 organisations 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.


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

Major gifts fundraising is a critical part of your institution’s fundraising programme, but to build a comprehensive programme 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.

European Arts & Culture Major Gifts Masterclass Team


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, the 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.


Adrian SalmonAdrian Salmon, Vice President GG+A Europe,
brings 20 years of direct-marketing fundraising experience in the higher education, arts and culture, and wider nonprofit spheres.

His particular expertise includes direct mail fundraising, annual giving program management, and management of contributions from integrated mail and online appeals.Before joining GG+A in 2015, Adrian was Footsteps Fund Manager at the University of Leeds, where he dramatically increased the University’s number of donors, annual giving income, and contributions from integrated mail and online appeals.

Adrian also implemented an automated propensity scoring system, the first to be used by a university in the United Kingdom, and designed and implemented the University’s first dedicated 20-seat fundraising call center. Prior to joining the University of Leeds, Adrian served for more than nine years with The Phone Room Ltd. as Director of Client Services and as Head of TPR Education. He headed numerous awardwinning telephone campaigns for nonprofit clients, including the National Galleries of Scotland, Symphony Hall Birmingham, and the Southbank Centre. He also established successful telephone fundraising campaigns for University of Salford and Birkbeck, University of London.

Feedback from previous Masterclass participants

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

“GG+A’s Masterclass 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


  • 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.

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.

Payment will be processed in USD

Further registration and payment information will be available soon. In the meantime, please direct any inquiries to Keli Change at