“GG+A's Masterclass was a terrific 'how-to' and 'best practices' in this critical area of fundraising concentration for all independent schools. While we have been operating successfully in managing major gifts and in capital campaigns, GG+A helped us focus better and become more intentional approaching our major gifts efforts from A to Z. It was also incredibly valuable to bring my colleague who works alongside me in major gifts, so our team is all on the same page.”
The Independent Schools Practice Area of Grenzebach Glier and Associates (GG+A) is specifically devoted to supporting the fundraising efforts of schools. This Masterclass is our premier educational program designed specifically and only for independent school advancement professionals who serve in frontline fundraising roles or support those who do.
During this two-day intensive workshop, our deeply experienced faculty members share best practices, powerful insights, and memorable examples from their decades of experience in school advancement.
When: June 22 -23, 2020
Where: Philadelphia, PA
Six Focused Workshop Topics
The Masterclass features six sessions devoted to the science and art of major gifts work. Through lectures, case studies, role playing, and group exercises, you will gain a deep understanding of major gifts best practices and learn how you can use them at your own school.
Hear from industry experts about best practices with powerful insights and memorable examples.
Come away armed with practical, tactical tools to take your major gifts program to the next level—whether you are starting from the ground up or building an existing program.
Two Personal Coaching Sessions
After the workshop, we help you put your new insights into action through two personalized coaching sessions with a member of the GG+A faculty. Scheduled at mutually agreeable dates and times, these coaching sessions ensure that you can apply what you learn to your specific circumstances.
Jim McKey, Practice Area Leader | Senior Vice President
Jim began his career as an educator in independent schools, teaching history and providing counseling to college-bound students, before he segued to become Director of Development at Friends’ Central School. During that tenure, Jim served as President of the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools. Next Jim was Director of Advancement for George School, which under his leadership received the CASE Circle of Excellence Award for overall fundraising performance. His cultivation and stewardship of the School’s lead donor paved the way for a $128 million gift, the largest gift ever to an independent school, and a subsequent bequest of $30 million. Finally, Jim served for 12 years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Earlham College, his alma mater, where he managed a staff of 25 and oversaw development, alumni relations, foundation relations, and communications. Under his leadership, Earlham completed a comprehensive campaign that raised $68 million, surpassing its $60 million goal.
Michelle M. Dube, Vice President
Michelle has extensive experience in independent schools, higher education, and alumni association advancement, where she has led campaigns, major gifts, annual giving, board management, alumni relations, and communications. In addition to other positions, Michelle served as Director of Development for the Storm King School, as both Director of Major Gifts and Director of the Annual Fund at The Masters School, and as Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at Poly Prep Country Day School. In addition, Michelle held gift officer roles for the West Point Association of Graduates and Wesleyan University. She is an alumna of Middlebury College.
Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Vice President
Before joining GG+A, Liz spent 35 years in independent schools–as a student; as a teacher, dorm parent, and coach; and as a development professional. Liz’s lengthy and successful career as an independent school fundraiser included leadership of programs in annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, planned giving, alumni engagement, and fundraising events. Among other roles, she served as Associate Director of Development at The Shipley School, as Director of Development at Epiphany School (WA), and as Director of Annual Giving at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Liz is an alumna of Friends’ Central School and Vassar College.
What People are Saying
“The GG+A Masterclass was one of the most useful and immediately applicable professional development programs I have ever done. The instructors offered lots of strategic and tactical guidance. Plus, built in to the agenda are plenty of opportunities to exchange ideas with and learn from other attendees. I walked away with a list of action items that I could implement right away and an even longer list of initiatives to consider with my team over time.”
- Hutchey Doley, Associate Director of Development | National Cathedral School
"All of the sessions and topics were interesting and informative. We've all attended conferences where we get something valuable from one session but the next falls flat or isn't applicable. This was not the case in the GG+A Masterclass. Both days were really, really good. The faculty did a great job of offering wisdom and advice while engaging us in the process. My follow-up sessions with my coach were invaluable in helping me apply information to my situation. I highly recommend the Masterclass to someone just starting out as well as to a seasoned veteran."
- Shepherd Lewis, Leadership Giving Officer | Collegiate School (VA)
“Even as someone who was experienced in major gifts, the Masterclass offered me an opportunity to regather confidence in the skills I had been using in my work as well as learn new strategies that I could apply upon completion of the course. Having the opportunity to hear from peers and experts alike about how they position a case for support, or address concerns and questions, and even how they verbalize an ask, made it all the more relatable.”
- Amanda Young, Director of Capital Giving | Westtown School
"The GG+A Masterclass was a worthwhile investment for both our new and experienced major gift officers. The format allowed for interactive feedback from best-in-class industry experts, and the interactive case studies provided the opportunity to apply the concepts learned to real-world scenarios, while collaborating with our fundraising peers from other organizations."
- Joe Painter, Director of Major and Planned Giving | Sidwell Friends School
Registration fee $1295
Discounted rate for 2 or more attendees from the same institution $1245
Registration fee for GG+A Client $1195
Discounted rate for 2 or more attendees from a GG+A Client $1145 (per attendee)
Registration fee for ADVIS or AIMS Member School $1245
Discounted rate for GG+A Client and ADVIS or AIMS Member School $1195
Discounted rate for 2 or more attendees from a GG+A Client and ADVIS or AIMS Member School $ 1145 (per attendee)
What is included in the fee?
- Two-day masterclass featuring six training sessions
- Two follow-up coaching sessions
- Keynote Speaker David L. Unruh, Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement, at Drexel University
- Networking opportunities with independent school colleagues
- Breakfast, two lunches and a cocktail reception
Registration fee must be paid in full 15 business days prior to the first day of the Masterclass. Registrations made fewer than 15 business days in advance of the Masterclass may incur a higher registration fee.
Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing Bowen Marshall at
- Registered attendees who cancel 15 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 15 business days before the start of the program. However, should an attendee cancel fewer than 15 business days prior, another attendee from the same school 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 15 business days prior to the start date. In the unlikely circumstance this happens, registrants will receive a cancellation notice
15 business days prior to the start of the Masterclass.
GG+A suggests that registrants do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until receiving notice that the Masterclass is confirmed. (GG+A will not be responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by your airline, hotel, car rental service or travel agency.)
Note: GG+A Masterclasses are open only to independent school advancement professionals.
The Masterclass is held at the:
Racquet Club of Philadelphia
215 South 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
If you need to make hotel accommodations, here are nearby hotels.