The Artful Solicitor: Successful Major Gift Moves Management

Major gifts fundraising is highly individualized. It focuses on the 10 percent who can give the 90 percent. Unlike direct response and special events, a major gift solicitation is most likely to succeed only when you physically and psychologically get in “front” of your prospects. Involvement is the key.

Moves Management, initially developed by G.T. “Buck” Smith and David Dunlop at Cornell University, is a disciplined process of relationship management that is the best way to assure the maximum return on investment. During the webinar, we will examine the process and explore the methods of moves management from prospect identification and research through involvement, solicitation and stewardship.


  • How to create and manage a major gifts process?
  • Systems and forms to manage the process
  • The single most important step in major gifts relationship management–the follow-up
  • Tips in appointment making
  • Overcoming objections in face-to-face solicitations

David MerskyDavid A. Mersky is the Founder and Managing Director of Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, a firm specializing in financial and human resource development solutions for nonprofits worldwide. Founded in 1991, Mersky, Jaffe & Associates has served cultural organizations, educational institutions, medical and health related enterprises, advocacy and social service organizations, and Jewish communal enterprises on a local, regional, national and international basis.

Dr. Mersky was the chief development officer for the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston—Boston’s Jewish Federation where he was responsible for planning and implementing all the fundraising and marketing of the nation’s sixth largest Jewish community. Prior to serving in Boston, he was the President of Ampal Securities Corporation, an investment-banking firm that raised capital in Europe as well as North and South America for private enterprise in Israel.

Mersky, who is a Reform rabbi, served on the national staff of the then Union of American Hebrew Congregations as the Reform movement’s chief development officer. He was responsible for all resource development and created the Conference of Presidents of Major Congregations.

Now a successful consultant to nonprofits and family-controlled enterprises, David is also a faculty member in the Graduate School at Brandeis University and is director of fundraising management at The Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership as well as Director of Education and Professional Development of the Fisher-Bernstein Institute for Jewish Philanthropy and Leadership at Brandeis. Formerly an adjunct professor in the Simmons College Graduate Program in Communications Management, where he taught strategic marketing planning, Mersky has been a member of the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving and a contributing writer to a number of publications, notably the New England Nonprofit Quarterly where he wrote a regular column on major gifts as “The Artful Solicitor.”

During his forty year career, he has trained thousands of professionals and volunteers who have raised hundreds of millions of dollars. In private business, he has counseled management on issues ranging from strategic marketing planning to sales force training and development. He advises families on the creative use of philanthropy for business and estate planning as well as transmitting enduring values from one generation to the next.

Mersky, Jaffe & AssocAt Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, we create the most effective resource development solutions for nonprofit organizations. Working faster, simpler and in partnership with our clients, we provide quality planning and fundraising consultation, executive recruitment, volunteer training and professional development services. In all our work, we strive to inform and inspire as well as empower people and organizations to be their best – both personally and professionally.

At Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, we:

•invest in the success of our clients;

•believe a talented, dedicated, enthusiastic and mutually respectful leadership team is central to our clients’ ability to achieve their goals and advance their mission;

•maintain an atmosphere of integrity and the highest professional standards through teamwork, personal development and recognition of accomplishment;

•value imaginative thinking and creative change, because innovation continually improves the services we provide our clients;

•treasure personal relationships within MJA as well as with our present and past clients;

•embrace new technologies to stay at the forefront in service to the nonprofit community;

•assist our clients in maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with their members, donors, funders, vendors, volunteers, board and staff leadership who work with us to achieve their mission and fulfill their vision; and

•pledge that each of our clients will benefit by the direct involvement of the principals of the firm in their endeavor.

At Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, we assure the success of the nonprofit organizations we counsel by joining with our clients in their exemplary dedication to the public good. We enable them to thrive and prosper in any philanthropic environment, today and in the future.

Known for the quality of our consulting, Mersky, Jaffe & Associates continuously invests in our own professional development. Thus, we endeavor to be the most experienced and skillful in the field, dedicated and committed to the best practices of our craft. Providing expert consulting and planning services to cultural, educational, medical, advocacy, religious and social service organizations, we offer our knowledge and passion in support of nonprofits around the world.

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