Advancement Academy

Advancement Advisors is proud to present Advancement Academy, an ongoing series of training courses for fundraising professionals.


Please join us for:

Advancing Your Skills: Major Gifts
Friday, September 14, 2018

Are you taking the right steps, allocating the appropriate resources and using the most effective strategies to get the best results from your major gift program? Learn how to identify the right prospects and get the visit, how to build relationships with integrity and how to make an ask that leads to a “yes.” This full-day, interactive session will help you build confidence in your approach to major gift fundraising.

This course is designed for fundraisers with at least some current responsibility for major gifts. Developed as an introduction to the basics of major gift fundraising, this course can be beneficial to those newer to major gifts as well as a refresher for more experienced gift officers.

Participants will explore:

  • The six steps to major gifts
  • Overcoming the roadblocks to success
  • Building your case
  • Developing specific strategies
  • Handling objections
  • The arc of the ask
  • Moving donors up the giving ladder

Register now! Class size is limited to 25, so please register early.

Friday, September 14, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Penn State Center Pittsburgh
1435 Bedford Avenue
Suite A
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Cost: $95

Lunch and beverages provided


Course Faculty:

Maureen Mahoney Hill, CFRE
Principal, Advancement Advisors

Drawing from more than 25 years of expertise raising funds for nonprofit organizations, Maureen established an independent consulting practice in 2006. Over the course of her career, she has raised more than $40 million and, as a consultant, she has helped clients raise more than $12 million.

As a Principal with Advancement Advisors, Maureen builds fundraising, communications, and marketing capacity in nonprofit organizations. Her practice focuses on board training and development; coaching; planning and strategy development for major and planned gifts; fundraising plans, and audits and feasibility studies.

Maureen is an accredited Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has achieved the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Master Trainer status. She is a sought-after speaker and trainer, frequently teaching through the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University and the Nonprofit Resource Center at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

In addition to her professional work, Maureen is an Emeritus Board Member at Pace School, having served on their Board of Directors for 13 years, including a term as President and as Chair of the Development Committee. She also served on the board of Contemporary Craft and on the Development Committee of Manchester Youth Development Center. Her volunteer work includes service at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Adat Shalom Preschool, Humane Animal Rescue, and the Schreyers Honors College at Penn State.


Michael Grzesiak, Vice President for
Development & Alumni Relations
Washington & Jefferson College

A self-proclaimed philanthropy nerd, Michael Grzesiak began his career in the nonprofit sector in 1991 and has served a variety of organizations including education, health care, and community foundations. His background includes work as a generalist development officer, in major and planned gifts, and in program management and leadership, and he possesses a fervent belief in the transformational power of giving.

Currently, Michael is the Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations at Washington & Jefferson College, a position he has held for over 10 years. He earned a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University in 2008 and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, CASE, and the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

Michael is a frequent speaker on fundraising issues and topics related to leadership and management. He is a member of the Friends of the Youngstown (Ohio) Historical Center of Industry and Labor and the Community Advisory Board of WQED.


Past Advancement Academy Sessions:

Advancing Your Skills: Engaging Your Board in Fundraising


Held Friday, May 18, 2018


Maureen and co-presenter, Richard Reed, speak to a sell-out crowd about how to engage your board more effectively in fundraising.

Reviewing strategies for engagement in the four stages of the fundraising process: identify, engage, ask and thank