About This Site

This website summarises the best lessons I have learned in Major Donor fundraising over 28 years.  I have worked both as a practitioner and Major Gifts Consultant.  I focused on Major Donors early in my fundraising career because it made sense to find 10 people who will give £10k+ rather than aiming to recruit and maintain relationships with 100 donors giving £1,000 or 1,000 giving £100.

Both are important in fundraising however my experience is with Major Donors and how to set up a reliable Major Gifts Programme that will keep growing.  It is a very long, slow climb hence the name ‘Ascent’.

There is nothing pretentious about this site. I am still learning.  However I have learned a lot, observed what doesn’t work and am happy to share it.

Philanthropists are very individual, that is part of the joy of working with them!     They can on occasion change their mind, become disillusioned with your charity (sometimes with good cause!), love you, reject you, give a significant gift and then perhaps set up their own charity instead.  It is part of the life of a Major Gifts Executive.   The high’s and the low’s make it a stressful career BUT ………….an interesting and rewarding life!

Please look out for my new book:   “Major Gifts Unwrapped”
Available Now from Amazon!
UK :From here  USA :From here and also across Europe

I am offering insights learned on the job – sometimes directly and sometimes vicariously through the many Major Gifts Executives I have coached.

Sign up for the blogs here and please give me your feedback.  Send me your thoughts and ideas ……………..  and ask questions!!

Ruth Irwin