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*Special Program* Make a Move on Major Gifts: Smart Strategies for Big Results

Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:00 am - 11:30 am  ET
In-person | Washington, DC

A robust major giving strategy is the backbone of every successful development operation. Whether you are interested in launching a major gift effort or taking your existing program to the next level, this seminar will cover the core strategies proven to lead to success. Presenters Maureen Devine-Ahl and Diane Lebson are seasoned fundraisers with decades of experience planning for, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major donors, and participants will leave with a framework to bring their own major gift skills to the next level.

About the Presenters:

Maureen Devine-Ahl

Principal at MK Fundraising 

Maureen is an energetic development professional with more than a decade of experience fundraising in both the non-profit and higher education sectors. She's a strategic thinker with experience in annual fund, alumni/donor relations, development strategy, program management, cultivation, stewardship, day-of-giving programs, major gifts, development writing, board strategy, corporate partnerships and more.

Maureen excels at bringing energy and dynamic thinking to fundraising programs. In her 13+ years of experience, she has created and executed award-winning day-of-giving programs, driven major gift strategy, authored compelling appeal and stewardship materials, managed fundraising boards, and overseen a variety of special events. Maureen especially enjoys working with development shops to provide new strategies, improved systems, and fresh thinking. She prides herself on building fundraising strategy to better the organization and foster strong and lasting relationships with donors. Maureen has tremendous ability to organize and execute, all while encouraging a collaborative team environment. Stemming from her own passion for fundraising, she is skillful at motivating others and producing results.

Diane Lebson, CFRE

Senior Director at Orr Associates, Inc. 

Diane Lebson is a twenty-year veteran of the nonprofit sector. A specialist in fundraising, relationship building, governance, and program management, Lebson has worked with organizations focused on a wide array of issues, from international development to domestic community building.

In her role as the national Director of Women in Philanthropy, Lebson is helping the American Red Cross diversify its current base of supporters to include women of high net worth. The signature program she oversees, the Tiffany Circle, was founded by The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland. Members of the Tiffany Circle donate at least $10,000 per year to support the American public in times of war and peace with disaster assistance, blood collection, safety training, and countless other community assistance programs.

Previously, Lebson was Chief of Protocol for the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia. In that capacity, she advised the U.S. Ambassador to Australia and other officers of the mission on the forms of etiquette and ceremony observed by diplomats and heads of state. During her tenure, she managed the U.S. Secretary of State’s protocol requirements related to the 2012 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation, helped one ambassador transition out of and another into their roles as U.S. heads of mission, and oversaw the largest national celebration in Australia.

Lebson’s other executive experience includes senior roles with United Way, SOS Children’s Villages, and the District of Columbia Public Library Foundation. She holds a B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University, an M.S. in administration from Central Michigan University, and completed doctoral coursework in public policy at George Mason University. She is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Space is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. 


1627 K Street NW, Third Floor
Washington, DC 20006-1708

Training Event Calendar

Register online below or by calling 

(202) 331-1400.  

We periodically offer sign-language interpreted classes. To be notified as to when these classes will be available, please email

Due to our space limitations, please let us know 48 hours in advance if you need to cancel.