The single most influential major gifts training course since the dawn of philanthropy.











If you’re like most major and planned gifts officers and fundraisers, you’re tired.


You’re tired of getting a bad rap when the number of gifts you project to close this year are not as many compared to last year. You’re tired of chasing wealthy potential donors on your caseload who haven't shown any interest in talking to you. And you’re tired of having to constantly re-explain to administrators why you need to do things a certain way, and they just don’t get it.

And every time the fiscal year closes, the cycle begins again.

Get out there. Get more meetings. Make more asks. Get more planned gift commitments. Make more calls. Increase your activities. Get your metrics up. Cut costs.

So, you grin and bear it, dive in head first, vow to never again miss opportunities that you got blamed for last year, and keep slaving away trying to meet that elusive revenue goal that someone else with no skin in the game – like board members who have no clue how fundraising works – set for you.

You feel like you’re good at your job. You like connecting with major donors. You enjoy building rapport. You understand their world. And, you’re grateful for the chance to bring money in for a cause you care about.

So why don’t the numbers reflect what you know deep down is possible?

What else is missing? Are you not asking the best questions? Are you talking to the right people? Is there more behind why wealthy people give or don’t give than you already know?

And even if you could solve all these problems to your own satisfaction, what could you say to administrators and board members to help them understand it too?

Fundraiser Turnover – The Symptom of a Pervasive Problem


If any part of this description describes you, or the people you work with or supervise, I’ve got good news, sort of. You’re not alone. That feeling that you’re the one who always gets stuck holding the bag is one reason there is such high turnover in major gifts fundraising.

The average fundraiser stays in the same job for about 16 months, according to Dr. Russell James (if you don’t know who that is, you will very soon!). Another survey found that 51% of fundraisers are planning to quit within the next two years.

16 months is just barely long enough to feel like you’re getting to know the people on your caseload, as well as your coworkers. Turnover is a sign of a system that isn’t working like it should.

If you have felt like quitting, or have already quit in the past and are on your second (or fifth?) fundraising job, you are in the right place.

If you supervise a team of fundraisers, and are dealing with constant turnover and perceived underperformance, you’re in the right place.

If you work in marketing, communications, or operations, and feel like there must be a better way to effectively and consistently reach out to wealthy donors, you’re in the right place.

If you serve on a board or work as a volunteer with major donors, you are in the right place.

If you want to get better results – meaning more gifts, bigger gifts, and more pledges – but you just aren’t sure what’s missing, you are in the right place.

And, if you wish you had real examples and explanations, with scientific research behind them, to help guide administrators and co-workers to work with you and not against you, then you are in the right place.

The Secret to Understanding What Makes Wealthy Donors Give


Right now, tons of donor money is being left on the table, ungiven. And not just money–planned gifts. And not just planned gifts – non-cash, major gifts of assets (which, by the way, tend to comprise almost all of the financial portfolios of most major donors).

A very large percentage of available wealth ends up in private family foundations rather than at nonprofits. Why? What do they have that you don’t?

Major donors want to give. Many would give much more than they are giving today. But they need your help to figure out why giving matters to them, and why they should give to your organization. They also need help understanding how to give complex assets rather than just writing checks.

But as any fundraiser knows, it’s too easy to get lost in the weeds of all the technical stuff. The hard part is getting the donor to the point where they want to give large gifts to your organization. Once a person has decided to give, the rest is just details. The details matter, but donors are happy to work through those details once the decision to give big has been made.

To break through barriers and crack open the champagne, you need to reset a few things.

  1. What you think you know about major donors
  2. What you think you know about why they give
  3. How to connect with them on a much deeper level

Here’s the secret behind all this: Giving is not a transaction. And you must stop treating it like one.

The path to more and larger gifts lies in helping each donor become the hero in their own life story.

This is the most transformational skill you can acquire. If you want to help more major donors make larger gifts, and be happy, thrilled, excited, and passionate about doing so, you need to make the acquisition and mastery of this skill your #1 professional development goal for the next year. Once you master this skill, you’ll have major donors wanting to give so badly that they’ll be calling you to keep the process moving.

And once you understand why this approach needs to be at the foundation of everything you do, you’ll be able to help your administrators in other departments get it too

It’s Not Just What You Think You Know About a Donor.
It’s What They Need to Know About Themselves.

The Two Big Challenges Facing Every Fundraiser – in Every Meeting


Sounds great, right?

But let’s get real.

How can any of this help you change the frustrating reality of major gifts fundraising? How can it help you create better outcomes, invite more frequent donations, and generate larger gifts?

How can you have fewer meetings, but more successes? How about more meetings, and more successes? How can you waste less time but please more people – including donors, coworkers, boards, bosses, and yourself? Yeah – how does this help you love your job again? How does this help you be the fundraiser you always wanted to be?

Do you need more training? A different approach? Better questions to ask? More support from your board and leadership? More autonomy? Better caseloads? More time? How about ALL of the ABOVE!

Consider the stages in working with major donors:

  • Identifying prospects who are positioned to give large gifts – both financially and mentally
  • Getting them to be willing to meet
  • Planning what to say in that first meeting
  • Landing a second meeting
  • Keeping the conversation going – no awkward silences!
  • Building trust
  • Gaining permission to ask for the gift
  • Knowing when to ask for a gift
  • Knowing how to ask for a gift, and what to say and do based on their reaction
  • Having a plan for after a gift has been given or pledged

That’s not even the whole process. If ten fundraisers sat in a room, they could probably come up with three times that many steps.

The point is, at each stage in the process, you are faced with two big challenges. And at each stage, if you falter in rising up to these challenges, you risk losing the biggest gift this donor is capable of giving.

Those two challenges are best summed up as two simple questions:

“What Do I Say”  and “What Do I Do?”

  • What do I say when the donor says they’re not sure now is the best time to give?
  • What do I do when a donor offers a gift but it’s less than I know they can give?
  • What do I say when a donor hems and haws about scheduling a second meeting?
  • What do I do if they don’t answer my call at the scheduled time?
  • What do I say the first moment I meet a new donor prospect?
  • What do I do to open and close a meeting?


We could write hundreds of questions beginning with ‘What do I say’ and ‘What do I do.’

This is the nitty-gritty. The nuts and bolts. The peas and carrots of major gifts fundraising.

Get Access to Donor Story: Epic Fundraising


The Conversation You Really Want to Have with Donors


One reason fundraisers feel like they’re stumbling around in the dark all the time is that every situation feels like a brand new scenario. Every donor is different, and so every conversation is different. You might have a general presentation planned, but it often gets off track because donors are unpredictable.

What is the conversation you really want and need to have with a donor? And how do you open up a meeting and set the tone, or even get a meeting, so that this ideal conversation actually takes place?

You have found the answer to that very powerful question today.

You must help the donor advance their personal hero story.

Our industry is struggling with turnover, resignations, shame, complaints, disputes about strategy and methodology, and desperation. People quit, get fired, get blamed for failures, and watch their successes get credited to someone else. Money and time get wasted pursuing people who were never going to give a big gift.

One reason for all this is that too many don’t know the right questions to ask when meeting with donors.

Dr. Russell James is a professor at Texas Tech University who directs a graduate program in Charitable Financial Planning. Years ago, he wanted to see that frustrating description of our industry change. To do so, he embarked on a quest, spending years conducting research into major gifts fundraising, trying to understand why people give large gifts, and why they don’t.

He believed there must be something deeper driving major gifts than just wanting a tax write off, and that there must be a way to tap into that by asking the right questions. Taxes are not why people give. They may be a small factor or an initial motive, but how do people choose which organizations to give to? Why pick this one over that one?

Join the course & community today!


Something Powerful, Primal, and Deeply Non-logical Drives the Emotion-based Decision to Give Away Large Sums of Money.


Dr. James believed that if he could find the ‘magical golden keys’ that would unlock the fullest and highest possible giving potential of major donors, he could change the world.

He found them.

And Dr. James didn’t just discover what felt like magical keys. Even the idea of ‘magic keys’ aligns with what he found and has led to a growing following of devoted enthusiasts wanting to put into practice what he teaches.

You see, people don’t give because a PowerPoint presentation makes enough good points, and the pros outweigh the cons. Giving money away isn’t rational. It isn’t utilitarian. It has no direct benefit in the monetary or physical sense for the giver. Even if giving helps trim your taxes, you’re still losing the money. It’s just going somewhere other than the government. So what? Why does that matter so much?

Here’s where you’ll find the answer:

In what we believe will become the single most influential major gifts training course since the dawn of philanthropy, Dr. James will show you everything he has discovered – including from years of neuroimaging studies – about why donors give, words to use, questions to ask, and how you as a fundraiser can tap into these primal, emotion-driven, fantastical motivations for giving large gifts to world-changing organizations.

That’s what your organization is. That’s what every nonprofit is, when you look at the roots of the work you’re doing. You’re changing the world. And donors want to change the world too. They want to be the hero in the story that makes that happen.

Fundraising is about bridging those donors and their desires to your mission.

And now, for the first time ever, you can gain direct and immediate access to the latest and most in-depth discoveries of Dr. James. His new course has launched, and you can be the first fundraiser from your organization to sign up for it.

Donor Story: Epic Fundraising (Powered by MarketSmart)


Dr. James’ ecourse will give you a never before seen, 21st-century blending of art and logic, creativity and structure, empathy and data, anecdote and hard evidence. Why does he take such great pains to exceed the usual boundaries of modern ‘rationalism’? Because giving isn’t rational. But ‘story’ has the power to move people to change their beliefs, understand their values, and take action. When it’s the donor’s own life story in play, this power multiplies exponentially.

You will learn both theory and science behind why people give major gifts of assets - during and after their lifetimes.

You will learn who to ask and what to say to generate more gifts and bigger gifts.

You will arm yourself with research-backed, clear explanations for why major gifts fundraising isn’t transactional, and isn’t like what other departments at your organization do with average donors.

Everything you learn is backed by research and data - not hearsay, tradition, orthodoxy, or myth.

This course is graduate-level work, and its number one goal is to forever change the way you work as a fundraiser.


So you will love your job again! Possibly for the first time since your second day, if your experience has been as rough as it has been for many others we’ve worked with at MarketSmart – the company working with Dr. James to release his course.

After going through the 4 modules of the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising ecourse, which is also worth 20.5 CFRE credits, you will finally feel like you have the tools and skills to be really good at your job and demolish any expectations others have placed on you.

After taking this course and putting the skills you learn into practice, you will raise more money than ever before for your organization. You will fulfill your personal desire to make a difference in the world through its mission.

You will discover who to ask for money, and how to ask in ways that bear little resemblance to anything you’ve been taught in the past.

You will be able to unify your team around this new approach, and help them finally get what you do, and why it needs to be done this way.

And when you master these skills, your organization will actually spend less money on fundraising, but raise more, because you’ll have figured out how to identify and focus on the best potential donors, and bypass the rest.

These are big promises, for sure. But Donor Story: Epic Fundraising will make good on it, because it incorporates what gets left out of most other courses on this subject – the art of storytelling.

You’ve certainly heard about the importance of telling great impact stories in fundraising.

That is not what this course is about.

Donor Story: Epic Fundraising is about helping big donors advance their own personal hero story. When they do that, they no longer see giving as merely a transaction. They see it as a means to express their most deeply cherished and long-held desires to do good in a world that sorely needs it.

When the donor is enabled to fully grasp the role that giving plays in their own life, and why it’s so important to them, it shifts the entire nature of the conversation. They will be jumping for joy at the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dreams through giving.

Where does all this magic come from?

It all begins with Dr. James.

Dr. Russell James – Hall of Fame Charitable Giving Researcher


If you haven’t heard of Dr. Russell James, he holds a Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of Missouri, where he wrote his dissertation on charitable giving. This has been a passion in his own life for decades, and you now get to drink from the fire hose as he pours out the very best of his life’s work through the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising ecourse.

In the past, he worked as the Director of Planned Giving for Central Christian College for six years, and then as president of the same college. During his time there, the college completed two major capital campaigns, built several debt-free new buildings, and more than tripled enrollment.

He’s been published in over 75 peer-reviewed scientific journals and law reviews, and has been quoted in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

More recently, his financial neuroimaging research was profiled in the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine. He has written multiple books, including Visual Planned Giving: An Introduction to the Law & Taxation of Charitable Gift Planning, and Inside the Mind of the Bequest Donor: A Visual Presentation of the Neuroscience and Psychology of Effective Planned Giving Communication.

Most recently, in 2021 Dr. James was given the great honor of being one of three people selected for The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners Hall of Fame.

Is Doing Your Job Keeping You from Raising Real Money?


If you’re a fundraiser or you play a key role in this area for your organization, and you want to

✔️ love your job again
✔️ know how to identify and work with only the best prospects for giving major gifts
✔️ regain the high hopes you used to have for the impact your work will have on the world
✔️ bury your pervasive feeling of uncertainty in the dustbin of history
✔️ train your other team members on how effective major gifts fundraising looks and why it works
✔️ and walk into a bright future of always feeling competent, prepared, and ready for every interaction with a donor…

Then Donor Story: Epic Fundraising should be #1 on your list for the very next use of your training budget.

You will absolutely love it, and once you’ve completed it, we expect it to fully pay for itself in your very next interaction with a major donor.

Best of all, it is super convenient because the entire course is online. You don’t have to travel anywhere or deal with hotels, planes, taxis, and all the challenges of scheduling big expensive trips to conferences. You won’t be away from your family or other commitments. You don’t have to schedule it because you can take the ecourse at your own pace over a six month period.

And, the cost is much lower. With no conference fees, transportation, meals, and all the rest, you’ll spend less on this course than you would for a big fundraising conference. Plus, you avoid having to sit through sessions with barely any relevance to what you’re dealing with.

The regular price is $1997 – but you (or, your nonprofit) won’t have to pay anything close to that if you decide before December 16th to become part of the first group to take Dr. James’ new course.

To secure your launch discount before the price goes up after December 16th, click below and claim your spot for Donor Story: Epic Fundraising.


Course Breakdown – What Will I Learn?

What’s in the course? Let’s take a quick peak into some of what you will learn.

Fast Track Version – All 4 Mini Courses in 1

Are you the type of person who wants to get the airplane view of a new course before diving into the details and intricacies?

We have you covered!

The four mini-courses are the heart of Donor Story: Epic Fundraising.

But the Fast Track version blends all four of them into one course.

This course has its own videos and content. It uses the Socratic Fundraiser mini-course as the guiding outline, and then blends the other three into it so you can see the questions to ask in each situation, and then the theory and research that underpins them.

Because you will have a year’s access to the course, and because your course fee renews every year, you can go through the Fast Track version first, and then spend more time going through the more detailed mini-courses.

Bottom line - you can engage with the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising course in whatever way works best for you!



Mini-Course 1 – The Socratic Fundraiser

The first mini-course gets right to the practicals. Here is where you learn how to specifically, methodically apply all the ideas you will learn throughout this re-imagined approach to fundraising. Here is where you get the right questions to ask.

Mini-course 1 gives you the blueprints to create the perfect script for every situation you might encounter when working with donors.

You will walk away with hundreds – yes HUNDREDS – of experimentally-backed questions to use with potential donors at various stages of the process. Remember that list a while back of some of the key stages in the fundraising process? Here it is again:

  • Identifying prospects who are positioned to give large gifts – both financially and mentally
  • Getting them to be willing to meet
  • Planning what to say in that first meeting
  • Getting a second meeting
  • Keeping the conversation going – no awkward silences!
  • Building trust
  • Getting permission to ask for the gift
  • Knowing when to ask for a gift
  • Knowing how to ask for a gift, and what to say and do based on their reaction
  • Having a plan for after a gift has been given or pledged

In mini-course 1, you will receive a treasure trove of questions to use in every one of these stages of the process.

For instance, there are questions that match the ideal giving method with each donor’s values, desires, and motivations. Remember the disagreement within the fundraising world about foundations and DAFs from earlier? Well, these aren’t right for some donors. But they are absolutely the best giving method for others.

In this mini-course, you’ll find out exactly when to use these sorts of tools, and when you can easily steer clear of them.

In addition, you’ll get:

✔️ A 3-part template for the closing ‘ask’ – with TONS of examples
✔️ 3 questions that encourage donors to meet with you
✔️ 3 conversation killers that will button up major donors in a microsecond
✔️ How to respond when donors turn down a meeting
✔️ Right and wrong ways to ask follow up questions
✔️ The ultimate question that gives the victory to the donor (and your organization!), and what to do when their answer falls short
✔️ 13 survey question formats that tap into the donor’s hero story

There’s so much meat – meaning practical and immediately useful skills and strategies – in this mini-course that we can barely scratch the surface here.

For instance, what do you say when a donor has already designated a gift in their will? How can you make them WANT to go back in and increase the amount? You’ll find out in this first mini-course.

You’ll learn how to shift the conversation to wealth – meaning non-cash assets – and how to do this without making the donor clam up.

There’s also a surprising reason to make the donor wait before they give. You read that right. After they verbally agree to give – make them wait.

You’ll learn the power of silence and the precise moment to use it. A point-by-point guide for what to do when a major donor says no. Five common major gift objections, and what to say in response to each. What to do after the ask, regardless of whether they gave. Words to avoid at all costs when asking for a planned gift, and how to make sure you don’t avoid talking about death.

In fact, you’ll get 8 research-backed methods for bringing up the question of planned gifts, and none of them make anyone squirm.

There’s even a fundraising script example bringing all this together that would have worked on Tony Soprano. And he decides to give!

Mini-Course 2 – The Storytelling Fundraiser

In the second mini-course, you’ll encounter two things, over and over again.

  1. Incredible, game-changing claims about major gifts fundraising
  2. Tons of experimental data backing each claim up

Experimental data comes from actual fundraising experiments as well as from Dr. James’ neuroimaging studies. For example, you’ll see 11 scientific experiments that decode empathy, so you can learn how to empathize with the donor, and help them to empathize with your cause.

You’ll also discover why math kills fundraising and six ways to overcome the ‘numbers barrier.’

Dr. James draws analogies from popular movies that exemplify the ‘hero myth,’ as well as storytelling experts such as Joseph Campbell and Robert McKee. Campbell worked with George Lucas as Lucas was developing the very first Star Wars film, and called Lucas his greatest student ever.

In this mini-course and throughout the course, you find out how you can use the same power behind Star Wars in your work as a fundraiser.

Mini-course 2 will also reveal five powerful reasons why trusts, foundations, and DAFs are so attractive to donors, and why ignoring these reasons can cost your nonprofit millions. There is a segment of fundraisers who resist these sorts of giving methods because it goes against their worldview. But wealthy donors aren’t drawn to these tools simply because of the financial benefits.

There is FAR more to it than that. These tools can play a key role in what Dr. James refers to as the hero story of the donor.

Next, you’ll find out what brain imaging has to say about why people give, and how you can use this knowledge in your very next meeting with a donor.

Mini-course 2 will also teach you:

✔️ The dirty little secret your donors will never tell you about overhead expenses

✔️ Shocking statistics about what happens when you ask for money less often

✔️ How complexity kills fundraising – but why charities still love talking about it

✔️ 3 questions you can ask that will turn small gifts into bigger ones

✔️ How vagueness kills fundraising – and the tool that dispels it

You may have noticed a trend here – a lot of things can kill fundraising. Math, complexity, vagueness.

These are some of the reasons major gifts fundraisers are so often frustrated, burnt out, and at their wits end trying to find better ways to connect with donors.

In just this one mini-course in Donor Story: Epic Fundraising, you will see clear cut evidence for how these forces kill fundraising, and how to never fall into these traps again.

Mini-Course 3 – The Epic Fundraiser

Here’s where Dr. James starts pulling great depth and insight from timeless films such as Star Wars, The Matrix, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter. The lessons drawn from these films can help fundraisers like you be happy, confident, empowered, and motivated, and to no longer feel like quitting your job within 16 months – the industry average according to Dr. James’ data.

We move away from the scientific evidence of the second mini-course and dive deep into mapping universal story elements of timeless epics onto your role as a fundraiser, and in how you interact with donors.

You’ll find out that there is a villain in your donor’s hero story. It’s a surprising villain, and very hard to defeat. There’s also a story-based reason to change your job title immediately, and stop calling yourself a fundraiser, especially when speaking with potential donors.

Next, you’ll learn the rip-your-hair-out reason why revenue always drops after your organization receives a large grant, and how easy it is to avoid this common problem.

Mini-course 3 also reveals the ‘right’ amount to ask for when suggesting how much a major donor should give. And yes, there really is a right amount, and Dr. James will show you why.

Right now, your job is filled with metrics. Some of them are worthless. Some of them are very valuable. Dr. James will help you sort these out so you can focus on the powerful metrics and ignore the rest.

And, have you ever heard some expert try to draw parallels between the business world and the nonprofit world? While there are a few similarities, there are also a lot of things that work great in business, but fail miserably in fundraising.

Dr. James explains that out of 20 common business account practices, only one results in better retention, stronger relationships, greater donor satisfaction, and more revenue, when applied to the nonprofit world.

But that one practice is a doozy, and it relates directly to helping the donor tell their epic life story.

Mini-Course 4 – The Primal Fundraiser

In the final mini-course, Dr. James pulls the curtain back on basic human psychology, things that are part of the fabric of our being and that has been there for thousands of years. He’ll even show you what fig wasps and fungi can teach you about fundraising.

For example, donors give more when they feel like the person their gift will help is just like them in some way. This could be location, as in, we’re from the same hometown or the same country. It could be political, religious, behavior-based, favorite music – all sorts of things.

The point is, whatever commonalities you can find that are shared by your donor and the people their gift will help – use it! As always, Dr. James reveals incredible experimental data backing up this claim.

And commonalities don’t apply only to the person benefiting from the gift. They also apply to you! Did you know it might matter, for example, if a female fundraiser asks a female donor for a major gift, compared to a male fundraiser? You’ll see data that shows how big a difference such simple commonalities can make.

This mini-course will also reveal:

✔️ The giving campaign that outperforms matching gifts

✔️ When you should consider torturing your donors (the right way…)

✔️ The 5 most important traits to look for when hiring (and paying!) a major gifts fundraiser

✔️ The one thing you should be doing with donors before they make a major gift

✔️ The power of community – how sharing is different from giving

The primal fundraiser is about identity – who your donor is, and how they see themselves. When you learn how to connect on this primal level with a donor, you will tap into emotions, desires, fears, and longings that far eclipse tax benefits.

And in this mini-course, you’ll discover how to cement the bond between donor identity to action – in a single sentence!

The Floodgates Have Opened


Before this course was available, fundraisers had to beat a path to Dr. James’ door in Texas, or hope to catch him speaking at an event and maybe grab a few minutes with him.

But now, you will get unfettered access to his latest and greatest research - all without leaving your house and at your own pace, whenever it’s most convenient. No trips to plan. No travel expense.

The material in the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising ecourse, which also includes videos, worksheets, and a 6-week virtual Q&A session with MarketSmart CEO Greg Warner, is so comprehensive, thorough, well-researched and all-encompassing – this may be the last major gifts training course you ever need to take.

You could easily spend the rest of your career learning how to apply, implement, master, and train others on how to use the skills and tools you’ll glean from this one course.

It will be the best and most gratifying 20.5 CFRE credits you have ever earned.

You’re Protected With Our 30-Day Risk-Free Guarantee!


Once you purchase the course – which sells for $1,997 normally and automatically renews each year until you cancel – you have 30 days to get started going through the modules. If you feel like the course isn’t going to transform your career and leave you forever grateful you found it, you can simply ask for a full refund.

Launch Discount – Same Epic Course, Massive Savings


How much will Donor Story: Epic Fundraising cost if you sign up before December 16th?

The regular price is $1,997. To put that in perspective, consider this scenario:

Imagine meeting with a donor and they give $25,000. If you could get just that one donor – just ONE donor – to give $30,000 using the skills and insights you will learn in this course, you have already recovered 250% of the regular price of the course.

After the quick summaries of the four modules you just read, do you think you’ll be able to do far, far better than that? And for the rest of your career? The only way that won’t happen is if you simply choose not to use anything you learn.

What you will learn in Donor Story: Epic Fundraising is worth millions of dollars for your organization over the life of your career. Yes, millions.

So $1,997 is a pittance.

But, because this is a brand new course, we want to make a special offer to the first group of visionary, epic, primal, Socratic, storytelling fundraisers.

Instead of $1,997 – if you sign up before December 16th – you can take Donor Story: Epic Fundraising for the borderline obscene low price of $997.

Do you realize how absurd that price is?

Just $997 to learn everything from Dr. James’ lifetime of research into major gifts fundraising! He spent his whole career discovering, researching, summarizing, and communicating this stuff. And you can get it all for less than a monthly house payment.

Click the button below and start your first lesson in Module 1 today!


Finally! People Who Understand You!

Do you ever feel like no one else in your organization really understands what you do? The unique challenges you face. The stakes of what happens if you fail? The pressure? How much the org actually depends on you (more than everyone else combined if you’re the only major gifts officer on the team)?

We’re pretty sure that you would jump at the chance to be part of a community with other people like you. MarketSmart – the company behind the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising ecourse – is going to make that happen – for free.

Once you buy the course, you will get lifetime access to an online community comprised of everyone else who is taking or will in the future take this course.

There, you can discuss scenarios and challenges you’re dealing with, get another take on a strategy you’re considering, share horror stories, and finally feel like someone out there is on your side.

The Donor Story: Epic Fundraising community will be a sanctuary, a mentorship, a water cooler, a collaboration, a tutorial, and something you can take with you wherever you go.

That alone is a great reason to join this course and save $1,100 off the regular price today.

But it’s not the only one. You also will be given three more bonus items. Any one of these bonuses would itself be worth getting all by itself, and you get all three of them at no extra cost. And, even if you ask for a refund after 30 days, you get to keep the three bonuses forever!

Bonus #1 – Words that Work

Threaded through all of Dr. James’ work is the power of words. Stories are told with words. Whether you’re writing it or saying it, the words you use matter.

And when your goal is to connect and empathize with wealthy donors and motivate them to want to give large gifts to your organization, the words you use matter. A LOT!

Words that Work also comes from Dr. James’ research. It’s a presentation he did a while back based on his neuroimaging research. He shares data that reveals which words cause specific sections of the brain to light up and inspire people to think about philanthropy and generosity.

Nothing is more practical than learning which words work best when communicating with potential donors.

In this 1-hour webinar, which on its own is worth $297, you’ll get a complete array of words that work for a variety of situations.

In addition to the webinar recording, you’ll also get slides from the original presentation and a companion eBook.

Bonus #2 – How to Raise Major Gifts of Assets

Do wealthy donors have money you don’t even know about?

A tiny fraction of people in the world give nearly all the charitable gifts, when talking about actual monetary value.

But what too many major gifts fundraisers forget or overlook is that most of that wealth isn’t cash. For people who have high net worth, most of their wealth is held in assets like property, stocks, retirement accounts like IRAs, life insurance, and business equity.

If you and other fundraisers at your organization are focusing only on monetary gifts, you are actually ignoring the biggest bags of money.

And the thing is, no matter what people give, they give a percentage of what seems right to them.

For example, suppose there’s a donor who has $15 million in net worth, and $1 million of that is in cash, like traditional bank accounts. If you only ask for direct cash or check donations, that person will give out of the $1 million. But they aren’t going to give all of it. That’s not how people think. It doesn’t matter if they have $14 million in other assets. That doesn’t feel the same as the cash.

So, they’ll give you a percentage from the $1 million.

And they will leave untouched – because YOU didn’t bring it up – the other $14 million in non-cash assets.

This 90 minute webinar recording, also from Dr. James and worth $247, is about re-orienting your thinking around wealth. This bonus also comes with the slides from the original presentation.

Bonus #3 – How to Land Meetings

Ultimately, this is what it comes down to. And while Donor Story: Epic Fundraising gives outstanding ideas – especially in Module 4 – for how to increase your success rate at getting meetings, this isn’t the primary focus of the course.

In this webinar, which also comes with slides and an eBook, you get to dive deep into this one crucial step in the fundraising process, so you can be come more proficient at turning leads into meetings.

What you’ll learn in Donor Story: Epic Fundraising will help you increase your success rate once you get to that meeting, but this bonus webinar explores every facet of the uniquely challenging process of getting the donor in the room.

This webinar is worth $97.

This One Decision Can Make You Love Your Job for the
Rest of Your Career

Put all this together, and here’s what you get:



Donor Story: Epic Fundraising, including:

  • Training videos by Dr. Russell James
  • Worksheets to help your learning journey
  • Live 6-week Q&A calls starting January 19, 2022


Words that Work webinar, slides, eBook


How to Raise Major Gifts of Assets webinar, slides


How to Land Meetings webinar, slides, eBook


Donor Story: Epic Fundraising Community


Total Value of Complete Package

$2638 $997

If you buy the course using your organization’s training budget before December 16th, you get all of this for just $997 – a 62% savings!

And don’t forget, this also comes with our 30-Day Risk-Free Guarantee that you will absolutely love this course, or you can ask for a full refund within 30 days.


















Know What to Say in Every Situation, in Every Meeting with a Major Donor

There will be no better time than right now to start taking the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising ecourse (powered by MarketSmart).

It will return to its regular price soon, but the content won’t change.

Why pay $1,1000 more for the same career-transforming tools, skills, and insights later, when you can be one of the first to take the course and get them all now for so much less?

Click the button below to sign up for the course and get started on the first module today!


This One Decision Can Make You Love Your Job for the
Rest of Your Career

Put all this together, and here’s what you get:

Donor Story: Epic Fundraising, including:

  • Training videos
  • Worksheets
  • 6-week Q&A
Value $1997
Words that Work webinar, slides, eBook
Value $297

How to Raise Major Gifts of Assets webinar, slides

Value $247

How to Land Meetings webinar, slides, eBook

Value $97

Myth & Science Fundraising Community

Value Priceless

Total Value of Complete Package


If you buy the course using your organization’s training budget before Oct 22nd, you get all of this for just $897 – a 66% savings!

And don’t forget, this also comes with the Magical Golden Keys Guarantee that you will absolutely love this course, or you can ask for a full refund within 30 days.

















Frequently Asked Questions...

Know What to Say in Every Situation, in Every Meeting with a Major Donor

There will be no better time than right now to start taking the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising ecourse (powered by MarketSmart).

It will return to its regular price soon, but the content won’t change.

Why pay $1,000 more for the same career-transforming tools, skills, and insights later, when you can be one of the first to take the course and get them all now for so much less?

Click the button below to sign up for the course and get started on the first module today!