Kent Huyser knows how to raise money.

As associate vice chancellor for advancement at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, Huyser launched a $20 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.

The results?

Record fundraising levels. Largest individual and grant gifts. Largest employee giving totals in the college’s history.

Huyser, now a senior consultant with the Chicago-based Gonser Gerber, a leading advancement and leadership consulting firm, shared some of his fundraising expertise with local nonprofit leaders on Wednesday, June 9, at a “Major Gift Fundraising” workshop at the Pensacola State College Nonprofit Center for Excellence and Philanthropy.

Huyser’s topics included:

  • Why Do People Give?
  • Asking Starts with Identifying the Best Donors
  • How to Get Appoints with Your Prospects
  • Preparing for the Gift Invitation
  • Beyond Expressing Gratitude: Demonstrating Impact.

“I hope (those in attendance) take away the foundation to be able to build thriving major gift programs,” Huyser said. “Hopefully, they’ll pick up some tips and tricks to be that much better of a major gift fundraiser for their institutions. Nonprofits rely so much on generosity, and generosity from donors who can give larger gifts really moves the needle well.”

Ildi Hosman, executive director of Junior Achievement of Northwest Florida, said the workshop will help her fundraising efforts.

“From a professional development standpoint, I can get ideas on how to make Junior Achievement stronger,” she said. “And I get to talk about all these things with my counterparts in the community who are doing the same things. And to hear from a consultant of this caliber sharing his best practices and ways I can translate them to my own role is invaluable.”

Andrea Rosenbaum, director of development for the YMCA of Northwest Florida, said the workshop would help her refocus priorities.

“It’s easy to lose track of priorities,” she explained. “But when we have an opportunity to step away and connect with peers and a real leader in the field, it helps us refocus our priorities so we can invest in things that are important and that are going to make our organization, and ultimately our community, a better place to live and work.”

The next PSC Nonprofit Center for Excellence and Philanthropy event is a workshop on “Fundraising: The Role of a Board Member” on July 21. For more information and to register, go to