Higher education institutions are all about capital campaigns, whether those campaigns are public or private. They tend to be about buildings, equipment, scholarships, posts... things. Discrete, specific, wonderful, world-changing things.
Your average HE major gifts fundraiser is usually focused on trying to raise money for those things. That means finding enough people who are interested in those things, and turning them into donors.
The planning of that usually takes the form of a gift table. Gift tables tend to be constructing around the concept of a gift pyramid (aiming for a few big fat gifts, a middling number of high value gifts and a large number of small gifts). They look a little like this...
You need four prospects for every gift because in major gifts there is a 1:4 conversion rate from
prospect to donor. Call me Doubting Thomas, but I've never come across much evidence to back this up.