guidestarblog_header.png

Jerold Panas

Recent Posts by Jerold Panas:

Nurturing Your Potential as a Fundraiser

Jerold Panas, fundraising’s most prolific author, died on July 14, with wife Felicity by his side. Mr. Panas prepared this excerpt for GuideStar a month prior to his passing.

Is there a fundraising type? A combination, say, of Elon Musk and Angeline Jolie that is outgoing, people-oriented, well organized, and goal oriented?


Make It Compelling

You are about to read the first page of a superb appeal letter. It was one of a series of recent direct mail pieces from a medical center.


What You and Your Board Need to Know When Asking for a Gift

I’ve been asking for gifts for more than 40 years. Some as modest as $50, others for $100 million. You could say I’m acquainted with the do’s and don’ts of motivating donors.

In my book Asking you’ll find a detailed approach to soliciting major gifts. In this article, I’ll simply highlight eight suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare yourself and your board for the big push.


Are You Successful?

“What does it take?”

Most every time I'm with a leader or a highly successful corporate executive, I ask, "What does it take? What are the traits and characteristics that contribute most to your success?"

(A pretty good question, by the way. And it does help stroke the psyche of the person you ask. Try it. "Tell me why you are so successful. What does it take?")

Over the years, I've gathered these 28 bits and pieces I've listed below. (If you can add any, let me know.)


Some Things I Have Learned in My Years of Fundraising

17 axioms you will want to know:


The Mighty Seven

Here are Seven Principles that apply to your printed material, your letters, and your personal presentations. They will assure you of impact. I promise you success.


When Developing a Case for Support, Absolutely, Positively Include These Three Essentials

An effective case for support seizes donors by the collar, gripping their minds, their hearts, and inspiring them to open their checkbooks.

Every successful case should contain more than a dozen key elements, as I discuss in my book Making a Case Your Donors Will Love. In this article I’ll focus on three of the most essential.


Evaluate Your Board Meetings

I had just started my consulting relationship with Asheville School. It’s a very special high school in Asheville, North Carolina.

The meeting ended. But something happened that I had not been warned of. I was called on to give a 15-minute critique of the Board meeting.


No More Pledges!

The word “Pledge” has a negative connotation. For many, they won’t even consider an extended payment plan.

You surely have heard this sort of a comment: “I don’t pledge (making the fatal word three syllables!). I’ll make a gift, but I don’t know how things will be in the next few years. So I’m not going to pledge.” Or, “I just don’t believe in pledging. I’m almost certain I’ll give again next year, but I won’t pledge.”


What Makes a Great Fundraiser Great? Five Key Attributes

Hand me a pen and in 30 seconds I could scribble a lengthy list of attributes important to every fundraiser. Narrowing the list to five is next to impossible for someone like me who has decades of experience working with professionals of all kinds.

So forgive me if I stop short of saying the following five are categorically the most important, but certainly these exemplify today’s successful fundraiser.