Conversations with Jerold Panas

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ASKING – Prepare for the ask

When you know a donor well, it’s easier to prepare for a meeting. What if you don’t know everything you want to know? How much can you find out during the meeting? Learn from Jerry how he prepared for meetings.

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ASKING – What does Maybe Mean

What does “maybe” mean? Is that a good answer and how do you investigate further? Maybe often means you’ve asked in that sweet spot – when a gift is doable yet meaningful – but takes thought. Also, we had quite an intimate moment when we compared notes on the most meaningful gift each of us had ever made.

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ASKING – Why you didn’t get the Gift

Jerry specifically asked to talk about this topic – all the reasons you didn’t get a gift. Of course, you can’t get a gift if you don’t ask, but what other mistakes can you make? Can you ask for too much or too little?

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What Makes a Great Fundraiser

Jerry started out identifying 102 traits of a great fundraiser and eventually whittled that down to twelve for his iconic book “Born to Raise.” How many of the twelve do you possess? And you’ll be surprised to learn how Jerry got into fundraising considering he was on a pre-med track in college.

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The Art of Listening

You know listening is critical in fundraising, but how much should you listen? How do you make sure you spend your time listening? As Jerry says, “no one ever listens themselves out of a gift.”

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Making the Case

Jerry spent much of his career leading and advising on big campaigns, where the case for support is so critical. Here Jerry shares why a strong, written case is so important, and what the key elements of the case are.

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Non Profit Board Evolutions

We came back to the subject of boards because they’re so critical to fundraising. Here Jerry talked about how boards evolve and what that means for their composition. How do you evaluate board members to ensure they are performing well? And how does the board evaluate a CEO, especially a long-serving one.

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Board Meetings – Part 1

This was a very meaty topic. In Part I, we talked about board meetings themselves. Like staff meetings, how do you make them more interesting…since so many aren’t! Find out Jerry’s “three B’s” for while board meetings can be trouble.

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Board Meetings – Part 2

What are the board’s most important functions? And what makes for a good board member? Can a board member serve on multiple boards and, of so, how many? Last but not least – the $64,000 question (no pun intended) of how much board members should contribute.

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Staff Meetings

Jerry was already a CEO of a YMCA in his early 20’s, so you can imagine how many staff meetings he sat through in his illustrious career. You’d probably agree with Jerry’s assessment that most staff meetings are not productive, motivating or exciting, so join us to learn what you can do to improve them.

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Quid Pro Quo

The dreaded quid pro quo, which in fundraising means board members asking friends and family whose causes they then have to support, was worthy of its own topic. Jerry shares how the field has changed and the work we still have ahead of us. How much of your board members’ fundraising is quid-pro-quo fundraising?

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Words of Wisdom

Who better to learn words of widsom from than Jerry Panas. How about “donors will forget what you said, and what you did, but never forget how you made them feel”? Or the B.O.Y. Rule. Any ideas what B.O.Y. stands for?!


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