What Others Say About ICG Seminars


“The Art of Asking ranks in my top two or three conferences I have ever attended throughout my professional career. It was extremely well organized, and the dynamic and varied faculty provided a true hands-on learning experience. From whole group presentations through small group breakouts and opportunities for one-on-one coaching with a faculty mentor, the experience was of incredibly high value.  I not only learned how to become more comfortable making the ask, but I also learned many solid ways to overcome objections, finesse the conversation and to really listen (to the prospective donor) the gift.”
— Jane DiGirolamo, Chief Advancement Officer, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School


"My attendance at the Art of Asking Seminar was transforming. It opened my mind and heart regarding the importance of building relationships and listening in order to fulfill the dreams of our donors. In building those relationships I learned that donors are drawn to my empathy, energy, and enthusiasm.
The three-ringed binder provided at the Seminar has become my daily companion and sits prominently on my desk for review. I look forward to weekly email updates from the Institute of Charitable Giving. When I see an email entitled, “An Idea from Jerry Panas in 19 seconds” I open it immediately because I know the idea will help focus my energies. And it always feels like Jerry is sitting across the table from me and has my best interests at heart. In fact, I have a separate outlook folder for those treasured emails. When I have a challenging day, I often pause to read a few ‘words of wisdom’ from Jerry Panas in order to inspire my efforts.
The special activities including ParkBenching, Buzz Group, and 360 Rap were the most enlightening and energizing mentoring experiences. I have attended many workshops, courses, and seminars. This experience was by far the best.”.

— Mary Alessio, Catholic Charities


"This Seminar provided me with the framework to become a complete and professional development officer. It gave me the tools that I need to become more effective in my meetings both on the phone and in-person. The six-step large gift process gives me the structure that I need to feel comfortable in asking any donor for a gift. The instructors gave me confidence through their past experiences as development officers. Best of all, the Seminar introduced me to role models in the development filed that I can model my career after."

— Quincy L. Lewis, University of Minnesota, Golden Gopher Fund


"The Art of Asking Seminar in Chicago was perhaps the most transformative educational experience I have had since my second year of Medical School —and that was more years ago than I care to admit.
My take away from Paul:
I —Identify and Qualify
N—Negotiate (expect NO, Three No’s is halfway to a yes, walk toward the barking dog!)
I don’t think I will ever forget this.
I really appreciate what you all do for this world."

— Michael A. Rees, MD, PhD, Renal Transplantation, University of Toledo

"While the cost of taking two gift officers, the executive director, and president of the board to a seminar wasn’t insignificant, I can’t underestimate how impactful it was to bring together the staff and volunteer leaders responsible for the success of our major gifts program. We left The Art of Asking with a shared understanding of fundamentals and philosophies, practical advice, but also the motivation to take what we learned and create resources that could be used to activate the staff and volunteer talent that surrounds us. That initial investment was a drop in the pond that continues to make waves of progress in our organization."

— Kristen Kaiser, Executive Director, Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation



    Who Should Attend

    • All staff, board members, volunteers involved in fundraising.
    • Organizations that can benefit from an infusion of gift income.
    • Newcomers to the field, and those who have been at it for awhile.
    • Fundraisers who want to grow professionally.
    • Those who would like to have their professional batteries recharged.
    • Those who want to become more effective and successful at fundraising.
    • Those who choose to be the best they can be.

    Limited Registration

    There’s limited registration to ensure extensive 
interaction and provide maximum personal attention.

    Philosophy (But Not Much!)

    It’s important to consider what’s new in major gifts fundraising and how this affects making the ask.

    Developing Prospect Strategies

    The real art of major gifts is in the development of strategies. How do you develop the touch? You’ll practice strategies and skills in a small group setting.

    Inside the Head & Heart of a Philanthropist

    Understand the spirit and heart of those who give major funds. We attempt to have a philanthropist join us. You will be able to probe and ask questions regarding the spirit and motivations of their giving.


    CFRE Continuing Education Approved Provider Programs

    ICG is an approved provider of CFRE continuing education. All courses presented are submitted to CFRE International for review and approval.


    Here Are Some Things You Will Take Home From a 2019 Institute Seminar

    A Registered Certificate of Seminar participation and completion.

    PLUS...Valuable resources from our Tool Chest that will enhance your fundraising with more than two hundred presentation outlines, checklists, relevant reprints, and a host of fundraising tools to put to immediate use upon your return.

    PLUS...Regular mailings from the Institute & Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners regarding new ideas in fundraising, pertinent new techniques, and innovative approaches to getting the gift.

    PLUS...A group of men and women— fellow alumni— with whom you will be networking and in regular contact.

    Seminar Scholarship Application

    A limited number of partial scholarships are available. The Review Board of the Institute will be particularly encouraging to relatively new organizations, those that serve primarily a minority constituency, or those especially affected by cutbacks in government funding. Scholarship Application (pdf)