Return to site

Jerold Panas "17 Rules How to Get the Gift"

Jerold Panas was one of the top practitioners, consultants and trainers in fundraising and philanthropy in the world.

His fundraising books are classics.

Here are his “17 Golden Rules For Asking For A Gift.” - edited slightly for leaders of Mosdos Torah - to add more finesse to your efforts.

  1. Know everything possible about your organization. Be crystal clear in your mission and vision, programs and impact.
  2. Make certain, in your heart-of-hearts, you’re completely committed to the worthwhileness of your cause and the significance of your project.
  3. Learn everything you can about the probable donor you’re calling on.
  4. Determine a specific amount you should ask for. This is after a careful assessment. Do not ask for a range— give a specific amount.
  5. Give thought as to how to express the amount of your request. Say it out loud several times before your visit. It will build your confidence.
  6. Now you’re ready to get the appointment. If you get the visit, you’re 85% toward securing the gift. (Getting the appointment is harder than getting the gift.)
  7. Practice, practice, practice. I still write out what I’m going to say.
  8. Write out in advance all the reasons your probable donor may put you off. Practice how to respond.
  9. When you make the visit, go in pairs. A colleague or board member or significant donor is a magic partnership.
  10. Call on your best probable donors first.
  11. Establish rapport in your early moments with the probable donor.
  12. It’s essential you probe for concerns. Ask questions. Listen 75% of the time. Talk 25%.
  13. Convey the benefit to the donor. It has to be a “win-win” for the institution and the donor.
  14. Remember: It’s not about money and it’s not about your organization. It’s entirely about the mission and the people who are served.
  15. When you’re finally ready to ask for the gift, use words such as: “I would like you to consider a gift of…”
  16. Don’t let objections rattle you. They are your best friends. Probe for concerns.
  17. You cannot leave a meeting without getting a commitment to something— either the gift or a date for another visit.

Each of these rules are real gems. Take a score of how many are currently part of your fundraising.

Score yourself again in 6 months time - to see how much you've advanced - and check your fundraising bottom line. It should have increased.

Have a great week. B'hatzlacha raba raba.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!