Listen to words of wisdom from the master of fundraising.
December 2019

Revisiting Conversations with Jerry Panas

Plus a new blog post from Sue Kindred, an Asking Styles tip,
and On the Road with Brian

Dear [First Name],

It's been rewarding to hear from so many of you how much you've enjoyed listening to my conversations with Jerry, and I appreciate the Jerry stories you've shared with me. A few, while unprintable, were truly hilarious!

I find myself bringing Jerry's name up often as I speak at conferences. Here are my top Jerry references:

"No one ever listened themself out of a gift."
"You're 85% of the way there if you get the meeting."
"People will forget what you say, but not how you make them feel."

If you haven't had a chance to listen to some of our conversations, take a moment when you can. 70 years of fundraising gave him a perspective few of us will ever have.

Grammar doesn’t write a compelling story

new blog post from Sue Kindred

I recently worked with a client on their annual fund letter. They had a good story to tell, it hit all the right notes. It was compelling, engaging, donor-centric, and persuasive.

Until it wasn’t anymore.

They had it reviewed by their “resident editor.” Who made it VERY grammatically correct. Very.

The letter lost its charm, its ability to be persuasive, and all of its power. The introductory paragraph, originally a sweet and endearing story about the transformative power of reading to a dog, suddenly was choppy and uninteresting. But it WAS grammatically correct…

Asking Styles Tip for the Month

I'm starting a new section – providing a tip on using the Asking Styles. Let me know when you use one!

Asking Styles and How Your Donors Communicate
People often ask how to figure out one's donors' Asking Styles. Think of how they like to communicate with you. If they love the phone, they could well be Go-Getters. If they do everything to avoid the phone, perhaps Mission Controllers…but also Kindred Spirits.

Might be hard to get Rainmakers on the phone – they're not big on process and would find it more efficient to email. And of course I now wonder who might text – my bet is Go-Getters and Kindred Spirits. Rainmakers might not want to risk a prolonged text exchange, and Mission Controllers might be frustrated by the quick, short nature of texts.

On the Road

Winter 2019

November was another local month – and a month with personal ties. I was delighted to reengage with my alma mater, the Booth Business School of The University of Chicago. They engaged me to present in NYC during OnBoard, their board member development workshop. There were fellow alums from the 1960's on up!

Then it was time for my own AFP New Jersey's Philanthropy Day, where I spoke on the Asking Styles. As you know I'm not a big event/networking guy, so it was nice to run into so many of my peers…and then run for the exit!

Here's to another great month of fundraising,


Let's get social:



join our mailing list for fundraising tips, upcoming events, and more!