Jerry Panas

Matt Hugg is an author and instructor in nonprofit management in the U.S. and abroad. He is president and founder of Nonprofit.Courses, an on-demand, e-learning educational resource for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers, with hundreds of courses in nearly every aspect of nonprofit work.  

He’s the author of "The Guide to Nonprofit Consulting," and "Philanders Family Values, Fun Scenarios for Practical Fundraising Education for Boards, Staff and Volunteers," and a contributing author to "The Healthcare Nonprofit: Keys to Effective Management."

Over his 30-year career, Matt has held positions at the Boy Scouts of America, Lebanon Valley College, the University of Cincinnati, Ursinus College and the University of the Arts. In these positions, he raised thousands of gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations and government entities, and worked with hundreds of volunteers on boards and fundraising committees, in addition to his organizational leadership responsibilities.

Matt teaches fundraising, philanthropy and marketing in graduate programs at Eastern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Juniata College and Thomas Edison State University via the web, and in-person in the U.S., Africa, Asia and Europe, and is a popular conference speaker. He has a B.S. from Juniata College and an M.A. in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Matt has served on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Nonprofit Career Network of Philadelphia and several nonprofits.

Jerry Panas is one of our industry’s greats. I’ve learned so much from him over the years. Here is some of his best advice on how to nail the gift: Getting the visit is the toughest part. Be willing to fail. Enthusiasm is contagious. Keep your antenna alert. Talk only 25 percent of the time. Donors give to the magic of an idea. You never know until you ask. Your materials are not important in an ask. Take only 11 minutes to present  your case. I would like you to consider a gift of …

The hardest thing for most development officers to do is to GET OUT OF THE OFFICE and spend time face to face with donors discussing a major or planned gift. Sometimes the problem is based on a latent fear of being put “on the spot” and not knowing what to say. One way to overcome the fear is simply to be enthusiastic. Take a cue from Vartan Gregorian, former CEO of the New York Public Library. According to Jerry Panas, author of “Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift,” Gregorian makes everyone

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