The Fundraiser's Measuring Stick: Sizing Up the Attributes Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff Must Cultivate to Secure Major Gifts, by Jerold Panas (Emerson and Church, 2016, 112 pp., $25).
The Fundraiser’s Measuring Stick is a practical guide for those who are serious about building an enduring major gifts program. In just over 100 pages, Jerold Panas continues his legacy of helping nonprofits know what it takes to identify, cultivate, secure, and steward major gifts for their organization.
The book provides just the right balance between the attributes of inspiration and the reality of perspiration — having the inner drive to move ahead in spite of obstacles. Those who have asked for a major gift know that passion and perseverance must be wedded in order to reach goals and find the resources to change the world.
It is critical to know how to master the fundamentals of fundraising in the midst of a culture always looking for the quick solution or easy path to success. Even after 30 years in the field of fundraising, I found myself reminded of what every fundraiser needs to know when inviting givers into the mission of their organization. Panas delivers his message with the eloquence and flair that he has shown in other books like Mega Gifts and Making a Case Your Donors Will Love.
Panas drives home the point that knowing the fundamentals isn’t enough. Just as the Scriptures note that hearing without doing is ineffective, fundraisers also know that learning fundamentals without implementing them is fruitless. A good fundraiser makes the fundamentals part of a daily routine. That’s what separates nominal fundraisers from those who regularly secure major gifts.
This book will be a great tool in the hands of volunteers and staff who have a passion for fundraising and who want to learn how to secure the resources to advance their mission through a donor-centric major gifts program. I recommend it.
Jay Mansur is vice president of advancement at Asbury Theological Seminary.
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