bue bar

lost-manuscript-coverThe Lost Manuscript - Manuscript by Si Seymour, with Observations & Comments by Jerold Panas

Binder, 153 pages: $59.00. ORDER HERE

In the following story, Jerry Panas tells you how he discovered this tome of knowledge from one of the great fundraisers of our field, Si Seymour.

It’s 1963 or 1964.  I can’t remember for certain.

I am the very young Vice President of Westminster Choir College.  I get a call from Edgar Gemmell.  He’s in charge of fundraising at Princeton University.  The University’s just down the street from us.

“I’d like you to join us for lunch,” Gem says.  “Our consultant for our big campaign is meeting with the President and the fundraising staff.”

Princeton had just come off an unheard of $53 million campaign.  At the time, it is the largest ever raised by any university.

I went to the luncheon Gem invited me to.  There’s Bob Goheen, the President of the University, Gemmell, and four members of the fundraising staff. (Just imagine— four members, that’s all they had.)

And there’s a fellow I had never met before, their consultant.  His name is Harold J. Seymour.

He is a legend.  A few years earlier, he had written a book (Designs for Fundraising: Principles, Patterns, Techniques) that had taken the field by storm.

Even today, the book is considered one of the most important classics in our profession.  He had worked for every major charity and university in the country, including Princeton University.

I went to the meeting.  I was in total awe, much like a young Priest in the presence of the Holy Father.

I was invited back monthly to meet with that small group.  We sat at Seymour’s feet and listened without interruption for ninety minutes.  I was taking notes as fast as I could from this giant.

During that time, I got to know Si reasonably well.  Once in a while, I would invite myself to visit him at his home in Tenafly, New Jersey.

On one of those visits, he told me he had something he wanted to show me.  He came back a few minutes later with a three-ring binder.

“Here’s something I thought you might be interested in reading.  I’d like you to have it.”

I read it, reread it, and kept it for safekeeping.  That was the problem.  I kept it for safekeeping.

Since that time, our family has moved five times.  There’s a saying that three moves is equal to one total fire.

Seymour’s notebook ended up in one of the moving boxes that was put in storage.  I was hunting for something totally different when I opened an old storage box from the first move.  And here was that treasure, still in its original three-ring binder.

I must tell you, I felt a bit what Howard Carter must have experienced when he discovered King Tut’s Tomb.  His co-worker looked over his shoulder and shouted, “Howard.  Howard.  Can you see anything?”

“Yes, yes— oh, my God, I see something wonderful.”

When Si Seymour gave me the material, he told me he had always planned on writing another book.  But the material was never published.

It is just as relevant today as when it was written sixty years ago.  With magnificent gems throughout.  By one of the most noted authors and consultants in our fundraising history.

I wondered what format I should use in presenting the book.  I decided to keep it in the typewritten form in which I received it.  And keep it in a three-ring binder.

I have made some editorial comments following each chapter.  I call them CRIB NOTES.  Some of you may be familiar with the term.  Webster defines it as: a list of correct answers, used by students while making notes for exams.

 — Jerry Panas

 

If you don’t find The Lost Manuscript everything we’ve said, return the book for a full money-back refund. No questions. Period. Binder, 153 pages: $59.00.