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Once a week, one of 70 Fundraising Verities is posted from the best selling book, Born to Raise by Jerold Panas.

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The Verities — What Makes a Great Fundraiser?

Is there a “fundraising type”?  Outgoing, people-oriented, backslapping, extremely well organized, goal oriented, brilliant.  This magnificent creature probably doesn’t exist.

It’s really hard, perhaps impossible, to know what makes an ideal fundraiser.  If you were designing the perfect fly-catcher, you probably wouldn’t design it to look like a frog!

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Verity #70 —

Nothing is More Important than Integrity 


Integrity is the sine qua non in our work. It is everything.

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Verity #69 —

Listen Carefully 

You will hear a gift. You perhaps know the definition of an anagram. It means two words that have different meaning but contain precisely the same letters.

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Verity #68 —

The Work Burns Like Fire in Their Bones 

There must be a flaming commitment to the mission of the organization. But more than that, it is an absolute love affair for the work itself.

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Verity #67 —

Getting “Yes”

The successful fundraiser has a way of getting “yes” for an answer— at times even before the question is asked. It’s the vision and the passion, that’s what motivates the gift. It’s the spark which ignites into a mighty flame.

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Verity #66 —

Long Tenure in a Position Pays Off

The great fundraisers I interviewed and all those I know who are successful— do not jump from job to job. They stay at their institution.

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Verity #65 —

Luck Favors the Prepared Mind

Jeffrey Blum wrote a fascinating book, “How to Get Lucky.” He points out that luck can be made to happen. As Louis Pasteur said, “Luck favors the prepared mind.”

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Verity #64 —

The Ten Criteria for Success

David Ogilvy is considered the High Priest of advertising. He developed a list of what he considers to be the most important factors in successful people.