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Legendary Fundraising Author, Pioneer Honored for Service to the Profession

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Jerold (Jerry) Panas, one of the pre-eminent authors on fundraising of all time, and an extraordinary fundraiser who has helped raise billions of dollars around the world, is the recipient of the prestigious Chair’s Award for Outstanding Service presented by AFP. 

The Chair’s Award is given on occasion to individuals for exceptional service to AFP, the fundraising profession and the philanthropic community. Panas is the 16th recipient of the honor since its inception in 1982 and received the award on March 22, 2014, at AFP’s Celebration for Philanthropy Banquet during the International Conference on Fundraising.

A fundraiser for more than four decades, Panas is the executive director of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners, which has more than 60 staff and has served over 3,500 organizations since its founding in 1968. During his career, he has personally has helped raise an estimated $11 billion for a wide variety of charitable organizations, including many organizations around the world.

Panas is widely regarded as the foremost author on fundraising, having written or co-written 18 different books on the subject, as well as countless articles for magazines, newsletters and newspapers around the world. One of his books, ASKING, is the best-selling book in the history of fundraising, while other—including Mega Gifts, Born to Raise and Finders Keepers—are classics and standards for the profession.

“Jerry Panas hasn’t just influenced the organizations he’s worked with directly,” says Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “It’s no stretch to say he has influenced the entire profession in a way that perhaps no other fundraiser has. We are thrilled to be able to honor him and his work with the Chair’s Award—he has left a fundraising and philanthropic legacy that will live on forever.”

Panas is the co-founder of the Institute for Charitable Giving, regarded as one of the top coaching centers in the U.S., and also founded the Institute of Charitable Giving in Mexico. He lectures in Mexico annually, and in 2011, the Cultural Office of Mexico cited him for his contribution to the nation’s philanthropy. In 2013, Jerry received the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award from Fundraising Success magazine for his contribution to philanthropy and fundraising.

“I am one of the lucky ones,” says Panas. “I didn’t choose fundraising.  Fundraising chose me. I work with wonderful people. And I raise money for buildings, programs, equipment, endowments and so many things that make such a difference in people’s lives. What else could I be doing that would be more important?  I know this is where I belong.  This is my destiny.”

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