'Art of the Ask' classes to explore different fundraising styles

Of all the things we ask for – directions, cups of sugar, a push for a stuck car – money is often the most awkward. Fundraisers, board members and nonprofit directors are always searching for the perfect words to make a pitch work.

“Art of the Ask,” a five-week course developed by the Office of Community and Workforce Programs at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, will explore the different strategies for asking donors for major gifts. Classes will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning March 26.

The course is designed for board members, executives, nonprofit directors and volunteers. Participants will be coached to develop an approach that fits their personal style, which they can then test with a volunteer “prospect” in a lab setting.

The sessions will be led by expert fundraisers Margie Taylor, director of development and alumni relations at Penn State Behrend; Gary Bukowski, vice president for advancement at the Barber National Institute; Susan Black Keim, former vice president of advancement at Gannon University; and Kristina Huber, a private consultant.

The cost of the course is $299. Everyone who registers will receive a copy of Jerold Panas’ book “Asking,” the best-selling guide to securing major gifts. Participants also will qualify for Certified Fundraising Executive credits.

To register, or for more information, contact the Office for Community and Workforce Programs at 814-898-6013, maw179@psu.edu or Behrend.psu.edu/cde.

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Last Updated March 01, 2013