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The Development Evangelist by Jerry Grimes, CFRE

Posts Tagged 'development strategy'

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with 'development strategy'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

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Make 2014 'The Year of the Donor'

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If this year took you back a step or two, focus on growing income by improving donor relations in 2014.  Here are three quick reasons why this should be your top priority, and four quick steps to get you started.

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Three Steps To Take When Fundraising Flops

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Not every donor says "yes," and not every banquet is a smashing success. Do enough fundraising and eventually you will face failure of some kind. It's what you do about it that matters.  Learn the three critical steps to take when faced with a fundraising flop.

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5 Ways To Irritate Donors

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Are you irritating your donors? Find out the five things most organizations are doing every day that could be driving donors away.  Learn what donors really think about you and how you communicate with them.  Pick up some great, easy tips for keeping more donors longer and growing income.

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Volunteers: You Have Not Because You Ask Not

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The Missing Ingredient Ever forget to mix just one ingredient into a recipe only to experience disastrous results? Bread won't rise without yeast, cakes go flat without a little baking powder and eggs just don't taste right without salt.  Leaving out just one, small ingredient can make all the difference.   That's true for your ministry, too, especially if the missing ingredient is a volunteer program.  I am amazed that ministry people we talk to all around the country are so overworked and hampered financially, yet they almost refuse to seek out volunteers who can help them.  Volunteers can breathe new life into your ministry, help you do more with less, and interestingly, dramatically improve your development program. Ask, Seek, Knock Volunteers can come from a variety of sources.  Christian radio stations need only advertise their need for volunteers to help out in the office, make donor calls, handle the mail, run events and more just by running a few spots or "liner ...

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The Election Is Over. Now What?

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From a fundraising standpoint, you might be wondering what your next few steps should be, and how the re-election of Barack Obama for a second term might impact Christian organizations like yours. Many economists worry that divided government and inaction on some of the country's most pressing economic issues could trigger a second recession. Others fear specific actions that this government might take, including higher taxes or increased regulation, both of which could strangle job growth. Yet, there are things your organization can do to prepare for this tumultuous climate. Get Your Fiscal House In Order Major donors will still be giving to Christian causes, even if there is another recession or other bad economic news. However, if the last few years have taught us anything it is the importance of trust between donors and the organizations they support. Demonstrate you are responsible and trustworthy with donated funds by submitting to an audit, publishing an annual report and providing yo ...

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Asking Naturally: Replacing Fear With Faith

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Don't Second That Emotion! This whole business of asking for money conjures up a whole host of emotions.  I've seen men and women with titles like "Executive Director" and "President" quake with fear when they are told that the only way their ministries will survive is to take up the regular practice of looking other people in the eye and asking for help. I've seen board members and volunteers get red-faced angry with veins sticking out of their necks when I tell them the best way to fulfill their obligation of service is to go ask their friends to support the ministry.  Anger and fear like this have caused some people to make some pretty bad decisions...Things like firing development directors for poor performance when the real problem is a lack of participation by the board and top leadership in the development process. Or, hiring a consulting firm or agency to "fix" a fundraising problem that is essentially a lack of focus on major gifts. Replace Fear With Faith Anger and fear have n ...

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Raising Money To Raise Money

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It sounds a little nutty, but you really can interest some donors in supporting a plan to fund your fundraising efforts.  These moneys can be used to do basic donor research or to produce videos, brochures, web sites and other collateral material to better tell your story.  And, let's be honest, these funds can be used to secure the services of professional fundraising counsel. (Gee, what a great idea!) In the non-profit world, activities that help you raise more money generally fall under the category of "capacity building."  Grant makers will often fund capacity building because they like helping non-profit organizations grow.  You might be familiar with the old saying: "Feed a man to fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a life time."   That's the idea. Some donors like the idea of giving you money that will raise more money because its as if their gifts are being multiplied making a donation a lot more like an investment.   Raising money to raise ...

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Bore No More: Writing Fundraising Letters That Work

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Friendly Is Best Fundraising writing doesn't have to be boring. It's time to ditch that high and mighty tone so many of your letters have and start treating your donors like friends, because that's what they are. Come on. It's not like you are writing some formal letter to someone you don't know very well. Think about it. You and your donors have a fairly close relationship going on, even if you've never met face-to-face. They've given you some of their hard-earned money because they connected with you around your mission, vision and values.  Intimacy has already been established and it can only be broken by stiff, cold communication that keeps your donors at arm's length. Stir The Emotions: Compliment a warm, friendly family tone to your letters with high emotional impact.  Drop empty terms like "under served," "programs and services" and "projects." from your vocabulary for appeals, acknowledgements and updates. Sometimes technical jargon that has to do with the kind of ministry you ar ...

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The Impotence Of Being Earnest

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Boredom is the number one killer of great fundraising campaigns. Our job as development professionals is to excite, interest and inspire prospective donors with our message, but far too often we obfuscate the essence of our message with data and drivel, leaving glazed eyes and blank expressions in our wake.  When it comes to sharing about your ministry, you should know everything you tell but you don't have to tell everything you know. To you, it may be essential for every prospect and donor you meet to hear "our whole story."   You may be a linear thinker who feels most comfortable presenting ideas in an A to Z format.  But your audience is driven by visual stimuli.  They find your sequential line up of the facts boring and tedious to listen to.  You want to give them A to Z so they'll really "get " who you are.  But they probably would be better motivated by hearing just about L, M, N, O and P.  The essence, the good part...The real passion about who you are. Good case p ...

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Prepare for Impact: Can Your Ministry Prove Its Worth?

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Our parents and grandparents' generation gave of their hard-earned money to support charities and ministries because it was "the thing to do."  They liked being a part of something bigger than themselves, and enjoyed knowing they were building something great.   Today's donors, well, not so much. They like proof that their dollars are actually achieving something and that something had better not be just keeping the lights on for another month.  They want hard, concrete evidence that a donation has made a difference.  This puts more pressure on you as a non-profit leader to measure everything you do. And it's really not unfair when you think about it.  Business leaders have always been focused on the bottom line.  Successful schools have been focused on "outcome-based education" for years now.  Why should your ministry be any different?  One of Advocace's core principles says "you cannot achieve what you cannot measure," so we definitely believe in teaching our clien ...

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Comments
  1. Re: 7 Ways to Retain More Donors

    Great stuff! So good to see you link donors with the work. Remember how Paul linked the supporting folks...

    -- Jamie

  2. Re: Fundraising's Duh Factor: Keep more donors, raise more money

    Great read, I can appreciate the small things that keep the donor engaged.

    -- LaTanya

  3. Re: The Lapsed, Declined & The Disengaged

    Thanks Jerry. Organizations can also engage a credit card processing provider who enables donors to make...

    -- MKordic

  4. Re: Asking Naturally: Replacing Fear With Faith

    Thanks for the great post, Jerry--full of biblical truth! We join the Lord in His work through ministry...

    -- Will Stevens

The Development Evangelist
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About Jerry

I’ve been involved in the media for over 30 years with experience that spans television, radio and print. But my growing passion over the past decade has become development for non-profit organizations.

I love being a special friend and advisor to dozens of ministry leaders and radio station managers across the country. (I believe Christian radio has only just begun to reach its full potential.)Many non-profit organizations are functioning at a level far below what they could achieve if development were given its proper place in the management process.

My skill set includes development, marketing, strategic planning and leadership development as a certified Ministry Coach..

Before joining Advocace, I served as a development consultant for another firm, and as General Manager for one of the top Christian music stations in the country, and as Donor Marketing Director for WAY-FM Media Group. I also enjoyed raising funds as Director of Development for the University Of South Carolina School Of Law, as well as an active speaker, writer and facilitator.

You can find out more about how I help non-profit organizations and how to contact me here.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog,

Jerry