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The Development Evangelist by Jerry Grimes, CFRE

Posts Tagged 'donor motivation'

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The Most Important Eleven Seconds

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One ringy dingy at a time, you could be losing donors!  How your donors are treated on the phone will influence how long they will give to your cause! Learn the three critical success factors to keeping donors from hanging up on you and giving to your organization.  

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

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Duh, if you want to raise more money, you at last have to keep the donors you have, if not add more, right?  Then why are so many ministries obsessed with acquiring new donors while ignoring the critically important need to retain more donors?  Are you losing ground? Statistically, yes.  You will lose up to half your donors this year alone! Learn how to keep more donors and raise more money in 2014!

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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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Ready, Set, Get Ready! Success With Capital Campaigns

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Are capital campaign feasibility studies always necessary? Are they worth the dollars invested, and should you consider one before undertaking your big building project or expansion?  Find out why when it comes to capital campaigns, a "read, aim, aim" approach can really pay off. 

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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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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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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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No More Rubber Chicken! Fixing Fundraising Events

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Say "fundraiser" and most people cringe.  We've all been there. Rubber chicken and a has-been, pseudo sports celebrity droning on and on behind a rented podium with a squalky sound system.   All this followed by an awkward, ham-handed attempt to get you to take out your checkbook and make a gift after you've already paid $20, $40 or even $100 for a ticket.  Events like this sap your energy and kill your evening. It doesn't have to be like this.  Follow some simple dos and don'ts to give your current fundraiser a makeover or to set you up for success with a brand new one: Do consider lunch or breakfast instead of dinner.  Dinner carries with it a lot of expectations on the part of attendees, and everything from the venue to the food and even the table service is usually more expensive.   Don't  focus on creating a draw for strangers to attend your event, like a celebrity speaker.  Work a carefully planned out strategy over the year to empower your current donors and c ...

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4 Things Your Board Must Do

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We fully expect board members to be engaged in the process of planning, budgeting and setting the future direction of the non-profit. Why wouldn’t it also make sense for the board to be actively engaged in fundraising, the life blood of any philanthropic endeavor?  To relegate this crucial aspect to staff is to deny the organization of a very powerful force that can make all the difference in its ability to achieve financial stability.   Board engagement is a signal to others who want to significantly give to the organization financially (and also with their time) that the organization is indeed worthy and responsible in a fiduciary sense.  Board participation in giving is the seal of approval many people are looking for when they ask that oft repeated question: “Do all of your board members also give?”   The internationally regarded Indiana University Center for Philanthropy, as well as the Foundation Center and the American Fundraising Professionals organization have ...

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Majoring In Major Gifts: Worth The Effort

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Major Donors Right Under  Your Nose: Where on earth will you find the money needed to take your ministry to the next level? Chances are, it's all right there in your donor file.  When I ran a non-profit organization, I quickly learned that there were people giving relatively modest gifts on a fairly regular basis who were capable of giving much, much more.  In one case, a donor giving $500 or $1,000 gifts every few months turned out to be one of the wealthiest people in the state with a net worth of more than $60 million! Getting buy-in from such well healed donors takes time and effort, and it requires that you put in place something that most ministries hardly ever think about....A major gifts program. How To Identify Your Major Donors Giving history is the key to unlocking the secrets in your donor file.  A rule of thumb in fundraising is that someone giving $1,000 as a single gift is capable of giving $10,000 that same year,  if properly motivated.   Who are your potential ...

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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

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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