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The Development Evangelist by Jerry Grimes, CFRE

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Going Postal: The Demise of Direct Mail Is Greatly Exaggerated!

I could not believe what I was hearing!  A fundraising consultant had just said the most shocking thing to an audience of ministry leaders that I've ever heard. Surely he had mis-spoken or at least would qualify his brash statement: "Direct mail is dead.  No one is raising money that way anymore, so don't waste your time or money on it." Not only did his words shock me, they sent me into a full-on panic because I would be taking the podium next at the conference, and my topic was "Using Direct Mail More Effectively."  What on earth would I say?  Just as I was asking myself that question, the friend who had invited me to speak at the conference sent a text to me from across the room: "I can see you are upset.  Don't worry, he's said lots of shocking things like this.  U can correct when its your turn." A few minutes and a glass of cold water later, my faculties were beginning to return to me.  After a break I took the podium and I told that audience about what I am goi ...

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Six Steps To Better Share-A-Thons

I t’s Share-A-Thon Time! Does that make you want to do a little happy dance around your office or find solace in a big bag of Cheetos?  Based on conversations with GM’s across the country, I am thinking Chester Cheetah is going to see record sales again this spring.  Which brings me to the simple question, is it supposed to be this way?   The fear is palpable and the questions hanging over our heads can almost be seen by everyone we pass...  “Will we make our goal? It’s bigger than last  year!”  “What happens if the phones don’t ring? What will I do?”  “Is our team really ready for this?”  Could there a be a better approach to Share-A-Thons?  Is there a way to minimize the risks, reduce the fear and in general make them less of a big, hairy deal?  I think there are six action steps you can take right now to transform how you and your staf ...

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GroupThink: The Power to Confuse

“What do you think?” Those four little words could insure that your organization’s efforts to raise money through direct mail are dead in the water. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for “group think.” As a trained facilitator, I often begin meetings with the phrase: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Brainstorming is definitely essential to moving any organization forward. But when it comes to writing fundraising letters, you have to know when to use a group’s thoughts and when you should not. You have to remember the fundraising letter cardinal rule: “Write one to one.” A good fundraising letter is personal. When you read it, you feel that its author is speaking directly to you. It is written dialogically. The writer is a singular, clear, articulate voice in your head carrying on an imaginary conversation with just you. It is best written from an “I” to “you” perspective, not from “we” to “them.&rdqu ...

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Do you think development is a 'necessary evil'?

“I’d really rather not do development at all…It’s the one part of my job that I’m just not good at and don’t want to do. It’s kind of a necessary evil,” Silas said, his face breaking into a wide smile.  I’ve known him for about 12 years now, and it wasn’t the first time I’d heard this speech. I settled back in my chair in front of his desk and waited for the other shoe to drop.  “I know you like going out and asking for money…” There it was. The other shoe… “But that’s just not me. Besides…Running this station takes all my time. I don’t know where I’d find a day every week just to go out and meet a bunch of rich people so they can tell me what they don’t like about our radio station.” Silas isn’t alone of course. A lot of GM’s “hate fundraising” and feel like it’s “a necessary evil.” I know because I used to be one of the ...

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  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
by Jerry Grimes
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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,