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The Development Evangelist by Jerry Grimes, CFRE

Posts Tagged 'email'

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Jerry Grimes, CFRE's avatar

Bore No More: Writing Fundraising Letters That Work


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 ...

Jerry Grimes, CFRE's avatar

7 Deadly Sins of Development


Did you know that there are seven things that could really cost you dearly in terms of donations or even shutter the doors of your ministry if left unchecked?  Read on and find out if you are committing any of the "7 Deadly Sins of Development." Sin #1: Forgetting Where Your Funding Comes From God provides all of the resources for the ministry He has called us to.  It's simple, right?  But how often do we forget that and begin to think that DONORS are providing for our work?  Make no mistake, donors are the conduit through which God provides, but it is HE that is doing the providing.  Getting away from the idea that God provides for us distorts our view of God and our donors.  It can lead us to manipulation and rob us of the simple joy that's found in understanding that we are merely stewards of what God provides.  Every now and then, ask yourself and your team members where your support comes from.  When they answer "donors" or "churches," remind them that ultima ...

Jerry Grimes, CFRE's avatar

The Perfect Fundraising Letter


When it comes to fundraising letters, I'll bet you've seen it all.  There's the slick approach...A designer layout, color photos, trendy fonts and glossy paper.  They're more like brochures or magazines than letters, really. Then there are letters that look like they were done on a 1980s vintage Smith-Cornona typewriter, and even breakthrough techniques that replicate human handwriting. (Click here to see what I mean.)  But the best fundraising letter is always the one that works, and consistently test after test, from the Direct Marketing Association, show there are some best practices in letter writing and production that are proven to get results.  Based on the research I've read and my own experience, here's what we know for sure. The length seems to be important, and a longer letter is usually better than a shorter one.  There are many theories on why this is, but donors seem to think you don't have much of a case for asking them for money if you can do it on a sing ...

  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,