A tribute to Terry A Murray

The doyen of South African fundraising.

Written by
George Smith
June 03, 2009
Terry Murray, 1938-2008 Terry Murray seems to have been the kind of guy people say very nice things about. Here’s veteran UK fundraiser George Smith, celebrating his friendship with South Africa’s most respected fundraiser.

Terry Murray was a founder, former chairman and chief executive officer of Downes Murray International, the largest fundraising consultancy in South Africa. Terry started out in direct mail fundraising in 1962, building a company that went on to win international awards in the USA, Britain and Europe. The direct mail programmes run by DMI raise millions of rands each year not only from within South Africa but also from overseas donors.

Terry Murray served on the board of the World Fundraising Council, was a founding member, fellow and past vice-president of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF). He was a member of the faculty team that, through SAIF and the University of South Africa, developed the first ever South African fundraising management course.

In 1990, Terry chaired SAIF’s first international fundraising convention in Johannesburg and was a keynote speaker at many SAIF conventions, as well as at fundraising conventions in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In 1999 Terry sold Durban-based Downes, Murray International to his co-directors, Emmi Albers and Jenni McLeod; he remained involved as part-time consultant to the company in certain key areas and was co-editor of the quarterly fundraising newsletter Fundraising Forum.

Terry was involved in guiding major capital campaigns for universities. Starting with a highly successful campaign for the UCT Medical School in 1994, he went on to run a campaign for the UCT Faculty of Commerce. In October of 2000, Michael Downes, his long-time friend and business partner, asked him to run the South African division of the DVA Navion international fundraising consultancy for a period of three years, which ended in December 2003.

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Click the image to read what George Smith had to say.

As president of DVA Navion, Terry helped build the capacity of the University of Stellenbosch development division by introducing the mail/phone concept of gathering pledges from alumni as well as bequest promotion to senior alumni. His final assignment for DVA Navion was a three-year contract guiding the Rhodes University Centenary 2004 campaign, which, by the end of 2003 (with nine months still remaining), raised R106 million – the largest total achieved in any South African university fundraising campaign.

Terry was also involved in the promotion of bequests to nonprofit organisations for the past 10 years and pioneered the concept of the bequest society in the southern hemisphere with spectacular results for a variety of clients, including the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, a number of universities and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Blind.

Over the past few years Terry helped DVA Navion to build a successful direct mail business in Australia and New Zealand.

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