Intro­duc­ing the wis­dom of Jer­ry Huntsinger

The Jer­ry Huntsinger tuto­ri­als: all you need to know about fundrais­ing by direct mail. These tuto­ri­als are edit­ed and pre­sent­ed by Gwen Chapman.

Written by
Gwen Chapman
May 08, 2019

In 1982, I started in direct mail fundraising under the tutelage of the great (sadly, late) Terry Murray – South Africa’s guru of direct mail fundraising. Terry introduced me to Jerry Huntsinger’s work and articles in American fundraising publications. Every package we designed, every letter we wrote for our agency clients, was with the guidance of the one and only Jerry Huntsinger.

A decade or so later I was privileged to meet Jerry at a fundraising conference. It was a brief encounter, but I remember it distinctly. People were rushing all around. And there was Jerry, standing alone outside the presentation room. A moment of solitude. I don’t think he was happy to be there. I plucked up the courage to approach and introduce myself. I think we spoke about the weather. And then he was gone. I was shaking. I had just met the man himself. Jerry Huntsinger!

So when Ken Burnett told me that Jerry Huntsinger had gifted to SOFII use of his original manuscript of Eighty-six Tutorials on Creating Fundraising Letters and Packages, and asked me if I would be interested in editing the content and preparing comments, I was overcome.

And of course, I couldn’t say no to Ken Burnett.

Jerry Huntsinger started in direct mail in 1962, writing magazine ads and letters for a sponsorship organisation. Two years later he launched his own advertising agency on America’s East Coast, and later another on the West Coast. In the 1990s he sold both agencies and became a freelance writer and creative consultant to Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company.

Jerry wrote these tutorials for fundraisers who love to see the money come in, but hate to write fundraising letters. And as Jerry says, 

‘The only difference between an amateur and a professional is: (1) information and (2) experience. I hope these tutorials give you useful information, based on my experience.’

© SOFII Foundation 2010-2014.

About the author: Gwen Chapman

The Jerry Huntsinger Tutorials are edited and presented by Gwen Chapman.

Gwen Chapman is a passionate advocate for donor-centric fundraising. She is a senior consultant with international experience in the non-profit sector in Canada, the United States, the UK and South Africa.

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