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Direct Response Leader and Founder of CDR Fundraising Group Dies

(April 21, 2009) Raymond Grace, direct response pioneer and founder of CDR Fundraising Group in Bowie, Md., passed away from complications related to cancer on April 14.

He was a founding member of the Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel and the business advisory council of the National Federation of Nonprofits, which merged with the DMA Nonprofit Federation.

Grace was a lifelong advocate and volunteer for religious and nonprofit organizations.

“Few agencies have so successfully represented the range of clients Ray brought to CDR Fundraising Group–Catholic charities, health groups, animal welfare causes, and social change advocates,” notes a press release by the firm Grace founded. As a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Ray had a special affinity for veterans’ charities such as Blinded Veterans Association, POW-MIA, Help Hospitalized Veterans, Wounded Warrior Project and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Grace also worked with MADD, Christian Appalachian Project, Special Olympics, the Winter Olympics/Lake Placid and the U.S. Olympic Committee, children’s charities like Toys for Tots, and many more.

CDR Fundraising Group’s President and CEO, Geoff Peters, commented on Ray’s legacy: “Ray was a unique individual—they truly did break the mold. He was generous to a fault with his time, his expertise and his money which he donated to charities. He lived his life as a model for other professionals, reminding us that service to charities as a career is an honor. He built a company based on that credo and he lived it every day he worked there.”

When word got out that Grace was gravely ill, friends and family posted information on a Caring Bridge Web site, which was visited nearly 5,000 times by friends and colleagues posting messages of support, even as news was getting worse. AFP President and CEO Paulette Maehara was among those offering words of gratitude and support.

“You were a pioneer in fundraising in so many ways and so many people have benefited from your wisdom, work and counsel,” wrote Maehara.

The Raymond J. Grace Scholarship Fund

CDR Fundraising Group has establishment an independent trust, The Raymond J. Grace Scholarship Fund. This trust will provide scholarship support to young people from nonprofit organizations who seek to expand their knowledge of direct-response fundraising.

The employee-owners of CDR Fundraising Group have made an initial gift of $10,000 to establish the trust.

Donations may be sent to:

The Raymond J. Grace Scholarship Fund
c/o CDR Fundraising Group
16900 Science Drive, Suite 210
Bowie, MD 20715

4300 Wilson Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203 • 703-684-0410 | 800-666-3863 | Fax: 703-684-0540
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