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Pause, Stop, Relaunch: Part I

May 2, 2014

By Bruce Berglund Rarely does a week go by without a phone call from someone who is tired, frustrated and defeated. They’re worried their campaign is “stalled.” Before you can adequately diagnose the issue with your campaign, you must first have the courage to hit the pause button. Take the time to determine if you […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
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Cases That Stick

April 4, 2014

By Bruce Berglund One of Donor By Design’s training axioms is “Put a Face to the Case.”  In practical terms, this means expanding beyond statistics and giving context to impact. Recently I saw a great example of this concept in action. This past Sunday, Willow Creek Church kicked off their 9th annual Celebration of Hope […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
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Your Timeline is Not Our Crisis

March 4, 2014

By Bruce Berglund I must admit that I am a bit impatient. My patience (or lack there of) has been tested in 2014 as travel delays due to weather (think polar vortex) have been maddening. I can’t wait for spring! I think that a healthy dose of impatience lurks in the veins of most leaders. […]

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What Does Love Look Like?

February 7, 2014

By Bruce Berglund I often find myself encouraging our nonprofit clients to spend the month of February “loving up” donors and volunteers. I’ve realized that some don’t know what I mean by that. “Bruce,” they say, “We just sent them a thank you letter. Isn’t that enough? I don’t want to bother them.” Don’t get […]

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Resolutions Part III: Keep Calm

January 9, 2014

By Bruce Berglund Happy New Year from all of us at Donor By Design! We hope your first full week of 2014 is off to a great start. This is the final blog in a three part series. In the first blog, I reviewed John Norcross’s suggestions for keeping resolutions from his book Changeology, and […]

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Resolutions Part II: Bullets Before Cannonballs

January 6, 2014

By Bruce Berglund Once again, Happy New Year from all of us at Donor By Design! In the second blog of this three-part series, I’m going to dig deeper into one of John Norcross’s suggestions for keeping resolutions, and some ideas from Jim Collins’ new book, Great By Choice. (Miss Part I? Read it now.) Norcross’ […]

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Resolutions Part I: The 20 Mile March

January 2, 2014

By Bruce Berglund Happy New Year! This is the time of year so many of us make resolutions for the upcoming year — some of them we even keep!  Last year at this time, I decided to stop drinking any kind of soda. I had become convinced I didn’t need the diet or the sugary […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Endowment, Leadership
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Tankers and Pipelines

December 4, 2013

By Bruce Berglund As the organizations we have the privilege of serving prepare for major gift efforts like capital campaigns, endowment campaigns, and comprehensive campaigns, I find myself asking a new question: Are we setting out to build a campaign based on tanker trucks or pipelines? Tankers vs. pipelines Both of these metaphorical delivery methods […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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The Power of a Note

November 1, 2013

By Bruce Berglund As we enter this season of giving thanks, we gather our families and friends to reconnect. We celebrate the family traditions that help ground and define us. Recently I visited the founder of one of our national not-for-profits. Almost single-handedly, she has cultivated an impressive family of donors who have funded her […]

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Three Signs

October 15, 2013

By Bruce Berglund Recently, my team got to hear Patrick Lencioni speak. He is as dynamic and funny in person as his books would lead you to expect. His topic, based on his book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job,” got all of us talking later that evening. Thankfully, my team wasn’t talking about […]

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Skeptics and Evangelists

October 3, 2013

By Bruce Berglund If you are anything like me, you probably try to avoid spending too much time with skeptics. They bring me down, they often derail meetings, and in fundraising efforts they can be momentum killers. Evangelists, on the other hand, are those folks who lift my spirits, inspire others during meetings, and fuel […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership
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The Three P’s

August 27, 2013

By Bruce Berglund It’s been just over two weeks since the DBD team attended our annual gathering at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.  The two-day event always fills my bucket and renews my spirit. Dr. Henry Cloud, psychologist and author, offered a challenging talk called “Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader.” He discussed […]

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Taking Care of Your Superhero

July 25, 2013

By Bruce Berglund Frequently in my work with non-profit leaders, I see a board or campaign committee come to a strange impasse. They stop actively seeking solutions and start waiting for a superhero: a donor whose 7- or 8-figure gift will put their campaign over the top. Certainly many donors seem like superheroes to the […]

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The Switch

June 20, 2013

By Bruce Berglund Much has been made about the upcoming (or perhaps even ongoing) intergenerational transfer of wealth. As the largest generation moves into their final decades, their assets will be passed down to younger generations at an unprecedented rate. For years, charities have been pondering how to take advantage of that enormous shift in […]

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Leading in Crisis and Concern

April 18, 2013

By Bruce Berglund   On Tuesday, I received a note from Jack Lund, President and CEO of New York City’s YMCA. For years he has been a trusted colleague, advisory council member and friend. He shared with me a message that he sent to his 4,000 Y staffers in response to the tragedy at the […]

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Efficient vs. Effective

March 1, 2013

By Bruce Berglund Are you being efficient or effective? The choices we make often determine the course for our fundraising success – or lack thereof. As I work with clients, I often point out that the strategy they are considering is highly efficient, however it might not be as effective at producing their desired results. […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership, Stewardship