June 29, 2011

By Bruce Berglund Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Atchison Family YMCA, which is part of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.  This YMCA has been proudly serving Atchison, Kansas for nearly 100 years!  This grand building may be nearing the end of its useful life, but the spirit of the this […]

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Pyramids, Pagodas and Champagne

May 26, 2011

By Bruce Berglund Over the years I’ve worked on many capital campaigns and I’ve used a lot of metaphors to describe how the gifts to a campaign tend to break down. The traditional metaphor is that of a pyramid, or two interlaced pyramids.  You’ve probably seen this before: The idea is that the largest gifts […]

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Engaging Members Through Generosity

April 20, 2011

By Bruce Berglund Board and member engagement are two topics that I am asked about almost every day.  We all agree that there is great philanthropic potential in our membership.  After all, these are the people who regularly access our facilities, our programs and should be most closely connected to our mission. As member engagement […]

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Working Together to Change a Community

April 1, 2011

By Bruce Berglund It’s not unusual during a capital campaign for staff and volunteers to contemplate how a local corporation might support their efforts. A great example of a local company taking that kind of initiative to make a positive change in the community is happening in Racine, WI. Late last year, Diversey Inc, together […]

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Pushing the Reset Button

March 2, 2011

By Bruce Berglund It has been our pleasure to work with the volunteers and staff of the Champaign County YMCA as they revitalized their efforts to build a new Y for their community. The entire project has been a lesson in leadership. In 2009, the Board of Directors stepped aside and a new board and […]

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The Rewards of Patience

February 22, 2011

by Bruce Berglund It has been my pleasure over the past two years to work with the Monroe County YMCA in Bloomington, Indiana as they planned for a capital campaign. Bloomington is a city of 80,000 in Southern Indiana. For decades, the YMCA has been a part of this vibrant university community. As the town […]

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Shaken, But Not Broken

January 14, 2011

By Bruce Berglund We, like everyone else around the country, have been shocked and saddened by the shootings in Tucson over the weekend. It was especially difficult to talk to our friends at the YMCA of Southern Arizona Monday morning and hear how they were struggling to comfort members and staff who’d been personally impacted […]

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Fear Not!

January 3, 2011

by Bruce Berglund Happy New Year!  I hope that you have had an enjoyable few weeks with family and friends. Hopefully the new year also gave you some time to reflect. Every year about this time, the media is full of stories of New Year’s Resolutions. Our YMCA clients are hopping with eager exercisers. (Until […]

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Giving in the Great Recession

November 30, 2010

By Bruce Berglund The Giving USA Foundation and The Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University produce an annual report that tracks philanthropic trends over the years.  This summer they released their 2010 report that reviews 2009 giving.  (Read the executive summary.) Total giving in 2009 was $303.75 billion – a 3.2% drop in total giving. […]

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Leadership is Everything: A Case Study

November 18, 2010

by Bruce Berglund In early 2009, the Champaign County YMCA was faced with a capital campaign that had completely stalled.  Despite the overwhelming need for a new facility, the community couldn’t seem to get excited about this campaign. In stepped a new board.  That new board found a new CEO.  That new leadership team expanded […]

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What Vs. Why

November 1, 2010

by Bruce Berglund In my view, there can’t be a What without the Why. We so often focus on the what…  If we are trying to build or expand a new YMCA – it’s the square footage, the pool, the gym and the new lobby. Or, in our annual campaigns we talk about how many […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Case for Support, Endowment



July 13, 2010

By Bruce Berglund After years of working with non-profits around the country, I’ve come to realize that most major campaigns have a few key moments that will make or break them.  There is that moment when the right leaders step forward. There is the moment when the vision coalesces.  And there is the moment where […]

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The power of the face-to-face ask

April 26, 2010

By Bruce Berglund This past week I was with the great staff and volunteers of the YMCA of Greater Providence.  At their Trustees meeting, they read from a book (published in 1951) about how YMCAs were funded from 1900-1940.  This passage stuck out to me: As methods were evolved for raising not only building funds […]

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Reflect, Rethink, Relaunch

April 12, 2010

By Bruce Berglund, President, Donor By Design Group I returned from the 2010 NAYDO Conference just in time to attend the Willow Creek Church kick off of Celebration of Hope (COH).  COH is a three week series which helps refocus the church on global issues of poverty and justice.  Last year we were able to […]

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Sometimes It’s Best Not to Know

March 26, 2010

By Bruce Berglund Earlier this week, I had the privilege of walking through the new Fond du Lac Family YMCA.  They are 67 days from completion … but who’s counting?  This campaign is a real success story. The staff and volunteers raised $12.7 million so far, and have $500,000 to go.  They received a $1.2 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital