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Reverse Mentors

June 22, 2017

By Dan Maier This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways grow relationships with our donors, supporters and volunteers… moving beyond the thank you note to a deeper connection. Today’s topic: what might you learn from someone younger than you?    I have a close friend who is a mentor to many people. […]

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Buzz vs Honey

May 9, 2017

By Danny Maier When you are conducting an annual campaign, capital effort, or even an endowment program, publicity can be helpful. Positive “buzz” helps improve community understanding and support. But too often, we rely on buzz to do all the work. We assume that some good publicity will raise money for us. Yes, an ad […]

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Is an invoice your stewardship plan?

April 25, 2017

I’m not rich, but I recently added up my giving to my favorite local charity. The amount over the last 20 years astounded me. More recently, I made a capital pledge to this charity. Unfortunately, two years later, I have no idea how my money is being used. I’m not aware of their campaign progress. […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship

 

Lessons From United Airlines

April 13, 2017

By Dan Maier Every leader fears a crisis. So much time and effort are rightly invested in reducing risk, bolstering safety, and ensuring protocols are followed. All are essential to protecting your organization. But sadly, most organizations are at greater risk because they have not prepared – and never practiced – to communicate in times […]

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Getting Out of the Special Events Business

March 27, 2017

By Danny Maier In Part I of this series, we discussed the hazards of being in the “special events business” versus true fundraising. If you recognized your organization in that post, your next question is probably: “How do we become an organization more focused on major gifts?” The answer is all about culture change. Weaning […]

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The Special Events Business

March 23, 2017

By Danny Maier Part 1 of 2 Are you in the special events business or a fundraising professional? So asked one of my mentors in a moment of exasperation. Too often we complain about the lack of a “philanthropic culture” at [insert your charity name here]. We are mystified as to why we can’t get […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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Does She REALLY Dislike Valentine’s Day?

February 8, 2017

By Danny Maier This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: what to do when a donor doesn’t want “recognition.”   I have a friend whose wife does not like Valentine’s Day. Now, some of you might be thinking, “How […]

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Focus

January 11, 2017

By Dan Maier This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Focus.     I fondly remember the early days of my career (more than two decades ago  now). I used to write a speech in a single day. I could run through so […]

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Do Good Anyway

December 5, 2016

By Dan Maier During this holiday season, I wanted to share an inspiring story that speaks to the heart of leadership. At the age of 19, a friend of mine was a sophomore at Harvard and made a long-forgotten speech to his classmates.  As life went on, he soon forgot about that day until he […]

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Individuals vs Teams

October 31, 2016

By Danny Maier College football fans will remember a legendary coach by the name of Bo Schembechler. He was known for constantly exhorting his players with “The Team, The Team, The Team.” No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team, and […]

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A Blessing in Disguise

September 15, 2016

By Danny Maier I awoke on May 10th and could not hear anything from my right ear. I thought it was just a head cold, so I waited a day. In actuality, I had a rare affliction called “sudden complete deafness” – a viral infection that attacks the auditory nerve. The short story is through […]

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Execution’s Best Friends

August 16, 2016

When you speak to folks who have been successful in their work, you will hear a theme. Surprisingly, it is not the brilliance of their strategic plan (although they are certain to have one). And while they may mention the talent and passion of their team, it is not that either. (Again, a key component […]

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Re-reading the Lessons

June 23, 2016

By Danny Maier A good friend recently returned a book I lent her a while back. How many books are sitting in your bookcase that you read so long ago their lesson has faded from your memory? The book, The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks, is a simple guide on how to […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support, Stewardship
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The 30-minute Meeting

May 19, 2016

By Danny Maier A number of months ago I received many comments on a blog I wrote about Patrick Lencioni’s Death By Meeting. That first blog focused on how so many meetings are ineffective, time-sucking exercises. Of course, Lencioni offers several effective solutions so I thought a “Part II” would be appropriate; this time, specifically […]

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The Myth of the Bigger Slice

April 13, 2016

By Dan Maier Unless you live in a cave, you will have noticed it is election season in the U.S. Whatever your political – or apolitical – persuasion, you probably are agog at the amount of money raised by the political candidates and how quickly it is spent. Poof. When you see media accounts of […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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Is Your Vision Big Enough?

March 22, 2016

By Dan Maier As a sufferer of myopia since the 3rd grade, I’ve been wearing glasses a long time. Perhaps it’s my nearsightedness that has me often trying to focus on the trees and missing the forest – the big picture. But, while the details are important, it’s the bigger vision that inspires. I came […]

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