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Resolution: Be Grateful

January 8, 2018

By Danny Maier   This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Danny encourages all of us to try a new way to keep our resolutions – by being grateful.  In this New Year, if you want to be successful in achieving your resolutions, don’t rely upon will power. […]

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The 3 E’s of a Good Case

August 31, 2017

By Danny Maier I was watching an interview with an Academy Award-winning film director on how he selected screenplays. “I select a story based on the 3E’s; its ability to entertain, educate and elevate the audience.” My wife turned to me, “That sounds like what you want a case to do.” Amen to that. So […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support

 

From 80/20 to One on One

August 8, 2017

By Dan Maier There was a rule of giving I learned early in my career: you will receive 80% of your charitable giving from about 20% of your donors. This draws from the Pareto Principle, first postulated by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. New studies indicate that as much as 98% of your charitable donations are […]

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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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
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Have you ever failed?

February 16, 2016

By Danny Maier It’s kind of an uncomfortable question: Have you ever failed? Has your campaign missed the mark? Did you ever have to scramble for a Plan B – or Plan C? I’ve been there. And while it hurts like heck in the moment, you learn as much, or more, from failures than success. […]

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Resolution: Fear Not!

January 7, 2016

By Danny Maier This January, the Donor By Design Team is offering a series of resolutions: Strategies and commitments to enhance your ability to connect with donors and generate support for your important work.  Fifty years ago, Charles Schultz gave us kids something special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” And some five decades later, three or more […]

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“How do I find a good development officer?”

November 3, 2015

This is a question I often get in my travels and days spent with clients. Of course, the ideal answer to this question is, “you develop a good development officer.” Some of the very best that I have worked with through my years have been homegrown. But that’s not always possible. So what is the […]

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“You Can’t Raise Money to Eliminate Debt.” Wanna Bet?

October 5, 2015

The “Great Recession” hit everyone – especially those with too much debt. Debt is not necessarily evil, but when it’s a touch too much, it can be devastating. “I feel like I work for the bank, not my members,” lamented one CEO to me recently. “It’s like cancer on our mission,” opined another. “Never waste […]

Posted in: Blog, Debt Reduction, Leadership
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The Power of a Handwritten Note

September 17, 2015

It was soooooo frustrating: the camp auction. All I wanted was a gift certificate to my favorite bakery. As we bid higher, a friend outbid us. Again and again. Man I wanted the ginger cookies from this bakery or a loaf of challah bread. But here was a friend of mine bidding them out of […]

Posted in: Stewardship
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