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Why Money Matters

March 28, 2016

Over the course of the past year, we’ve partnered with NAYDO (North American YMCA Development Organization) to produce a series of podcasts to help YMCA leaders expand their fundraising and leadership abilities. With their permission, we are sharing those podcasts with you. While the podcasts were created for YMCAs, we think any nonprofit, church or […]

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Beyond the Bricks

March 10, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team   February 29, 2016 was truly a day of community-wide celebration in the heart of downtown Kokomo, Indiana. YMCA volunteers and staff, city and county officials, business leaders and Y members gathered to celebrate the grand opening of their new YMCA facility. The event marked the culmination of years of […]

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Hidden Agendas

March 8, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team Our board just isn’t a fundraising board. We hear that feedback from nonprofit leaders – both staff and volunteer – nearly every day. Whether it’s said with regret or with frustration, nonprofits, schools and churches are clearly puzzled as to why their board seems disengaged or focused on less-important […]

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Searching for Support

February 9, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team Creating an endowment program – an ongoing conversation about ensuring your mission’s relevance and sustainability for generational impact – is a critical endeavor for all nonprofit organizations, schools and churches. Income from endowment funds can make the difference in challenging economic conditions and can also allow your organization to […]

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Greatest Hits of 2015

December 28, 2015

We hope you’re enjoying this quiet week between the holidays. We spent some time combing through our web traffic to see what posts resonated most with you over the past year. Are your favorites among the bunch? Blogs that generated the most conversation: Five Myths about Endowment    by Mike Bussey Shifting Sands   by […]

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Rollover Opportunity

December 21, 2015

IRA Rollover to Charity made Permanent Nearly ten years after first approving legislation in 2006 temporarily allowing tax-free rollovers from a donor’s traditional IRA to charity, President Obama has signed legislation making this provision permanent. A taxpayer who is over 70 ½ can now make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 from her IRA […]

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Connecting Past and Future

December 7, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team Recently, we had the pleasure of listening as Katie Trippi, a camp volunteer-turned-staff person from YMCA Camp Echo, shared her insights on finding and engaging alumni with a group of camps. While not all of our readers have facilities, or organizations with participants who might become donors, we still think the […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Stewardship
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Meaningful Work

November 24, 2015

Every November the Donor By Design team gets together for one of our quarterly company meetings. While we have plenty of business to cover, we also take an evening to have dinner, kick off the holiday season and put a bow on the impending end of the year. The nature of our work means we […]

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Instant Gratification

November 5, 2015

While talking with non-profits about starting or renewing their endowment efforts, I often hear: “We would like to develop our endowment program, but it takes so long to provide any payback. We won’t get any money for years.” But is that really true? In my own experience this concern about a delayed payback is a […]

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Brain Food – October 2015

October 29, 2015

Halloween is soon here and this month’s Brain Food is full of articles to fill you up without expanding your waistline. UNEARTHING PROSPECTS This article from Gail Perry contains a great deal of wisdom, but this little gem is reason enough to click the link: Your most likely donor is someone who has already given […]

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A Thank-You Note to Aunt Jane

October 15, 2015

I’m begrudgingly grateful for all the times my mom made me sit down after Christmas and write Aunt Jane and Uncle Chuck a thank-you note for the gift they had given me. I already had their gift and had been playing with it for days so writing a note seemed so painful and unnecessary. Mom […]

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Brain Food – September 2015

September 28, 2015

As September comes to a close, we thought we’d offer up some of the choice tidbits found around the internet this month. After all, just because we didn’t go back to school with a shiny new backpack like the kids did, doesn’t mean we should stop learning.   MONEY (EVEN A LOT OF IT) IS […]

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How to turn $15 into $90,000

September 9, 2015

By Charley Shirley “Who should we ask?” is often the first question I get as I begin to develop an endowment program with a non-profit organization. It’s a good question, and one we have to answer, but often the person you think is likely to leave your organization $1 million is not the person who […]

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Brain Food – August 2015

August 26, 2015

The summer is almost over and Labor Day is around the corner (for those of us in the US anyway). The kids are going back to school, so maybe it’s time for us to go back to school too. Just two articles this month, but both of them are bound to make you think – […]

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Words to Inspire

August 14, 2015

Every August, the Donor By Design Team takes time out to attend the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. This conference is a great opportunity for all of us to “refill our buckets.” The challenging questions and inspiring speakers energize us for our work with nonprofits around the country… like you. This year was especially […]

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Brain Food – July 2015

July 29, 2015

July is drawing to an end and August is soon upon us. It probably seems as if half the office is out on vacation and the other half is trying to decide why they aren’t as well. Well, crank up the air conditioning. We’ve collected a bunch of interesting reads that are sure to fire you up! […]

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A New Chapter

July 9, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team Last week, the Linwood YMCA, part of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, broke ground on a major 18-month expansion and renovation program. That day was just one day in nearly 100 years of providing stability and connection in a community that has undergone a great deal of change. […]

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Brain Food – June 2015

June 30, 2015

As June comes to a close and a holiday weekend is just around the corner (in the US at least), we’ve rounded up some great resources to challenge, inspire and motivate you. We’ve got two resources from Seth Godin and another one that might surprise you. Believe us: Taylor Swift does have something to teach […]

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Three Iced Coffees to Go

May 12, 2015

By Charley Shirley I stood in line behind a man as he returned three large iced coffee drinks. I asked, “Did you get someone else’s order?” “No,” he replied, “she orders three every day of the year and she knows what they are supposed to taste like. She said that these were not acceptable and that […]

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Brain Food – April 2015

April 29, 2015

It’s April and we’ve got stories on our mind. There are lots of ways to share information, but they are not all equal. This month’s Brain Food is full of ideas to implement – and to avoid – in the stories you tell donors. PICTURES TELL A STORY We’ve all heard the adage “a picture […]

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Brain Food – March 2015

March 30, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team You never really know what you’re going to get with the month of March. It’s a transitional month seasonally (both in the Northern and Southern hemispheres) and coming at the end of the first quarter of the year, it’s often a moment to step back and evaluate how your […]

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Brain Food – February 2015

February 25, 2015

Despite being a short month, February was jam-packed with interesting things that challenged and inspired us. Maybe you’ll be challenged and inspired too! NUTS AND BOLTS OF MAJOR GIFTS If you’re teaching someone new (even if it is your boss) about prospect research and major gifts, or if you need a refresher yourself (no judgment!), […]

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Brain Food – January 2015

January 29, 2015

The first month of January has raced to a close. Before you bid it farewell, take a moment and feed your brain with some interesting articles you may have missed in the new year’s frenzy. But I’m not the boss! Leadership is a little trickier when you’re not the one nominally in charge, but it’s […]

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The One Question

January 19, 2015

By Charley Shirley “Don’t you think that this is a bad time to try and raise money?” This is one question that comes up a lot when I tell people I help non-profit organizations raise money. It addresses several common misconceptions about fundraising. The Economic Glass is Half-empty For starters, people are generally pessimistic about […]

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