Kim Hinrichs

August 3, 2013

Senior Consultant As a Senior Consultant with Donor By Design Group, Kim brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fund development experience to her clients. Kim is a skilled communicator and strategist, bringing clarity and focus in the campaigns she supports. Kim’s coaching style flexes to meet the unique needs of each client. […]

Posted in: People


Generations Will Reap What We Sow

August 1, 2013

By Charley Shirley I met with a man today who talked of his father, born early in the last century and his grandfather, born shortly after the Civil War. This man has a heart of gold, is very generous and is seeking new ways to be even more generous. He was truly blessed! He is […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment


Brain Food – July 2013

July 30, 2013

By the Donor By Design Team There’s an old adage that the more things change the more they stay the same. This month’s Brain Food is full of stuff that you thought you had pegged… but may not be at all what you thought.  Read on for more things to get you thinking, but beware […]

Posted in: Blog, Brain Food


Get Closer

July 1, 2013

By Charley Shirley Back when I was a Development Director, on or about November 15th of each year, I would run a report of all the people who had given to our organization for the past three or four years. It was always encouraging to see new donors on the list and faithful donors who […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


Brain Food – June 2013

June 13, 2013

By the Donor By Design Team In the course of our work, we are exposed to lots of great ideas, interesting stats and other noteworthy bits of information. We’ve shared some of them on the blog or on social media, but we decided to start gathering those interesting tidbits into periodic posts we’re calling “Brain […]

Posted in: Blog, Brain Food


Planting Season

June 3, 2013

By Charley Shirley An oft-quoted Chinese proverb states, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” The truth of this proverb became evident to me this spring after an interminably long winter finally relinquished its grasp and gave in to spring. The efforts of my neighbor’s […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment


The Real Agenda

March 7, 2013

By the Donor By Design Team   This week, our whole team will be together for two days. Because we all live and work in different parts of the country, we especially enjoy these times being together in the same spot.   If you’ve ever worked with us, you might not be surprised to know […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Jason Fry

February 15, 2013

Senior Consultant Jason brings more than 15 years of working with not-for-profit organizations building impactful programs, establishing dynamic community partnerships, and creating capacity for the delivery of greater good. A passionate coach and leader, Jason brings an empowering approach that positions teams to maximize all they have to offer. He understands the power of genuine […]

Posted in: People


5 Memorable Year-End Appeals

December 20, 2012

By the Donor By Design Team It’s mid-December and development directors around the country are sweating. Not because of unusually warm weather, of course. This is the year-end, working-every-pledge-card, making-goal kind of sweating. While following up with LYBUNTS* and renewals is important, there are many other ways to make that last ask in a memorable […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Stewardship


David Schmidt

November 15, 2012

Senior Consultant J. David Schmidt brings a wealth of experience on strategic thinking, large scale innovation and organization leadership development for nonprofit organizations, foundations and more. Partnering with Donor By Design Group, David brings nearly 40 years of nonprofit management experience to the DBD Team. He has developed skills and methodologies that help nonprofits plan […]

Posted in: People


5 Ways to Say Thanks

October 31, 2012

By the Donor By Design Team As we move into November, our minds turn to giving thanks.* We celebrate with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday and, professionally, nonprofit leaders start to think about year-end giving and stewardship. So how are you doing on that stewardship plan? Feeling good about all the personal thanks […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


Working on the Relationship: A Primer on Collaborations

August 28, 2012

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford With increasing frequency, nonprofit organizations are actively engaged in partnerships or collaborations that aid in both mission achievement and better service to the community. These collaborations occur with churches, schools, government agencies, healthcare providers and other businesses. Successful […]

Posted in: Blog


What we believe.

April 23, 2012

By the Donor By Design Team Over the winter, our team got together to explore the latest in thinking regarding health care/YMCA partnerships and to learn from an architectural firm as they explained their process to build facilities that are useful as well as beautiful. During that time, we had a fun conversation about who […]

Posted in: Blog


An Early Christmas Present

December 19, 2011

By the Donor By Design Team The following is a wonderful example of interest, capacity and the power of relationships all coming together to create positive change in the world. And it all started with a football game… Mark and Deb Scoular were watching a Bears game when Deb idly remarked, “You know, you don’t […]

Posted in: Blog


That Guy

September 23, 2011

By the Donor By Design Team We all know that guy (or gal). The one who is always ready with criticism, but not a solution. The one who shows up late, ill-prepared, and manages to derail the whole agenda. The one who has an excuse for everything, but not a minute to help. Are you […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


When the Going Gets Rough

September 2, 2011

By the Donor By Design Team When Hurricane Irene struck the eastern U.S. earlier this week, the storm caused devastation over many states, affecting millions of people.  Like you, we have many friends and family members who are coming to terms with what they have lost. While it’s never easy to predict how one will […]

Posted in: Blog


Filling the Bucket

June 10, 2011

By the Donor By Design Team This week, the Donor By Design Team asked a group of staff and volunteers from YMCA Camp Manito-wish to join us at our company retreat. We spent the afternoon talking with them about some of the new opportunities and challenges they face. We spent a good amount of time […]

Posted in: Blog


Thanksgiving Reflections

November 23, 2010

By the Donor By Design Team There was a time when overdoing it on Thanksgiving simply involved eating a second piece of pie. But with stores opening at 3 a.m. on Friday – or even on Thursday evening – it can seem as though Thanksgiving itself is slowly being consumed by holiday retailers. As we […]

Posted in: Blog


The Measure of a Leader

August 12, 2010

by the Donor By Design Team One of the more fascinating discussions at the 2010 Global Leadership Summit was with Terri Kelly – CEO of WL Gore and Associates. You may know them as the creators of Gore-tex among other things. Since its founding, WL Gore and Associates has had a very loose and flexible […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Capturing the Imagination of the Community

June 28, 2010

By the Donor By Design Team Earlier this month, the Fond du Lac Family YMCA opened its new facility. We’ve chronicled the amazing journey of this YMCA before, so it was our great joy as a team to get a tour last week from Greg Giles, the YMCA’s CEO. Greg was proud to show off […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital


Relationships, Relationships, Relationships

January 22, 2010

By Mike Bussey In reflecting back over the trials and triumphs of 2009, it’s been interesting and helpful to discern what we’ve learned as we’ve worked to generate philanthropic support in one of the worst economic environments in modern history. One thing that consistently comes to mind for me is the critical importance of continuing […]

Posted in: Blog


Blue Flame Case™

December 18, 2009

“Known by many yet understood by few. . .” The incredible diversity of the programs and services provided by non-profit organizations is crucial to helping the organization’s mission come to life.  It’s that vast array of diverse programs and services that can be both a blessing and a curse. To clarify your organization’s charitable purpose, it […]

Posted in: Case for Support, Uncategorized



December 18, 2009

Do you need to reset in 2010? Remember what it felt like a year ago?  We were all concerned – perhaps even scared or paralyzed – regarding questions of the economy and philanthropy.   Now as we enter 2010 we have a new “normal” related to our worldview, the economy and even philanthropy.  What does this […]

Posted in: Blog


Fundraising Lessons at a Wedding Shower

November 16, 2009

Place:              A Bridal Shower Presenter:        The 11-year-old niece of the bride (wearing a camp t-shirt) Presentation:    A poem about a camp that all the family attended throughout the years Recently, I was at a wedding shower for a friend of the family. At one point in the afternoon, the niece of the […]

Posted in: Blog