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Rebooting Endowment Development

May 25, 2017

By Mike Bussey At a recent conference, several sessions and related discussions focused on ways to revitalize, reimagine and recharge stagnant endowment development programs. And for good reason! Although many nonprofits report having endowment funds, that percentage is declining and very few have on-going programs that effectively inform and invite the organization’s best friends to […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment
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Three Keys to Stronger Donor Relationships

May 22, 2017

By Robin Jordan Recently, I attended a conference. The highlight of my experience was reconnecting with colleagues and friends. Even walking through the lobby, every other step was a chance for a hug, a handshake and a friendly smile. We shared laughs, stories and joy. I started to notice my conversations with my colleagues had […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship
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The Heart of a Giver

May 18, 2017

By Thom Peters My neighbor Ben is a really good kid. I have enjoyed watching him grow into a fine young man. When I was asked to write a reference letter on his behalf for a college scholarship, I felt no hesitation. And when Ben received notice that he was a recipient, I was honored to […]

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It’s Not About the Pickles

May 16, 2017

By Jason Fry I was recently with a donor who’s been giving to a local charity consistently for over twenty years. Her giving abruptly stopped a couple years ago. In a deeper investigation with her over breakfast she said she just “hasn’t heard anything new” from the charity in a few years. I swallowed hard and […]

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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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Top of Mind

May 4, 2017

By Sara Luke During the 18-24 months (or more) of a capital campaign, nonprofit leaders often eat, sleep and breathe the campaign. They know the total raised, status of the design plans, which donor meetings went well and who they need to call to cultivate further. The pressure and excitement of the capital plans are […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
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Staying in Touch

May 1, 2017

By Lora Dow Often at the end of a feasibility study, a non-profit is advised to conduct a “positioning campaign” while they prepare for an eventual capital campaign. A positioning campaign helps to change perceptions about a nonprofit’s impact in the community among stakeholders – be they donors, community leaders or residents in general. It […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support, Stewardship
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Filling the Bus

April 27, 2017

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins created a memorable image of a business being a bus with its CEO as the driver. Nothing is more important, according to Collins, than “getting the right people on the bus” if you want to take a company from good to great. Applying Collins’ thinking to the […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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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

 

Do You Have Enough Friends?

April 19, 2017

By Jan Brogdon On a recent feasibility interview I met with a long-time community philanthropist who has been involved in more campaigns than maybe any other leader in my community. In the middle of a lovely question and answer session he leaned back in his seat to share a personal story that I am sharing […]

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Show and Tell

April 17, 2017

By Jim Mellor There are some words that can bring fear in the most seasoned nonprofit leader. “Don’t forget your interview is this morning!” may be some of those words, bringing back memories of our first “show and tell” in kindergarten. Recently Delta Airline’s SKY Magazine featured an interview with Gail McGovern, the CEO of […]

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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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Standing on the Iceberg

April 11, 2017

By Bruce Berglund Over the years I’ve had the great joy of working with hundreds of non-profit CEOs/Executive Directors (EDs) and development staff. A few years ago, a young executive director called me. He was frustrated and worried that he wasn’t doing his job. Why? He wasn’t bringing in enough big checks. I encouraged him […]

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A Bias for Action

April 6, 2017

By Lora Dow One of our tenants at Donor By Design Group is that we have “a bias for action.” I’ve talked about this with prospective clients and most of them give me the “oh boy, here comes some consultant speak” eyeroll. It may sound obvious, but taking smart, timely action is critical. It doesn’t […]

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The Lessons of Failure

April 4, 2017

By Peggy Vinson Are you the sum total of what you’ve accomplished in the past? or Are you the sum total of how you’ve handled failures? Have you ever considered these two questions? For me, when I think about who I am now, it has nothing to do with my accomplishments. Instead, what really made the […]

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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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