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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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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Going Deep on New Markets Tax Credits

March 20, 2017

By the Donor By Design Team New Markets Tax Credits can be a wonderful way to finish a campaign strong and bring a new capital project into a struggling community. They aren’t without their quirks though, and are by no means a “sure thing.” Is your project a candidate for a NMTC? Are you in […]

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Breakfast of Champions

March 16, 2017

By Thom Peters Recently while reading through the local business news, I noticed the profile of a local agency leader. One of the things this leader said that stuck out to me was “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It was the first time I had heard this phrase, but I now know it has been […]

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Brass Tacks vs 30,000 Feet

March 13, 2017

By Jason Fry The origin of the phrase “getting down to brass tacks” is most often attributed to the haberdashery trade where “…in order to be more accurate than the rough-and-ready measuring of a yard of material by holding it out along an arm’s length, cloth was measured between brass tacks which were set into […]

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How I Learned to Love Fundraising

March 9, 2017

By Robin Jordan My journey to loving fundraising starts with a story. I started my career as a young enthusiastic program director in the nonprofit world. I was hired by the YMCA and my area of expertise was fitness. Picture leg warmers, headbands, and those very becoming leotards. While I might be dating myself, some […]

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