Reinvigorating Volunteer Teams


May 31, 2016

By Jan Brogdon In this series, the DBD Team will take a deeper look at some of the axioms we use when working with our clients. In today’s blog, Jan Brogdon reflects on our axiom: Boards Don’t Heal Themselves. During the middle of the most recent economic downturn, I sat in a very challenging Finance […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


What Not to Stop


May 23, 2016

By Peggy Vinson   Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with nonprofits in crisis. These are challenging times when the powerful mission of an organization runs into the financial realities of delivering that mission. While every nonprofit is a little different in how it funds its activities, there are some things I’ve […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Case for Support, Debt Reduction


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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Own it

Own It

May 17, 2016

By Sara Luke “The dog ate my homework.” “My alarm didn’t go off.” “I hit every red light on the way here.” Excuses. We’ve all made them. But the truth is no one believes them and they don’t help accomplish anything. In fact, they can chip away at one’s credibility. One of the quotes that […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Three Lessons from the Death of an Icon


May 11, 2016

By Lora Dow I was as shocked as anyone at the death of Prince, and deeply saddened at the news that he may have died without a will. The fact that his estate will now become part of the public record – and that any potential fight over it will be national news – is […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment


What Does It Take?

Citrus Memorial Health YMCA

May 10, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team Every capital campaign is unique. The community, the leadership, the economy and more combine to make each situation challenging and rewarding. Recently, the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA (a branch of YMCA of the Suncoast) opened the doors of a new $8.3 million facility in Lecanto, FL. According to […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership


Transforming the Community


May 6, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team 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 these podcasts with you. While they were created for YMCAs, we […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital



feature_tug of war

May 3, 2016

By Bruce Berglund Over the last few years, the term “grit” has been popping up in books, podcasts and lectures. It seems that grit, as it relates to leadership in popular business culture, is associated with themes of courage, follow-through and resilience. I would also suggest that the best fundraisers I’ve had the privilege of […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Waiting on Lightning


April 25, 2016

By Lora Dow We’ve all heard the stories. A nonprofit executive is surprised by a windfall gift – a generous check from a donor, either living or deceased, that comes as a complete surprise. It is easy to tell the story as if that gift is like a lightning strike from out of the blue. […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Endowment


The Meeting Before the Meeting

April 20, 2016

By Peggy Vinson Recently, I was with an annual campaign team. They were planning next steps for their campaign and considering how to present it at the full board meeting the following day. They were so excited, making thoughtful plans to motivate and challenge their fellow board members. Originally, this meeting had not been on […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog


Checkbooks and Calendars


April 18, 2016

By Bruce Berglund As some of you may know, this past year has been really rough on the Berglund family and me personally. Over the last seven months I’ve lost both my father and my mother. I was blessed with wonderful parents and enjoyed a great relationship with both. As the trustee of our family […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


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


What’s Your Why?

feature_homeless veteran

April 11, 2016

By Lora Dow Why do you do the work you do? Why do you volunteer? Why do you pitch in? Those are all simple questions that don’t often come with easy answers. But I think that at the heart of the answer for every successful person is “because I like doing it.” Consider this story: […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Maximizing Professional Development


April 4, 2016

By Jan Brogdon Those of you familiar with our work know how fond we are of Seth Godin’s “The Dip.” His concept of the dip – the place where all the energy and excitement of our exciting new project or campaign starts to fade – is relevant in all sorts of endeavors, including: When we […]

Posted in: Blog


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 […]

Posted in: Blog


Who Are Your Best Friends?


March 24, 2016

By Mike Bussey Thank you for asking, but we’ve already made an endowment commitment to your organization. If you’re visiting with your best endowment prospects, invitations to become members of your legacy society quite often produce this response. And it is gratifying to hear! The challenge is to identify your best endowment prospects – your […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment