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Is Your Vision Big Enough?

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March 22, 2016

By Dan Maier As a sufferer of myopia since the 3rd grade, I’ve been wearing glasses a long time. Perhaps it’s my nearsightedness that has me often trying to focus on the trees and missing the forest – the big picture. But, while the details are important, it’s the bigger vision that inspires. I came […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
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Leadership Is Everything

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March 16, 2016

By Journey Johnson One of our core beliefs at Donor By Design is “Leadership is Everything”. I have found this to be true in many aspects of both personal and organizational life. Whether it’s finding the right executive director, or appointing the right volunteer to head up an important task force, recruiting the right coach or […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership
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Are You Listening?

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March 15, 2016

By Thom Peters Over the years, I’ve had a chance to meet some really outstanding and wonderful people, including many captains of industry. If all my exposure to successful business folks was from what I hear through the media, I would never realized that there are so many truly servant leaders out there. One such […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Beyond the Bricks

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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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership
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Hidden Agendas

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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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Powering Through the Dip

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March 2, 2016

By Peggy Vinson Every non-profit leader is familiar with the feeling: somewhere, about half-way through the campaign, you hit a dip. It happens every year, but I’m always amused at how unexpected this seems to everyone. An annual campaign may not last as long as a capital campaign, but it’s not a sprint. So let’s […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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Seeking Advice

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March 1, 2016

By Bruce Berglund Recently I had the opportunity to meet with the president of a large family foundation. We had a great dialogue regarding the value of feasibility studies today. He was quite wary of studies that didn’t involve the not-for-profit staff or studies that only tested the viability of the campaign goal. Rather than […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Case for Support, Leadership
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Vision Leaks

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February 24, 2016

By Lora Dow   Pastor Andy Stanley is famous for saying “Vision is a mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be.” Stanley is a supremely skilled communicator who knows that vision leaks. The energy and passion that surround the beginning of an effort fades. The big picture of […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Proceed with caution

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February 18, 2016

By Jan Brogdon You approach an intersection as the light turns yellow. What’s your response? A) Hit the gas to make it through before it turns red. B) Tap the break and prepare to pause at the light while assessing oncoming traffic, checking your rearview mirror and maybe even gazing ahead for the travel conditions […]

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Have you ever failed?

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February 16, 2016

By Danny Maier It’s kind of an uncomfortable question: Have you ever failed? Has your campaign missed the mark? Did you ever have to scramble for a Plan B – or Plan C? I’ve been there. And while it hurts like heck in the moment, you learn as much, or more, from failures than success. […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Shed a Little Light

Shed a Little light

February 11, 2016

By Jon Simons As a cyclist, I have never really looked forward to the winter months. I’m fine with riding in cold weather (it’s all about the layers), but the real challenge comes from the shorter hours of daylight. Night riding on the roads of New Jersey is unsafe and unnerving to say the least! […]

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Searching for Support

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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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment
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Silos vs. Channels

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February 5, 2016

By Peggy Vinson One of the more challenging aspects of annual fundraising for a nonprofit never fails to surprise me, and it’s a by-product of past success. Many organizations raise support throughout the year using a variety of methods: a golf outing, a gala, a direct mail campaign, etc. While each of those events or […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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Willing to Wait

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January 29, 2016

By Bruce Berglund Being a fundraising volunteer isn’t easy. One of the main reasons why is that it is so personal. It’s you, connecting with your peers, possibly even your friends or family, to ask them to be generous towards a cause you believe in. For even the most passionate volunteer, the experience can be […]

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Resolution: Define Success

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January 27, 2016

By Mike Bussey A lifetime of personal and professional goal setting has taught me that it is critically important to properly define success before setting goals or making resolutions. By not first properly defining success, I find that I end up with goals that are either unachievable or with goals that don’t guide me towards […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Resolution: Think Like a Donor

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January 26, 2016

By Lora Dow A lot of the nonprofits we work with are well-established organizations. They have a good grip on best practices and they execute the basic principles of fundraising well. But just as a start up can shake up a whole industry, so can a new nonprofit teach all of us old hands a few […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
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