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The Fourth Quarter

September 12, 2016

By Jan Brogdon If you know me, you know this is my favorite time of the year: FOOTBALL SEASON! Football is a game with four quarters. The fourth quarter can be a critical time in not only the game being played, but also sets the tone for future games yet to be played. As you […]

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Bet on the Jockey

September 5, 2016

By Bruce Berglund   Part of our work and counsel with our clients is to conduct feasibility studies. We have the opportunity to visit with 25-30 top community leaders and philanthropists, asking them about the image of the non-profit, the proposed plans and who might help raise money and/or be donors of the vision. Recently I was conducting […]

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Living a Life that Matters

September 1, 2016

By Journey Johnson Last month I had the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit with my Donor By Design teammates. I always look forward to the Summit as it offers a great opportunity to reflect and focus on what is important in life. Among the many wonderful speakers, two of my favorites […]

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Blue Flame Case

August 24, 2016

By Lora Dow In this series, the DBD Team is taking a deeper look at some of the axioms we use when working with clients. In today’s blog, Lora explores our idea of “The Blue Flame Case.” To read other axiom blogs, click here.  In our work with nonprofits and churches, we focus on four […]

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Execution’s Best Friends

August 16, 2016

When you speak to folks who have been successful in their work, you will hear a theme. Surprisingly, it is not the brilliance of their strategic plan (although they are certain to have one). And while they may mention the talent and passion of their team, it is not that either. (Again, a key component […]

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The Kind Truth

August 8, 2016

By Jon Simons In this series, the DBD Team is taking a deeper look at some of the axioms we use when working with clients. In today’s blog, Jon Simons explores our axiom “Always tell the kind truth.” To read other axiom blogs, click here.  Today it is easier than ever to “give feedback.” Social […]

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The Long Haul

August 2, 2016

By Thom Peters “Animation is like telling a joke and waiting three years to see if anyone laughs.” – Ed Catmull, Pixar Studios I heard Ed Catmull share this in an interview about the making of Toy Story. His point was that working on the film required a great vision, patience, and the confidence to […]

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The Best Predictor of Future Giving

July 26, 2016

By Peggy Vinson 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, Peggy reflects on our axiom: “The Best Predictor of Future Giving Is Current Giving.” To read other axiom blogs, click here.   In the course of raising funds for […]

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Earning the Right to Ask

July 20, 2016

By Mike Bussey 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, Mike expands on our axiom: “Earning the Right to Ask.” To read other axiom blogs, click here. I suspect this has happened to all of us involved in fundraising […]

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Valuing the Millennial Professional

July 19, 2016

By Jan Brogdon I recently read an incredible article by Tauna Shoemaker, a young, non-profit professional from Tacoma Washington. Her article, entitled “When I Grow Up I Want to be a Philanthropist,” warmed my heart and encouraged me for the future of our sector. Tauna’s understanding of what a philanthropist truly is, and her even […]

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Leadership is Everything

July 12, 2016

By Bruce Berglund 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, Bruce reflects on our axiom: “Leadership is Everything.” To read other axiom blogs, click here. One of our first axioms for our firm was Leadership is Everything. We have […]

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A Bug’s Eye View

July 5, 2016

By Michele Goodrich Last week I had the opportunity to work with the leaders of a resident camp in the midst of their summer camping season. After navigating the curvy, narrow roads leading to the camp, I arrived just in time to watch groups of campers and counselors leaving breakfast and heading out to their morning activities. […]

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Why Trumps What

June 28, 2016

By Sara Luke 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, Sara Luke reflects on our axiom: “Why Trumps What.” There’s a great Ted talk that illustrates a concept we talk about a lot with our non-profit […]

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Re-reading the Lessons

June 23, 2016

By Danny Maier A good friend recently returned a book I lent her a while back. How many books are sitting in your bookcase that you read so long ago their lesson has faded from your memory? The book, The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks, is a simple guide on how to […]

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Share, Not Sell

June 21, 2016

By Journey Johnson 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, Journey Johnson reflects on our axiom: “Share vs. Sell” The ability to share your vision and case for support is a critical first step to any […]

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What Hasn’t Changed

June 15, 2016

By Lora Dow For more than ten years, I’ve been talking to non-profits about social media. Best I can tell, the two things you really need to know are: Everything changes. All the time. Social media is and has always been about relationships.   Everything changes New apps and social networks appear every few months. […]

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Don’t Settle

June 13, 2016

By Thom Peters 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, Thom Peters reflects on our axiom: “Don’t settle.” Living in a small town, I tend to chose my home repair, insurance and mechanics from recommendations. That’s why […]

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A Solid Foundation

June 9, 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 […]

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A Tale of Two Letters

June 6, 2016

By Michele Goodrich 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, Michele Goodrich reflects on our axiom: “The best cultivation is a great gift-giving experience.” Recently I was talking with a seatmate on a delayed flight. When […]

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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 […]

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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
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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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