Vision Leaks


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


Proceed with caution


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 […]

Posted in: Blog


Have you ever failed?


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


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! […]

Posted in: Blog


Searching for Support


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


Silos vs. Channels


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


Willing to Wait


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 […]

Posted in: Blog


Resolution: Define Success


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


Resolution: Think Like a Donor


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


Resolution: Dream Bigger


January 20, 2016

By Thom Peters I’m not great at resolutions. I have great intentions, just lousy follow through. After all my years I have learned that the higher I set my sights, the less opportunity I have to succeed. So I keep expectations low and generally feel better about how things turn out. I may not be […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Resolution: Read


January 18, 2016

By Jan Brogdon There is no shortage of things to read in this day and age. Sometimes I feel like I’m drinking from a fire hydrant of information! I am constantly scanning the digital inbox for the next report due date, meeting confirmation, or to-do project. Then, I move to the newsletters, blogs and websites. […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Resolution: Unplug and Get Connected

Resolution Unplug

January 14, 2016

A few summers back while on vacation with friends I learned a great lesson. Well…two actually. The first was that cell phones and salt water don’t mix (and that phone insurance is a good thing). The second lesson came a few days later, about 48 hours after the phone-meets-ocean thing. I learned that once I […]

Posted in: Blog


Resolution: Treasure People


January 11, 2016

By Journey Johnson My resolution for 2016 is to write, call or visit one friend every day. I have become more reflective and nostalgic in my older age. Each time I reflect on what is important to me in life, it always seems to come back to relationships and people. My hope is to connect […]

Posted in: Blog, Endowment, Stewardship


Resolution: Fear Not!

Resolution Fear Not

January 7, 2016

By Danny Maier This January, the Donor By Design Team is offering a series of resolutions: Strategies and commitments to enhance your ability to connect with donors and generate support for your important work.  Fifty years ago, Charles Schultz gave us kids something special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” And some five decades later, three or more […]

Posted in: Blog


Resolution: Make It Matter


January 4, 2016

By Bruce Berglund This January, the Donor By Design Team is offering a series of resolutions: Strategies and commitments to enhance your ability to connect with donors and generate support for your important work.  As we partner with our nonprofit clients, one of our first tasks is to review their case for support. Bill Hybels, Sr. […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support


Greatest Hits of 2015

December 28, 2015

We hope you’re enjoying this quiet week between the holidays. We spent some time combing through our web traffic to see what posts resonated most with you over the past year. Are your favorites among the bunch? Blogs that generated the most conversation: Five Myths about Endowment    by Mike Bussey Shifting Sands   by […]

Posted in: Blog