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End of Year Fundraising Strategies

November 29, 2018

Thanks to our partners at Gabriel Group, we have some advice to help you make the most of the last month of 2018.   With the nonprofit world still reeling from the tax changes brought on by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, now is the time to communicate with your donors on […]

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Burning Questions: What’s the latest gimmick?

July 31, 2018

This July, we’re answering burning questions we hear from many clients and non-profit colleagues across the country. Chances are, the question might be burning in our readers’ minds, as well. Today’s question: “What’s the latest fundraising gimmick?” First let’s talk about a quick weight loss fix. Or how to get rich in six months. Or […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Case for Support, Leadership

 

Burning Questions: I’m Afraid to Ask

July 26, 2018

This July, we’re answering burning questions we hear from many clients and non-profit colleagues across the country. Chances are, the question might be burning in our readers’ minds, as well. We hear this question all the time: “How do I get over my fear of asking for a donation?” We hear it from new volunteers, […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Leadership
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The Once-A-Year Myth

May 23, 2018

By Danny Maier There are several myths in fundraising. One of the most frustrating to me is the belief that we will somehow overwhelm and upset Ms. Donor and Mr. Donor by asking them to support our mission multiple times a year. Well, my University seems to disagree. I saved every mailing from my alma […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Case for Support

 

Mission-Driven Goals

July 12, 2017

By Lora Dow If you’re part of an established nonprofit, faith-based organization, or school, you’re very familiar with fundraising goals. If you’re part of the leadership of such an organization, you may have even been part of setting those goals. How’d you do it? If I had to guess, I suspect you probably took a […]

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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 […]

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Building a Winning Team

January 23, 2017

By Robin Jordan This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Build a winning team.   For the past few weeks, NFL teams have been in a show down to compete in the big event – the Super Bowl. The preparation for this event, […]

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How to Face Down a Monster

October 17, 2016

By Robin Jordan This October, the Donor By Design team is tackling spooky situations in development. Join us this month for hair-raising stories and cautionary tales of frightful fundraising!   The thought of asking for money can be intimidating and overwhelming. The planning and work that it takes to prepare for a successful campaign can often […]

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Harvest Time

September 26, 2016

By Michele Goodrich It’s harvest time in many parts of the country. Farmers and backyard gardeners are reaping the fruits of their labor. Planning for harvest time starts months in advance, followed by long days of preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and tending the plants. If the weather has cooperated, all that time and […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Stewardship
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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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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
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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 […]

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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 […]

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Powering Through the Dip

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 […]

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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 […]

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More Than Just Filling Seats

November 12, 2015

Many of our clients across the country are preparing for the start of their annual or year-end giving campaigns. Among one of the most important “to-do’s” is to get the right campaign volunteers in place before a single dollar is raised. Most non-profit campaign teams are made up of a few staff and a large […]

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Annual Always Wins

November 10, 2015

By Bruce Berglund There is a dangerous fallacy in the world of financial development: The idea that running a capital campaign will mean a decrease (or worse a stoppage) in your annual campaign. There is no competition between capital and annual fundraising. You know why? Because annual always wins. When sitting with a donor, should […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital
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Success Starts at the Top

September 25, 2015

When it comes to Annual Campaigns, the success of your campaign is directly affected by the success of your volunteer leaders. And you, as a nonprofit executive, can have a great impact on their success. The first and most important step is recruiting the right leaders. Who are they? They are passionate for the organization, […]

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Seasons

August 10, 2015

By Jan Brogdon I received this lovely donor gift at a recent charter school event. A 4th grade student, Marcus, had selected the word “Seasons” and then used his creativity to paint his representation of what the word meant to him. It really spoke to me personally that day, but it also reminds me of […]

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Change the Request

July 27, 2015

By Michele Goodrich A relatively common concern among nonprofit executives and development directors is that their board members are reluctant to ask for money. It isn’t due to a lack of effort by the staff members. They provide prospect lists, campaign materials and fundraising training. They set up fundraising competitions, send inspiring emails, make reminder […]

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The Best Storytellers Aren’t Born, They’re Made

March 23, 2015

By Danny Maier This blog recently appeared on the NAYDO (North American YMCA Development Organization) website. We thought you’d enjoy it too, if you’re a Y or any other nonprofit, school or church. Think about great storytellers… from comedians like Will Rogers or Robin Williams, to politicians like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.* They just […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Case for Support, Endowment
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Foundational Relationships

March 9, 2015

By Peggy Vinson When you think about cultivating donors, getting to know them better and engaging them more deeply in your organization, do you include the leaders of the foundations that support you each year? Some of my favorite relationships have been with the leaders of the foundations who’ve supported my organization. I made a […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Stewardship
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Look for the Seams

March 4, 2015

By Thom Peters There is a legend in baseball that one of the reasons Ted Williams was such a great hitter was due to his ability to see the seams on the baseball as it came hurling toward him at 95 miles an hour. Supposedly, his eyesight was so good, he could essentially slow the […]

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Common Ground

February 5, 2015

By Thom Peters Confession: I am a graduate of the Ohio State University. Having lived in Wisconsin for the past 18 years, I have endured the wrath of Badger fans and even a number of Michigan folks. Much of this comes from friends and seemingly sane people who really don’t like my Buckeyes. Even more […]

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