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Crossing the Finish Line

February 7, 2019

By Mike Bussey It was an invitation I had been looking forward to receiving for 20 years and it finally arrived in early November 2018. The invitation was for the opening of the Jerusalem International YMCA’s (JIY) new sports center, a stunning addition to the JIY’s historic building that would renew and extend the YMCA’s […]

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Be Prepared

February 5, 2019

By Jim Mellor Like me, you may be hearing a lot of chatter about our economy. We have experienced significant economic prosperity over the past years. Is our economy headed for a slow down? Who knows? In your role as a not-for-profit, charity, or church leader, rather than debating the “if’s” or the “when’s”, use […]

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The Questions After the Answer

February 1, 2019

By Jason Fry When you get a chance to speak with a donor, one of the most important things you can do is to listen. Because when you do, you’ll realize that the answer to one question can take your conversation in a whole new direction. What do you think? Have you ever had a […]

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Information vs Affirmation

January 24, 2019

By Jon Simons Recently, I met with a client to prepare for a feasibility study. We were reviewing a list of potential key community leaders to interview as part of the study. As we assessed each of the potential study participants (rating them based on their potential interest, access, influence and affluence), it became clear […]

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

January 22, 2019

By Michele Goodrich A fairly common concern among nonprofit directors is that their board members won’t participate in fundraising efforts.  Some board members may claim they weren’t told they were expected to ask for contributions when they joined the board.  Others might say they don’t like to impose on their friends (or they want to […]

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Tell Me Everything

January 17, 2019

By Peggy Vinson Often non-profit leaders get caught up in anxiously telling donors “everything.” They blurt out stats about programs and stories. They hasten to show impact and community need. As non-profit staff and volunteers, they have great pride in the mission so it’s easy for them to go on and on about what’s happening […]

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Developing a Strategic Board

January 15, 2019

By Danny Maier “They are just always in the weeds,” lamented my friend about her board.   “I can’t get them focused on the real strategic questions of our organization.” It is a common refrain. The issue is really two-fold: board meeting agendas and understanding roles. Are you building your board meeting agenda properly and  do […]

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Community is a Verb

January 9, 2019

By Lora Dow In our work with nonprofits, faith-based organizations and other causes, we often find ourselves talking about “community.” We are looking to strengthen community. We are seeking support from the community. We are reaching out into the community with our programs or ministries. While we all have a sense of what we’re talking […]

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Lessons from 2008

January 7, 2019

By Bruce Berglund We are towards the end of an unprecedented 10-year growth run in the stock market. Many analysts agree we are overdue for some sort of correction. I have no idea if they’re correct … and if I did, I’d be on a beach sipping a fruity drink and not writing this blog! […]

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New Year’s Guests

January 1, 2019

By Bruce Berglund If you were welcoming guests to your home, you most probably would clean and de-clutter to make sure it was ready for visitors. Let me challenge you to do the same in your office these first few weeks of 2019. More than just cleaning off your desk, use the time to do […]

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The Quintessential Fundraising Movie

December 24, 2018

By Danny Maier It is Christmas season and while many know “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or “A Christmas Carol,” few have heard of the “The Bishop’s Wife,” a yuletide tale about a capital campaign to build a new cathedral. Star power of Cary Grant, David Niven and Lorretta Young aside, the plot is one that many […]

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Year-End Shout Outs

December 19, 2018

By the Donor By Design Team As 2018 comes to a close, we are reflecting on the organizations, staff and volunteers we got to know a little better this year. Our work often intersects with nonprofits at pivotal times in their history. What follows are a few stories of projects that have been a long […]

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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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What’s in a Name?

November 8, 2018

By Peggy Vinson For many organizations embarking on a capital campaign, naming opportunities are used as a tool for donor recognition.  Often we find that this process of determining values for naming rights brings up questions for the nonprofit leaders. Here are some things to think about when you are developing naming opportunities: Naming recognition […]

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Developing Your Case for Support

October 31, 2018

By Donor By Design One of the most important aspects of successful fundraising is a compelling and urgent case for support. Donors need to know why your organization needs – and deserves – their philanthropic support. While it seems simple at the outset, there are many things to consider. Who do you involve in the […]

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Tax Law Changes – Be Prepared for Year End

October 23, 2018

By Danny Maier Several months ago, the fundraising world was talking about the changes in tax law and what differences might be expected. While much of the affects will not be known until everyone is done filing taxes next year, here is a preview of what many experts are seeing already and how you might […]

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The Makings of a Great Leader

October 9, 2018

By Robin Jordan-Repokis When we think of leaders who inspire us, people like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey or Nelson Mandela come to mind. These individuals demonstrated their great leadership by being innovators who are driven by their values and a desire to make the world a better place. To change lives. They never lost sight […]

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Step Up Your Game

October 2, 2018

By Bruce Berglund and Lora Dow It was day two of the Global Leadership Summit and the first speaker of the day was Rasmus Ankersen, a young soccer team owner from the Netherlands. Our expectations weren’t high. What could he have to teach us about leadership or how to help our clients succeed? Turns out, […]

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Back-Bucket List

September 25, 2018

By Thom Peters Have you ever had the “bucket list” conversation? You know the one. People share their list of extraordinary things to do before they die. It’s a conversation I have resisted. It isn’t the list part; it’s the die part. While I really haven’t spent time thinking about and planning for fabulous goals, […]

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Be a Leader, Not a Lid

September 20, 2018

By Jon Simons Speaking at the Global Leadership Summit this summer, Craig Groeschel, co-founder and senior pastor of Life Church summarized the need for (and power of) delegation with one challenging statement: “Don’t become the lid to your organization.” Craig went on to encourage all leaders to empower others, at all levels, to dream, create […]

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What a Fool Believes

September 11, 2018

By Jason Fry Author’s Note: The Doobie Brothers were one of my first concerts. They played with Joe Walsh in Saratoga, New York. If you don’t know them…sorry. Google “yacht rock” then come talk to me. Last week I was driving home from a great donor visit and the Doobies’, “What a Fool Believes” came […]

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End of Summer Shout Outs

September 5, 2018

By the Donor By Design Team In our work, we are lucky enough to come along side amazing organizations at exciting times in their history. Today we want to recognize several clients who have reached important milestones in their campaigns. Whether they are at the end of a long campaign, or just getting started, these […]

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A Culture of Hospitality

August 28, 2018

By Bruce Berglund Every August the Donor By Design team sets aside two days to tune-up our leadership skills at the Global Leadership Summit (GLS). Once again, the GLS didn’t disappoint. One of the many speakers was restaurateur Danny Meyer. Meyer has built one of the most successful restaurant group brands in America. (You can […]

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Talking in 3D

August 21, 2018

By Lora Dow At the recent Global Leadership Summit, Juliet Funt, CEO of Whitespace at Work shared the concept of 2D vs 3D communications. It’s a simple idea that encapsulates why our communications – within our organizations and especially with our volunteers – are sometimes more painful than they need to be. 2D communications are […]

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