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Telling (and Listening) Your Better Story

February 14, 2018

By Bruce Berglund When people think of fundraising, they usually are thinking about The Ask – and that can be very intimidating. This month, the Donor By Design Team is taking on How to Ask. Today, Bruce delves into a better way to approach the ask. Fundraising. Asking for money. These words drive many volunteers […]

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Can I Get A Burger Refill?

February 9, 2018

By Jason Fry When people think of fundraising, they usually are thinking about The Ask – and that can be very intimidating. This month, the Donor By Design Team is taking on How to Ask. Today, Jason talks about the strategy of seeking out rejection. What really gets in the way of us making the […]

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Preparing For The Ask

February 6, 2018

By Robin Jordan When people think of fundraising, they usually are thinking about The Ask – and that can be very intimidating. This month, the Donor By Design Team is taking on How to Ask. Today, Robin reminds us to take the time to prepare our volunteers, and ourselves. In the course of preparing for […]

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Trust Your Donors

February 1, 2018

By Peggy Vinson When people think of fundraising, they usually are thinking about The Ask – and that can be very intimidating. This month, the Donor By Design Team is taking on How to Ask. Today, Peggy urges us to trust our donors… and the process. We all know it’s important to take time to […]

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January Shout Outs

January 29, 2018

By the Donor By Design Team January is nearly to a close, but we wanted to take a moment to recognize clients who’ve reached important milestones in their campaigns. Whether they are at the beginning of their campaign or celebrating the final ribbon cutting, each of these organizations has shown vision and perseverance as they […]

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Resolution: Permission to Say No

January 25, 2018

By Sara Luke This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Sara gives herself permission to say “no.” A sign-up sheet is my nemesis. I shudder when I see the well-intentioned church member coming toward me, arm outstretched. And I should know better than to open the email begging […]

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Resolution: Become Richer, Smarter and More Emotionally Intelligent

January 22, 2018

By Mike Bussey This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Mike offers a bold resolution… and a straightforward way to make it happen.   How’s this for a bold resolution? Let’s all become richer, smarter and more emotionally intelligent.  The good news regarding this resolution is that there […]

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Resolution: Trust Your Volunteers

January 18, 2018

By Thom Peters This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Thom tells us why we need to resolve to trust our volunteers.   I love working with volunteers and, in the right circumstances, I love volunteering. For the past five years I have been a part of a […]

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What Tax Laws Change… and What They Don’t

January 17, 2018

By the Donor By Design Team We’re taking a break in our Resolution Series to consider the implications of the recent U.S. tax law changes on non-profit fundraising. Both clients and donors alike have been asking us what the changes mean for them. Jim Mellor just published a DBD Field Notes focused on an unexpected […]

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Resolution: Fix it Before it Breaks

January 15, 2018

By Lora Dow This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Lora suggests that maybe we should resolve to fix things before they break.   So much of fundraising work is cyclical. Annual campaigns, events, United Way campaigns, etc. all combine to give our yearly calendar a rhythm and sense […]

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Resolution: 1 – 2 – 3!

January 10, 2018

By Jon Simons This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Jon gives us a short and sweet reminder to stay focused and have greater impact in the new year.   In the spirit of my overarching goal to simplify in 2018, I have set an intention that I […]

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Resolution: Be Grateful

January 8, 2018

By Danny Maier   This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Danny encourages all of us to try a new way to keep our resolutions – by being grateful.  In this New Year, if you want to be successful in achieving your resolutions, don’t rely upon will power. […]

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Resolution: Be A Mentor

January 3, 2018

By Jan Brogdon This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Jan encourages all of us to remember our mentors… and to be one for someone else.  Who was it for you? That one person (or several people) who have been critical in shaping the success you have achieved […]

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Resolution: Get Personal

January 1, 2018

By Bruce Berglund This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Bruce vows to get personal.  Happy New Year! If you are like me, the first few days back in early January consists of cleaning up your office, creating new files, and maybe even cleaning out the dreaded emails […]

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December Shout Outs

December 19, 2017

By the Donor By Design Team As we reach the end of the year, we wanted to recognize several clients who are working with their communities to “think outside the box.” Whether it’s creating new partnerships, or taking programs out into the community, there are always new opportunities to make a difference.   Miami County […]

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Bringing Peace

December 11, 2017

By Mike Bussey Since its founding in 1878 and the subsequent opening of the landmark building in 1933, the Jerusalem International YMCA (JIY) has been unrelenting in its mission to bring peace to the land and glory to God. It’s a commitment that has brought to Jerusalem’s diverse and historically contentious communities peaceful coexistence and […]

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You’ve got what it takes. Grit.

November 17, 2017

By Robin Jordan In August, I attended the Global Leadership Summit and heard Angela Lee Duckworth’s presentation on Grit. I was fascinated by the concept and certainly could relate. However, the real inspiration came during my time with a client as we were visiting with a nonprofit supporter and community member. My client and I […]

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A Different Perspective

November 8, 2017

By Thom Peters When I’m not traveling, I work out of my home. This involves lots of video calls and, as my dad called it, “paper work”.  There are certainly good qualities to this (dress shirt on top, jammies on bottom) but there are also times I need to work in a more stimulating environment. […]

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Thanking Family

November 1, 2017

By Peggy Vinson It’s November and our minds automatically go to being thankful. We often use this month to thank our donors, but my question is this: When we think of our donors, do we think of our board members and our staff?  Do we ever do anything extra to thank them? I worked with […]

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October Shout Outs

October 24, 2017

By the Donor By Design Team   We don’t say it enough: we’re so proud of our clients. They do great work and, once they get the chance to share their stories with their communities, the communities respond in a big way. Here are a few stories that made us smile this month:   Christ […]

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The Costs of Change

October 17, 2017

By Jan Brogdon Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. […]

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Close Enough to Smell the Smoke

October 13, 2017

By Bruce Berglund So much has been lost in the terrible fires burning in Oregon, California and Montana. Lives lost. Thousands of acres have been lost. Beautiful vegetation gone.  Homes gone. Family treasures gone.  Sacred hiking trails won’t be the same for years. It’s terrible. Toss in the devastation and lives lost from the hurricanes […]

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At the End of Your Rope

October 11, 2017

By Jon Simons As a consulting firm focused on fund development, we field calls daily from organizations seeking advice and counsel on how to raise money for lots of reasons: annual sustaining, endowment, disaster relief, education and awareness, and of course capital campaigns. These days if feels like there are only two types on non-profits: […]

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Coat and Tie

October 3, 2017

By Michele Goodrich A nonprofit executive director (ED) has a complex role with myriad demands on their time. As a result, one of the concerns we often hear from them is that they struggle with having adequate time to develop relationships and cultivate donors. It isn’t that they don’t know how important donor cultivation is; it’s […]

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