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May 4, 2017

By Sara Luke During the 18-24 months (or more) of a capital campaign, nonprofit leaders often eat, sleep and breathe the campaign. They know the total raised, status of the design plans, which donor meetings went well and who they need to call to cultivate further. The pressure and excitement of the capital plans are […]

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Going Deep on New Markets Tax Credits

March 20, 2017

By the Donor By Design Team New Markets Tax Credits can be a wonderful way to finish a campaign strong and bring a new capital project into a struggling community. They aren’t without their quirks though, and are by no means a “sure thing.” Is your project a candidate for a NMTC? Are you in […]

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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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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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What Does It Take?

May 10, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team Every capital campaign is unique. The community, the leadership, the economy and more combine to make each situation challenging and rewarding. Recently, the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA (a branch of YMCA of the Suncoast) opened the doors of a new $8.3 million facility in Lecanto, FL. According to […]

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Transforming the Community

May 6, 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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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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Leadership Is Everything

March 16, 2016

By Journey Johnson One of our core beliefs at Donor By Design is “Leadership is Everything”. I have found this to be true in many aspects of both personal and organizational life. Whether it’s finding the right executive director, or appointing the right volunteer to head up an important task force, recruiting the right coach or […]

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Beyond the Bricks

March 10, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team   February 29, 2016 was truly a day of community-wide celebration in the heart of downtown Kokomo, Indiana. YMCA volunteers and staff, city and county officials, business leaders and Y members gathered to celebrate the grand opening of their new YMCA facility. The event marked the culmination of years of […]

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Seeking Advice

March 1, 2016

By Bruce Berglund Recently I had the opportunity to meet with the president of a large family foundation. We had a great dialogue regarding the value of feasibility studies today. He was quite wary of studies that didn’t involve the not-for-profit staff or studies that only tested the viability of the campaign goal. Rather than […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Case for Support, Leadership
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Courage to Ask

December 15, 2015

By Journey Johnson Webster’s dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that you know is difficult.” One of the more difficult things in nonprofit management for many people can be asking for a donation. Many volunteers or staff are willing to do almost anything for their organization except ask people to support it. […]

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Connecting Past and Future

December 7, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team Recently, we had the pleasure of listening as Katie Trippi, a camp volunteer-turned-staff person from YMCA Camp Echo, shared her insights on finding and engaging alumni with a group of camps. While not all of our readers have facilities, or organizations with participants who might become donors, we still think the […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Stewardship
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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 […]

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What to Do with a No

September 2, 2015

By Bruce Berglund Nearly every big ask in my career as a staffer and consultant – whether it be an ask for a lead gift or a key leadership position – started with a no. For example: Would you and your family consider a lead gift of $____ for this campaign? No.  Would you consider serving […]

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Connecting Past and Future

August 18, 2015

By Bruce Berglund   Many of the nonprofits we work with find themselves in a unique and delicate situation: they are changing or replacing a beloved historic building to make way for a new facility. While their reasons are sound – greater accessibility, lower maintenance costs, more efficient operating costs – it can be difficult […]

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A New Chapter

July 9, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team Last week, the Linwood YMCA, part of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, broke ground on a major 18-month expansion and renovation program. That day was just one day in nearly 100 years of providing stability and connection in a community that has undergone a great deal of change. […]

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