Archives

Categories

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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Stewardship

 

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
Tags:

 

Burning Questions: Feasibility Study Readiness

July 10, 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. As non-profit leaders plan for a potential capital project and campaign, they look to us for a feasibility study. We are often asked: What do […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

Summer Book Club: Man’s Search for Meaning

June 20, 2018

By Danny Maier Central to our team values is the concept that we can never stop learning, reading, connecting and sharing.  This month, we will share books that have impacted us personally and/or professionally. Perhaps one of our “book reports” will inspire you to join us in our quest for continuous learning. (Although we suspect […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership

 

Don’t Go It Alone

March 29, 2018

By Michele Goodrich This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Michele Goodrich illustrates the benefits of getting a wide team of people involved in the capital planning process. For many nonprofit professionals, a capital campaign is a rare […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital

 

Facts Tell, But Stories Sell

March 27, 2018

By Dan Maier This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Dan Maier illustrates the importance of being able to share your vision in a compelling way to prospective donors. A wise volunteer’s story recently reminded me of what […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Case for Support

 

Recruiting the Right Leaders

March 23, 2018

By Jon Simons and Sara Luke This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Jon and Sara share the early steps in recruiting your Leadership Cabinet. Recently, we touched on what you should look for as you build your […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership
Tags:

 

Who Should Lead?

March 20, 2018

By Jon Simons and Sara Luke This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Jon and Sara share what you should look for as you build your Leadership Cabinet. We say it all the time on this blog and […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership
Tags:

 

Who Really Cares?

March 16, 2018

By Jon Simons This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Jon poses an important question as you identify prospects for your capital campaign. When planning a capital campaign, we work closely with our clients to identify a Top […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Case for Support
Tags:

 

Are Your Leaders Ready To Tell Your Story?

March 8, 2018

By Jan Brogdon This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Jan shares how important it is that leaders are able to share your story with passion.   He was such a strong volunteer, often challenging and even a […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Case for Support
Tags:

 

What Comes Before the Campaign?

March 2, 2018

By Jim Mellor This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign.  Today, Jim asks the question that you should ask yourself before your next campaign: are you ready? Dreaming of that new facility? I bet you’re busy planning the capital […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

Top of Mind

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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

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 […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

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
Tags:

 

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
Tags:

 

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
Tags:

 

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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

Climbing Out

June 16, 2015

By Bruce Berglund In their eagerness to get a building opened, or as a result of calamitous economic changes, too many nonprofit boards have found themselves with more debt than their organization can bear. When your “customer” becomes the bank rather than the community, it’s time get serious about reducing debt. Not all debt is bad. […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
Tags:

 

It Just Looks Easy

May 27, 2015

By Thom Peters The La Crosse Area Family YMCA is in the midst of major expansion, recently breaking ground on three projects and adding more than 70,000 square feet to its facilities. With a focus on strengthening the community and strategic partnerships, they are closing in on their $11.3 million goal. Bigger than the expansion, […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership, Stewardship
Tags:

 

Getting to the Starting Line

April 21, 2015

By Mike Bussey ‘Thank you for getting us to the starting line and for the confidence that we are going to have a successful campaign.” A volunteer was reflecting on the long, complex and (at times) frustrating process his organization had undertaken to determine how best to respond to community issues and opportunities. After an […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Leadership
Tags:

 

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
Tags: