Archives

Categories

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

 

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

 

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

 

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:

 

Emergency vs Urgency

September 27, 2017

By the Donor By Design Team   In our work with non-profits, faith-based and youth-serving organizations and other charities, we often have conversations about urgency, be it in a case for support or a project timeline. For a lot of nonprofit volunteers, the difference between “urgency” and “emergency” is a bit unclear. When it comes […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

The 3 E’s of a Good Case

August 31, 2017

By Danny Maier I was watching an interview with an Academy Award-winning film director on how he selected screenplays. “I select a story based on the 3E’s; its ability to entertain, educate and elevate the audience.” My wife turned to me, “That sounds like what you want a case to do.” Amen to that. So […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support

 

Staying in Touch

May 1, 2017

By Lora Dow Often at the end of a feasibility study, a non-profit is advised to conduct a “positioning campaign” while they prepare for an eventual capital campaign. A positioning campaign helps to change perceptions about a nonprofit’s impact in the community among stakeholders – be they donors, community leaders or residents in general. It […]

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

 

Brass Tacks vs 30,000 Feet

March 13, 2017

By Jason Fry The origin of the phrase “getting down to brass tacks” is most often attributed to the haberdashery trade where “…in order to be more accurate than the rough-and-ready measuring of a yard of material by holding it out along an arm’s length, cloth was measured between brass tacks which were set into […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

Best of DBD 2016: Case

December 27, 2016

Here in the final week of 2016, we’re taking a look back at the posts that inspired the most conversations on the blog and with our clients. Today’s topic? The case for support Making Your Case The case for support is more than a document, it’s your whole approach to talking about your mission, your impact […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

The Power of a Grander Vision

November 7, 2016

By Mike Bussey Many times, I find myself working with nonprofits who are facing a time of transition. Perhaps their organization is undergoing a change in leadership. Perhaps their community is changing. Perhaps new needs and challenges are calling for a change in programs or ministries. How do successful organizations navigate these transitions? They have […]

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

 

Don’t Scare Them

October 6, 2016

By Sara Luke 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! A key to fundraising success is an urgent and compelling case for support. Nonprofits should not only be able to answer the question “why?” but also “why […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support

 

A Bug’s Eye View

July 5, 2016

By Michele Goodrich Last week I had the opportunity to work with the leaders of a resident camp in the midst of their summer camping season. After navigating the curvy, narrow roads leading to the camp, I arrived just in time to watch groups of campers and counselors leaving breakfast and heading out to their morning activities. […]

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

 

Why Trumps What

June 28, 2016

By Sara Luke In this series, the DBD Team will take a deeper look at some of the axioms we use when working with our clients. In today’s blog, Sara Luke reflects on our axiom: “Why Trumps What.” There’s a great Ted talk that illustrates a concept we talk about a lot with our non-profit […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

Re-reading the Lessons

June 23, 2016

By Danny Maier A good friend recently returned a book I lent her a while back. How many books are sitting in your bookcase that you read so long ago their lesson has faded from your memory? The book, The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks, is a simple guide on how to […]

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

 

Share, Not Sell

June 21, 2016

By Journey Johnson In this series, the DBD Team will take a deeper look at some of the axioms we use when working with our clients. In today’s blog, Journey Johnson reflects on our axiom: “Share vs. Sell” The ability to share your vision and case for support is a critical first step to any […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support, Leadership, Stewardship
Tags:

 

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
Tags:

 

Is Your Vision Big Enough?

March 22, 2016

By Dan Maier As a sufferer of myopia since the 3rd grade, I’ve been wearing glasses a long time. Perhaps it’s my nearsightedness that has me often trying to focus on the trees and missing the forest – the big picture. But, while the details are important, it’s the bigger vision that inspires. I came […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
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:

 

Resolution: Think Like a Donor

January 26, 2016

By Lora Dow A lot of the nonprofits we work with are well-established organizations. They have a good grip on best practices and they execute the basic principles of fundraising well. But just as a start up can shake up a whole industry, so can a new nonprofit teach all of us old hands a few […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

Resolution: Make It Matter

January 4, 2016

By Bruce Berglund This January, the Donor By Design Team is offering a series of resolutions: Strategies and commitments to enhance your ability to connect with donors and generate support for your important work.  As we partner with our nonprofit clients, one of our first tasks is to review their case for support. Bill Hybels, Sr. […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

How Can I Help?

November 16, 2015

By Lora Dow Like all of us, I was stunned and saddened by the news out of Paris Friday night. Coming shortly on the heels of a similar attack in Beirut just hours before, the on-going refugee migration, and violence throughout the world and in our own country, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. How can […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

Rethinking Competition

July 22, 2015

By Sara Luke Recently, I was speaking with a new client about their case for support. One of their primary concerns was how to distinguish their organization’s work with seniors from “the competition.” They identified their competition as other local retirement and assisted living facilities. As an outsider, it was clear for me to see […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags:

 

The Kind of Person

June 11, 2015

By Lora Dow Seth Godin recently sat down for an interview about fundraising. At Donor By Design, we’ve always enjoyed Seth’s writing and applied many of his thoughts to our work,* but it was extra special to have him turn his attention to one of our favorite subjects. One of his main points in the […]

Posted in: Blog, Case for Support
Tags: