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


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


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


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


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


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


Share, Not Sell

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Rethinking Competition

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


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