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Being Intentional About Board Development

August 17, 2017

By Robin Jordan As non-profit leader I learned to use summer as an opportunity to connect with volunteers and start my board development strategies. Over the years, I developed a proficient and intentional method that improved my efforts, year after year, in building a stronger group of volunteers. Board members are the cornerstone to successful […]

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Against the Odds

July 19, 2017

By Thom Peters A note from the author – remember, your results may vary. I recently had a chance to stop in Louisiana, Missouri. I had first visited this community more than a dozen years ago, in a former job. There is a reason that most of you probably never heard of Louisiana – its […]

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Mission-Driven Goals

July 12, 2017

By Lora Dow If you’re part of an established nonprofit, faith-based organization, or school, you’re very familiar with fundraising goals. If you’re part of the leadership of such an organization, you may have even been part of setting those goals. How’d you do it? If I had to guess, I suspect you probably took a […]

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Reverse Mentors

June 22, 2017

By Dan Maier This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways grow relationships with our donors, supporters and volunteers… moving beyond the thank you note to a deeper connection. Today’s topic: what might you learn from someone younger than you?    I have a close friend who is a mentor to many people. […]

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Tell Me Your Story

June 19, 2017

By Bruce Berglund This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways grow the relationship with our donors… moving beyond the thank you note to a deeper connection. Today’s topic: how do you learn your supporters’ stories?    I have the privilege of speaking to lots of groups about the art of asking for money. I […]

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Keeping Your Balance

May 29, 2017

By Peggy Vinson We’re coming into the summer months and as usual, we want to make the most of these fleeting months. One of the biggest complaints I hear from staff I work with is that they have no control over their work/life balance. I wish to disagree. Earlier in my career, I took time […]

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Filling the Bus

April 27, 2017

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins created a memorable image of a business being a bus with its CEO as the driver. Nothing is more important, according to Collins, than “getting the right people on the bus” if you want to take a company from good to great. Applying Collins’ thinking to the […]

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Breakfast of Champions

March 16, 2017

By Thom Peters Recently while reading through the local business news, I noticed the profile of a local agency leader. One of the things this leader said that stuck out to me was “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It was the first time I had heard this phrase, but I now know it has been […]

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A Tsunami is on the Way

March 3, 2017

By Jan Brogdon On multiple occasions recently, I have heard nonprofit leaders discussing the upcoming tsunami heading across North America: the changing leadership guard in the C-level suites in large and small organizations in communities of all sizes, demographics and genres of service. If we all sense its approach, what can those of us who […]

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The Pursuit of Perfection

February 23, 2017

By Jon Simons One of the most dangerous words in the English language is the word “perfect.” While the concept feels good and worthy of pursuit, it is – in the end – a fool’s errand. I can only imagine the number of unfulfilled goals and dreams that die on the unreachable alter of perfection. […]

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Gift-Wrapped

January 3, 2017

By Jon Simons This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Unwrapping the gifts your volunteers bring.  For our family, the month of December is filled with holiday decorations, family gatherings and an ever-growing accumulation of gifts lovingly wrapped and place beneath the […]

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Passing the Baton, Part 2

November 21, 2016

By Jan Brogdon In his recent post, Bruce highlighted the questions and opportunities that arise when there is change in leadership at the top of an organization. But what about a change in the Development Officer role? Recent data from the AFP “2016 State of the Sector” states that the average tenure of development professionals […]

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Passing the Baton

November 9, 2016

By Bruce Berglund During an election season we are constantly reminded of leadership transitions. Many of our clients are preparing for their own leadership transitions. Long-serving CEOs and CDOs are now retiring and welcoming the next wave of leadership to move their organizations boldly forward. We know that one of the most important fundraising axioms is […]

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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 […]

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Changing Culture

November 3, 2016

By Peggy Vinson   Changing a board’s philanthropic culture is a big challenge. Convincing board members to become true ambassadors, as well as campaigners, for your organization doesn’t happen overnight, but is one of the best legacies you can leave. Cultural change takes time and consistent effort. Too often, we think of this as a […]

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Bet on the Jockey

September 5, 2016

By Bruce Berglund   Part of our work and counsel with our clients is to conduct feasibility studies. We have the opportunity to visit with 25-30 top community leaders and philanthropists, asking them about the image of the non-profit, the proposed plans and who might help raise money and/or be donors of the vision. Recently I was conducting […]

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