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A Culture of Hospitality

August 28, 2018

By Bruce Berglund Every August the Donor By Design team sets aside two days to tune-up our leadership skills at the Global Leadership Summit (GLS). Once again, the GLS didn’t disappoint. One of the many speakers was restaurateur Danny Meyer. Meyer has built one of the most successful restaurant group brands in America. (You can […]

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A Leader People Want to Follow

August 16, 2018

By Sara Luke Each year, the Donor By Design team attends the Global Leadership Summit to be inspired and challenged. Last week’s two-day summit kicked-off with one of my favorite speakers, Craig Groeschel, Co-Founder & Senior Pastor of Life. Church. His enthusiastic presentation encouraged the audience to “be a leader people want to follow.” And […]

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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
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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

 

Gutsy Nominating Committees

April 17, 2018

By Mike Bussey April is National Volunteer Month. Over the next few weeks the Donor By Design Team will be reflecting on the impact volunteers have on our communities and our world. Today Mike explains the power of a gutsy nominating committee. One of the great privileges of leading a non-profit organization is to work […]

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Unintended Volunteers

April 13, 2018

By Peggy Vinson April is National Volunteer Month. Over the next few weeks the Donor By Design Team will be reflecting on the impact volunteers have on our communities and our world. Today Peggy tells a story of how one gentleman became an “unintended volunteer.” Have you ever had this happen? You recruit a volunteer […]

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Reluctant Leaders

April 11, 2018

By Thom Peters April is National Volunteer Month. Over the next few weeks the Donor By Design Team will be reflecting on the impact volunteers have on our communities and our world. The series begins with Thom reflecting on the qualities of “reluctant leaders.” Dagnabbit! It’s supposed to be spring but there is cold wet […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Privilege of Purpose

March 13, 2018

By Bruce Berglund One of the most important decisions you will make as you embark on any fundraising effort is the recruitment and selection of volunteer leadership. One of my recent client campaigns had identified a potential campaign chair who was very successful in the marketplace. He had huge work responsibilities and an even a […]

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Resolution: Fix it Before it Breaks

January 15, 2018

By Lora Dow This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Lora suggests that maybe we should resolve to fix things before they break.   So much of fundraising work is cyclical. Annual campaigns, events, United Way campaigns, etc. all combine to give our yearly calendar a rhythm and sense […]

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Resolution: Be A Mentor

January 3, 2018

By Jan Brogdon This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Jan encourages all of us to remember our mentors… and to be one for someone else.  Who was it for you? That one person (or several people) who have been critical in shaping the success you have achieved […]

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You’ve got what it takes. Grit.

November 17, 2017

By Robin Jordan In August, I attended the Global Leadership Summit and heard Angela Lee Duckworth’s presentation on Grit. I was fascinated by the concept and certainly could relate. However, the real inspiration came during my time with a client as we were visiting with a nonprofit supporter and community member. My client and I […]

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At the End of Your Rope

October 11, 2017

By Jon Simons As a consulting firm focused on fund development, we field calls daily from organizations seeking advice and counsel on how to raise money for lots of reasons: annual sustaining, endowment, disaster relief, education and awareness, and of course capital campaigns. These days if feels like there are only two types on non-profits: […]

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If You Are, I Am

August 22, 2017

By Jason Fry Each August, the Donor By Design team meets in Chicago to participate in the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit (GLS). Being the new guy at DBD, this was my first experience and I was blown away. The GLS is essentially keynote after keynote speaker for two full days focused entirely on […]

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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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership, Stewardship
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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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