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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

 

Volunteer Churn

April 24, 2018

By Michele Goodrich 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 Michele warns us not to ignore “retired” volunteers. Last week I received a form letter from a not-for-profit organization asking me to […]

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The Anti-Decider

March 6, 2018

I’ll preface this blog by saying it’s a bit of a tough-love message. Learning about the “Anti-Decider” has been a hard lesson for me over the years. And I confess, I still occasionally give my most earnest advice on this subject…followed in some regrettable cases with the kind truth of, “I warned you.” My counsel […]

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Resolution: Get Personal

January 1, 2018

By Bruce Berglund This January, the DBD Team is making resolutions to help us be better. Today Bruce vows to get personal.  Happy New Year! If you are like me, the first few days back in early January consists of cleaning up your office, creating new files, and maybe even cleaning out the dreaded emails […]

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Thanking Family

November 1, 2017

By Peggy Vinson It’s November and our minds automatically go to being thankful. We often use this month to thank our donors, but my question is this: When we think of our donors, do we think of our board members and our staff?  Do we ever do anything extra to thank them? I worked with […]

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Coat and Tie

October 3, 2017

By Michele Goodrich A nonprofit executive director (ED) has a complex role with myriad demands on their time. As a result, one of the concerns we often hear from them is that they struggle with having adequate time to develop relationships and cultivate donors. It isn’t that they don’t know how important donor cultivation is; it’s […]

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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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Seeing Yourself in the Story

June 15, 2017

By Jon Simons and Lora Dow 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 help a donor see themselves in the story?    “You won’t truly connect with someone until you see yourself […]

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Enduring Donor Love

June 13, 2017

By Michele Goodrich   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 cultivate enduring donor love?    After a recent Capital Campaign Leadership Cabinet meeting, one of the volunteers asked everyone to stop on […]

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Authentic and Personal

June 7, 2017

By Jan Brogdon 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: making stewardship authentic and personal.    Authentic and personal stewardship. We all strive to deliver it. We know it when we see it. And yet oftentimes […]

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More Than a Vacation

June 5, 2017

By Jim Mellor This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways to look at stewardship… going beyond the thank you note to forming deeper relationships. Today’s topic: connecting with those who give generously of their time.  It seems like everyone is traveling this summer! If you have been an airport in the last few […]

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Three Keys to Stronger Donor Relationships

May 22, 2017

By Robin Jordan Recently, I attended a conference. The highlight of my experience was reconnecting with colleagues and friends. Even walking through the lobby, every other step was a chance for a hug, a handshake and a friendly smile. We shared laughs, stories and joy. I started to notice my conversations with my colleagues had […]

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It’s Not About the Pickles

May 16, 2017

By Jason Fry I was recently with a donor who’s been giving to a local charity consistently for over twenty years. Her giving abruptly stopped a couple years ago. In a deeper investigation with her over breakfast she said she just “hasn’t heard anything new” from the charity in a few years. I swallowed hard and […]

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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
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Is an invoice your stewardship plan?

April 25, 2017

I’m not rich, but I recently added up my giving to my favorite local charity. The amount over the last 20 years astounded me. More recently, I made a capital pledge to this charity. Unfortunately, two years later, I have no idea how my money is being used. I’m not aware of their campaign progress. […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship

 

Seven Secrets of Successful Stewards

February 14, 2017

By Michele Goodrich This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: seven secrets to successful stewardship! A few years ago I visited a friend who happened to be serving as the Chief Development Officer for a large arts organization. Before going […]

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Does She REALLY Dislike Valentine’s Day?

February 8, 2017

By Danny Maier This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: what to do when a donor doesn’t want “recognition.”   I have a friend whose wife does not like Valentine’s Day. Now, some of you might be thinking, “How […]

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Behind the Smile

February 6, 2017

By Jim Mellor This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: looking what’s behind your donor’s smile.   It’s February, the month that we think of those who we love and who bring us joy! This month, I’m thinking of Mary […]

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Donor Love Languages

February 3, 2017

By Lora Dow This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: donor love languages.   Good donor stewardship is a deceptively simple practice. It seems so easy to say thanks and to keep donors informed on why their gifts matter. […]

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Best of DBD 2016: Stewardship

December 28, 2016

It’s time for the last post of 2016. It’s very appropriate that this post is all about saying thank you…   The Importance of Stewardship While so much of the work of a development officers is securing a gift, the most important part of the process comes after the gift is made. A good stewardship program […]

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Harvest Time

September 26, 2016

By Michele Goodrich It’s harvest time in many parts of the country. Farmers and backyard gardeners are reaping the fruits of their labor. Planning for harvest time starts months in advance, followed by long days of preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and tending the plants. If the weather has cooperated, all that time and […]

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How to Treat a Friend

September 19, 2016

By Peggy Vinson As we travel the country doing feasibility studies, one thing we encounter almost every time, is a donor who cannot be interviewed because they are upset with the organization for not appropriately recognizing their contribution during the last capital campaign. Donors who give major gifts are showing they really trust you and are willing […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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