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The Special Events Business

March 23, 2017

By Danny Maier Part 1 of 2 Are you in the special events business or a fundraising professional? So asked one of my mentors in a moment of exasperation. Too often we complain about the lack of a “philanthropic culture” at [insert your charity name here]. We are mystified as to why we can’t get […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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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
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Best of DBD 2016: Asking

December 20, 2016

As we come to the end 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? Asking for a Gift. Asking for a Gift When people say they don’t like raising money, what they’re usually really saying is that they don’t […]

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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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Individuals vs Teams

October 31, 2016

By Danny Maier College football fans will remember a legendary coach by the name of Bo Schembechler. He was known for constantly exhorting his players with “The Team, The Team, The Team.” No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team, and […]

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The Fourth Quarter

September 12, 2016

By Jan Brogdon If you know me, you know this is my favorite time of the year: FOOTBALL SEASON! Football is a game with four quarters. The fourth quarter can be a critical time in not only the game being played, but also sets the tone for future games yet to be played. As you […]

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Hidden Agendas

March 8, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team Our board just isn’t a fundraising board. We hear that feedback from nonprofit leaders – both staff and volunteer – nearly every day. Whether it’s said with regret or with frustration, nonprofits, schools and churches are clearly puzzled as to why their board seems disengaged or focused on less-important […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership
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Powering Through the Dip

March 2, 2016

By Peggy Vinson Every non-profit leader is familiar with the feeling: somewhere, about half-way through the campaign, you hit a dip. It happens every year, but I’m always amused at how unexpected this seems to everyone. An annual campaign may not last as long as a capital campaign, but it’s not a sprint. So let’s […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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Willing to Wait

January 29, 2016

By Bruce Berglund Being a fundraising volunteer isn’t easy. One of the main reasons why is that it is so personal. It’s you, connecting with your peers, possibly even your friends or family, to ask them to be generous towards a cause you believe in. For even the most passionate volunteer, the experience can be […]

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Beyond the Hashtag

October 19, 2015

By Lora Dow Around this time of year, nonprofit development staff are abuzz with year-end giving campaigns, plans for #GivingTuesday, budgeting for the coming year and so much more. While all of these efforts are important and timely, I recently led a training session with nonprofit leaders that encouraged them to think differently about how […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship
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What Data Really Is

September 21, 2015

By Lora Dow Recently, someone I know received an annual campaign appeal from an organization that he has had a long and deep relationship with. His family has made major gifts to the organization, and they’ve made the organization a planned giving beneficiary. In this particular appeal, he and his wife were misidentified with an incorrect […]

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Spring Cleaning

April 7, 2015

By Michele Goodrich Recently, a charity lost two generous annual donors because of a mistake that could have been avoided. It seems that these donors lost faith in the charity’s ability to manage their finances when they received their annual contribution request in the mail. First of all, they thought the full-color campaign brochure and […]

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Earning the Right

January 14, 2015

By Peggy Vinson As I work with nonprofit staff and volunteer leaders, I often get this question: “How do you ask someone for a $1,000+ gift?” My response is always: “It depends on if you’ve earned the right to ask.” I get a puzzled look and then I share a story from early in my […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital
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Nine Year-End Strategies

December 8, 2014

By Michele Goodrich It is estimated that 30% of charitable contributions are made between Thanksgiving and Christmas and 10% of those are made in the last 48 hours of the year. With that being the case, it is not too late to capture a share of this year’s holiday generosity by launching a year-end fundraising effort! […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog
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DBD Axioms: Donor Champagne Glass

December 4, 2014

By Bruce Berglund At Donor By Design, we are guided by a series of axioms: core concepts that shape our work and have proven their worth over and over again. In this series, we’re digging into these axioms and clarify how they can help you achieve your development goals. Read Part 1 or Part 2.  For years, the big […]

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The IRS is not a Charity

November 28, 2014

By Danny Maier It’s beginning to look a lot like… end of season appeal time. Yes, December is the number one month for giving. I received five appeals this week: two from my universities, my daughter’s university (like the five-figure tuition is not enough!), and two others. All five appeals started with – to paraphrase […]

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