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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

Editorial credit: Alex Millauer / Shutterstock, Inc.

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

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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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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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Resolution: Think Like a Donor

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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 […]

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Resolution: Treasure People

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January 11, 2016

By Journey Johnson My resolution for 2016 is to write, call or visit one friend every day. I have become more reflective and nostalgic in my older age. Each time I reflect on what is important to me in life, it always seems to come back to relationships and people. My hope is to connect […]

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Beyond the Hashtag

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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 […]

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What Data Really Is

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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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Seasons

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August 10, 2015

By Jan Brogdon I received this lovely donor gift at a recent charter school event. A 4th grade student, Marcus, had selected the word “Seasons” and then used his creativity to paint his representation of what the word meant to him. It really spoke to me personally that day, but it also reminds me of […]

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The Kind of Person

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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 […]

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Spring Cleaning

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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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A Matter of Perspective

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October 23, 2014

By Charley Shirley This past summer, the America Gives More Act (HR 4719) successfully passed the House of Representatives with strong bi-partisan support. One of its more interesting provisions is a change in the deadline for making charitable deductions. No longer would midnight on December 31st be the last chance a donor has to give […]

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Anatomy of a Thank You, Part 2

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October 9, 2014

By Lora Dow Read the first post in this series. Unless you were living under a rock during the summer of 2014, you likely heard about a little phenomenon called the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” The viral social media campaign, encouraging friends to challenge others to give and/or dump a bucket of ice over their […]

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Anatomy of a Thank You, Part 1

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October 9, 2014

By Lora Dow It’s no secret that personal giving pages are changing the nature of the way we ask for gifts. It’s highly likely that, if you’re reading this, you’ve supported a friend or family member in a walk or run to raise money for one cause or another. As with any fundraising, the relationship […]

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A Lesson In Generosity

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July 9, 2014

By Journey Johnson Early in my career, I had the privilege of knowing a wonderful, generous woman named Miss Hannah Lide Coker. As a young executive director, I was eager to make a good impression with all the leaders in my community, including Miss Coker. She was a donor to my Y’s annual giving campaign, […]

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Does My Gift Matter?

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May 15, 2014

By Michele Goodrich For the longest time I avoided giving gift cards as presents. It seemed like such an impersonal gesture. I had visions of the recipients stuffing all their newly acquired gift cards into their wallets and heading off to the mall without a single thought as to who gave them what card or […]

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