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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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Seasons

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

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

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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Anatomy of a Thank You, Part 2

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

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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Does My Gift Matter?

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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Expressions of Gratitude

February 18, 2014

By Mike Bussey I was stunned by the phone call. It was from a board member of a camp that Marcia and I have supported for several years, and it came just a few days after we had made an online, year-end contribution. We had already received an online confirmation of our gift, as well […]

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