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The Costs of Change

October 17, 2017

By Jan Brogdon Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. […]

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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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August Challenge

August 2, 2017

By Bruce Berglund A couple of weeks ago, I took a long hike. I shut off my phone, music, texts and just enjoyed the varied scenery and wildlife that crossed my path. As I turned a corner I saw two trees standing majestically side by side.           One of the trees […]

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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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Standing on the Iceberg

April 11, 2017

By Bruce Berglund Over the years I’ve had the great joy of working with hundreds of non-profit CEOs/Executive Directors (EDs) and development staff. A few years ago, a young executive director called me. He was frustrated and worried that he wasn’t doing his job. Why? He wasn’t bringing in enough big checks. I encouraged him […]

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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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Taking Action

January 25, 2017

By Peggy Vinson This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s post is the final one of the series, reminding us that the only thing we need to do is the next step.   Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what […]

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Small But Mighty

January 17, 2017

By Thom Peters This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Going small to go big.   I used to be a “big church” guy. I liked the great music, theater, message, and classes. It excited me to see the impact we could have on […]

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Best of DBD 2016: Leadership

December 15, 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? Leadership. Leadership We have a saying at DBD (and we got it from a nonprofit leader) that “Leadership is Everything.” In more than ten years […]

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Do Good Anyway

December 5, 2016

By Dan Maier During this holiday season, I wanted to share an inspiring story that speaks to the heart of leadership. At the age of 19, a friend of mine was a sophomore at Harvard and made a long-forgotten speech to his classmates.  As life went on, he soon forgot about that day until he […]

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Passing the Baton

November 9, 2016

By Bruce Berglund During an election season we are constantly reminded of leadership transitions. Many of our clients are preparing for their own leadership transitions. Long-serving CEOs and CDOs are now retiring and welcoming the next wave of leadership to move their organizations boldly forward. We know that one of the most important fundraising axioms is […]

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The Power of a Grander Vision

November 7, 2016

By Mike Bussey Many times, I find myself working with nonprofits who are facing a time of transition. Perhaps their organization is undergoing a change in leadership. Perhaps their community is changing. Perhaps new needs and challenges are calling for a change in programs or ministries. How do successful organizations navigate these transitions? They have […]

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