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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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Bet on the Jockey

September 5, 2016

By Bruce Berglund   Part of our work and counsel with our clients is to conduct feasibility studies. We have the opportunity to visit with 25-30 top community leaders and philanthropists, asking them about the image of the non-profit, the proposed plans and who might help raise money and/or be donors of the vision. Recently I was conducting […]

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Earning the Right to Ask

July 20, 2016

By Mike Bussey 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, Mike expands on our axiom: “Earning the Right to Ask.” To read other axiom blogs, click here. I suspect this has happened to all of us involved in fundraising […]

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Valuing the Millennial Professional

July 19, 2016

By Jan Brogdon I recently read an incredible article by Tauna Shoemaker, a young, non-profit professional from Tacoma Washington. Her article, entitled “When I Grow Up I Want to be a Philanthropist,” warmed my heart and encouraged me for the future of our sector. Tauna’s understanding of what a philanthropist truly is, and her even […]

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Leadership is Everything

July 12, 2016

By Bruce Berglund 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, Bruce reflects on our axiom: “Leadership is Everything.” To read other axiom blogs, click here. One of our first axioms for our firm was Leadership is Everything. We have […]

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A Bug’s Eye View

July 5, 2016

By Michele Goodrich Last week I had the opportunity to work with the leaders of a resident camp in the midst of their summer camping season. After navigating the curvy, narrow roads leading to the camp, I arrived just in time to watch groups of campers and counselors leaving breakfast and heading out to their morning activities. […]

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Don’t Settle

June 13, 2016

By Thom Peters 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, Thom Peters reflects on our axiom: “Don’t settle.” Living in a small town, I tend to chose my home repair, insurance and mechanics from recommendations. That’s why […]

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Own it

May 17, 2016

By Sara Luke “The dog ate my homework.” “My alarm didn’t go off.” “I hit every red light on the way here.” Excuses. We’ve all made them. But the truth is no one believes them and they don’t help accomplish anything. In fact, they can chip away at one’s credibility. One of the quotes that […]

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