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Trust vs. Structure

October 22, 2013

By Lora Dow Fundraisers are a high control group of people. We don’t like spontaneity all that much. (Unless it’s a donation out of the blue. Those are pretty awesome.) We measure and plan and measure some more. We struggle to find just the right word for an appeal. We’ve even been known to role […]

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Three Signs

October 15, 2013

By Bruce Berglund Recently, my team got to hear Patrick Lencioni speak. He is as dynamic and funny in person as his books would lead you to expect. His topic, based on his book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job,” got all of us talking later that evening. Thankfully, my team wasn’t talking about […]

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Ants, Natural Disasters and Fundraising

October 10, 2013

By Lora Dow Recently I learned a new term that captivated my imagination. The word? Stigmergy. You can read the long definition here, but for those of you who are more impatient, I’ll sum it up this way: stigmergy is the spontaneous, indirect coordination of a group, where the actions of one leave a trail […]

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Skeptics and Evangelists

October 3, 2013

By Bruce Berglund If you are anything like me, you probably try to avoid spending too much time with skeptics. They bring me down, they often derail meetings, and in fundraising efforts they can be momentum killers. Evangelists, on the other hand, are those folks who lift my spirits, inspire others during meetings, and fuel […]

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Time with the Team

September 24, 2013

By Charley Shirley I’ve always appreciated it when the leaders of the organizations I have worked with took the chance to get away for a few hours, a day or even a couple of days to reflect on our mission and successes (or failures) in accomplishing that mission. Getting away hasn’t happened very often since […]

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Extreme Dreams

September 19, 2013

By Mike Bussey No matter if it’s an amazing athletic accomplishment, an inspiring cultural performance, a record-setting professional achievement, or someone calmly responding in a crisis situation, I react emotionally when I see people achieve results that go far, far beyond what could ever be expected in the most challenging or even life-threatening situations. I […]

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Love in the Workplace

September 17, 2013

By Sara Luke Many of us have written about the speakers and inspiration from our annual DBD team gathering at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. This being my second year in attendance, I was looking forward to the show (and they know how to produce a show!), the music, the prayerful reflections, and of […]

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The Three P’s

August 27, 2013

By Bruce Berglund It’s been just over two weeks since the DBD team attended our annual gathering at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.  The two-day event always fills my bucket and renews my spirit. Dr. Henry Cloud, psychologist and author, offered a challenging talk called “Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader.” He discussed […]

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Grow Your Impact

August 23, 2013

By the Donor By Design Team At the recent Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit, one speaker in particular caused a lot of conversation within our team. Oscar Muriu is the senior pastor at Nairobi Chapel, Kenya. Under his leadership, Nairobi Chapel has grown from a 40-person local church, to a network of 30 churches […]

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A Good Soldier

August 15, 2013

By Lora Dow Last week at the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit, our team was once again humbled and inspired by two days of brilliant leadership coaching. One of my unexpected favorite speakers was General Colin Powell, former Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. While the innate sense of […]

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Taking Care of Your Superhero

July 25, 2013

By Bruce Berglund Frequently in my work with non-profit leaders, I see a board or campaign committee come to a strange impasse. They stop actively seeking solutions and start waiting for a superhero: a donor whose 7- or 8-figure gift will put their campaign over the top. Certainly many donors seem like superheroes to the […]

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It’s Thursday . . . and I QUIT!

July 11, 2013

By Jon Simons Whoever said “winners never quit and quitters never win” was wrong! Today is Thursday and I am so excited to tell you that I quit. I have finally internalized a bit of wisdom I have shared with others on countless occasions. When I visit with a colleague, client or friend who is […]

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Going 4 for 4

July 8, 2013

By Mike Bussey As an avid follower of baseball, especially the Minnesota Twins, I have enjoyed following the career of Joe Mauer. Joe is from the Twin Cities, had a fabulous high school athletic career at Cretin-Derham Hall High School and was the first player selected in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft. In his […]

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The Advantage of Organizational Health

August 17, 2012

By Michele Goodrich The DBD team recently attended the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit in Barrington, IL. This is always a great event featuring presentations by some of the top experts in the field of leadership development. After two jam-packed days of inspiration, insights and information, I leave feeling energized and eager to find […]

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Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

August 6, 2012

By Thom Peters For those of you who hadn’t noticed, the Summer Olympic Games are on.  Someone asked me a few days before the opening ceremony what sports I was most anticipating.  I realized that I really didn’t have a particular sport that I was looking forward to.  Rather, it was the compelling stories, controversies, […]

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The Yellow Shirt

July 24, 2012

By Bruce Berglund Recently, I had the pleasure to talk with a volunteer who told me an interesting story. As a youth, he tried out for the football team.  He wasn’t very big, and he wasn’t very fast, but he could throw.  As you might guess, the coach made him the quarterback. During practices, quarterbacks […]

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All-Star Leadership

June 26, 2012

by Thom Peters Recently, as I was listening to my Milwaukee Brewers play the Chicago Cubs (Brewers win!), a memory of the 2002 All Star Game came back to me.  That year the game was held at Miller Park in Milwaukee and had one of the strangest endings when the game was stopped, tied 7 […]

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Willing to Lead

October 28, 2011

By Bruce Berglund As many of you know, I am very passionate about leadership and its affect on our ability to achieve our fundraising targets and, more importantly, our organization’s mission. Over the course of the next several months, I want to take the opportunity to introduce you to some leaders who are using their […]

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Leadership is Everything: A Case Study

November 18, 2010

by Bruce Berglund In early 2009, the Champaign County YMCA was faced with a capital campaign that had completely stalled.  Despite the overwhelming need for a new facility, the community couldn’t seem to get excited about this campaign. In stepped a new board.  That new board found a new CEO.  That new leadership team expanded […]

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