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From 80/20 to One on One

August 8, 2017

By Dan Maier There was a rule of giving I learned early in my career: you will receive 80% of your charitable giving from about 20% of your donors. This draws from the Pareto Principle, first postulated by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. New studies indicate that as much as 98% of your charitable donations are […]

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Getting Out of the Special Events Business

March 27, 2017

By Danny Maier In Part I of this series, we discussed the hazards of being in the “special events business” versus true fundraising. If you recognized your organization in that post, your next question is probably: “How do we become an organization more focused on major gifts?” The answer is all about culture change. Weaning […]

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Rethinking Debt Reduction

February 16, 2017

By The DBD Team Recently, Michele Goodrich and Peggy Vinson from our team interviewed Jen Kruel from the YMCA of Dodge County as part of the NAYDO 365 podcast series. With their permission, we’re posting it here as well because the conversation tells the story of a small organization climbing out of a paralyzing debt situation. How they […]

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Rethinking the Annual Campaign

December 7, 2016

By The DBD Team Recently, Bruce Berglund from our team interviewed Abby Farris Rogers from the YMCA of Greater Richmond as part of the NAYDO 365 podcast series. With their permission, we’re posting it here as well because the conversation challenges the way many organizations think about their annual campaign.   While Abby’s remarks come […]

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Individuals vs Teams

October 31, 2016

By Danny Maier College football fans will remember a legendary coach by the name of Bo Schembechler. He was known for constantly exhorting his players with “The Team, The Team, The Team.” No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team, and […]

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The Best Predictor of Future Giving

July 26, 2016

By Peggy Vinson 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, Peggy reflects on our axiom: “The Best Predictor of Future Giving Is Current Giving.” To read other axiom blogs, click here.   In the course of raising funds for […]

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Willing to Wait

January 29, 2016

By Bruce Berglund Being a fundraising volunteer isn’t easy. One of the main reasons why is that it is so personal. It’s you, connecting with your peers, possibly even your friends or family, to ask them to be generous towards a cause you believe in. For even the most passionate volunteer, the experience can be […]

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What to Do with a No

September 2, 2015

By Bruce Berglund Nearly every big ask in my career as a staffer and consultant – whether it be an ask for a lead gift or a key leadership position – started with a no. For example: Would you and your family consider a lead gift of $____ for this campaign? No.  Would you consider serving […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital
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Look for the Seams

March 4, 2015

By Thom Peters There is a legend in baseball that one of the reasons Ted Williams was such a great hitter was due to his ability to see the seams on the baseball as it came hurling toward him at 95 miles an hour. Supposedly, his eyesight was so good, he could essentially slow the […]

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Common Ground

February 5, 2015

By Thom Peters Confession: I am a graduate of the Ohio State University. Having lived in Wisconsin for the past 18 years, I have endured the wrath of Badger fans and even a number of Michigan folks. Much of this comes from friends and seemingly sane people who really don’t like my Buckeyes. Even more […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Case for Support
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Earning the Right

January 14, 2015

By Peggy Vinson As I work with nonprofit staff and volunteer leaders, I often get this question: “How do you ask someone for a $1,000+ gift?” My response is always: “It depends on if you’ve earned the right to ask.” I get a puzzled look and then I share a story from early in my […]

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DBD Axioms: Donor Champagne Glass

December 4, 2014

By Bruce Berglund At Donor By Design, we are guided by a series of axioms: core concepts that shape our work and have proven their worth over and over again. In this series, we’re digging into these axioms and clarify how they can help you achieve your development goals. Read Part 1 or Part 2.  For years, the big […]

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Taking Stock in Your Favorite Charity

September 24, 2014

By Charley Shirley The Great Recession is still fresh to many people, especially for those who lost a considerable amount of their net worth and retirement savings when the stock market crashed. Now the stock market has greatly improved – in fact it has reached new heights. As a result, donations of appreciated securities are […]

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Don’t Water the Rocks

September 10, 2014

By Peggy Vinson I recently visited with the staff of a local nonprofit organization. We were reviewing their 2014 campaign and discussing strategies for 2015. As usual, we talked about renewals and new prospects. We also talked about where executives’ and board members’ time is best spent. How do we cultivate our closer friends now […]

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Stop Talking

June 10, 2014

By Bruce Berglund Recently I was enjoying lunch with a client team. At one point in the animated conversation, one of the development staff handed a card to her colleague. It was a simple white business card with only two words: She went on to explain that she has several of these cards around the […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Stewardship
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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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