Seven Secrets of Successful Stewards

February 14, 2017

By Michele Goodrich This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: seven secrets to successful stewardship! A few years ago I visited a friend who happened to be serving as the Chief Development Officer for a large arts organization. Before going […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship



January 3, 2017

By Jon Simons This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Unwrapping the gifts your volunteers bring.  For our family, the month of December is filled with holiday decorations, family gatherings and an ever-growing accumulation of gifts lovingly wrapped and place beneath the […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Best of DBD 2016: Stewardship


December 28, 2016

It’s time for the last post of 2016. It’s very appropriate that this post is all about saying thank you…   The Importance of Stewardship While so much of the work of a development officers is securing a gift, the most important part of the process comes after the gift is made. A good stewardship program […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


The Artful Asker


October 11, 2016

By Journey Johnson “Philanthropy is the mystical mingling of a joyful giver with an artful asker and a grateful recipient in which all three-the joyful giver, artful asker and grateful recipient-benefit from the experience.” Doug Lawson My favorite definition of philanthropy comes from Doug Lawson’s book Give To Live. When philanthropy is hitting on all […]

Posted in: Blog


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 […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


A Tale of Two Letters


June 6, 2016

By Michele Goodrich 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, Michele Goodrich reflects on our axiom: “The best cultivation is a great gift-giving experience.” Recently I was talking with a seatmate on a delayed flight. When […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


Checkbooks and Calendars


April 18, 2016

By Bruce Berglund As some of you may know, this past year has been really rough on the Berglund family and me personally. Over the last seven months I’ve lost both my father and my mother. I was blessed with wonderful parents and enjoyed a great relationship with both. As the trustee of our family […]

Posted in: Blog, Stewardship


Are You Listening?


March 15, 2016

By Thom Peters Over the years, I’ve had a chance to meet some really outstanding and wonderful people, including many captains of industry. If all my exposure to successful business folks was from what I hear through the media, I would never realized that there are so many truly servant leaders out there. One such […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Resolution: Dream Bigger


January 20, 2016

By Thom Peters I’m not great at resolutions. I have great intentions, just lousy follow through. After all my years I have learned that the higher I set my sights, the less opportunity I have to succeed. So I keep expectations low and generally feel better about how things turn out. I may not be […]

Posted in: Blog, Leadership


Courage to Ask


December 15, 2015

By Journey Johnson Webster’s dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that you know is difficult.” One of the more difficult things in nonprofit management for many people can be asking for a donation. Many volunteers or staff are willing to do almost anything for their organization except ask people to support it. […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital


Connecting Past and Future


December 7, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team Recently, we had the pleasure of listening as Katie Trippi, a camp volunteer-turned-staff person from YMCA Camp Echo, shared her insights on finding and engaging alumni with a group of camps. While not all of our readers have facilities, or organizations with participants who might become donors, we still think the […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Stewardship


Three Iced Coffees to Go


May 12, 2015

By Charley Shirley I stood in line behind a man as he returned three large iced coffee drinks. I asked, “Did you get someone else’s order?” “No,” he replied, “she orders three every day of the year and she knows what they are supposed to taste like. She said that these were not acceptable and that […]

Posted in: Blog


The Value of Stewardship


March 19, 2015

By Jon Simons Upon learning about an amazing $40,000,000 estate gift made to the Westport Weston Family YMCA in Connecticut, another non-profit leader commented to me on how lucky they were to receive such a transformational donation. Having had the honor of working with the staff and volunteers of the Westport Weston Family Y for the […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Endowment, Stewardship


Say Thank You Better Than You Say Please


March 11, 2015

By Journey Johnson How well do you say thank you to your joyful givers, passionate volunteers and dedicated staff? In most campaigns, we spend the majority of our time preparing for and making “The Ask” – and rightfully so since successful fundraising depends on artful asking and connecting joyful givers with important needs and inspiring […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Stewardship


Foundational Relationships


March 9, 2015

By Peggy Vinson When you think about cultivating donors, getting to know them better and engaging them more deeply in your organization, do you include the leaders of the foundations that support you each year? Some of my favorite relationships have been with the leaders of the foundations who’ve supported my organization. I made a […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Stewardship


Thanking Big


January 8, 2015

By the Donor By Design Team For the past year, we’ve had the privilege of working with the Nashville Zoo on their ambitious expansion campaign. They’ve received wonderful early support from many donors, including the City of Nashville, who made a generous $10 million contribution. City leaders recognize that the Zoo is a driver of […]

Posted in: Blog, Capital, Stewardship