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Tell Me Your Story

June 19, 2017

By Bruce Berglund This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways grow the relationship with our donors… moving beyond the thank you note to a deeper connection. Today’s topic: how do you learn your supporters’ stories?    I have the privilege of speaking to lots of groups about the art of asking for money. I […]

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Einstein, Ping Pong and Grandma’s Basement

September 10, 2015

By Jon Simons Great communicators treat storytelling as an art. They know it’s among the most effective ways to make a point, set a tone and connect with an audience of any size. Stories bring organizational mission to life, give a face to a case and leave long-lasting impressions. As fundraisers, we are eager to […]

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Everybody Has a Story

August 24, 2015

By Journey Johnson One of my great joys in being a part of the world of nonprofits and philanthropy for over 35 years is the privilege I have to meet so many amazing people from all walks of life. One of the things I’ve learned is that everybody has a story. How well do you take the time to listen, […]

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What’s Your Story?

July 14, 2015

By Jon Simons Listening to author Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” I was reminded of a trap that I often fall into while researching donor prospects. Through web searches, wealth screenings and giving histories, I begin to develop a profile that guides my assumptions, strategies and engagement plans. From […]

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Brain Food – April 2015

April 29, 2015

It’s April and we’ve got stories on our mind. There are lots of ways to share information, but they are not all equal. This month’s Brain Food is full of ideas to implement – and to avoid – in the stories you tell donors. PICTURES TELL A STORY We’ve all heard the adage “a picture […]

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The Best Storytellers Aren’t Born, They’re Made

March 23, 2015

By Danny Maier This blog recently appeared on the NAYDO (North American YMCA Development Organization) website. We thought you’d enjoy it too, if you’re a Y or any other nonprofit, school or church. Think about great storytellers… from comedians like Will Rogers or Robin Williams, to politicians like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.* They just […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Case for Support, Endowment
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Bridging the Gap

March 16, 2015

By Lora Dow A big part of what I do with my non-profit clients is help them to develop and refine their case for support? What’s a “case?” It’s simply a collection of compelling reasons (both data and stories) as to why an organization is worthy of support. You’ve probably made a case for support […]

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A Face to the Case

March 25, 2014

By Sara Luke “Nobody really goes hungry in America.” “People should just get a job. Then they could feed their family.” And the misconceptions about hunger go on and on. Milwaukee-based Hunger Task Force has been feeding the hungry – and fighting future hunger – since 1974. They attack the issue of hunger on two […]

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The Double Take

July 16, 2013

By Lora Dow I bet you’ve done this yourself. You’re walking along and suddenly you stop in your tracks, retracing your steps to take a second look. Something about what you saw cut through the noise of daily life and captured your attention. I love having double take moments when I’m getting to know a […]

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Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins

April 19, 2012

By Michele Goodrich While re-watching the movie Amistad recently, I was struck by how well it depicted storytelling as a powerful way to establish empathetic human connections. Based on actual events that took place between 1839 and 1841, Amistad portrays the tragic journey of 53 kidnapped Africans aboard a slave ship bound for America, their […]

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Starting a New Tradition

November 16, 2011

By Michele Goodrich I’ve decided to shake things up this Thanksgiving by introducing something new into the traditional way my family spends the day. Typically, our Thanksgiving Day starts with cooking and watching the Macy’s Day Parade on TV, then more cooking and watching football on TV.  After watching more football, we gather at the […]

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Tell Me Your Story

March 14, 2011

by Michele Goodrich We encourage our clients to collect stories from their members, clients, volunteers and donors, especially from those who have had transformational, life-changing experiences with their organization.  Those collected stories are often encouraging and motivational for volunteers and staff.  They are also helpful tools for not-for-profit leaders to use when articulating the significance […]

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Once Upon a Time…

August 20, 2009

Once upon a time. . . Those four simple words have been the gateway to countless stories and adventures for so very long. We all grew up hearing and telling stories, using words to form pictures and to bring people to another place. One of the greatest tools we have as fundraisers for the YMCA […]

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