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Buzz vs Honey

May 9, 2017

By Danny Maier When you are conducting an annual campaign, capital effort, or even an endowment program, publicity can be helpful. Positive “buzz” helps improve community understanding and support. But too often, we rely on buzz to do all the work. We assume that some good publicity will raise money for us. Yes, an ad […]

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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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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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Gift-Wrapped

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 […]

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Best of DBD 2016: Asking

December 20, 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? Asking for a Gift. Asking for a Gift When people say they don’t like raising money, what they’re usually really saying is that they don’t […]

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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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The Times Are A-Changin’

December 12, 2016

By Michele Goodrich Bob Dylan’s song, “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” came out in the mid-1960s when the largest population cohort in history, known as the Baby Boomers, emerged and began to shake up the status-quo. Their attitudes and beliefs were very different from previous generations and their collective influence changed almost every aspect […]

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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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Entering the Unknown

October 3, 2016

By Lora Dow This October, the Donor By Design team is tackling spooky situations in development. Join us this month for hair-raising stories and cautionary tales of frightful fundraising! Recently, I’ve had the honor to be asked to chair a fundraising committee of a community group. The committee is mostly made up of long-time volunteers, one […]

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Reinvigorating Volunteer Teams

May 31, 2016

By Jan Brogdon 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, Jan Brogdon reflects on our axiom: Boards Don’t Heal Themselves. During the middle of the most recent economic downturn, I sat in a very challenging Finance […]

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Hidden Agendas

March 8, 2016

By the Donor By Design Team Our board just isn’t a fundraising board. We hear that feedback from nonprofit leaders – both staff and volunteer – nearly every day. Whether it’s said with regret or with frustration, nonprofits, schools and churches are clearly puzzled as to why their board seems disengaged or focused on less-important […]

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Powering Through the Dip

March 2, 2016

By Peggy Vinson Every non-profit leader is familiar with the feeling: somewhere, about half-way through the campaign, you hit a dip. It happens every year, but I’m always amused at how unexpected this seems to everyone. An annual campaign may not last as long as a capital campaign, but it’s not a sprint. So let’s […]

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The Value of Time

October 8, 2015

I recently spent some time with a non-profit CEO who spoke about the importance of volunteers to an organization. He said that of all the things someone can give you — time, talent or treasure — time is the one thing that cannot be replenished. One can make more money. Talent doesn’t wear out. But […]

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Change the Request

July 27, 2015

By Michele Goodrich A relatively common concern among nonprofit executives and development directors is that their board members are reluctant to ask for money. It isn’t due to a lack of effort by the staff members. They provide prospect lists, campaign materials and fundraising training. They set up fundraising competitions, send inspiring emails, make reminder […]

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Bite-Sized Pieces

June 24, 2015

By Lora Dow Are you a to-do list person? Maybe you subscribe to the GTD method or prefer old-fashioned pen and paper lists. Whatever the case, you’ve probably come to realize that getting a group of people (fundraising volunteers, for example) rallied around a to-do list is a much trickier exercise than tackling your own […]

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