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Building a Winning Team

January 23, 2017

By Robin Jordan This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Build a winning team.   For the past few weeks, NFL teams have been in a show down to compete in the big event – the Super Bowl. The preparation for this event, […]

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The Value of Time

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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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Making Leadership Less Lonely

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July 20, 2015

By Bruce Berglund One of the more interesting trends we’ve noticed in capital campaigns is a shift in leadership structure. Instead of individual chairs, we’re commonly seeing co-chairs, tri-chairs, honorary chairs and more. While this may seem like a suspect idea at first – if everyone is in charge, no one is in charge – […]

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A Clear Yes

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May 21, 2015

By Lora Dow One of our core beliefs is that you’re only as strong as the team you surround yourself with. That’s true for the Donor By Design team, and we see it over and over again in the staff and volunteer teams we work with. I recently finished the book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit […]

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The Gift of Giving

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October 9, 2014

By Bruce Berglund This is the second of a two-part conversation with my friend, Lee Heyward, as part of our What Matters podcast series. (Did you miss the first part? Listen to it now.) In this half of the conversation, Lee reflected on ways to help volunteers grow in their ability to ask for money. (Hint: It starts with challenging […]

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Don’t Water the Rocks

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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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Driving Leaders

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July 17, 2014

By Bruce Berglund   Those of you who have followed my blogs or have attended a presentation I’ve given know that one of my favorite fundraising axioms is Leadership is Everything.   After we do the hard work of identifying and recruiting “Big L” leaders, we need to use this new-found leadership asset wisely.   […]

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Don’t Neglect Your Family

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July 8, 2014

By Lora Dow Part of any fundraising campaign involves the solicitation of gifts from board and staff. Sometimes we call this the “family campaign.” It often comes at the beginning of an annual effort or during the “quiet phase” of a capital campaign. While it’s something we always do, I’d challenge you to consider how […]

Posted in: Annual, Blog, Capital, Endowment
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Make it a Great Job

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April 22, 2014

I recently finished a feasibility study for the YMCA of Greater Dayton in Ohio. During the study, I spoke with 27 community and business leaders, many of whom had a past or present leadership role with the Y. What I heard in these meetings reinforced what I had suspected going in: This is a very […]

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The Overlooked Volunteer

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February 11, 2014

By Peggy Vinson As I travel around the country working with clients, I always emphasize the importance of finding the right volunteer leaders for your fundraising endeavors. These are usually outgoing “ring leaders” whom others rally around. They have a huge impact on campaign success. But lately I’ve realized that in my passion for strong […]

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Resolutions: What to Stop

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January 28, 2014

By Michele Goodrich An article from the December 30, 2013 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy suggests an unconventional approach to New Year’s resolutions for nonprofit leaders. Instead of providing a list of things to add; it recommends things to stop doing. The list was compiled with input from experts in the nonprofit field and […]

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Trust vs. Structure

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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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Ants, Natural Disasters and Fundraising

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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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Are your volunteers MIA?

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March 27, 2013

By Jon Simons Disengaged. Noncommittal. Weak. Out-of-touch. Dead wood! These are the words I often hear when some non-profit leaders describe their volunteers and boards of directors. There exists a constant tension between admiration and frustration when it comes to working with volunteers. We admire their selfless dedication to mission but become frustrated with their […]

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Inspiring Volunteers

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March 29, 2011

by Peggy Vinson As I work with Ys around the country on strengthening their annual campaigns, one of my most important tools is Campaign Manager™.  Campaign Manager is a tool for staff to plan their annual campaign and measure the behaviors and actions that will get them to goal. While Campaign Manager is a great […]

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