Three Financial Aspects Of Your Capital Campaign To Know Before You Start

Posted by Brian Keel

I recently joined a meeting with a new client that is about to embark on his first capital campaign. He asked a great question, “What do you wish you would’ve known before your first capital campaign?”

Hindsight is usually 20/20 so I was grateful for this great question and the ability to help this client avoid some preventable pitfalls.

A few tips came to mind:

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Topics: Capital Campaign, Goals, Financial Development, Capital Fundraising, finance, financial management

A Tale of Two Letters

Posted by Michele Goodrich

If you've worked with us for any amount of time, you've surely heard us talk about our axioms. These are tried and true best practices and beliefs we hold related to nonprofit work. In today’s blog, Michele Goodrich reflects on our axiom: “The best cultivation is a great gift-giving experience.”

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Topics: Stewardship, Nonprofit Management, Thank You Letter, Axiom

How Big Is Your Frying Pan?

Posted by Kellie Wardman

There once was a little girl whose grandfather took her fishing. She loved being out on the lake. He patiently taught her how to bait, cast and reel them in. But the little girl noticed that her grandfather threw all the large fish back into the lake, and he only kept the smaller ones.

When she asked him why, he laughed and said, “I can’t seem to find my large frying pan. The one I have is only 7 inches, and so I can only fit the small fish in there.”

Do you ever feel like your non-profit has only 7-inch frying pans? Do you throw out some of the big ideas before you even get to try them on?

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Topics: Strategy, Relationship Building, strategic planning

Fundraiser of the Year

Posted by Jan Brogdon

I’m nominating Alice S. for “Fundraiser of the Year.”

While that award may not exist exactly, this spunky, driven young lady has much to teach even the most seasoned development professionals.

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Topics: Fundraising, How To Ask, Art Of The Ask, Asking, Inspiration, Relationship Building, Communication, Making The Ask, Donor

The Bridge from Fear to Hope

Posted by Jason Fry

One evening in early December of 2020, I got a text from a friend (who is a County Commissioner) that there was a mob of armed protesters outside her house. Her 12-year-old son was home alone at the time. He called her while she was at a Health District meeting that would determine whether our county would issue a mask mandate. Can you imagine how afraid he must’ve been?

Events like these have happened across the country. The storming of the U.S. Capitol lingers as an inevitable pinnacle in a ramping up of hate and discontent.

These events were inspired by a sense of fear, and were intended to stoke fear in others. Another friend of mine said how those events made her “afraid to even go outside to take a run” that afternoon.

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Topics: Fundraising, Fear, Generosity, Big L Leadership, Giving, Asking For Help, Gift Of Giving, Kindness

What To Do With A No

Posted 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 as a chair for this campaign? No.

It wasn’t fun to hear, but it didn’t mean the end of the relationship, just a change in strategy. What is the next step after the no? Do you move on? Or do you re-approach in a new way?

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Topics: Fundraising, How To Ask, Annual Fundraising, Fear, Giving, Making The Ask

What We're Reading

Posted by DBD Team

One of our axioms is “Keep learning, stewarding, and sharing.” We’re big believers in the power of books.  

Sure, we’ve got a few good suspense and historical fiction novels on our bedside tables, but today we’d like to share a few non-fiction gems that have inspired us for work – and life.

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Topics: Book Club, Nonprofit Management, Goal Setting, Big L Leadership, Axiom, DBD Axiom, Communication, Productivity, Time Management, Happiness

ChatGPT & Fundraising: A Primer

What will the impact of AI be on your work? How can you use AI tools to streamline your donor communications? What even is ChatGPT? All of these are legitimate questions that nonprofit leaders are tackling. Consider this a primer to jumpstart your own usage of this technology.

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Topics: Fundraising, Donor Communications, Fundraising Campaign, Productivity, Time Management

Creating a Culture of Inquiry

Posted by Richard Clegg

Do your board members regularly ask inquisitive and challenging questions? Does your board have a culture that promotes dialogue and debate?

An often-overlooked strategy of effective boards is to create and/or nurture a true culture of inquiry. Great boards engage members in a way that truly enlists their collective skill sets, thoughts, and differences of opinion. Dialogue with debate is a great thing to have in board meetings. Open discussions that include diverse perspectives position the board to make the best choices.

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Topics: Culture, Board Management, Collaboration, Leadership & Boards, board governance

Redefining Success

Posted by Jason Fry

We raised $5.7 million.


We raised $5.7 million!

Why does one character change that statement so much?

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Topics: Leadership, Goal Setting, Mission, Goals, Financial Development, Vision, strategic planning, Metrics

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