Posted by Lora Dow on Sep. 21, 2015

    Recently, someone I know received an annual campaign appeal from an organization that he has had a long and deep relationship with. His family has made major gifts to the organization, and they’ve made the organization a planned giving beneficiary. In this particular appeal, he and his wife were misidentified with an incorrect first name and salutation. At the same time, three other letters, with different names but listing his address, also appeared at his door.

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    Topics: Donor Stewardship, Annual, Data Management


    Posted by Michele Goodrich on Apr. 7, 2015

    Recently, a charity lost two generous annual donors because of a mistake that could have been avoided.

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    Topics: Donor Stewardship, Annual, Direct Mall


    Posted by Peggy Vinson on Jan. 14, 2015

    As I work with nonprofit staff and volunteer leaders, I often get this question: “How do you ask someone for a $1,000+ gift?”

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    Topics: Capital Campaign, Major Gifts, Annual Campaign, Annual


    Posted by Michele Goodrich on Dec. 8, 2014

    It is estimated that 30% of charitable contributions are made between Thanksgiving and Christmas and 10% of those are made in the last 48 hours of the year. With that being the case, it is not too late to capture a share of this year’s holiday generosity by launching a year-end fundraising effort!

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    Topics: Fundraising, Annual, Year-End Giving, Year-End


    Posted by Bruce Berglund on Dec. 4, 2014

    At Donor By Design, we are guided by a series of axioms: core concepts that shape our work and have proven their worth over and over again. In this series, we’re digging into these axioms and clarify how they can help you achieve your development goals. Read Part 1 or Part 2

    For years, the big fundraising lie has been the donor pyramid. You know what I am talking about: the image of a pyramid that shows we need a large gift at the top, a few more at the next level and so on until you get to the base of the pyramid. Nonprofit leaders have shared this with their boards and donors, but, if you do regression analysis on campaigns, the infamous pyramid looks more like a donor pagoda or, as I like to call it, the donor champagne glass.

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    Topics: Major Gifts, Annual, Capital, Donor Pyramid


    Posted by Danny Maier on Nov. 28, 2014

    It’s beginning to look a lot like… end of season appeal time. Yes, December is the number one month for giving. I received five appeals this week: two from my universities, my daughter’s university (like the five-figure tuition is not enough!), and two others.

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    Topics: Annual, Year-End Giving, Direct Mail


    Posted by Peggy Vinson on Sep. 10, 2014

    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 to have the right to ask for an annual major gift in a few months? This question is critical to enhancing the major gifts portion of any annual campaign, and will also be a cultivation step for future capital giving for these annual donors.
    But one executive put it perfectly when identifying what’s good use of her time right now. Simply put, she said “don’t water the rocks!”
    What does it mean to “not water the rocks”?

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    Topics: Leadership, Major Gifts, Annual, Volunteers

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