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 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


Posted by DBD Team

Leaders of non-profit organizations across the country have faced tough questions about how to successfully navigate disrupted plans and services due to Covid-19.  How do you lead with confidence in times of uncertainty?  How do you support your team, reconnect with your "why", and move boldly towards positive change and opportunity?  

In the Fall Forward DBD Podcast series, Jon Simons interviews leaders about how they were able to innovate and serve their community during the pandemic.

In the third and final part of the series, Jon Simons interviews founder and DBD Group President Bruce Berglund.

In this twenty-one minute episode, Bruce gives insights into how he was able to stay connected and provide unwavering service to clientele in midst of a crisis, move with confidence despite the uncertainty of the times, and support his team.


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Topics: Nonprofit Leadership, Podcast, Feasibility, Nonprofit Staff, Big L Leadership, DBD Axiom, The Dip, Nonprofit, community, Covid


Posted by DBD Team

The pandemic has made strategic planning a challenging prospect for organizations across the country.   Many teams have had to revisit their mission, vision, or even their values.  Pre-Covid plans no longer fit the times and leaders have had to take a fresh look at community needs.  Given the current landscape, how do we "fall forward" with purpose and planning?    

In part two of the Fall Forward DBD Podcast series, Jon Simons interviews executive coach and fellow DBD Group partner Kellie Wardman about strategic thinking and planning for the modern era.

In this seventeen minute episode, Kellie shares insights about how leaders and teams can get unstuck and take new, energized approaches to thinking and planning for the future.


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Topics: Strategy, Podcast, Planning, Big L Leadership, Nonprofit, Preparation, community, Covid


Posted by DBD Team

Covid-19 disrupted plans and services for non-profit organizations across the country.  Many programs had to be re-conceived and significant changes were made under pressure.  With these unprecedented circumstances, some significant lessons were learned and in some cases, opportunities occurred.  What creative problem solving arose for leaders and teams and what new community partnerships emerged?  

In the Fall Forward DBD Podcast series, Jon Simons interviews leaders about how they were able to innovate and serve their community in challenging times.

In part one, DBD Group's Jon Simons interviews Justin Ihne, CEO of YMCA Plattsburgh in New York.

Justin shares insights into how he and his team were able to choose "creation" over "crisis", pivot, and deliver exceptional service to their community.

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Topics: Podcast, Ymca, Big L Leadership, Family YMCA, Nonprofit, Collaboration, partnership, Covid


Posted by Jan Brogdon

Those who know me, know I am always on the hunt for a good book. Recently, I had a chance to read a particularly great book: Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead.

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Topics: Leadership, Book Club, Big L Leadership


Posted by Bruce Berglund

Part of our work and counsel with our clients is to conduct feasibility studies. We have the opportunity to visit with 25-30 top community leaders and philanthropists, asking them about the image of the non-profit, the proposed plans and who might help raise money and/or be donors of the vision.

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Topics: Leadership, Big L Leadership


Posted by DBD 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 minutiae.

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Topics: Volunteer Leadership, Art Of The Ask, Volunteer Management, Endowment, Campaign Leadership, Annual, Capital, Big L Leadership


Posted 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 – it turns out to work really well in this critical volunteer capacity.

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Topics: Leadership, Campaign Leadership, Volunteers, Big L Leadership


Posted by Bruce Berglund

As I look at our feasibility study data over the last several years, I see a theme emerging. Many of the nonprofits we worked with used to be supported by “Class A,” powerful boards. These boards represented the best leadership their communities had to offer. But over time, the sands have shifted and their boards are no longer as effective as they used to be. Why is that?

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Topics: Volunteer Leadership, Board Development, Nonprofit Leadership, Big L Leadership

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