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    CAPTAIN OF THE KICKBALL TEAM

    Posted by Nathan Sprenger

    Whether we realize it or not, each of us has been applying data to decision-making processes since our youth. Remember that time you were selected to be the captain of the kickball team? The pressure of selecting the best team rested solely on YOUR shoulders. If you were like me, a million strategic thoughts went through your head as you tried to recruit the best team to ensure you won the game. The first step was evaluating the group of classmates staring back at me. What do I know about them? Are they a fast runner? A good kicker? A good fielder? My friend? After quickly assessing the answers to those questions, the selection process began.

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Strategy, Donor Prospect, Donor, Nonprofit, Prospect, development team

    SLOW AND STEADY

    Posted by Kim Hinrichs

    Recently my family of four sat down to a "friendly" game of Monopoly.  My two competitive sons and husband were eager to gobble up any property that became available to dominate the game and thereby be proclaimed Monopoly champion.  

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation, Donor Relations, Relationship Building

    INFORMATION VS AFFIRMATION

    Posted by Jon Simons

    Recently, I met with a client to prepare for a feasibility study. We were reviewing a list of potential key community leaders to interview as part of the study. As we assessed each of the potential study participants (rating them based on their potential interest, access, influence and affluence), it became clear that each person identified was a big fan of the organization and most had also been recent donors. Great, right?

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    Topics: Feasibility Study, Donor Cultivation, Donor Engagement

    TELL ME EVERYTHING

    Posted by Peggy Vinson

    Often non-profit leaders get caught up in anxiously telling donors “everything.” They blurt out stats about programs and stories. They hasten to show impact and community need. As non-profit staff and volunteers, they have great pride in the mission so it’s easy for them to go on and on about what’s happening with the organization.

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation, Donor Engagement

    THE ANTI-DECIDER

    Posted by Danny Maier

    I’ll preface this blog by saying it’s a bit of a tough-love message. Learning about the “Anti-Decider” has been a hard lesson for me over the years. And I confess, I still occasionally give my most earnest advice on this subject…followed in some regrettable cases with the kind truth of, “I warned you.”

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation, Philanthropy, Stewardship

    COAT AND TIE

    Posted by Michele Goodrich

    A nonprofit executive director (ED) has a complex role with myriad demands on their time. As a result, one of the concerns we often hear from them is that they struggle with having adequate time to develop relationships and cultivate donors. It isn’t that they don’t know how important donor cultivation is; it’s just difficult to make it a priority over other equally important responsibilities.

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    Topics: Donor Stewardship, Donor Cultivation

    FROM 80/20 TO ONE ON ONE

    Posted by Danny Maier

    There was a rule of giving I learned early in my career: you will receive 80% of your charitable giving from about 20% of your donors. This draws from the Pareto Principle, first postulated by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. New studies indicate that as much as 98% of your charitable donations are now likely coming from only 2% of your donors.

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation, Major Gifts

    SEEING YOURSELF IN THE STORY

    Posted by Jon Simons

    This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways grow the relationship with our donors… moving beyond the thank you note to a deeper connection. Today’s topic: how do you help a donor see themselves in the story? 

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation, Stewardship, Donor Love

    DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH FRIENDS?

    Posted by Jan Brogdon

    On a recent feasibility interview I met with a long-time community philanthropist who has been involved in more campaigns than maybe any other leader in my community. In the middle of a lovely question and answer session he leaned back in his seat to share a personal story that I am sharing with you here…

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    Topics: Donor Cultivation

    STANDING ON THE ICEBERG

    Posted by Bruce Berglund

    Over the years I’ve had the great joy of working with hundreds of non-profit CEOs/Executive Directors (EDs) and development staff. A few years ago, a young executive director called me. He was frustrated and worried that he wasn’t doing his job. Why? He wasn’t bringing in enough big checks.

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    Topics: Leadership, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising

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