Posted by Bruce Berglund on Mar. 30, 2021

    By Bruce Berglund and Jan Brogdon

    Too often, major gift efforts are confined to the framework of a campaign. We ask for these gifts when we have a goal, but we really don’t work to cultivate those major gift donors between and before campaigns. In a time where capital campaigns were slowed or even stopped, some organizations used 2020 to grow a deeper connection with major gift donors. How can the learnings from their experiences, and yours, shape the way you move forward from here?

    Any of you that have worked with us know that we believe Case, Leadership, Prospects and a Plan are the key elements of successful fundraising. Consider how you can use this structure as you analyze your own situation.

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    Topics: Leadership, Learning, Donation, Major Gifts, Case For Support, Asking, Goals, Nonprofit Leadership, Case Statement, Fundraising Campaign, Gift Of Giving, Covid


    Posted by DBD Team on Dec. 16, 2020

    Earlier this week, MacKenzie Scott announced that she had given more than $4 billion to 384 organizations around the country. Some of our clients were fortunate enough to receive one of those gifts. As we read Ms. Scott’s Medium post and learned more about the organizations chosen by her and her team, we realized there are many lessons to be learned from this generous act.

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    Topics: Leadership, Donation, Major Gifts, Nonprofit Leadership, Generosity, Giving, Nonprofit


    Posted by Jason Fry on Oct. 8, 2019

    I met with an experienced Major Gift Officer recently who shared a story about a donor he’d been close to for many years. That donor had made a transformational gift to the organization he represented within his first 3 months on the job. The CEO, management team and the board were awestruck that this new guy magically pulled in one of the biggest gifts they’d ever received. The prevailing thought was, “Wow – this is what fundraising should be! Just find the rich people and ask them for money.”

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    Topics: Fundraising, Major Gifts, Nonprofit Management, Art Of The Ask


    Posted by Peggy Vinson on Feb. 1, 2018

    When people think of fundraising, they usually are thinking about The Ask – and that can be very intimidating. This month, the Donor By Design Team is taking on How to Ask. Today, Peggy urges us to trust our donors… and the process.

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    Topics: Fundraising, Major Gifts, How To Ask, Art Of The Ask

    FROM 80/20 TO ONE ON ONE

    Posted by Danny Maier on Aug. 8, 2017

    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


    Posted by Danny Maier on Mar. 27, 2017

    In Part I of this series, we discussed the hazards of being in the “special events business” versus true fundraising. If you recognized your organization in that post, your next question is probably: “How do we become an organization more focused on major gifts?” The answer is all about culture change.

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    Topics: Fundraising, Major Gifts, Culture Of Philanthrophy, Special Events


    Posted by DBD Team on Feb. 16, 2017

    Recently, Michele Goodrich and Peggy Vinson from our team interviewed Jen Kruel from the YMCA of Dodge County as part of the NAYDO 365 podcast series. With their permission, we’re posting it here as well because the conversation tells the story of a small organization climbing out of a paralyzing debt situation. How they did it, and how their community rallied around this Y, has lessons for any organization considering taking on debt… or working to get out of it.


    While Jen’s remarks come from her recent experiences in a YMCA, any non-profit can be served by reframing how they think – and talk – about debt with donors, with the community and even to themselves. 

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    Topics: Major Gifts, Volunteer Management, Annual Campaign, Annual Fundraising, Podcast, Ymca


    Posted by Danny Maier on Oct. 31, 2016

    Bo Schembechler Source

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    Topics: Major Gifts, Annual, Capital, Donor Prospect, Giving Usa


    Posted by Peggy Vinson on Jul. 26, 2016

    In this series, the DBD Team will take a deeper look at some of the axioms we use when working with our clients. In today’s blog, Peggy reflects on our axiom: “The Best Predictor of Future Giving Is Current Giving.” To read other axiom blogs, click here.

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    Topics: Major Gifts, Axiom


    Posted by Bruce Berglund on Jan. 29, 2016

    Being a fundraising volunteer isn’t easy. One of the main reasons why is that it is so personal. It’s you, connecting with your peers, possibly even your friends or family, to ask them to be generous towards a cause you believe in. For even the most passionate volunteer, the experience can be a little nerve-wracking.

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    Topics: Volunteer Development, Fundraising, Major Gifts, Art Of The Ask, Annual

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