One of my favorite DBD axioms is “Listen the gift.” We use this as we coach our clients through a major or transformational gift ask. Listening to our prospect is an important piece of the puzzle in creating a meaningful outcome for the donor and the organization.

After the disruption of the past four years, it seems a great time to pause and think differently – not just about the organization, changing demographics, AI, or the shifts in technology that are all affecting our fundraising, but about our donors. They are the heart of it all. 

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Topics: Donor Stewardship, Stewardship, Fundraising, Financial Development, Annual Fundraising, Donor Engagement, Donor Relations, Fund Development, Development


Posted by Lindsay Casavant

As we all strive to foster stronger connections with diverse communities and supporters, we know that effective communication strategies play a key role. Whether you are raising awareness for a cause, mobilizing volunteers, or fundraising, the ability to communicate your message and tell your story clearly and in a compelling way is crucial.  

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Topics: Communications, Stewardship, Donor Communications


Posted by Jason Fry

Years ago, I was working with a very skilled major gifts officer. She had a donor, Elizabeth, who was in her 90s and who was very loyal to the organization. However, this staff member had tried contacting Elizabeth over and over through e-mail or by phone and leaving voicemails. As much as she tried diligently to get in touch with Elizabeth, she was unsuccessful. She started telling herself a variety of stories. Maybe something is wrong or she’s sick? Maybe I upset her with all my emails. Maybe she heard something negative about our organization? Maybe I offended her by asking her for money? Maybe she died?

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Topics: Success Stories, Donor Stewardship, Stewardship, Fundraising, Donor Communications, Financial Development, Donor Management, Donor Relations, Fund Development

Rocking Stewardship: How to Show Gratitude as Only You Can

Posted by Bruce Berglund

During the pandemic we introduced the concept of “radical stewardship”. We reinforced the necessity of lifting up, thanking and honoring those who were our most loyal friends and donors during that difficult time.

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Topics: Donor Stewardship, Stewardship, Fundraising, Gratitude, Appreciation, Collaboration

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

Connecting Donors to What Matters Most

"Connecting you to what matters is what matters most."

This tagline is from Delta Airlines. But when I hear it on a flight, I am not thinking about travel. Instead, I am thinking it is a great reminder of what we should be focused on NOW based on the trending data. This is the donor-centric mantra we should all be repeating in our heads as we work with prospects and contributors.


It's a good time to take a look at donor stewardship at all levels.

A recent report from Chronicle of Philanthropy suggests that the number of small gift donors fell significantly in the first half of 2022 as compared to the previous year.

The number of people making contributions of $100 or less dropped more than 17%, and 8% fewer donors made gifts if $101-$500.

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Topics: Stewardship, Financial Development

5 Ways to Create a Solid Development Foundation in the New Year

Posted by Bruce Berglund


Plans are important, but it's the action that makes the plan a reality. This month, the DBD team will be sharing ways for you to jump-start your work in 2023.

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Topics: Stewardship, Fundraising

Stewardship: What Comes After the For?

Posted by Jon Simons


As the year comes to and end, we are highlighting our best posts and the nonprofit practices that we should all carry into the new year. 

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Topics: Donor Stewardship, Stewardship, Fundraising

Who Do You Need to Thank?

Posted by Brian Keel
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Topics: Stewardship, Nonprofit Management, Gratitude, Nonprofit Leadership

Three Ways to Express Gratitude

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Topics: Stewardship, Nonprofit Management, Gratitude, Nonprofit Leadership

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