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Donor By Design Group LLC
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The origin of the phrase “getting down to brass tacks” is most often attributed to the haberdashery trade where “…in order to be more accurate than the rough-and-ready measuring of a yard of material by holding it out along an arm's length, cloth was measured between brass tacks which were set into a shop's counter.” This technique allowed for more accurate measurement and a much more efficient process in custom hat-making.

On the other hand, the much-used phrase in corporate strategy meetings of a “30,000 foot view” is more easily understood to originate from the cruising altitude of commercial airplanes. It, of course, alludes to seeing the big picture.

These two metaphors each characterize a type of perspective. In an organizational setting, they could be referred to as operational versus aspirational. In a dynamic organization, it’s critical to know when to zoom in on something, and when to zoom out.

As part of making your case, whether for a capital project or an annual appeal, there must be a thoughtful balance of aspiration and operation.

How do you strike that balance and give donors both a dream and the confidence that you can make it reality?

Learn more from Jason Fry in today's DBD blog!

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"My journey to loving fundraising starts with a story. I started my career as a young enthusiastic program director in the nonprofit world. I was hired by the YMCA and my area of expertise was fitness. Picture leg warmers, headbands, and those very becoming leotards. While I might be dating myself, some of you know exactly what I am talking about."

In today's blog, Robin's story starts with a dread of fundraising that evolved into a passion for it. Learn what sparked her passion and see how it could help your staff team, volunteer board - or even you - learn to love fundraising.

http://donorbydesign.com/how-i-learned-to-love-fundraising/

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One of our best pieces of advice for major gift fundraising sounds a bit awkward and unnecessary at first. That advice?

Ask for permission to ask.

Ask for permission to ask? Doesn’t that add an unnecessary step? Wouldn’t it take a lot less time to present your case, respectfully ask for the gift, allow the potential donor to consider the request, respond to their questions and proceed from there to finalize the solicitation?

How does it even work?

Learn more in today's DBD blog...

http://donorbydesign.com/asking-for-permission/

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On multiple occasions recently, we have heard nonprofit leaders discussing the upcoming tsunami heading across North America: the changing leadership guard in the C-level suites in large and small organizations in communities of all sizes, demographics and genres of service.

If we all sense its approach, what can we do to help diminish the risk and increase the opportunity to make these transitions beneficial and not catastrophic for the future of the sector?

Learn more from Jan Brogdon in today's DBD blog:

http://donorbydesign.com/a-tsunami-is-on-the-way/

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Stewardship Doesn’t Just Happen

Anyone in non-profit work, especially those in the financial development field, understand the importance of donor stewardship. But like any important objective, without a deliberate and thoughtful effort donor stewardship can fall through the cracks.

In our Field Notes publication we offer tips and resources to support your fundraising efforts. In this issue, we share four key steps to getting started and making your donor stewardship more purposeful.

Are you ready to show your donors some love?

http://donorbydesign.com/resources/field-notes/

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One of the most dangerous words in the English language is the word “perfect.”

While the concept feels good and worthy of pursuit, it is – in the end – a fool’s errand. I can only imagine the number of unfulfilled goals and dreams that die on the unreachable alter of perfection.

In today's blog, Jon Simons offers an alternative to perfection, especially for non-profit staff and volunteers that find themselves holding back from donor conversations, worried they might not be "good enough."

http://donorbydesign.com/the-pursuit-of-perfection/

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Recently, Michele Goodrich and Peggy Vinson interviewed Jen Kruel from the YMCA of Dodge County as part of the NAYDO 365 podcast series. With their permission, we're sharing it with you.

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.

Give it a listen and then let us know in the comments what you’ve done – or will be doing in 2017 – to rethink debt.

http://donorbydesign.com/rethinking-debt-reduction/

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Today we have the pleasure to announce the newest member of Donor By Design Group.

Jason Fry joins us as a Senior Consultant after more than 15 years working with not-for-profit organizations. He has served in diverse program and leadership roles working with a variety of arts and youth-serving organizations. Most recently, Jason served as the CEO of the Wood River YMCA for six years, and was the chair of the Idaho YMCA State Alliance.

As a passionate coach and leader, Jason brings an empowering approach that positions teams to maximize all they have to offer. He understands the power of genuine philanthropy and what it takes to develop an organizational culture to achieve its dreams.

He earned a degree in psychology from Wittenberg University followed by a stint in the late '90s driving a 1976 Dodge RV around the U.S. on an "anthropological study." After receiving his master's degree in performance psychology from Ithaca College, Jason settled down in Idaho where he has spent the past 15 years serving not-for-profit organizations and enjoying the great outdoors with his family.

Please join us in welcoming Jason to the Donor By Design team!

http://donorbydesign.com/jason-fry/

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This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors.

Today’s topic: Seven secrets of successful stewards.

Over the years, we've heard many stories about nonprofit leaders who've excelled at showering their donors with love. It seems that these “super stewards” always seem to know just the right thing to say or do at the perfect time and in the ideal situation to makes their donors feel treasured, valued and vital to the organizations they support.

Michele Goodrich shares secrets to successful stewardship in today's DBD blog!

http://donorbydesign.com/seven-secrets-of-successful-stewards/

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It's true. We love you guys.

We love that every day we get to work alongside amazing non-profit leaders like you. We are inspired by your courage, passion and vision. Better yet, we like you. There is something special about people that dedicate their lives to helping others and making the world a better place.

So today, on Valentine's Day when love and affection is in the air, please accept our most heartfelt appreciation. To our clients: thank you for making us part of your team. To our colleagues in philanthropy: thank you for the work you do in changing lives and communities.

Hugs and fist bumps -
Your Friends at Donor By Design
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