The Design
Group Blog

Sharing our thoughts and our work

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You Can Care!

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on June 24, 2019
The woman I’m fortunate to call my wife went for a walk with me in a city that lies along a lakeshore. We came across this quote from Abraham Lincoln in a speech to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society before being elected president.
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Topics: Mission and vision, Vision and mission, deep transformation, leadership paradigm, executive education, Executive Development, leadership excellence, executive leadership training, executive communication, leadership communication, leadership formation, spirituality and business, leadership wisdom, personal branding, relationship capital, executive learning, executive vocation, forward-thinking realized, business success, organizational story, leadership legacy, corporate culture, leadership transition, identifying adaptive change, board engagement, Company Founder, business, reflections, stakeholder engagement, leadership, coaching

How Your CFO (and Other Leaders) Can Build and Strengthen Authentic Donor Relationships

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on April 16, 2019

Raising money isn’t always about asking for money. It is, however, always about making a meaningful connection with a donor.

CFO to CFO; a Non-development Development Conversation

A few years ago, I was working with an organization that had run a deficit for several years and was embarking on a strategic plan to help them pull themselves out of it. The new CFO had a huge role to play in this effort. With her team, we developed several strategies and tactics to address the deficit going forward.

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Topics: deep dive, nonprofit, fundraising and campaign consulting, stakeholder engagement

The Surprising and Powerful Role Volunteers Play in Building Authentic Donor Relationships

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on March 12, 2019

 

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Topics: deep dive, nonprofit, fundraising and campaign consulting, stakeholder engagement

Rethinking a Board Member's Role in Building Authentic Donor Relationships

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on February 13, 2019

Rethinking a Board Member’s Role in Building Authentic Donor Relationships

As you know, board members, key volunteers and senior staff play an important role in fulfilling the mission of your organization. However, even the most successful development offices can forget to utilize these people in their efforts to build relationships with donors.

Through the next several blogs we’ll look at some simple examples of how this can work and why these team members can be an integral part of helping you build successful and lasting donor relationships.

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Topics: deep dive, nonprofit, fundraising and campaign consulting, stakeholder engagement

The Secret to Developing Donor Relationships

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on April 11, 2018

A client once asked me, “What’s the secret to developing relationships with donors?” My response? Time.

Developing real, authentic, and meaningful relationships takes time.  

That may seem like an easy answer, but it’s true. Think of relationships you have with people in your life outside of your organization—whether it’s with a spouse, friend, neighbor or even the person who cuts your hair. I’m willing to bet that these relationships were built over time and through a series of interactions where you each shared things about yourselves. You learned about one another and from one another, discovered commonalities, and your connection grew deeper. 

No shortcuts, just time together.   

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Topics: deep dive, nonprofit, stakeholder engagement

Initiating Authentic Donor Relationships

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on March 6, 2018

Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion said that objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This law also applies to your organization’s relationships with its donors. Authentic relationships in motion tend to stay in motion. By motion I mean the relationship deepens and becomes more meaningful to you, the donor, and the organization.

So, how are authentic donor relationship created and set into motion? Let’s explore. 

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Topics: deep dive, nonprofit, stakeholder engagement

Developing Authentic Donor Relationships Takes Time and Effort

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on February 7, 2018

A friend once asked me how long it would take to get his organization ready for a capital campaign. A rather curious question, so I asked, “Can you tell me more about what it means to be ready?”

My friend, a board member, then s hared with me that the new development
director had a lot of energy but was
having a hard time getting out of the office. Donors gave on a regular basis,
but that the database was a little sketchy. And while donors loved the organization, they had not been cultivated.

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Topics: strategic planning, deep dive, nonprofit, fundraising and campaign consulting, stakeholder engagement

Why be a part of something greater?

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on January 5, 2018

Welcome to A Cause Greater. 

Over the course of my career working alongside nonprofit leaders, several themes have consistently come up in our conversations. My intention for this blog is to dive into these themes and produce concise posts that are both meaningful and actionable for nonprofit leadership.

I hope that you find value in this content and become a return reader. If you have questions or comments for me along the way, please use the comments area below.

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Topics: strategic planning, leadership coaching, deep dive, nonprofit, fundraising and campaign consulting, stakeholder engagement