If you were welcoming guests to your home, you most probably would clean and de-clutter to make sure it was ready for visitors. Let me challenge you to do the same in your office these first few weeks of 2019. More than just cleaning off your desk, use the time to do a real inventory of the state of things before you launch into the new year.


    When was the last time you have made an online gift to your own organization? Make a few small gifts and see how quickly you are thanked by “the system” that you have created. Is the donate button easy to find? Are you lifting up current statistics? Does your website in general represent your organization with excellence? If you online experience isn’t easy then make sure to take notes and get it fixed as soon as possible!


    I’m not talking about printed materials here. I’m talking about the heart of your case for support – is it clear and urgent? Does it focus on the Why vs What? If your case is foggy, take some time to tighten it up. Ask volunteers and staff about your case and how you might make it more compelling or urgent. There are so many great causes to support. Consider how can you cut through the noise and be noticed by donors in 2019.

    Donor Stewardship

    Dust off your stewardship plan and make sure it reflects many thoughtful ways of staying in contact. How will you interact with your donors before you ask them for support again in 2019? And, if you can’t find that plan or, umm, never had one – perhaps this DBD blog could be helpful.


    How have you thanked your volunteers? Perhaps it’s time for a quick note sharing your success of last year and thanking them in advance for their gifts of time, treasure and talent?

    Your Heart

    Does your heart still beat fast and hard for the mission of your organization? Let’s be honest, sometimes the grind of the work pushes the passion and connection with your case to the side. Even if you are in a good place, I would highly recommend taking a few hours to put a “face to the case”. Get out and see first-hand the amazing work your organization does. Perhaps a staff field trip in early January will help everyone connect back to the mission and passion of your work.


    All the best in 2019! Take some time in the next few weeks to get your “house” cleaned up for the upcoming donor guests and visitors!

    Posted by Bruce Berglund on Jan. 1, 2019
    Bruce Berglund

    Written by Bruce Berglund

    Bruce Berglund, CFRE, is the founder and President of Donor by Design Group, LLC, a national firm providing comprehensive fundraising services to nonprofits, churches, community colleges and schools. Donor By Design is currently managing more than $1 Billion in capital, annual and endowment campaigns. Bruce is a highly sought-after writer, speaker and teacher.

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