A Donor Bliss Experience

The personal touch

Eric Billman presents the Lionel Billman Memorial Scholarship
(Cass County Community Foundation)

Last night, Eric had the privilege of presenting this year’s Lionel Billman Memorial Scholarship award at his hometown high school.

About 60 students received scholarships, some received multiple scholarships. Amounts were to cover book costs ($500) to full tuition ($180,000 for four years).

In addition to a number of memorial scholarships, awards were given by organizations representing The Arts; Primary and Secondary Education; specific student activities; A variety of community, regional and national Organizations; Student Government; Scholarly Groups; Higher Education; Local Businesses; the US Military and others.

Attending the ceremony was a great reminder of why we at Donor Bliss Consulting do what we do — our clients are able to give generously through achieving their mission.

The Lionel Billman Memorial Scholarship was established by Lionel’s widow, Elizabeth about 17 years ago. Because Lionel was devoted to his hometown, the scholarship is awarded to a student who desires to return and give to the community after higher education.

Quralew Co-op Wins Top Prize

Earlham College Creative Capitalism Competition

Sometimes we just have to brag a little and this is one of those days. Through the past three months we have been coaching a team of students who have big plans for making an impact on employment and waste management in Ethiopia. Their team leader, Bini, has been a part of our lives for the past two school years and we were happy to share our strategic planning expertise with his team.

Their journey included many hours of working out the business numbers and preparing for incremental presentations. Along the way, they created a professional level two minute infomercial video and made a mock “Shark Tank” pitch. Three of the team are devoted members of the track team. Did I mention that they are also full time students and none of them business majors? One is also a freshman.

On Saturday, we attended the final competition. Four other teams had great ideas in various stages of implementation. All competitors were passionate about their ideas for saving the world. We just about held our breath for the entire 20 minutes of our team’s presentation.

Please join us in congratulating the Quralew Co-op team on their win. They worked hard for it!

Book Announcement

Donor Bliss Consulting

We are pleased to announce that we submitted the manuscript of our book, The Art and Science of Donor Bliss, to our publisher.  It has been a 20-month journey of meeting many wonderful people and hearing their giving stories, many of which are featured in the book. Our thanks to everyone who has supported us, helped us and told their stories about the Joy of Giving.

Please celebrate this major step with us. We anticipate a release date sometime this summer and will let everyone know when the book is available.

Book club for Nonprofit Leaders


A few months ago, a hand full of nonprofit leaders in our town started a nonprofit book club. We meet once a month to discuss a book that is either about nonprofits or has lessons that can be applied to nonprofits. I agreed to lead the discussions and drafted an initial list of suggested books for the year. It has been a very rewarding and fun experience.

Any given month we have between 5 and 15 participants. We meet in the Sherlock Holmes room in Two Sisters Bookstore. Someone brings snacks and wine.

The conversations are as much about sharing common concerns as they are about the book we are reading. We have a wide variety of organizations –  environmental, arts, schools, a couple funders and a couple consultants. I know I come away encouraged from seeing our work with new perspectives.

My goal for this new year is to share the conversation and books we discuss. Over the next several weeks, we will catch up on the first three books:

Good to Great for the Social Sector, Jim Collins

The Spirituality of Fundraising, Henri Nouwen

Start With Why, Simon Sinek (this link for the book summary and meeting discussion)

Next month we are reading Give and Take by Adam Grant.

We hope those who read this blog will also gain something from our conversations as well.

Institutional Benefits Of Donor Bliss

What are the benefits an institution realizes when it strives to achieve a culture of philanthropy that promotes Donor Bliss?

Join Eric for a “Donor Bliss in a Minute” video to learn how institutions can benefit from an awareness of Donor Bliss.

Where can your institution use more bliss? 

Magnifying Impact

Benefits of Donor Bliss

Making Donor Bliss an Institutional Priority

Donors who desire to make an impact with their resources are on a life-long journey that typically includes numerous interactions with nonprofit institutions.
While describing this journey, Eric addresses the challenges institutions experience in engaging donors. 

At each step of the journey, Eric offers tips to institutions to encourage them to create positive experiences for their donors.

Eric weaves stories about joyful giving within this webinar as he advocates a goal of developing a culture of philanthropy within your organization. 

Want to learn more about Millennials and nonprofit board service? Contact us to receive a copy of Eric’s recent paper: Millennials and Nonprofit Boards.

You can also view the original 45 minute recording of this webinar through U.S. Trust’s platform. Visit https://www.veracast.com/webcasts/ustrust/webinars2018/76230768085.cfm

Millennials and Board Service

How do you engage this generation with your nonprofit efforts?
What should you do to engage them in board service?
Do you have two minutes to watch a video?

Eric answers these questions from the recent webinar recording session for US Trust Philanthropic Solutions Group.  He provides thoughtful insights gleaned from a survey of nonprofit peers from around the world.

We have re-recorded the webinar in its entirety and it is now available on a separate blog posting

Want to learn more about Millennials and board service, please contact us to receive a copy of Eric’s recent paper on Millennials and Nonprofit Boards.