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  • 4 reasons why you should spend less time telling donor stories and more time getting your supporters to tell you their life stories

    By Greg Warner on May 22, 2015
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    I bet you already know that each and every one of your supporters has a unique reason why they first got involved with your organization— their story.   But you probably don’t know each of their stories. And you probably haven’t asked each of them to tell you their story. Here’s why you should:   Several researchers have concluded...

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  • Everything you need is already in your database

    By Greg Warner on May 20, 2015
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    In the late 1800’s a motivational speaker gave a speech over 6000 times.  His name was Russell Conwell and his traveling lecture was titled Acres of Diamonds.  He later became the founder and first President of Temple University. It’s an awesome speech. But it’s kind of long. So I’ll summarize it for you by saying that you have acres...

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  • The number one reason why people give is not what you think

    By Greg Warner on May 17, 2015
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    You may have heard that the reason why people give is because they were asked. For many years this saying has motivated fundraisers to get out there and “make the ask”. And to a certain extent they are right. Calls to action are essential for marketing effectiveness. After all if you don’t ask you won’t get. But this is NOT REALLY the reason...

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  • Believe in “The Fantastic Four” if you want to market planned gifts the right way

    By Greg Warner on May 15, 2015
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    When it comes to marketing planned gifts always remember that you want your supporters to think about how they can find meaning in their lives by leaving a gift to your charity.    Here are “The Fantastic Four”— Four ways to help your supporters get past the avoidance response that usually gets triggered when they receive endoflife messages. These are also known as...

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  • 3 powerful planned giving quotes from famous and not-so-famous people

    By Greg Warner on May 13, 2015
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    “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther “A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which...

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  • MarketSmart was in the Washington Post last weekend

    By Greg Warner on May 11, 2015
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    Last weekend’s Sunday paper (business section) included a nice little story about MarketSmart and our recent growth spurt.      

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  • Why silence is golden

    By Greg Warner on May 7, 2015
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    A couple of decades or so ago I was fresh out of school selling advertising space for a local newspaper.  A retailer asked me to write up a proposal and visit him.  I laid the proposal in front of him and started explaining how the ad campaign I developed would increase sales for his business. He kept his eyes focused...

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  • 9 questions to help you determine if your results are good

    By Greg Warner on May 6, 2015
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    Sometimes we don’t want to look at the results of our marketing efforts.  Facing them isn’t easy. Especially if they stink. But I hope you will because you can’t improve upon that which you do not measure.   If you’re up to the task here are 9 questions you should ask yourself to determine if your planned gift marketing results are...

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  • Empathy vs. Perspective… Which One is Better?

    By Greg Warner on May 4, 2015
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    Empathy helps you understand what a prospective donor is feeling.  Perspective helps you understand why they are feeling it.   Which one do you need in order to be a successful fundraiser? Both.   Empathy keeps relationships on track. Empathy helps you remember that your supporter lives on the west coast while you are on Eastern time. Thanks to your empathy you’ll...

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  • Why I Like This Ad

    By Greg Warner on May 1, 2015
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    1. It’s simple and direct 2. It does not include any legal jargon 3. It does not remind the reader about death or the IRS 4. It emphasizes the fact that most living supporters want/desire to have a meaningful life and want to make the world a better place (NOTE: This is what resonates; this is what planned giving is really all about)...

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