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Your planned giving offers need to change

It can’t only be about death and taxes. Stop offering your supporters calculators they can’t understand. Stop offering them a so-called opportunity to be in… Read More


9 content offers that work well to generate planned giving leads

In order to generate highly-qualified planned giving leads, you’ve got to offer something to your prospects.  We recommend information that educates prospects about ways they… Read More


Restricted Giving: Why Your Organization Should Offer More Options

Restricted giving doesn’t sound like a good thing, just from the sound of it. The idea of restricting anything, especially giving, doesn’t seem like it… Read More


Why public gratitude and admiration are key to the donor’s hero story

Monomyth ending The universal hero story (monomyth) ends with the hero’s return. The hero returns to his original world. The return confirms his new heroic… Read More


The Pathway to a Significant Philanthropic Investment is Not Paved With Just “Visits”

A common KPI used to evaluate fundraisers is the number of visits they pay on prospects in their portfolios. It should be replaced by PPIs… Read More


How to be an authentic guiding sage for your donors

The guiding sage The hero’s journey is a universal story. In that universal story, the guiding sage plays a powerful archetypal role. This role can… Read More


Why you need to know the difference between your donor’s implicit vs. explicit needs

Too often fundraisers make assumptions about what donors want. Usually, this is driven by top leaders or board members. They decide, for instance, that it… Read More


Why fundraisers who position themselves as a counselor and guiding sage for donors raise more money

Things look bleak. Fundraisers don’t stay. They don’t stay at the nonprofit. They don’t stay in the industry. They are stigmatized by outsiders. They are… Read More


The 8 Components of Engagement Fundraising

There are eight components of my innovative fundraising methodology: 1. Accepting the Pareto principle We’ve called it the 80/20 rule, but it’s more like the… Read More


Why you may need to reframe the donor’s hero story

Reframing the hero story The Hero is a high-ego character. It is at one extreme of the ego-social axis. For those at the opposite end,… Read More


Introducing the Most Effective Legacy Gift Fundraising Strategy You’ve Never Heard Before

Imagine the following two scenarios. Scenario 1: You have 100 donors who have capacity to give a five-figure legacy gift, and they have a fairly… Read More


How to ask for a gift: Do you really have to ask?

When it comes to ‘how to ask for a gift,’ you’ll see there’s a parallel between how we conduct sales here at MarketSmart and how… Read More


13 Reasons Why Donor Prospects Say ‘No’ to Major Gifts Proposals

Why Do Major Gifts Prospects Decide Not To Give? In the vast majority of situations where this happens, the reason is because the fundraiser failed… Read More


How Restricted Gifts Can Actually Be a GOOD Thing — And Why You Should Embrace Them

Fundraising is story world Lab experiments, field experiments, and academic theory agree: Fundraising lives in “story world,” not “commerce world.” Social-emotional story is the engine… Read More


How to Reduce the ‘Cost’ of Philanthropy So Major Donors Give More

Teen Talk Barbie famously stated, “Math is hard.”[1] This may be particularly true in fundraising. Giving is motivated by social emotion. Triggering math, logic, error-detection thoughts can hurt. It… Read More


6 Things Your Donors Don’t Care About (That You Assumed They Did)

This news can be shocking to hear and might even make some fundraisers and nonprofit administrators fall out of their seats. But it’s true. Donors… Read More


How To Use Numbers To Inspire More Giving (and How You Should NOT Use Them)

Numbers For nonprofit managers, numbers are important. Numbers define success or failure. Numbers keep the lights on or off. Numbers can show impact. But numbers,… Read More


You Don’t Need Data, You Need Actionable Intelligence

You have plenty of data. That data probably includes donation recency, frequency, and monetary value. You might also track involvement information (participation in events, volunteerism,… Read More


What The Heck Is Progressive Profiling And Why You Need To Do It?

It’s about their timing, not yours. Fundraisers, as well as their organization’s leadership and board members, need to come to terms with the fact that… Read More


The 8 core components of engagement fundraising and why you desperately need them

Most fundraising is based on what I call “single shot” strategies. For instance, it’s an event, gala or golf outing. Or, perhaps it’s a mailing,… Read More


Engagement Fundraising in 7 simple bullet-points

Focus- Focus your marketing (especially your expensive marketing like face-to-face meetings) on people who have a lot of money Generate leads- Generate highly-qualified leads among… Read More


Why most of your marketing should appeal to donors in the WHY stage of the consideration continuum

Instinct. When I first started helping nonprofits raise major gifts for less, I instinctively knew that the traditional planned giving web content most vendors supplied… Read More


Why your donor prospects lie to you and won’t accept your outreach

If you’re like me, you hate being sold. You can sense when a salesperson is trying to get you to do something you’re not quite… Read More


3 big reasons why nobody talks about the single most important fundraising tactic on earth

Let’s jump right in….  The single most important fundraising tactic on earth is appointment setting. There! I said it! Don’t believe me? The late Jerold Panas… Read More


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