Smartideas

Straight talk about major, mid-level and legacy gift fundraising to help you be a better fundraiser

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Always Remember – What Matters Most Is the DONOR’s Hero Story, Not Yours

Philanthropy is powerful. It can do more for the donor than just consuming more stuff would do. It can provide personally meaningful impact. It can… 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


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


Why fundraisers must understand the 6 common elements of every donor’s hero story

As fundraisers, what exactly do we have to offer donors? Their gift goes away. Even if we call it an “investment,” it doesn’t give them… Read More


How to make your fundraising ask more effective — according to research, not hearsay

Story review A story progresses through Backstory and setting These establish motivation from the main character’s original identity. The inciting incident This is the main… Read More


How to help your donors score a victory and make an impact

What’s it about? An effective fundraising story isn’t just a good story. It must do something. It must lead to a gift. This means the… Read More


How to Respond When a Major Gifts Prospect Says ‘No’ to Making a Gift

No matter how well your major gifts conversation goes, sometimes the prospect still turns down the opportunity to make a transformational gift. The question for… Read More


3 Big Reasons Why An ‘Ask’ Is Mostly About Your Donor’s Hero Story (Not Your Organization’s)

The narrative arc Story moves through a narrative arc. This includes: Backstory and setting These establish motivation from the main character’s original identity. The inciting… 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


The 3 Key Elements of a Good Fundraising Story

What’s it about? Many stories can be good stories. But a good fundraising story must do something specific. It must lead to a gift. This… Read More


Restricted vs Unrestricted Gifts: Why Donors Love Restricted Gifts and (Some) Nonprofits Hate Them

A debate has been growing in recent years regarding the practice of offering major donors the option of giving restricted gifts. A restricted gift is… Read More


At last, the Not-So-Secret Formula for Raising Major Gifts

If you’re in the business of raising money for a cause, some on your staff (or your board) may have probably wondered, “What really leads… 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


Why people who say your non-profit should operate like a for-profit are wrong

Giving is different from buying Charitable giving comes from “story world.” Effective fundraising story triggers visualization producing social emotion. This is the engine that drives… Read More


The 12 Donor Archetypes – How to Tap into Donor Identities and Generate Bigger Gifts

You Might Be Wondering Why a Fundraiser Needs to Care About Archetypes. Fundraising is all about storytelling (and story listening). Sometimes a fundraising story will… Read More


10 Follow-Up Questions You’ll Need to Deepen Your Conversation with Major Donors (and One to Avoid)

Fundraising is not an operation. It’s a conversation. It’s a conversation that can either build or diminish trust. Trust is the cornerstone in the foundation… Read More


The 6 Core Elements of a Well-Told, Well-Executed Donor Fundraising Story

Before you think this is another post about how to tell great fundraising stories, read this: This article is not about the elements of how… Read More


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