Smartideas

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

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The 4 Core Values of First-Generation Wealthy Donors You Need to Understand

Wealth is becoming more concentrated among fewer people. You probably know that already. But what you may not understand is that first-generation wealthy people are… 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


3 Simple Ways to Start Major Donor Conversations Off on the Right Foot

“I’m interested in your story” Beginning a donor conversation by showing interest in their story works very well because people desperately want to be heard…. Read More


Why your greatest enemy in major gifts fundraising is the status quo

This challenge had me angry for more than a week… “Pharmaceutical sales reps have 15 meetings per day. Why can’t you?” Many years ago, I… 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


Better Fundraising Begins With Better Terminology

Words matter. They shape our thoughts. Our thoughts shape our actions and influence our decisions. The lexicon of fundraising is full of one-way terms, as… 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


What’s wrong with fundraising job titles?

Your job title as a fundraiser is part of the first impression you make with a donor. Of course, you might be wondering, “Come on…… Read More


12 Keys to Conducting Effective Donor Interviews

Curiosity is a fundraisers greatest asset. Yet even the most curious must learn to ask questions that yield the most insight into donor motivation and… 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


5 Strategies for Turning Smaller Major Gifts into Larger Ones

What’s the only thing better in fundraising than a major gift? A bigger major gift. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you… Read More


4 big ideas Dr. Russell James got from scanning donor brains with neuroimaging equipment

Philanthropy originates in story. In the earliest foundations of human social cooperation, story is at the center.[1] In empathy development of preschool children, story is… Read More


4 Reasons Why Fundraisers Think Storytelling Matters

In case you missed my last post… I wrote about my unease with the storytelling surge in our sector. It made me uncomfortable because I… Read More


How to get your donors to respond to you WITHOUT asking them to respond to you

Does polite persistence really work any more? When I first got into sales, my uncle told me that polite persistence was the key to achieving… Read More


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