Smartideas

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

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The Worst Way to Start a Major Gifts Fundraising Call

“Is now a good time to talk?” This is one of the worst ways to start a call to schedule a visit (unless you know… Read More


3 Things You Must Define to Receive a $5 Million Gift

A friend of mine recently asked for a $5 Million gift. THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY! But in terms of the money required to make… Read More


“I’ve never told anyone this before.”

If you’re working in major gifts and you’ve never heard this, you might need to alter your approach. Many of you reading this will be… Read More


How “Polite Persistence” Pays Off for Major Gifts Fundraisers

It took me 16 contacts over a 12-month period to get a visit scheduled with one couple. They then went on to give over $100,000…. Read More


To Visit or Not to Visit: Choose Wisely

It doesn’t really matter if you go on a visit TODAY. It also doesn’t really matter if you DON’T go on a visit TODAY. But… Read More


Tips for hiring major gift fundraisers

“Let’s hire Johnny… He knows everybody!” Here’s the problem: Johnny is an idiot. Let me explain. So many times, organizations want to hire major gift… Read More


What happens when you change your mindset

“I don’t want to waste your time.” Here is another common objection you will hear when trying to schedule visits. The donor will tell you… Read More


Stop making assumptions about your donors

“Major donors like to give in their backyard.” I call BS! One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that many people think that major… Read More


Do you have a job or do you have a mission?

“I was on a mission from God.” I met John the first year I started working in major gifts. John was a retired financial advisor… 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


Stories are more important than metrics

I was once at a fundraising event supporting an organization that houses pregnant homeless women. I saw one of the most incredibly generous examples of… Read More


“We don’t have the right people in our database.”

“We don’t have the right people in our database.” A Director of Development told me this a few months into a job. Of course, I… Read More


6 Simple Reasons Some Fundraisers are More Effective than Others

One of my clients raised over $1 Million in the last 30 days in major gifts. Here are some of the reasons they have been… Read More


Don’t Give Up!

“I’ve already made all of my giving decisions for this year, so there’s no reason for us to meet.” Here is another common objection that… Read More


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