Smartideas

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

How Many Major Donors Are You Overlooking Right Under Your Nose?

The usual methods for identifying and qualifying major donors are costing your organization huge amounts of money if you are relying too much on them…. Read More


Secrets for Turning Small Donors into Major Donors

You know they’re in there, somewhere in your donor database. You just need to find them – those small donors who could turn into major… Read More


The Days of Easy Fundraising are Over

The days of easy fundraising are over. Now we need to face up to the hard parts of securing and sustaining philanthropic confidence. I’m sorry… Read More


Major Donor Stewardship – Million Dollar Experiences for Million Dollar Donors

Your biggest major donors simply cannot be treated like all your other donors. If you’re like most mid-size and larger nonprofits, they are funding the… Read More


Comfort Zones: The Places That Foster the Fullest Expressions of Philanthropy

My concern with so much of traditional fundraising is that it puts one or more parties in an uncomfortable position. Donors feel as if they… Read More


What Unrestricted Funds and Phone Booths Have In Common

People aren’t interested in them anymore. If you fancy yourself clever, persuasive, charismatic, or irresistible, I challenge you to see how many people you can… Read More


Why what you do is called ADVANCEMENT

Ever wonder why what you do is called ‘advancement’? Here’s the answer: Your primary role is to help donors move themselves forward through their own… Read More


5 Essential Tips and Strategies for Improving How You Make Outreach to Major Donor Prospects

Making outreach to major donor prospects requires a set of skills that too often get shoved to the back burner. And yet, outreach is one… Read More


Dr. James explains why identifying with others is so powerful in a donor’s hero story

Effective fundraising starts with identity. Compelling fundraising story connects the donation story with the donor’s story. When does a story become the donor’s story? When… Read More


The Art of the Ask: How to Get the Full Amount from Your Donors

❗ THE DONOR BEAT YOU TO THE ASK ❗ We’ve all been there. You’re in the visit. You’ve been planning this for months. It’s finally… Read More


The Power of Follow Up: The One Question Every Major Gift Fundraiser Should Ask

I didn’t know I should be asking this one question when talking to donors: “When would be a good time for me to follow up?”… Read More


Why Standard Fundraising Practices Are Hurting Your Philanthropic Partnerships

So much of standard fundraising practice is inconsistent with philanthropic partnership building. Would you enter into, feel comfortable with, or stay in a partnership if… Read More


How transactional donor relationships kill generosity

In nature, giving to unrelated others can be sustainable. But it requires some form of reciprocity. This need not be immediate. It need not be… Read More


9 Secrets for Success in Major Gifts Fundraising

Here are Nine Things I Wish I Knew My First Year in Major Gifts 1. Stop talking so much. Ask Good questions and listen. 2…. Read More


The Ultimate Source for Fundraising Questions – From Permission to Confirmation

Questions are the most powerful tool in a fundraiser’s toolbox. More than anything else, asking good fundraising questions will build trust with donors, allow them… Read More


Want More Gifts of Assets? Get the Wealthy to Talk about Their Wealth Assets

One of the most overlooked secrets to getting wealthy people to commit to a major gift is to simply get them talking about their wealth…. Read More


Why Major Donors Give – How to Tap into Their Motives and Inspire Transformational Gifts

So many nonprofits seeking major gifts keep doing what they’ve been told by the so-called experts, consultants, and traditionalists. Ask, ask, ask. Keep your metrics… Read More


3 Donor Related Fundraising Challenges Keeping Your Revenue Down

Major gifts fundraising faces many challenges. That’s not news, and those challenges come in many forms, from many directions. But donor related fundraising challenges often… Read More


4 Strategies to Get More Meetings with Major Donors

Major gifts fundraising is about relationships. You know this, and it’s an easy truth to recite in a job interview. But actually developing positive two-way… Read More


Donor Identity Questions – Teasing Out Values, Beliefs, and Motivations

Donors give because giving enhances some aspect of their identity. They give for many other reasons too, but their final critical decisions regarding which organizations… Read More


5 Questions to Help Identify Your Best (and Potentially Most Transformative) Major Donors in a Sea of Prospects

Some gift officers have dozens of prospects in their caseloads. Others have over a hundred. Dunbar’s number aside, we all know it’s impossible to maintain… Read More


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