Smartideas

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

The 7-Step Donor Journey from Stranger to Philanthropic Partner

All your donors are on a journey, whether they know it or not. Some of them are on a journey to get as far away… Read More


Putting the Right Idea in Front of The Right Donor in the Right Way at the Right Time

Put the right idea in front of the right door in the right way at the right time. The more consistently you do that, the… Read More


What Is Donor Identification? Major Gift Fundraising Fundamentals Series

As you begin scouring your donor and supporter databases for your next batch of major donors, where do you begin? How can you tell from… Read More


What Is and Isn’t Philanthropic

To be philanthropic is to acknowledge that we are in this together; that: Your misfortune is mine because I have been lucky and you have… Read More


Major Donor Retention – What’s Holding It Back?

Donor retention statistics continue to worsen, with 2022 showing the lowest overall rate ever recorded, at 42.6%, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. This applies… Read More


The Heavy Lifts of Fundraising

Seemingly random events earlier in our lives actually serve as omens for what we will encounter the rest of our lives. For me, it was… Read More


5 Advanced Fundraising Tactics You Can Automate

Identifying, qualifying, and cultivating major gifts prospects takes months, often years. And doing so requires a number of tactics to be used over that time…. Read More


Philanthropic Facilitation and the Art of Matchmaking

As Carlo Robustelli, V.P. of College Advancement at Dickinson College explains, “We’re not miracle workers, we’re matchmakers.” Carlo is trying to help his colleagues outside… Read More


The Real Way to Raise Money

Do you want to know the real way to raise money? It’s not complicated. Provide donors with what money can’t buy. Philanthropic experiences that money… Read More


5 Tips to Being Persistent in Outreach to Major Donors

Far too many gift officers and other fundraisers give up too easily when they don’t get a positive response from their donor prospects. Persistence pays… Read More


Understanding Wealthy Donors – 3 Truths Every Gift Officer Needs to Know

There’s a chasm in major gifts fundraising. It lies between the wealthy donors who often make up over 80% of your giving base (sometimes over… Read More


Don’t Just “Find” Donors; Build Relationships for Lasting Impact

“Where do we find donors?” I’m asked that question quite a bit. To begin, let’s make sure we check all assumptions at the door. Donors… Read More


4 Ways Your Assumptions about Major Donors Are Hurting Your Fundraising

You know that feeling when you’re talking to someone, and you realize they’ve already made up their mind about you? It happens in dating, in… Read More


It’s About Lots of Meaningful Interactions, Not Major Moves

The most important goals in managing prospects or donors in our portfolios are: Establishing a rapport with donors Maintaining contact Finding ways for them to… 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


How to generate referrals for major gifts

A well-placed referral can be the bridge to new partnerships, financial support, and resources. It can elevate your nonprofit from merely surviving to thriving. But… Read More


The Secret to Raise Money More Cost-Effectively: Stop Fundraising

The longer I work with nonprofits, the more convinced I become that one of my core beliefs is true: If organizations ceased nearly all new-donor… Read More


10 Questions You Should Ask Your Wealthy Supporters to Motivate them to Give

One of the most effective strategies for major gifts fundraising is to help your donors advance their personal hero story. This isn’t just our claim…. Read More


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


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