Smartideas

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

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


The Way You Fundraise Matters

There are lots of ways to fundraise. All of them can be said to work in some ways but the way you fundraise: Determines the… 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


Fundraising’s Worst Oversimplification

Fundraising’s worst oversimplification is: “People give because they’re asked.” That’s like saying those who agree to marry do so simply “because they were asked.” Yes,… Read More


What Gift Officers Should Put in Their LinkedIn Experience Section

If you’ve read our other posts about LinkedIn, you understand that the point of your LinkedIn profile is not to get a job. You have… Read More


Why Organizations That Institute the Greatest Demands for Accountability Perform So Poorly

For the most part, everyone agrees that metrics are good. Accountability is good – even for major gift officers. Generally speaking, measuring what you do… Read More


Revolutionize Fundraising: Let’s Stop Making it Uncomfortable

If something about fundraising makes you uncomfortable, it isn’t because there’s something wrong with you but because there’s something wrong with the way you’re fundraising,… 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 Two Most Important Words in Philanthropic Facilitation: “Because You”

The two most important words in philanthropic facilitation are, “Because you”. As in: “Because you have such a vested interest in the empowerment of girls… Read More


3 Ways Major Gift Fundraisers Can Talk About Legacy Giving Without Reminding Donors About Death

Planned gifts often constitute some of the biggest gifts charities ever receive. But winning them requires you to make the donor think about their own… Read More


The Tragedy of Transactional Fundraising

Practitioners of transactional fundraising and the cultures who default to it will never know, see, foster, or benefit from the best in human nature and… 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


Building Major Gifts Caseloads – Why Traditional Methods Fail to Accurately Qualify Donors

It’s a problem as old as fundraising. How do you find, attract, and qualify people who can give major gifts to your nonprofit organization? Many… Read More


What’s Your Reason for Requesting The First Meeting With a Prospective Donor?

What’s your reason for requesting the first meeting with a prospective donor? The ones I hear most often, including the ones used on me, include:… Read More


4 Primal Motives for Major Gifts – the REAL Reasons People Make Transformational Gifts

Understanding the motives for why donors make major gifts is a big part of successful fundraising. This is how we can relate to a donor… Read More


Planting Seeds: The Step Before Cultivation

Funny how we use the word “cultivation” so often but rarely address the preceding step, “planting.” Philanthropic potential is like fertile ground. Figuring out which… 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


Dazzle Your Donor Prospects with an Upgraded LinkedIn Headline

Many major gift officers don’t realize that one of the things some wealthy donor prospects do after receiving a first communication from you is to… Read More


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