Smartideas

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

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The Zoology of Fundraising: More Chameleons, Fewer Peacocks

The Education Advisory Board, after analyzing donations to 1,217 major-gift officers at 89 colleges and universities in the United States and Britain, concluded the most… Read More


The Pathway to a Significant Philanthropic Investment is Not Paved With Just “Visits”

A common KPI used to evaluate fundraisers is the number of visits they pay on prospects in their portfolios. It should be replaced by PPIs… Read More


How to Find A Good Advancement Leader: Ask the Right Questions

You’ve had a least one bad boss or worked in at least one depleting advancement operation. Now you’re interviewing for a job and want to… Read More


How to be an authentic guiding sage for your donors

The guiding sage The hero’s journey is a universal story. In that universal story, the guiding sage plays a powerful archetypal role. This role can… Read More


How major gifts fundraisers should introduce themselves to donors

The universal hero story is attractive. This “monomyth” is “hard-wired into our psyches.”[1] In the donor’s hero story, the donor’s role as hero is compelling…. 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


This is the #1 driver of fundraiser turnover

Good and bad stories Stories are powerful. They can provide meaning and motivation. They can be a source of personal identity. For fundraising, stories are… 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


The Great Resignation: An Advancement Perspective

Okay, so maybe all that talk about millions of people shucking their jobs and living off the grid was overstated. With a few more miles… Read More


7 ‘Hire Me Now’ Traits of Highly Effective Major Gifts Officers

Hiring major gifts officers is hard. First, it’s just not an easy position to fill because there is a lot of turnover. But more than… Read More


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