Planned Giving

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

7 common major gift marketing mistakes you should avoid this year (including planned gift marketing)

Believing that you are imposing on your supporters by asking them for money. Remember, they want to give. The key is to think of yourself… Read More

Thank you for being part of our growing ecosystem

I created Engagement Fundraising and invented our software because I’m really a donor, not a fundraiser. In fact, I have never been a fundraiser according to Webster’s definition… Read More

Our 5 most popular blog posts (according to our subscribers)

Each year I like to review which blog posts were viewed most by my subscribers (and which were viewed least). Here are the top 5:… Read More

How to keep your donors in 2016

In the nonprofit world, it’s widely recognized that retaining donors can be quite challenging. If it wasn’t challenging… if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and doing… Read More

The number one reason why you aren’t getting your share of dollars from donor advised funds

According to Fidelity Charitable, most donor-advised fund account holders included or will include a bequest in their estate plans. You might not think that matters… Read More

Would you give money to this person?

Trust is crucial, necessary and vital.  I think all of us would agree that one of the most basic reasons why any major donor would… Read More

Why failing to focus on major and planned gifts can be so dangerous

For decades, it’s been abundantly clear that a very small number of people have been and continue to be responsible for most of the money… Read More

7 major principles for major gift fundraising (including planned gifts)

Before we get into these 7 major principles for major gift fundraising (including planned gifts), let’s review some neat stats first. In the United States,… Read More

Could December be the month when you will LOSE the most donors?

I’m worried about fundraisers who get too excited about Giving Tuesday. Yesterday I received Giving Tuesday emails from a bunch of charities and I was… Read More

How NOT to design the perfect fundraising campaign

Today I would like to discuss how NOT to design the perfect fundraising campaign. According to The Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom, 2,000 people were… Read More

Why less is always more and how to get more from less

Less is always more. Subtraction always adds value. Ever wonder if your nonprofit is trying to do too many things and trying to be too many things… Read More

The Rule of 7 vs. 3-to-1 fundraising

Jerold Panas’ classic fundraising book Mega Gifts published in 1984 includes a story about a zoo’s board member named Mary G. Roebling. According to Jerold,… Read More

Air support

Military forces have been used for humanitarian purposes for decades all over the world. These days, in the aftermath of a disaster, we fully expect… Read More

Why a single tambourine is annoying and what you can do about it

Bang-jangle! Bang-jangle! Bang-jangle! That’s the sound of a lone tambourine. Sounds good if it’s accompanied with music and it follows a consistent cadence. But when it’s… Read More

Too much talk about donor retention?

There’s a lot of talk about donor retention these days. Don’t get me wrong. Retention is important, very important! But it’s really only one side… Read More

3 reasons to focus on major gifts (including major legacy gifts)

1. 3% of U.S. Households are responsible for 67% (2/3) of all household charity (This is according to the 2011 Bank of America Study of… Read More

Want to get a $1 million dollar donation? Here's how:

Did you know that there’s a report about $1 million dollar+ giving developed by Coutts in association with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy?… Read More

Proof that high-dollar donors are more loyal than low-dollar supporters

Recently I made some new friends at The Fundraising Effectiveness Project and they shared some awesome research findings with me.  You can see the first one… Read More

WE WON!… thanks to you!

I know… I am always telling my clients to stop bragging about themselves. It’s about the donors. They make you great. They give you the… Read More

24 amazing benchmark reports on fundraising all in one place

If you’re like me, you like to noodle data and scratch your head a lot. I’ve done so much head-scratching that my hair is almost… Read More

15 telephone call don'ts for major and legacy gift fundraisers

Two days ago I outlined my “do’s“. Today, here are my “don’t’s”. Both can be found here on this cheat-sheet. 15 Don’ts Be disingenuous. For… Read More

Should you create a separate Facebook page for major (and/or planned) gifts?

In most cases I don’t recommend doing so. Instead, I think you should piggyback on your organization’s existing social media. They’ve already got the “likes”…. Read More

4 reasons to focus on major gifts (including major legacy gifts)

1. 3% of U.S. Households are responsible for 67% (2/3) of all household charity (according to the 2011 Bank of America Study of High Net… Read More

Chasm between knowledge and ignorance in marketing and advertising

If you are spending your donors’ hard-earned cash on marketing (fundraising), you must watch this short video from one of my heroes – David Ogilvy… Read More

Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!