strategy

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

MarketSmart characters
MarketSmart lightbulb icon
Does Ask, Ask, and Ask Again Really Work?

Doing the same thing wrong over and over doesn’t improve results. I noticed a comment on a LinkedIn post recently that said, “Ask, ask, and… Read More


35 amazing ways to engage and involve your donors and supporters

If you’re stuck wondering how to involve your supporters with your mission, look no further. Here are 35 ideas from a stream of my consciousness…. Read More


How to Reach Out to Your Major or Legacy Gift Prospects Using LinkedIn

You know major gift fundraising is a marathon, not a sprint. But your boss wants results now. So you screen your list for wealth. Or… Read More


Why you should use nostalgia to promote more giving

I recently stumbled upon a neat paper titled Nostalgia: The Gift That Keeps Giving. Here’s a summary: Overview 1. Nostalgia is a very personal, social emotion that… Read More


Why fundraisers should take some lessons from stockbrokers

I stumbled on an article written for stockbrokers (financial advisors) that I found interesting because it recounted the top three reasons why clients leave: Poor… Read More


12 questions to ask yourself to avoid disrespecting your supporters

In the for profit world they call it customer service. All of us get frustrated when we feel slighted or disrespected. Yet, sadly, nonprofits are… Read More


5 thoughts that might lead your supporters to feel donor remorse

Here are some of the thoughts crossing your donors’ minds while you’re asking them to support your cause: Will they say thank you or just… Read More


Imagine: One extra call each day.

I simply love inspirational quotes. Here’s one I recently came across from Thomas Edison. He once said, “The successful person has a habit of doing… Read More


Why you need to think of yourself as a facilitator

Supporters give to satisfy a need. Supporters give because they trust your organization to satisfy that need. Supporters give because they see you, your colleagues,… Read More


Is your nonprofit organization really that special?

No. Sorry. It isn’t. For example, if you search for environmental organizations on Wikipedia, you’ll find the following list: Why should anyone make a major gift… Read More


Even fundraisers can "get schooled" by a 4th-grade teacher

These days you can’t be average. Average efforts deliver average results. If you want to raise more major gifts and generate planned gifts: Be exceptional… Read More


Here’s a job description for a major gift or legacy gift lead outreach associate

Last summer I wrote a very thorough post titled: How To Structure and Staff Your Planned Giving Department for the 21st Century. Ever since I’ve… Read More


3 simple steps to get more money from donor-advised funds (DAF's)

STEP 1- Find out who has a donor-advised fund (among your supporters, advocates, donors, members, alumni, subscribes, etc.) 80% of your problem will be solved… Read More


Donor Psychology: Do you know what really makes your supporters feel good?

Funny thing about fundraising is that it all boils down to this: Making sure that your supporters feel good! I know, I know. In the… Read More


5 interesting videos that promote legacy giving

Here are 5 videos for promoting legacy giving. According to LegacyVoice these 5 are the best. I’m not so sure about that. But I do applaud… Read More


4 big reasons why you should not ask for money when you survey your supporters

Over the summer I was admonished by an “expert” in the field. I’m used to it by now. I’ve been helping nonprofits (instead of private sector… Read More


Do you include lists of other donors in your marketing?

Safety in numbers. Not all that long ago, humans lived in tribes and clans for safety. So, today, it’s no surprise that people still maintain… Read More


7 simple ways to engender fondness among your supporters for yourself and your nonprofit’s cause

People are more likely to be persuaded by people we like. So, no matter how worthy your cause is, if your supporters don’t like you,… Read More


Why Oprah Winfrey gives money to build schools in Africa (the 8 components of impactful giving)

You might have known that Oprah was a philanthropist; but did you know why? Most people think they know Oprah Winfrey, one of the richest self-made… Read More


REVEALED: Jerry Panas' secrets of attracting wealthy supporters

In January, Inside Philanthropy interviewed legendary fundraiser Jerold Panas to discover his secrets of attracting wealthy supporters. Here’s his list: It isn’t about your organization… Read More


Finally revealed, a profile of the ideal major gift officer

Thanks to the Education Advisory Board, we now know what the ideal major gift officer looks like. Their Advancement Forum sought to understand what makes… Read More


Almost four years ago I declared: "The Fundraising Pyramid Is DEAD!"

Recently I was reminded of a blog post I wrote four years ago that got a lot of attention. Some of the reactions were not so kind…. Read More


Do major gift and planned gift staff need "sales managers"?

Huh? Sales managers? But we don’t sell anything! Actually, you do! You’re selling value. Any exchange of money occurs because a person sees value in… Read More


Fundraising metrics: you have to see them to believe them

I always hated when my staff sent me an Excel file showing our astounding growth. You might be thinking, “Why would you hate getting an… Read More


Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

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