Planned Giving

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

Charity vs. Philanthropy and Charitable People vs. Philanthropists

Charity – Helping people in need Philanthropy – Making an investment that stimulates other investments or provides opportunity for others Charitable people – Help others in… Read More


It’s about questions, not presentations

Have you ever found yourself spending hours or even days developing presentations for major donor visits? I think most of us have gotten caught up in… Read More


11 best practices for your legacy society communications

When it comes to legacy gifts, most fundraisers spend too much time focused on uncovering hidden gifts or closing more of them. Sure, it’s important to… Read More


The simplest and most effective 5-step major gift and planned gift marketing strategy ever

Employ donor surveys. Provide valuable engagement offers using the information you learned from the surveys (that way your offers will elicit responses— since you now… Read More


Where are you spending your marketing dollars?

If your organization has 10,000 active donors, it’s very likely they’ll be categorized as follows: A small number will generate 80-90 percent of the revenue…. Read More


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


Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

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