Smartideas

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

At last, the Fundraising Report Card is now 100% free for nonprofits

In case you’ve never heard of it… The Fundraising Report Card is a little application I had my staff build a couple of years ago…. Read More


A perfect example of ‘spray and pray fundraising’

This email wasted my time and annoyed me because… I don’t know this person I don’t know this organization I didn’t give her or them… Read More


Why You Need Tech-Enabled Donor Discovery

For decades, fundraisers have sought a ‘magic box’ to identify the most ideal donor prospects for outreach, relationship-building, and solicitation. Of course they do. Who… Read More


Why your capital campaign feasibility study could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

I think most campaign feasibility studies leave a ton of money on the table. Here’s a hyper-simplified description of how it usually works. You hire… Read More


A digest of last year’s best blog posts (titled ‘The Best Of SmartIdeas’) is now available… for FREE.

If you’ve ever hoped for a digest of my best posts, today is your lucky day! Each year, my staff review the data to determine… Read More


Here’s what’s missing from moves management.

Something about the term moves management has always made me feel uneasy. When I first heard the phrase I figured it was all about managing… Read More


Giving increased .7% but you won’t hear many people celebrating and that’s really too bad

They were wrong. Remember when the Lilly School predicted at least a $13 billion drop in giving due to the Trump Tax Cut (which would… Read More


Now Available: Executive Summary (PDF) of My Webinar On ‘Fundraising Climate Change’

A few weeks ago I hosted a webinar about Fundraising Climate Change (a term I developed some time ago and included in my book titled… Read More


When you should NOT conduct face-to-face fundraising

Essentially, there are two types of face-to-face fundraising. When fundraising staff, leaders, and board members (or other supporters) meet with highly qualified, major and or… Read More


Engagement Calling Metrics for Lead Outreach Associates Tasked With Arranging Meetings With Major Donor & Legacy Donor Prospects

Engagement calling, not cold calling! About 1 1/2 years ago I introduced the concept of Engagement Calling as the best way to land appointments with… Read More


Why hardly anyone reads your planned giving newsletter (and what you can do about it).

Confusing? Too often planned giving newsletters are written by lawyers and the lawyers at nonprofits think they are just dandy. However, most of your supporters… Read More


18 takeaways from my recent appearance on the Giving Back Podcast

This was a super-fun interview on The Giving Back Podcast. But if you don’t have time to listen to it, here are some notes my… Read More


Musical chairs, your donors, and fundraising?

I think fundraisers should recognize that donors are playing a lifelong game of musical chairs. The people you consider to be YOUR donors are circling… Read More


Why treating philanthropists like s#!t is hurting our society.

From bad to worse When I first saw the pictures of the flames engulfing Notre-Dame, I thought to myself, “That’s terrible.” But now, that the… Read More


Channel Fragmentation (EF-S04-E03)

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0009:31 Channel Fragmentation (EF-S04-E03) Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsShare Leave a ReviewListen in a New WindowDownloadSoundCloudStitcherSubscribe on AndroidSubscribe via RSSTuneIn RadioSpotifyPlayer Embed… Read More


3 tips for your fundraising career

1. Always add value. The best way to ensure that you have a job all the time is to make it a point to consistently… Read More


Today I think I’ll take a victory lap. Will you join me?

I get things wrong all the time. Back in 1993 when I quit my first ‘real’ job in the newspaper business I predicted printed newspapers… Read More


Will You Become an Engagement Fundraiser?

For the sake of donors, volunteers, advocates, and members everywhere who want to change the world but need an organization bigger than them to get… Read More


How You Can Build Relationships With More Hi-Value Supporters at Lower Costs

Your job is tough! If you’re like most fundraisers, you’re already working hard. You don’t have enough time, you’re pulled in too many directions, and… Read More


Follow This Example To See How Automated Cultivation Can Work To Meet Donor Needs.

If you were a fundraiser at my alma mater seeking a donation from me for a new building, a progressive campaign might look like this:… Read More


4 types of supporters that self-qualify their interest in being in your portfolio/caseload.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I think donor surveys are great for qualifying and prioritizing your supporters… Read More


It’s too bad that nonprofit leaders and board members thwart risk-taking

I think too many in the nonprofit sector fear failure. Unfortunately, that paralyzes people. It prevents them from making decisions and thwarts innovation. In most… Read More


Let’s treat donors like piggy banks, not ATMs!

Stay with me on this. Of course, you can’t expect to get money out of a piggy bank unless you first make deposits. That framework… Read More


Why Your Year-End Fundraising Failed To Generate As Much Revenue As You Hoped

If your end-of-year ‘interruption’ marketing results were not what you hoped for, perhaps my prediction about ‘FUNDRAISING CLIMATE CHANGE‘ (in my book, Engagement Fundraising) is… Read More


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