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Helping you qualify, cultivate and prioritize major donors and legacy supporters so you can have fun closing more gifts more efficiently.

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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


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


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


How Your Restaurant Waiter Can Teach You About Fundraising

The theory of reciprocity is powerful.  And nowhere is it displayed more dramatically than in restaurants every day. Think about it.  Your waiter is basically… Read More


16 Simple Things Your Best Donors Want

Here’s my list of essential major donor needs that you must aim to fulfill:   1. Your best donors want you to do the important work… Read More


Is your job really to raise money?

Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World wrote: “The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than… 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


Don’t survey your donors unless you have cultivation ready to go

Let’s start at the beginning. Almost 10 years ago, when MarketSmart was a marketing agency for private sector businesses and I first offered to help… Read More


The dumb donor’s guide to photo-ops with oversized checks

On Monday I wrote about the oversized check photo-op and posted a link to it on LinkedIn. The post is approaching 10,000 views in under 48 hours. Clearly… Read More


Is it time to banish photos of fundraisers and oversized checks?

I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but I have always felt uncomfortable seeing a bunch of fundraisers holding an oversized check. Perhaps, subconsciously… Read More


Is it time to dump donor ‘scores’?

Are scores really worth the trouble? It seems like every service provider has a scoring system for your donors. They've got capacity scores, likelihood scores,… Read More


Is it time to dump donor 'scores'?

Are scores really worth the trouble? It seems like every service provider has a scoring system for your donors. They've got capacity scores, likelihood scores,… 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


The difference between goals vs. quotas for major gifts and planned gifts fundraisers

I am a big believer in setting goals with my staff, not administering quotas. When we sit down to set goals, I prefer to collaborate with my… Read More


Are you chasing wealthy people or philanthropists?

Wealthy people are not necessarily philanthropists. But philanthropists are usually wealthy. When organizations develop their lists, I think, perhaps, a little too much attention is… Read More


Does fundraising training focus too much on the ask?

Often I find that major gift (and legacy gift) fundraising education, training, and advice places too much emphasis on ‘the ask’. Yet, in many ways, the ask… 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


9 ways to be a more human fundraiser

As your supporters get bombarded with more and more messages from advertisers and competitors (other fundraisers) you’ll need to stand out. The best way to… Read More


And another thing about donor-advised funds…

I know, I disagree with many others on this issue. But the value proposition offered to donors by donor-advised funds is fair and good. It… Read More


Why fundraisers shouldn’t be making friends with donors

A true story. I was talking to one of our customers two weeks ago. She had been working for an organization for almost two and a… Read More


7 reasons why wealth screening your donor list might be an incredibly foolish activity.

Before you send me angry responses to this headline, know these two things first: What I’ve written is NOT coming just from me. I gathered… Read More


Even a broken record can play beautiful music, here's mine…

I’m going to repeat what might now be cliché. You’ve heard this before. But you’ve got to let it sink in. Then act on it…. Read More


3 smart new metrics to measure your fundraising effectiveness

I’ll bet you make lots of calls. You set appointments, uncover needs, make presentations, write proposals and close gifts too, right? I did it too…. 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


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