Smartideas

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

How to Hire the Right People for Raising Major Gifts

Are the people working as major gift officers at your organization in the right role? Do they have the best skill set and mindset for… Read More


How Balanced or Imbalanced is Your Fundraising?

Fundraising should be as comfortable as two people exploring possibilities. If done wisely and well, fundraising is nothing more than two people exploring possibilities. That… Read More


10 Confidence Boosting Tips for Scheduling More Visits

I used to be TERRIFIED of scheduling visits. Here are 10 things I did to build confidence in a system that allowed me to schedule… Read More


Why Propensity Fails at Helping You Pre-Qualify Major Donors for Outreach

Here’s the situation: You’ve been tasked with finding a fresh batch of potential major donors to engage. You’ve been given an arbitrary and unreasonably short… Read More


FOR FUNDRAISERS ONLY: Read this whenever you feel beaten down by people who don’t understand what you do for humanity

If you are a fundraiser…. You are not a beggar or manipulator who twists arms. Rather, you are a caring, helpful, generous, joyful facilitator who… Read More


Top 10 Reasons to Enroll in the Donor Story: Epic Fundraising Ecourse with Dr. Russell James

Need help convincing the ‘powers that be’ to pony up the cash for the best and most valuable online fundraising eCourse on the planet? Even… Read More


7 Ways Bad Leadership in Fundraising Drives Away Your Best Gift Officers

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what… Read More


Why reciprocity must be an essential tool in your fundraising toolbox

Every single human being in every single society on earth subscribes to an unspoken rule when it comes to reciprocation as follows: If someone does… Read More


Effective Fundraising Strategy is Rooted In Fundraising Fact

Everyone Is entitled to their own fundraising opinions but not their own fundraising facts. That’s what the brilliant Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, without the reference… Read More


9 Secrets for Success in Major Gifts Fundraising

Here are Nine Things I Wish I Knew My First Year in Major Gifts 1. Stop talking so much. Ask Good questions and listen. 2…. Read More


6 Reasons Pausing the Solicitation Process Can Increase the Amount of a Major Gift

Patience is powerful. When pursuing major gifts, it’s tempting to want to go fast, and to accept the first gift a donor offers. You don’t… Read More


Why you should never pay fundraisers a commission

Pay fundraisers well, but NEVER pay a commission. I became the highest-paid employee besides the CEO at my organization when I worked in major gifts…. Read More


What So Many Fundraising Appeals Miss: People Want to Help People

While fewer numbers of people are giving to institutions, they continue to give in ways they find more interpersonal. They include: Grandparents helping put their… Read More


How to Get Your Team Excited about Cold Calling Supporters

Cold calling, for many fundraisers who dislike it, sits right up there with public speaking, which some surveys have found people fear more than dying…. Read More


The Importance of Asking Permission to Ask More Questions

The missing piece in the story A novel can have a perfect story. But it will still fail without one thing. The reader must turn… Read More


The $25,000 Reason Why Follow-Up is So Important

183 days. That’s how long it took Bob to mail in a check for $25,000 after I asked him for the gift on a first… Read More


A Prospect We Must Entertain: Recession

The word “advancement” connotes forward movement. That requires forward thinking.  Responsible leadership at both the organizational and advancement level requires bifocal vision – seeing and seizing… Read More


Why you should pay your major gifts fundraisers more

One of the great insights Robert Kiyosaki shares in the book Rich Dad Poor Dad is this: Poor people say “we could never afford that”… Read More


The Three Characteristics That Distinguish the Best Advancement Practitioners

What are the three characteristics that distinguish the best advancement practitioners? Integrity, Curiosity, and Discipline. Of the three, integrity is the most important. It entails… Read More


The Worst Way to Start a Major Gifts Fundraising Call

“Is now a good time to talk?” This is one of the worst ways to start a call to schedule a visit (unless you know… Read More


The Zoology of Fundraising: More Chameleons, Fewer Peacocks

The Education Advisory Board, after analyzing donations to 1,217 major-gift officers at 89 colleges and universities in the United States and Britain, concluded the most… Read More


Restricted Giving: Why Your Organization Should Offer More Options

Restricted giving doesn’t sound like a good thing, just from the sound of it. The idea of restricting anything, especially giving, doesn’t seem like it… Read More


3 Things You Must Define to Receive a $5 Million Gift

A friend of mine recently asked for a $5 Million gift. THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY! But in terms of the money required to make… Read More


How blockbuster movies can help you make the perfect fundraising ask

Universal challenge Let’s go to the movies! And when we go, what will we see? If it’s a blockbuster, we’ll often see a similar underlying… Read More


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