18 takeaways from my recent appearance on the Giving Back Podcast

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

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 staff wrote down after listening.

  • You don’t need more awareness, you need more major donors;
  • Major donors want to be heard but too many charities are failing to listen;
  • Using technology, charities CAN listen so they respond in ways that align with how each donor sees value;
  • The key is to make people feel good — especially people with capacity (and make sure they don’t feel bad);
  • Large donations follow when there’s a fit between the organization’s mission and the donor’s mission along with meaningful engagement;
  • Organizations need to qualify donor passion and capacity at low cost before spending money on marketing and face-to-face relationship-building;
  • The donor’s consideration process must be considered more than the organization’s moves management process;
  • Fundraisers need to help donors recognize their needs (to give) more than they help donors recognize that their organizations have needs (for money);
  • Most wealthy people have no idea how to give away their money;
  • Fundraisers should help wealthy people understand how they can do good and find meaning in their lives;
  • It’s important that fundraisers provide value to donors in ways that are in line with their needs, interests, wants, and desires;
  • If nonprofits provide (give) more value to donors, they’ll raise more money than they ever imagined might be possible at low cost;
  • Listening includes monitoring donor digital body language;
  • Most organizations communicate with donors as if they only want to make low-dollar, impulsive giving decisions yet the major and legacy giving decision-making process is very deliberate because it involves large dollar amounts;
  • The high-dollar, deliberate (and often lengthy) major and legacy gift consideration process requires that nonprofits supply donors with opaque offers over time;
  • MarketSmart eats its own dog food — we do what we recommend nonprofits and fundraisers do;
  • We help fundraisers make donors feel good at scale;
  • Fundraisers (facilitators) will always be needed to help donors get over the finish line;
  • Fundraisers should give so they know what it’s like to be a donor.
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