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Why you may need to reframe the donor’s hero story

Reframing the hero story The Hero is a high-ego character. It is at one extreme of the ego-social axis. For those at the opposite end,… Read More


Introducing the Most Effective Legacy Gift Fundraising Strategy You’ve Never Heard Before

Imagine the following two scenarios. Scenario 1: You have 100 donors who have capacity to give a five-figure legacy gift, and they have a fairly… Read More


How to ask for a gift: Do you really have to ask?

When it comes to ‘how to ask for a gift,’ you’ll see there’s a parallel between how we conduct sales here at MarketSmart and how… Read More


13 Reasons Why Donor Prospects Say ‘No’ to Major Gifts Proposals

Why Do Major Gifts Prospects Decide Not To Give? In the vast majority of situations where this happens, the reason is because the fundraiser failed… Read More


How Restricted Gifts Can Actually Be a GOOD Thing — And Why You Should Embrace Them

Fundraising is story world Lab experiments, field experiments, and academic theory agree: Fundraising lives in “story world,” not “commerce world.” Social-emotional story is the engine… Read More


How to Reduce the ‘Cost’ of Philanthropy So Major Donors Give More

Teen Talk Barbie famously stated, “Math is hard.”[1] This may be particularly true in fundraising. Giving is motivated by social emotion. Triggering math, logic, error-detection thoughts can hurt. It… Read More


6 Things Your Donors Don’t Care About (That You Assumed They Did)

This news can be shocking to hear and might even make some fundraisers and nonprofit administrators fall out of their seats. But it’s true. Donors… Read More


How To Use Numbers To Inspire More Giving (and How You Should NOT Use Them)

Numbers For nonprofit managers, numbers are important. Numbers define success or failure. Numbers keep the lights on or off. Numbers can show impact. But numbers,… Read More


You Don’t Need Data, You Need Actionable Intelligence

You have plenty of data. That data probably includes donation recency, frequency, and monetary value. You might also track involvement information (participation in events, volunteerism,… Read More


What The Heck Is Progressive Profiling And Why You Need To Do It?

It’s about their timing, not yours. Fundraisers, as well as their organization’s leadership and board members, need to come to terms with the fact that… Read More


The 8 core components of engagement fundraising and why you desperately need them

Most fundraising is based on what I call “single shot” strategies. For instance, it’s an event, gala or golf outing. Or, perhaps it’s a mailing,… Read More


Engagement Fundraising in 7 simple bullet-points

Focus- Focus your marketing (especially your expensive marketing like face-to-face meetings) on people who have a lot of money Generate leads- Generate highly-qualified leads among… Read More


Why most of your marketing should appeal to donors in the WHY stage of the consideration continuum

Instinct. When I first started helping nonprofits raise major gifts for less, I instinctively knew that the traditional planned giving web content most vendors supplied… Read More


Why your donor prospects lie to you and won’t accept your outreach

If you’re like me, you hate being sold. You can sense when a salesperson is trying to get you to do something you’re not quite… Read More


3 big reasons why nobody talks about the single most important fundraising tactic on earth

Let’s jump right in….  The single most important fundraising tactic on earth is appointment setting. There! I said it! Don’t believe me? The late Jerold Panas… Read More


How to put marketing automation to work for your nonprofit’s fundraising

Catching up. If you read all my previous posts (starting here) about how you can use marketing automation to raise more major and legacy gifts,… Read More


Top 10 ways marketing automation helps nonprofits raise more money for less

Quick review In my previous post  I outlined the 3 types of marketing automation tools fundraising operations really should understand. Plus I recommended you deploy… Read More


3 types of marketing automation fundraising operations need to understand (including one you really need to deploy right away)

In this previous post we discussed the fact that lower-level, basic automation works better for raising low-dollar donors.  That’s why you need more sophisticated automation… Read More


How marketing automation helps nonprofits raise more major gifts, planned gifts and mid-level gifts at lower cost

Quick review In my previous post I outlined the reasons why nonprofit fundraising operations need marketing automation so they raise money more cost-efficiently. In this… Read More


Do you really need to buy a planned giving website?

In most cases, for most nonprofits… NO! You don’t need to buy a planned giving website. Here’s why:  For decades, nonprofit leaders and staff have… Read More


3 reasons why your donors and donor prospects won’t call you back

Frustration! Recently I was visiting a customer and one of the fundraisers was very frustrated. Thanks to our system, lots of donors disclosed that they already left… Read More


Are you building trust?

  Trust is the cornerstone of all meaningful relationships. Fail to build trust and you’ll fail to get the gift. It’s that simple. Build trust… Read More


Think your donors are stupid?

High-capacity donors aren’t altruistic. They want something from you just as much as you want something from them. At a high level, most simply want… Read More


7 simple steps to qualify your donors

Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t understand qualification. They don’t recognize its power. They wait for the next wealth screened list. They fiddle with it in Excel or… Read More


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