Smartideas

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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Are you a dictatorial boss or a dynamic nonprofit leader?

I think too many nonprofit leaders don’t really know how to lead. Instead they just boss people around. Having a title means you have authority…. Read More


Product Updates: August 2020

Here’s a roundup of some major updates we’ve made to your MarketSmart Dashboard thanks to your feedback. Be sure to refresh your Dashboard once you’ve… 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


Here’s What Supporters “Buy” When They Donate to Charity

I think buying and donating are the same.  Here’s why.  When I give money to a charity, I am buying: A chance to be moved by… Read More


Top 3 reasons why major gift or legacy gift officers don’t have enough face-to-face meetings with donors

I hear a lot of people complaining about gift officers not meeting with enough donors. Usually, these complaints come from people who don’t really do… Read More


Too much major and legacy gift fundraising is focused on HOW when it should be focused on WHY.

What the heck am I talking about? Major gift fundraising communications (especially legacy gift marketing) tend to focus too much on showing supporters how they… Read More


How to understand your donor’s consideration process so you generate more major gifts

First things first. Too often fundraisers, board members, and nonprofit leaders spend way too much time thinking and talking about their organization’s or their employee’s… Read More


7 Data Points That Prove ‘Fundraising Climate Change’ Is Real And Happening Now

What’s in a name? In my book (titled Engagement Fundraising) I briefly described the changes affecting nonprofits and their fundraising staff. The label I applied… Read More


Why major and legacy donors think your fundraising communications stink!

First, it is not all your fault. Well then, can we blame it on leadership? Leadership should share the burden of blame because fundraisers tend… Read More


Top 10 Reasons Why Fundraisers Might Be Uncomfortable ‘Making The Ask’

Let me know what you think about my top 10 reasons why some fundraisers might be uncomfortable making the ask: 10. They are in the wrong job and… 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


3 Reasons You Should Be Thinking about QCDs (Backed By Data + A Free Guide)

How many decisions do you make each day? A quick google search yields our answer: somewhere near 35,000. That number may seem intimidating, “How can… Read More


3 simple steps to break your transactional, spray-and-pray fundraising addiction

Nonprofits tend to get addicted to transactions they generate mostly by aiming marketing toward potential supporters with low-capacity. I call it ‘spray and pray’ marketing… Read More


My Simplest Explanation of How Engagement Fundraising Works

Engagement fundraising (a phrase I coined many years ago) is powerful. I’ve been talking about this for about 10 years (ever since I revamped my… Read More


9 hard truths your fundraising operation needs to face in the post-pandemic era.

1. Competition is fierce and everywhere. Nonprofits don’t only compete with other nonprofits. They also compete with private sector businesses and Uncle Sam (the tax… Read More


7 big ideas for raising ‘major gifts of assets’ right now from Dr. Russell James

A couple of weeks ago, my longtime friend Dr. Russell James presented his top recommendations for fundraisers to consider especially during the coronavirus era. If… Read More


Product Updates: Stewardship Series Effort and Online Will Tool Add-on

Stewardship Series Effort When it comes to legacy gifts, many organizations spend a large chunk of their time focused on uncovering hidden gifts or closing… Read More


Top 10 Free Resources Thanks To Dr. Russell James

Nearly ten years ago I made a new friend. It started out with an error. I wrote a blog post about the link between childlessness… Read More


7 Major Gift Fundraising Benchmarks You Really Need To Know

Before we begin. The 2020 Major Gift Benchmark Study asked people working in nonprofit organizations (n=580) what they consider to be a major gift, how… Read More


THE WAY FORWARD: PART 3 OF 3 FOR MARKETING MAJOR AND LEGACY GIFTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS ERA

This is part 3 of 3 in a series. For the first post, go here and for the second post, go here. 5. Engage and offer,… Read More


THE WAY FORWARD: PART 2 OF 3 FOR MARKETING MAJOR AND LEGACY GIFTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS ERA

This is part 2 of 3 in a series. For the previous post, go here. 3. Kill self-doubt Some in your organization might be saying… Read More


The Way Forward: Part 1 of 3 for Marketing Major and Legacy Gifts in the Coronavirus Era

1. Don’t Panic It’s the first rule of crisis management. When we panic we make bad decisions. Many of us have been facing closures, lockdowns… Read More


A pep talk for fundraisers like you!

We are going to get through this, and history proves it. For many of us, this is not the first economic downturn we have seen… Read More


3 Simple Fundraising Metrics for Nonprofits (and How to Calculate Them)

Google search “fundraising metrics” and you’ll find plenty of blog posts and articles. In fact, you’ll come across too many. It can be overwhelming to figure out… Read More


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