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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16 Simple Things Your Best Donors Want

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


Are you ready for the 24/7 donor?

Accenture – the world’s largest consulting firm – says that we’re in the era of the “nonstop consumer”. According to their website, “A customer’s path… Read More


Top 10 Reasons Why Gift Officers Won’t Make Outbound Calls to Donors

The reasons why fundraisers won’t make outbound calls to donors are because they are: FEARFUL: They fear rejection. CONFUSED: They don’t know what to say…. 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 you should worry less about reducing overhead and more about delivering value

Fundraisers and donors are in a pickle. They have been unfairly subjected to a broken system for decades. It isn’t their fault, but it is… 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


Is your annual fund tail wagging your major gift dog?

I always find it stupefying when a major gifts team tells me they need to get permission from the direct marketing team or higher up to… 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


Why Response Rates Don’t Matter

It always frustrates me to hear fundraisers or their consultants concern themselves with vanity metrics like response rates for lead generation efforts.  Honestly, I’m tired… Read More


Apple will be changing how their products report your email marketing metrics… but does it matter?

Apple will be driving change yet again. Yep! You know Apple. In addition to all the wonderful products they create, there’s one thing they also… Read More


Donor target ask amounts offend me

I keep seeing software or wealth screening companies providing fundraisers with target ask amounts. I don’t get it. How on earth can a software provider… Read More


The difference between wealth screening and wealth appending

First, wealth screening. Over the past 10 to 20 years, wealth screening has become a common practice for fundraising shops. But staff should always remember… Read More


10 reasons why donors and fundraisers like Rollover IRA giving

We’re getting pretty good at marketing rollover IRAs here at MarketSmart. Here are some of the things we’ve learned as we’ve crafted a value proposition… Read More


Stop SPAMMING your supporters with planned giving e-newsletters

Wiz-bang tech? I was talking to a fundraiser and he said, “We’ve got this cool system that includes pre-written estate planning e-newsletters I can send to… 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


Why you should never get a job and go to work

I taught my kids to avoid using the words job, work and can’t. To me a job is what some people get so they can work to get money; and if they fail to find one, they might say it’s… Read More


Top 2 cringeworthy things some fundraisers say to major donor prospects (and what they might want to say instead)

1. “I’d like to meet you to update you / tell you what we do / tell you what we’ve been doing, etc.” I’ve had… Read More


A powerful new way to deliver value to your future supporters

If you work for a college or university, you already know that many of your donors give because of the experience they had when they attended your institution. For… Read More


7 big reasons why capacity is so hard to uncover (how the rich hide their wealth)

Here’s how the ultra-rich make sure you can’t figure out how much money they really have: They figure out ways to evade taxes entirely They use… Read More


Is a day of reckoning coming for fundraisers and their employers?

Fundraisers like you are in a difficult spot. You’re constantly being asked to raise more money by your board of directors, but you don’t have… 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


Why your nonprofit’s donor survey could be causing more harm than good

Thinking about sending out a donor survey? If so, be sure to use the survey responses properly so you ‘speak’ personally and relevantly to each… Read More


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