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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5 Best Practices For Writing Emails to Major and Legacy Donor Prospects

1. Be truthful, no tricks! Ever! You cannot build relationships upon lies. Not even white lies. 2. Be relevant.  To do that, you must consider… Read More


Is donor qualification more important than donor identification?

Identification. If you are a major or legacy gift fundraiser, you’re probably responsible for a group of donors on your caseload or portfolio. The collection… Read More


How to Reach Out to Your Major or Legacy Gift Prospects Using LinkedIn

You know major gift fundraising is a marathon, not a sprint. But your boss wants results now. So you screen your list for wealth. Or… Read More


Dr. Russell James’ Top 10 Ways Your Supporters Can Give Wisely Before the Year Ends

I’m very thankful that Dr. Russell James has graciously shared 10 smart ways your supporters can give wisely before the end of this year. He… Read More


If you want to hear how the best major gift officers succeed (and fail) in fundraising… look no further

A different frame of reference. Every once in a while someone comes along to change things. They say a few words differently or help you… Read More


Top 10 Capital Campaign Mistakes Revealed

Can you add to this list? 1. Failure to conduct a feasibility study 2. Failure to pay attention to the results of the feasibility study… Read More


Finally, the true cause of high fundraiser turnover!

Recently a lot of people have been writing about the high level of turnover among fundraisers in our field. As reported in The Chronicle of… Read More


The worst way to start a conversation with a donor.

“Did you get the [information, brochure, or letter] I sent?” Has anyone really had great success starting an outreach call with this question? In my… Read More


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


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