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 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


Why your job is to get donors to talk to themselves

Your job is not to come up with words and images that will persuade or convince people to give. No! Instead, your job is to… Read More


Does fundraising training focus too much on the ask?

Often, I find that major gift (and legacy gift) fundraising education, training, and advice places too much emphasis on ‘the ask’. Yet, in many ways,… Read More


It’s about questions, not presentations

Have you ever found yourself spending hours or even days developing presentations for major donor visits? I think most of us have gotten caught up in… Read More


9 ways to be a more human fundraiser

As your supporters get bombarded with more and more messages from advertisers and competitors (other fundraisers) you’ll need to stand out. The best way to… Read More


7 reasons why wealth screening your donor list might be an incredibly foolish activity

Before you send me angry responses to this headline, know these two things first: What I’ve written is NOT coming just from me. I gathered… Read More


3 smart new metrics to measure your fundraising effectiveness

I’ll bet you make lots of calls. You set appointments, uncover needs, make presentations, write proposals and close gifts too, right? I did it too…. Read More


11 best practices for your legacy society communications

When it comes to legacy gifts, most fundraisers spend too much time focused on uncovering hidden gifts or closing more of them. Sure, it’s important to… 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


Donors give when THEY want to give, not when YOU want them to give

It ain’t about you. Unsuccessful fundraisers want donors to give on their timeline, not the donor’s. They think they can make the donor ‘move’ when they want them… Read More


Your main website sucks at raising major gifts – and here’s why

Most nonprofits have very narcissistic websites that promote how great they are and how well suited they are to accomplish their mission. Sure, it’s true… Read More


Cold calling major donors to arrange appointments doesn’t work – but this method does

No one likes getting cold calls and you probably don’t like making them. That’s why, these days, you need to insert a crucial step in between your marketing/communications and… Read More


Do you care more about your legacy society than the donors in it?

Some nonprofits seem to care about ‘having’ a legacy society far more than they care about the donors in them.  There’s lots of evidence supporting my… Read More


Top 10 Ways You Can Benefit from Conducting a Donor Survey

First it’s important to recognize that there are two reasons to conduct a donor survey: To conduct research To raise money Generally you must pick… Read More


Why mistakes are awesome and what to do about them

I know the feeling. A supporter calls to tell you your email or letter spelled her name wrong. She’s pissed! You begin to sweat and your muscles… Read More


Quality vs. Quantity: Which is better for selecting fundraising prospects?

I’ve always felt that nonprofits spend way too much time and money looking at historical donor data to try to predict future giving. I’m not alone…. Read More


Product Updates: February 2021

There’s a new addition to the MarketSmart Dashboard thanks to your feedback. Watch the short tutorial below to get started. We’ve also got an important… Read More


The simplest and most effective 5-step major gift and planned gift marketing strategy ever

Employ donor surveys. Provide valuable engagement offers using the information you learned from the surveys (that way your offers will elicit responses— since you now… Read More


Why you should stop looking for fundraising silver bullets and unicorns.

Many marketers/fundraisers desperately hope to find silver bullets or unicorns. They become enamored by shiny objects that are easy to employ. Usually, these technologies and tactics… Read More


You’ve got leads (identified major donor prospects) but are they ‘outreach-ready’?

People and vendors in our sector talk a lot about identifying donors, but getting them ready to meet with you is a different story. The problem… Read More


Where are you spending your marketing dollars?

If your organization has 10,000 active donors, it’s very likely they’ll be categorized as follows: A small number will generate 80-90 percent of the revenue…. Read More


3 questions every major donor asks themselves after they give

“What did they do with my money?” “Would my money yield more impact if I gave it to another organization?” “Do they make me feel good or… Read More


Should you target market financial advisors in order to get more legacy gifts?

It depends. I find myself saying, “It depends” quite a lot these days. But, seriously, the decision to target market to financial advisors depends on… Read More


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