Smartideas

Straight talk about major, mid-level and legacy gift fundraising to help you be a better fundraiser

What We Can Learn From Giving to Higher Education

It’s the enduring appeal of the scholarship. It is a way for one person to help another person realize their potential. The volume of giving… Read More


The 7-Step Donor Journey from Stranger to Philanthropic Partner

All your donors are on a journey, whether they know it or not. Some of them are on a journey to get as far away… Read More


Putting the Right Idea in Front of The Right Donor in the Right Way at the Right Time

Put the right idea in front of the right door in the right way at the right time. The more consistently you do that, the… Read More


What Is Donor Identification? Major Gift Fundraising Fundamentals Series

As you begin scouring your donor and supporter databases for your next batch of major donors, where do you begin? How can you tell from… Read More


The Great Obstacle To Professional Growth, Fulfillment and Sound Decision Making

The Great Obstacle To Professional Growth, Fulfillment and Sound Decision Making It’s the need to be more honest with ourselves. It’s more than self-knowledge. It’s… Read More


Why Business Marketing Automation Platforms Don’t Work for Nonprofits

As a large or perhaps mid-size nonprofit organization, you probably know the general value of marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot and Salesforce. You may… Read More


What Is and Isn’t Philanthropic

To be philanthropic is to acknowledge that we are in this together; that: Your misfortune is mine because I have been lucky and you have… Read More


Major Donor Retention – What’s Holding It Back?

Donor retention statistics continue to worsen, with 2022 showing the lowest overall rate ever recorded, at 42.6%, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. This applies… Read More


What They Don’t Teach in Fundraising School

Do you know what they don’t teach in fundraising school? The situational realities of fundraising, such as: You’re given a goal far greater than any… Read More


Why You Don’t Want Short-Term Results — 4 Reasons (Plus 6 Reasons Why You Want Long-Term Relationships Instead)

Should you work on building and sustaining long-term donor relationships that lead to major giving, or should you prioritize winning low-dollar gifts as quickly as… Read More


The Heavy Lifts of Fundraising

Seemingly random events earlier in our lives actually serve as omens for what we will encounter the rest of our lives. For me, it was… Read More


9 Powerful But Often Overlooked Ideas for More Effectively Thanking Major Donors

Are you falling behind on thanking your major donors? Are you neglecting it entirely? If so, unfortunately, you’re not alone. On the other hand, maybe… Read More


A Positive Trend In Fundraising That’s Applicable to All We Do

“What trends are you seeing across your peer group or aspirant peers?” I asked a client team last week. “Campaigns that play down the monetary… Read More


5 Advanced Fundraising Tactics You Can Automate

Identifying, qualifying, and cultivating major gifts prospects takes months, often years. And doing so requires a number of tactics to be used over that time…. Read More


Philanthropic Facilitation and the Art of Matchmaking

As Carlo Robustelli, V.P. of College Advancement at Dickinson College explains, “We’re not miracle workers, we’re matchmakers.” Carlo is trying to help his colleagues outside… Read More


Finally! “The Effortless Ask” – Using the Donor’s Story to Make It Easy to Ask Big in 3 Easy Steps

The Ask. Fundraisers think about it. Conference speakers talk about it. Books get written about it. But is it worth all the hype? Is ‘The… Read More


The Real Way to Raise Money

Do you want to know the real way to raise money? It’s not complicated. Provide donors with what money can’t buy. Philanthropic experiences that money… Read More


5 Tips to Being Persistent in Outreach to Major Donors

Far too many gift officers and other fundraisers give up too easily when they don’t get a positive response from their donor prospects. Persistence pays… Read More


The Way You Fundraise Matters

There are lots of ways to fundraise. All of them can be said to work in some ways but the way you fundraise: Determines the… Read More


Understanding Wealthy Donors – 3 Truths Every Gift Officer Needs to Know

There’s a chasm in major gifts fundraising. It lies between the wealthy donors who often make up over 80% of your giving base (sometimes over… Read More


Fundraising’s Worst Oversimplification

Fundraising’s worst oversimplification is: “People give because they’re asked.” That’s like saying those who agree to marry do so simply “because they were asked.” Yes,… Read More


What Gift Officers Should Put in Their LinkedIn Experience Section

If you’ve read our other posts about LinkedIn, you understand that the point of your LinkedIn profile is not to get a job. You have… Read More


The Most Important Fundraising Metric: The 20-Year Relationship

When we conduct our Vital Signs Assessment, looking for indicators of fundraising success or struggle ahead, one data point stands out far more than any… Read More


Why Organizations That Institute the Greatest Demands for Accountability Perform So Poorly

For the most part, everyone agrees that metrics are good. Accountability is good – even for major gift officers. Generally speaking, measuring what you do… Read More


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