Smartideas

Helping you qualify, cultivate and prioritize major donors and legacy supporters so you can have fun closing more gifts more efficiently.

MarketSmart characters
MarketSmart lightbulb icon
How to increase the likelihood that your major or legacy donor prospects will engage in a meaningful conversation with you by 700%

  Follow-up failure. Follow-up failure is prevalent in every business category around the world. In 2011, the Harvard Business Review studied 2,241 U.S. companies to see… Read More


How asking for advice helps fundraisers: (1) qualify donors for their portfolios AND (2) build deeper relationships

Your donors want a partner, not a solicitor. Partners ask for advice before asking for money. Partners looking for advice are looking to collaborate. Partners… Read More


Have I mentioned how self-actualization ties in with why donors give?

Self-actualization (realizing one’s full potential) rests at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Donors aim for self-actualization and giving helps them make progress toward that goal…. Read More


Do you really need to buy a planned giving website?

In most cases, for most nonprofits… NO! You don’t need to buy a planned giving website. Here’s why:  For decades, nonprofit leaders and staff have… Read More


3 reasons why your donors and donor prospects won’t call you back

Frustration! Recently I was visiting a customer and one of the fundraisers was very frustrated. Thanks to our system, lots of donors disclosed that they already left… Read More


Why your job is really about developing heroes, not dollars

People want to see themselves as good, just, righteous, and so on.  In other words, they want to be heroic. They want to change the… Read More


Why reciprocity must be an essential tool in your fundraising toolbox

Every single human being in every single society on earth subscribes to an unspoken rule when it comes to reciprocation as follows: If someone does… Read More


Charity vs. Philanthropy and Charitable People vs. Philanthropists

Charity – Helping people in need Philanthropy – Making an investment that stimulates other investments or provides opportunity for others Charitable people – Help others in… Read More


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


Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!