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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If you like VERITUS GROUP and you like me… now you can get both together!

Alignment. Have you ever met someone for the first time but felt like you had known them forever? Like you had a mysterious connection instantly?… Read More


At last, the Fundraising Report Card is now 100% free for nonprofits

In case you’ve never heard of it… The Fundraising Report Card is a little application I had my staff build a couple of years ago…. Read More


A perfect example of ‘spray and pray fundraising’

This email wasted my time and annoyed me because… I don’t know this person I don’t know this organization I didn’t give her or them… 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


Why your capital campaign feasibility study could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

I think most campaign feasibility studies leave a ton of money on the table. Here’s a hyper-simplified description of how it usually works. You hire… Read More


A digest of last year’s best blog posts (titled ‘The Best Of SmartIdeas’) is now available… for FREE.

If you’ve ever hoped for a digest of my best posts, today is your lucky day! Each year, my staff review the data to determine… Read More


Here’s what’s missing from moves management.

Something about the term moves management has always made me feel uneasy. When I first heard the phrase I figured it was all about managing… Read More


Unsubscribe supporters from emails

Unsubscribe supporters from email blasts Now you can easily ensure supporters who should not receive emails from you are removed from our email blasts. Read more in… Read More


How to get your donors to respond to you WITHOUT asking them to respond to you

Does polite persistence really work any more? When I first got into sales, my uncle told me that polite persistence was the key to achieving… 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


Giving increased .7% but you won’t hear many people celebrating and that’s really too bad

They were wrong. Remember when the Lilly School predicted at least a $13 billion drop in giving due to the Trump Tax Cut (which would… 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


Now Available: Executive Summary (PDF) of My Webinar On ‘Fundraising Climate Change’

A few weeks ago I hosted a webinar about Fundraising Climate Change (a term I developed some time ago and included in my book titled… Read More


When you should NOT conduct face-to-face fundraising

Essentially, there are two types of face-to-face fundraising. When fundraising staff, leaders, and board members (or other supporters) meet with highly qualified, major and or… Read More


Why You Need Tech-Enabled Donor Discovery

For decades, fundraisers have sought a ‘magic box’ to identify the most ideal donor prospects for outreach, relationship-building, and solicitation. Of course they do. Who… Read More


Engagement Calling Metrics for Lead Outreach Associates Tasked With Arranging Meetings With Major Donor & Legacy Donor Prospects

Engagement calling, not cold calling! About 1 1/2 years ago I introduced the concept of Engagement Calling as the best way to land appointments with highly qualified,… 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 hardly anyone reads your planned giving newsletter (and what you can do about it).

Confusing? Too often planned giving newsletters are written by lawyers and the lawyers at nonprofits think they are just dandy. However, most of your supporters… Read More


All About Fundraising Climate Change (And What You Can Do About It)

The world of fundraising is facing a climate change. For years, the environment has been shifting. The storm clouds have been gathering. I’ve been talking… Read More


18 takeaways from my recent appearance on the Giving Back Podcast

This was a super-fun interview on The Giving Back Podcast. But if you don’t have time to listen to it, here are some notes my… Read More


Musical chairs, your donors, and fundraising?

I think fundraisers should recognize that donors are playing a lifelong game of musical chairs. The people you consider to be YOUR donors are circling… Read More


Why treating philanthropists like s#!t is hurting our society.

From bad to worse When I first saw the pictures of the flames engulfing Notre-Dame, I thought to myself, “That’s terrible.” But now, that the… Read More


What is donor qualification and why should you care about it?

What is donor qualification? It’s the process by which you determine whether or not a supporter/donor is someone you should: Spend your valuable time building a… Read More


Are you doubling down on a low-dollar fundraising strategy?

A client recently told us she was being asked by her leadership to consider cancelling her MarketSmart subscription.  She said that last year, during Q4,… Read More


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