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Smartideas

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

Is it time to dump donor ‘scores’?

Are scores really worth the trouble? It seems like every service provider has a scoring system for your donors. They've got capacity scores, likelihood scores,… Read More


Is it time to dump donor 'scores'?

Are scores really worth the trouble? It seems like every service provider has a scoring system for your donors. They've got capacity scores, likelihood scores,… Read More


Life is too short for bullsh#t!

Why do they fail? I’ve met with hundreds of organizations since I began helping nonprofits and I can tell you that I’ve seen all kinds… Read More


Are you playing games with your supporters?

Sadly some fundraisers think they’re playing a game. But if only one participant is playing, what’s the other one doing? Being played! At its core,… Read More


Is a day of reckoning coming for fundraisers and their employers?

Fundraisers like you are in a difficult spot. You’re constantly being asked to raise more money by your board of directors, but you don’t have… Read More


The single difference between above average and below average fundraisers

Above average fundraisers have developed the ability to create and deliver value where the donor has never thought to look for it.   Related Posts: >>Value… Read More


Do email open rates matter?

Nope. Not really. Not much. Instead of asking about open rates, you should be asking more important questions such as: Do our donors engage with… Read More


What's really wrong with moves management?

A lot of people feel uncomfortable with moves management but they don’t know why. I think discomfort might arise because it focuses a lot on you and… Read More


Why MarketSmart's logo is a lightbulb.

After more than 2 years, it finally dawned on her. A wonderful fundraiser had been buying from us (MarketSmart) when finally, one day she exclaimed,… Read More


If you're asking yourself whether or not direct mail is dead, then you're asking the wrong question

There’s too much talk about whether or not direct mail is dead. Of course it is NOT dead! I get direct mail delivered to me every day.  … Read More


3 things you can do when fundraising is no longer fun and you want a new job.

Turnover. If you’ve been in fundraising for any length of time you probably already know that turnover is a problem in the sector. According to… Read More


BENCHMARKING YOURSELF: Ever wonder how you’re doing compared to others?

If you’re competitive like me, you probably want to see how your organization compares to its peers. Now you can do that in seconds, for… Read More


Even fundraisers can "get schooled" by a 4th-grade teacher

These days you can’t be average. Average efforts deliver average results. If you want to raise more major gifts and generate planned gifts: Be exceptional… Read More


4 keys to fundraising success you might be overlooking

1. Humanity – Understanding human beings — really taking a deep, genuine interest in their wants, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams. The best way to… Read More


Mass marketing, relationships and trust.

One-to-many marketing/fundraising relationships are the same as personal relationships. Trust is essential. But, if you send spammy emails and direct mailers that are impersonal, irrelevant, interruptive,… Read More


Do you aim your messages at supporters or targets?

Unfortunately just about all of us are capable of conceiving of people as just functions rather than human beings. I think this realization was first… Read More


Top 3 ways to determine whether or not a so-called expert is worth listening to

Most people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. On social media you’ll find a lot of people posting and making comments on posts…. Read More


The difference between goals vs. quotas for major gifts and planned gifts fundraisers

I am a big believer in setting goals with my staff, not administering quotas. When we sit down to set goals, I prefer to collaborate with my… Read More


Are you chasing wealthy people or philanthropists?

Wealthy people are not necessarily philanthropists. But philanthropists are usually wealthy. When organizations develop their lists, I think, perhaps, a little too much attention is… Read More


Top 5 reasons why it might be time to kill donor visit quotas!

Quotas… YUCK! Many major and planned giving professionals are required to secure and carry out a certain number of face-to-face visits each year. This is… Read More


Donor Complaints: Why it's a bad idea to get upset with donors when they complain

No one likes to hear complaints.  But when you work for a nonprofit or a private sector business, you need to welcome complaints. Here’s why:… Read More


Donors Aren’t Stupid

High-capacity donors aren’t stupid. They know a good ‘deal’ versus a bad one. They know what’s fair and what isn’t. They know when they are… Read More


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 how… 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


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