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

Is donor retention really where you should focus your time and money?

The market/sector has been ‘flooded’ with people talking about donor retention for many years now. Many of them make money selling software and services that… 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

Have you been harassed by the ‘brand’ police?

Ack! Run, it's the brand police! Unfortunately, many major and planned gift officers are subject to harassment by the 'brand' police. They impede your progress… 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

8 Great Ways to End Emails or Letters

Cultivation starts and ends with great communication. Goodbyes are just as important as hellos. So here are some great ways to end emails you send… 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

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… 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 over… Read More

Can charities outflank Apple?

Think about this. The newest Apple iPhone costs about $1,000. In the past, it was about $600. Some 80 million people bought the iPhone X so… Read More

Today I want to tell you about some amazing people

When I get in at 7 am, I see them. And, when I leave at 7 pm, I see them. Working. There’s fire in their… Read More

Here's a job description for a major gift or legacy gift lead outreach associate

Last summer I wrote a very thorough post titled: How To Structure and Staff Your Planned Giving Department for the 21st Century. Ever since I’ve… 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

Are you in love with your organization's mission?

It’s all about love. Once you brush away the internal politics, the nasty board member out to get you, the job title or raise you… 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, the ask… 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

Have some fun with MarketSmart’s word search!

Want some fun? My team recently created a word search for our new interns. It includes a bunch of different words and phrases used in the… Read More

Why do staff at smaller charities seem to have more time to write heartfelt thank you notes?

Some charities send me amazing ‘thank you notes’. They are personal, relevant and heartfelt. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy. And, they make… Read More

And another thing about donor-advised funds…

I know, I disagree with many others on this issue. But the value proposition offered to donors by donor-advised funds is fair and good. It… Read More

Why fundraisers shouldn't be making friends with donors

A true story. I was talking to one of our customers two weeks ago. She had been working for an organization for almost two and a… 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

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