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

Should your planned giving website include a calculator page?

Sometimes our new clients get all jazzed about having a calculator on their planned giving website. I guess they feel it’s important to provide a… Read More

It’s all about the "warm glow"!

Alaska’s residents are allowed to share in the revenue the state enjoys from investments in mineral royalties. In order to get their dividend, they have… Read More

Do people prefer when others pay for a nonprofits’ administrative costs?

I know, I know… Dan Pallota thinks charities need a defense council to inform the public that administrative costs are a necessary part of a… Read More

Are we sometimes asking donors the wrong questions?

In Abila’s new donor engagement report, the first question they asked donors was, “What matters most to you?” Problem is… the answers they allowed were not… Read More

Stop swapping your donor lists with other nonprofits

One thing (among so many others) that I never understood about nonprofits is why they sell or swap lists with other nonprofits. It’s usually done with… Read More

When Brand Guidelines Trump Donor-centricity You Have a Recipe For Disaster

“Make the font smaller!” That’s what the brand police told me to do. I reminded them that the supporters we were targeting for the CGA lead generation effort… Read More

Die! Die! Die! Die! Die! Die!

I just saw a video for a nonprofit’s planned giving department that made me sick. Truly nauseated.  In it, the fake actor/speaker said the word… Read More

Softening Statements: 22 effective ways to ease into difficult conversations with supporters

Softening statements help you “get your toe in the water” with difficult conversations.  They smooth out the discussion. They help supporters feel at ease. Of… Read More

The Secret: Why People Really Make Major Gifts and Bequests

So you want to know the real reason why people make major gifts and bequests? Ok. But first, I must share a quote. Confucius once… Read More

8 huge reasons why you should join our new LinkedIn fundraising group

        The new LinkedIn fundraising group is called Major and Planned Gift Marketers. It’s growing fast. Here’s why you should join: The conversations… Read More

11 props you can use to raise more money at face-to-face meetings

Your annual report (only if it has good pictures, stories about impact, and financials that show responsible use of funds) A copy of your newsletter (only… Read More

4 reasons why you should spend less time telling donor stories and more time getting your supporters to tell you their life stories

I bet you already know that each and every one of your supporters has a unique reason why they first got involved with your organization—… Read More

Everything you need is already in your database

In the late 1800’s, a motivational speaker gave a speech over 6,000 times.  His name was Russell Conwell and his traveling lecture was titled Acres… Read More

Believe in "The Fantastic Four" if you want to market planned gifts the right way

When it comes to marketing planned gifts, always remember that you want your supporters to think about how they can find meaning in their lives by… Read More

3 powerful planned giving quotes from famous and not-so-famous people

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther [German friar, priest… Read More

MarketSmart was in the Washington Post last weekend

Last weekend’s Sunday paper (business section) included a nice little story about MarketSmart and our recent growth spurt. LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!

Why silence is golden

A couple of decades or so ago, I was fresh out of school selling advertising space for a local newspaper.  A retailer asked me to write… Read More

9 questions to help you determine if your results are good

Sometimes we don’t want to look at the results of our marketing efforts.  Facing them isn’t easy. Especially if they stink. But I hope you will… Read More

Empathy vs. Perspective… Which One is Better?

Empathy helps you understand what a prospective donor is feeling.  Perspective helps you understand why they are feeling it. Which one do you need in… Read More

Why I Like This Ad

1. It’s simple and direct 2. It does not include any legal jargon 3. It does not remind the reader about death or the IRS 4…. Read More

What Should the Title of your Legacy Giving Booklet Be?

A few months ago, William Rivas-Rivas (Director of Philanthropic Gifts at Animal Legal Defense Fund) posed the following question/challenge to the members of the Major… Read More

Why do Nonprofits Give Their Staff Such Terrible Titles?

I have always felt that the word “fundraiser” stinks! As a donor, I feel like “fundraiser” screams “salesperson”. When a fundraiser calls me, I know… Read More

Why You Should Add Fuel to the Fire

Impressive results. One of my clients told me yesterday that almost 1/3 of her organization’s revenue historically comes from planned gifts.  ONE THIRD! WOW! Impressive!… Read More

Bees, Fear, Negativity and You

Bees will sting a person whose mind is releasing vibrations of fear, much more readily than it will bother the person whose mind registers no… Read More

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