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

2 of the Most Important Fundraising Charts You’ll Ever See

Thanks to AFP’s Growth-In-Giving Initiative, you now have a very simple way to evaluate your organization’s year-over-year results for gains and losses. On their web… Read More

2 of the Most Important Fundraising Charts You'll Ever See

Thanks to AFP’s Growth-In-Giving Initiative, you now have a very simple way to evaluate your organization’s year-over-year results for gains and losses. On their web… Read More

Ya Gotta Give ‘Em Value

Too often people engage with charities but get very little in return. Yet, they keep trying.   They’ll involve themselves with your charity over and over… Read More

Stop Looking for Fundraising Unicorns!

I stumbled on the following poll that left me scratching my head. Why do so many PG folks “Strongly Agree” that nonprofits should be “marketing… Read More

6 Ways You Should Suggest Your Donors Use Their Donor Advised Funds

1. For memorials Let donors know that they can turn their Donor Advised Fund into a sort of “memorial fund” to honor a late spouse, family… Read More

Give Your Supporters the “Awesomeness Coin”

It’s not just important. It’s essential that you allow donors to feel awesome about themselves. Therefore, you just have to give them the “awesomeness coin.”… Read More

5 Ways You Can Ensure That Your Supporters Never Feel “Donor Remorse”

It’s still stings. Every single time I see that nonprofit organization’s logo, it hurts.   I had been making donations to this charity every year… Read More

What’s Wrong with “Ask > Thank > Report > Repeat”

My pal Steven Screen is one of the best fundraising copywriters in the U.S. Seriously! He and his friend Jeff Brooks have a great podcast… Read More

How to Get All of Your Planned Giving Marketing Questions Answered for FREE

You may be all alone out there. Charged with uncovering hidden bequest gifts, generating new leads and meeting with supporters to help them make their plans…. Read More

Why I Give So Much Away for Free

As many of you probably already know, when I first started examining the nonprofit space, I was baffled, dumbfounded, perplexed and confused. If you don’t know… Read More

Dr. Russell James’ Newest Textbook Giveaway

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of Dr. Russell James, whom I consider the foremost… Read More

What Words to Use Instead of the Infamous “B-word” (Bequest)

Last week one of my blog posts told you make sure to stay away from the word “bequest” in your communications with donors. But I… Read More

Start with "Thank You"

Tracy Malloy-Curtis is a real fundraiser. She’s passionate, hard-working, and smart! …My kinda fundraiser.   Here’s a little bit of brilliance she shared with me… Read More

7 Simple Lessons to Remember from Dr. Russell James About Planned Gift Marketing

Use family words (stories and simple, colloquial words) not formal words Use social examples/norms such as: Many of our donors like to make a gift… Read More

4 Trends That Will Reshape the Nonprofit Landscape

Curt Swindoll, Executive Vice President for Strategy at Pursuant (a fundraising consultancy), outlined 4 trends that will reshape the nonprofit landscape. Here’s a summary of his… Read More

How to Optimize Your Planned Giving Inserts for Results in 6 Steps

I always recommend including inserts with my clients’ annual fund thank you letters. Doing so builds awareness for planned giving (in general) and generates leads…. Read More

How to Forecast How Much Planned Giving Revenue You Will Get

I think Michael Rosen is the most thorough of all planned giving bloggers. If you find my posts to be too short and missing some… Read More

4 Cute Cartoons About Planned Giving (Sort Of)


Your Donors Want Symbolic Immortality… So Why Not Give It to Them?

On her deathbed, my wife’s grandmother wrote this note. She asked my wife to make copies of it for each of the grandchildren in the family. Of… Read More

HEAR THE VOICE OF SMART IDEAS: Finally You Can Hear Greg Warner Talk About Engagement Fundraising!

Did you ever see pictures of someone or read their books and then… when you finally hear their voice, you think to yourself, “Hmm! So… Read More

Are You Finding the Path Up?

There’s an age-old story about two shoe salesmen sent to Africa in the early 1900’s to assess the potential of the market. Each wired separate telegrams… Read More

6 "Ins" and "Outs" for Your Planned Gift Marketing in 2015


10 Things You Should Do to Be Happier in 2015

This year we’ve been talking a lot about what makes donors give more. We’ve worked with our pal Dr. Russell James to determine which “words… Read More

Fundraising is Broken…Fix It With Engagement Fundraising

Here at MarketSmart, our mission is simple: we aim to exponentially increase revenues for nonprofits while dramatically reducing costs. But, while advancing toward our objective,… Read More

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