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

7 Great Fundraising Tips from Daniel Pink's New Book: To Sell is Human

To say that I love this book is a gross understatement. Here are my takeaways. But you really should read this book if you hate… Read More


I once came up with this but, honestly, I have never tried it. It’s called PIZZA PARTY PLANNED GIVING. Let me know if you think it… Read More

2 Places to Find the Best FREE Fundraising Resources in the Universe

I love their stuff so I thought I should share their links.   1. Claire Axelrad’s Clairification:  The best resource for all kinds of fundraising insights…. Read More

How Much Would You Pay for "Visibility"?

Recently, a client was approached by an advertising sales rep at a large national publication peddling a 1/8-page ad in a “special edition” that will… Read More

I Love Results. Do You?

I love happy clients. I love happy donors. I love results.   If your major gift and legacy gift marketing campaigns are not generating piles… Read More

Your Job is NOT to Raise Funds

You are not a fundraiser. You are, instead, an engagement facilitator. Tweet this! And, the purpose of your engagements with donors is to discover why… Read More

Engagement is Everything!

Hi-end hotels = Service is everything = Convenience is everything   Hardware tools = Reliability is everything   Home alarm systems = Security is… Read More

5 Ways to FAIL at Major and Legacy Gift Marketing (and 3 Ways to SUCCEED)

Ways to fail 1. Listen to your marketing staff, family, friends, board members, or your “gut” 2. Listen to your donors (even they do not… Read More

DUMB = Only Marketing Planned Gifts to Supporters When They Are About to Die

Recently I was reminded of a presentation at a conference that baffled me for two reasons:   BAFFLED REASON #1–  The “planned giving marketing expert” ran… Read More

How to Increase Fundraising Revenue by 68% by Simply Mimicking Your Donors

I love studies about waiters and restaurants. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I truly think great waiters would… Read More

Your Donor Engagement Experience Sucks!

If your donor engagement experience sucks, your organization might be in real big trouble because donors have seriously impressive memories. According to Penelope Burk, 46%… Read More

The Problem with Too Many Planned Giving Leads

It’s a good problem to have. But I’ve heard people tell me they’d rather have less, more qualified leads (ready to make a legacy giving… Read More

How Tracy Makes the Donor the Hero

It ain’t about you and your organization. Of course, you are great. But the donor funds your efforts. Without the donor, you wouldn’t even be… Read More

Donor Retention

I think we’re in trouble.   No, I’m not worried about the economy. It’s not the recent jobs report either.   I’m worried because the… Read More

Do Only Lazy Fundraisers Avoid Chat Tools?

You may or may not have noticed that we have a chat tool on the bottom right corner of our website here at MarketSmart. It’s… Read More

Why Your Organization Needs to Change

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin  … Read More

Why Your Donors Say "No" and What to Do About It

Jedi and their apprentices are shown practicing throughout the Star Wars series. And that’s no surprise because everyone knows that practice makes perfect. Deep down,… Read More

“You’re in Sales! Get Over It!” or The Difference Between Fundraising and Selling

A while back, I wrote a blog post about the difference between buying and giving. I said, “There is no difference between buying and giving.  So,… Read More

The Best Way to Ensure That No One Reads Your Stuff

Recently I told my writer that most people won’t read her body copy. That hurt her feelings. She was upset and reacted harshly to my… Read More

How Gritty Are You?

I think “grit” is more important than talent or skill.   Grit is courage, strength of character and “stick-to-it-ive-ness.”   Here’s a neat test to… Read More

Why Better Marketers Raise More Money!

Some will say it’s unfair. Heart disease (the disease that killed my father when he was only 63) kills almost 600,000 people each year.  Yet,… Read More

Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me

Fundraisers can learn a lot from private business experts and entrepreneurs. One of my favorite bloggers, Thomson Dawson, recently wrote a post about his strategy for… Read More

Two Smart Ways to Acquire New Major Donors

Recently I was asked to attend a nonprofit’s Board of Directors meeting.  My client wanted me to present some data about the results we’ve been… Read More

The Real Secret to Success is Failure

1. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy 2. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that… Read More

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