Smartideas

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

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Today I think I’ll take a victory lap. Will you join me?

I get things wrong all the time. Back in 1993 when I quit my first ‘real’ job in the newspaper business I predicted printed newspapers… Read More


Is your job really to raise money?

Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World wrote: “The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than… Read More


Top 8 reasons why you might want to read my new book: Engagement Fundraising

Here are 8 reasons why you might want to read my new book: Engagement Fundraising …


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


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


Almost four years ago I declared: "The Fundraising Pyramid Is DEAD!"

Recently I was reminded of a blog post I wrote four years ago that got a lot of attention. Some of the reactions were not so kind…. Read More


Should your donors be given a chance to "tip" your organization?

Are you confused by that headline? Here’s what I mean: I think it would be interesting for us to test allowing donors the opportunity to decide… Read More


The 5 p’s of engagement fundraising

1- Permission Donors have immense power these days. They can ignore your communications!  The best way to ensure that they don’t exercise that power is… Read More


3 new phrases/concepts engagement fundraisers need to know

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I coined the phrase “engagement fundraising” in 2013. Here’s my first rant on… Read More


Imagine this.

Imagine this. Since you’re reading this, I’m betting you are someone who cares deeply about helping supporters with capacity (wealthy people) realize their philanthropic dreams. You… Read More


5 ideas you should share with supporters to close more year-end major gifts

Whenever I see articles about year-end major gifts, they always seem to say the same things such as, “Don’t forget to look at your list… Read More


Has your organization put you in a position to succeed?

The private sector figured out a long time ago that a salesperson should never generate their own leads. A lead generator should never set-up appointments. And, a… Read More


The top 10 signs that it's time to fire your employer

Most people I know are actually willing to earn less money as long as they love their job. Are you one of them? Do you… Read More


What to do with wealth screened data that's "sitting on the shelf" unused

Wealth screening your data is a good idea! My firm doesn’t provide that service but there are plenty that can help you to determine who… Read More


How to use verbatims and digital body language to raise more money

Recently I was interviewed by Mazarine at Wild Woman Fundraising! You can hear the interview here. There’s one big point from the interview I figured you’d want… Read More


Stop complaining because your success is up to you

All of us have been there. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in situations that just plain suck! Think yours is worse than someone else’s? Think… Read More


Finally, you can learn what words work to raise money!

Last year I worked with Dr. Russell James to present his findings on what words work to raise money (Check out the ground-breaking webinar titled… Read More


Do you have a 'commendation mindset'?

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” I recently saw that quote and it got me thinking that… Read More


What makes a great Gift Officer great? 5 traits

Great Gift Officers have common traits. Here they are: Genuine curiosity. They ask donors questions and they truly care about the answers. They don’t sound… Read More


Stop shaming your supporters!

So I’m out having lunch with one of my fellow CEO buddies. I do that a lot. It’s very lonely being a CEO so I… Read More


Why I don’t cry foul when I hear how much money sits in DAFs

Al Cantor is great. He’s a tiger. He takes particular interest in what DAFs are (and are NOT) doing. For instance, fairly recently he pointed… Read More


Don’t ever ask someone to give until it hurts

Give until it hurts? Like so many other things I dislike about traditional fundraising axioms, this one has always rubbed me the wrong way. Remember,… Read More


24 amazing benchmark reports on fundraising all in one place

If you’re like me, you like to noodle data and scratch your head a lot. I’ve done so much head-scratching that my hair is almost… Read More


5 potentially big problems related to telemarketing for planned gifts

Here are the potential downsides to telemarketing for planned gifts: 1 – The cost could be high; 2 – The calls are usually interruptive, inconvenient and… Read More


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