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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Why mistakes are awesome and what to do about them

I know the feeling. A supporter calls to tell you your email or letter spelled her name wrong. She’s pissed! You begin to sweat and your muscles… Read More


The 4 levels of donor commitment according to Mal Warwick

For those of you who are new to the field, Mal Warwick played a tremendous leadership role in fundraising and direct marketing. In his book… Read More


3 big reasons why some fundraisers should not critique creative

Recently one of our beloved clients critiqued something we thought she should do by saying, “Well if I saw that envelope I’d throw it in the… Read More


3 ways to use direct mail effectively in the age of social media

Although direct mail requires printing and postage, we still include it in our marketing plans because it can be effective if you do it right…. Read More


7 Solid Reasons Why You Should Kill Your Printed Planned Giving Newsletter

I know, I know… you love your printed planned giving newsletter. After all, it’s an easy marketing option (especially if you buy them from a vendor who… Read More


The top 10 reasons why your donor outreach fails

Here’s a list of top 10 reasons why your donor outreach fails: #10. It’s boring #9. It’s impersonal #8. It’s irrelevant #7. It lacks emotion… 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


Thank you for being part of our growing ecosystem

I created Engagement Fundraising and invented our software because I’m really a donor, not a fundraiser. In fact, I have never been a fundraiser according to Webster’s definition… Read More


2 things you need to know for direct marketing

If you’re working on a direct marketing effort for major and/or planned gifts, there are just two things you need to know: 1. What’s really… Read More


How to End Your Obsession With Direct Mail (and Why)

Love! Ahh…. love. Is there anything better than love? Love is great. But when it goes too far and becomes an obsession, there’s a problem…. Read More


The top 3 kinds of emails your donors want to receive from you

Marketing Sherpa frequently delivers fantastic research right to your inbox for free (if you sign up for it). Here you’ll find their latest findings on… Read More


Another idea to think about before you write your fundraising copy

Carol Pollack from Planning and Endowment Consulting had a great idea to add to yesterday’s post.    


The planned giving marathon is all about engagement.

Recently someone told me that their organization doesn’t consider a planned giving lead to be a “real lead” unless someone is calling in or requesting… Read More


Trillions and trillions of dollars.

Between 2000 and 2050 $12 trillion is expected to go to charity in the form of bequests. That’s $12 TRILLION! Or, 12,000 X ONE BILLION…. Read More


Phyllis Freedman’s excellent synopsis of how planned giving target marketing is changing

Very few people write as clearly, concisely and intelligently as Phyllis Freedman (aka- The Planned Giving Blogger). In her recent post, she outlines what Stelter… Read More


The best planned giving blogs on the planet!

Please trash, bash or help me add to this list: 1) The Planned Giving Blogger by Phyllis Freedman http://www.smart-giving.com/plannedgivingblogger/ 2) Planned Giving Breakthroughs by Lorri… Read More


13 stages of the consideration / evaluation process for making a planned gift

Prospective donor buys into your mission Has a clear understanding of the future needs of your organization Sees the organization as a good investment because… Read More


Postcards get one more breathe of life for direct mail marketing

Why not create some postcards in bulk to save money and keep your marketing schedule consistent and on-track all year long? While postcards are a… Read More


What's the response rate?

I hear that question a lot in lead generation marketing, planned giving marketing, sponsorship marketing and just about any other kind of marketing you can… Read More


Behind the stats and metrics of email marketing for planned giving marketing

On a listserve recently there was a discussion about what you can expect from email marketing in planned giving marketing.  I can tell you that,… Read More


Get more bang for your direct mail buck

Add relevance and a personalized URL Yes, I’m talking about personalization.  Direct mail works best when it is relevant. So we recommend you send targeted… Read More


What the heck is email marketing automation?

With the development of social media – and the problems of spam and information overload – email may be losing some of its power. Smart… Read More


Add some "ONSERTS" to your outgoing email or mail.

Well you’ve heard about inserts – what about onserts? These work because your best business and best referrals will come from your past customers. Check… Read More


Go ahead… Cold call!

Recently someone told me at a networking function that cold-calling was “old-school” and didn’t work. Of course this person admitted he never made a cold… Read More


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