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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12 questions to ask yourself to avoid disrespecting your supporters

In the for profit world they call it customer service. All of us get frustrated when we feel slighted or disrespected. Yet, sadly, nonprofits are… Read More


Are you building trust?

Trust is the cornerstone of all meaningful relationships. Fail to build trust and you'll fail to get the gift. It's that simple. Build trust over… Read More


7 simple ways to engender fondness among your supporters for yourself and your nonprofit’s cause

People are more likely to be persuaded by people we like. So, no matter how worthy your cause is, if your supporters don’t like you,… Read More


You don't necessarily need more low-dollar donors

You don’t necessarily need more low-dollar donors. You need better ways to determine who has the capacity. You don’t necessarily need more low-dollar donors. You need… Read More


Can raising money be like building furniture?

Did you know you can make furniture without screws, nails or fasteners? Great artisans make furniture using glue, miters, and specialized wood joints. It takes longer to… Read More


Some people find me abrasive. Here's why.

Recently I was told, “Greg, you are one strong cup of coffee.” I like that. Here’s why I am the way I am: 1. I… Read More


Most fundraisers use email the wrong way

Every marketing channel needs to be optimized and employed properly. Sadly most fundraisers are using email the wrong way. Email should NOT be used primarily… 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


5 best practices for delivering progress reports to your major gift and legacy supporters

Tony Robbins, the author of Money: Master the Game, discussed “How Progress Equals Happiness” earlier this year on Oprah’s digital web-show – #OWNSHOW. So true!… 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


Top 10 reasons major and planned gift officers fail to generate results

# 10. Too much rapport building (not enough alignment of organizational needs with donor passions and interests) # 9. Talking too much; listening too little… Read More


6 big recommendations from Abila's donor loyalty study about content

“Content is money!” That’s what Abila says. Here are 6 big recommendations from Abila’s donor loyalty study: 1. Spend time on content and your content strategy:… Read More


How fast do you respond to your major and planned gift donors' needs?

The private sector knows all about responding to leads. They know that: The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times… Read More


4 essential questions to ask yourself about your planned or major gift direct mail program

1. Are you really doing direct mail well? I like to say, “Be donor-centric. Be personalized. Be relevant. Or be gone!” If you’re sending tons… Read More


Is Your Donor "Endangered"?

Sometimes it’s who you know not what you know.  Fortunately for me, my cousin Richard (who I know) is the foremost authority on customer service…. Read More


Where are your donors going if not to you?

These days, many nonprofits are seeing their lists erode. Oddly, for each organization, they are losing more donors than they are acquiring. However, giving as… Read More


Here’s how fundraising retention rates compare to other industries

Fitness/health clubs – 72.4%   Software as a service (SaaS) – 46% annual churn leaving 56% of customers retained is considered BAD!   Individual membership organizations… Read More


Too much talk about donor retention?

There’s a lot of talk about donor retention these days. Don’t get me wrong. Retention is important, very important! But it’s really only one side… 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


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


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


What Does "Value" Have to do with Raising Money?

When it comes to raising money, do you want more donors?  And, want more donors to give more? The only true way to substantially achieve both… Read More


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