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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Find your dream job with these 3 simple steps

If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there. Here’s how to start with the end in mind so you can be… Read More


4 things you need to know to qualify your major gift and planned gift prospects

What follows are the 4 things you need to know in order to close more gifts faster: 1. Who has the capacity to give 2…. 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


What Fundraisers Can Learn From Restaurants and Waiters

People give billions of dollars each year to waiters for a lot of the same reasons they give to charities. 1. Social conformity (simply because it’s… Read More


Start Putting These Fundraising Words Everywhere Right Now

The words are listed down at the bottom. But to understand why you should put them everywhere, read this: Every single one of your supporters… Read More


It was bound to happen sooner or later, here’s why and what to do…

If you have not yet heard the news, Fidelity Charitable now sits at the top of the Philanthropy 400 list that ranks nonprofits according to the… Read More


What a terrific advertisement!

I really can’t say it any better than this ad thanks to LegacyVoice, a legacy administration and marketing firm based in the UK. Folks, it’s… 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


5 lessons fundraisers can learn from Subway (Yes! The sandwich shop)

Here are 5 great lessons fundraisers can learn from Subway: 1. Ask for feedback. 2. Say please.  3. Use the word “YOU” often. It makes… Read More


A harsh reality most fundraisers don't want to face

What donors value is often their time without you and not their time with you. Ouch! Yep! That’s right. I said it. And I know… 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


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


What to do when several in-house departments are fighting over who should ask a big donor for the next gift

First, a quick story: I once heard a story about a University that was getting ready for a big campaign. Not surprisingly, several fundraisers at… Read More


What to do instead of the crusty old estate planning seminars you run hoping to generate planned gifts

I’m not sure the old-fashioned estate planning seminars really work to generate legacy gifts. Here’s why: They’re expensive (since time is the same as money)…. Read More


9 ways nonprofits are conning and duping supporters (all of which you should do without)

New donors, are testing you out. But many feel duped. I think that’s why retention is so low. Everyone hates to be duped! In fact,… Read More


The easiest way to grow your Legacy Society (5 super-simple steps)

Everyone wants planned gifts. But so few invest the time and money necessary to inspire them. Events, annual fund mailings, operation meetings, and tons of other… Read More


Why less is always more and how to get more from less

Less is always more. Subtraction always adds value. Ever wonder if your nonprofit is trying to do too many things and trying to be too many things… Read More


Air support

Military forces have been used for humanitarian purposes for decades all over the world. These days, in the aftermath of a disaster, we fully expect… Read More


5 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Fundraising Success

When you boil it all down, attaining fundraising success is pretty simple if you just recognize that:   Step 1. Donors want to satisfy their… Read More


Answering the Question About ROI

I’m always floored when a prospective new client asks me about ROI (return on investment from marketing). Not because it’s a silly question. And not… Read More


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