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 major and legacy donors think your fundraising communications stink!

First, it is not all your fault. Well then, can we blame it on leadership? Leadership should share the burden of blame because fundraisers tend… Read More


Beware of the fundraising Illuminati

The Illuminati is the name given to real and fictitious secret society groups claiming special knowledge or enlightenment.  In the nonprofit sector, such groups of… Read More


You Can’t Marry Your Donors After the First Date

Donors build relationships with nonprofits the same way they build relationships with people. Slowly! Step 1: Meet through friends Step 2: Chat a bit Step… Read More


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


The 8 Components of Engagement Fundraising

There are eight components of my innovative fundraising methodology: 1. Accepting the Pareto principle We’ve called it the 80/20 rule, but it’s more like the… Read More


Will You Become an Engagement Fundraiser?

For the sake of donors, volunteers, advocates, and members everywhere who want to change the world but need an organization bigger than them to get… Read More


The Top 3 Reasons Spray-And-Pray Fundraising Communications Fail

The traditional spray and pray marketing communications tactics just don’t work. Here’s why: 1. They are Irrelevant In this day and age, people get bombarded… Read More


You Don’t Need Data, You Need Actionable Intelligence

You have plenty of data. That data probably includes donation recency, frequency, and monetary value. You might also track involvement information (participation in events, volunteerism,… Read More


How You Can Build Relationships With More Hi-Value Supporters at Lower Costs

Your job is tough! If you’re like most fundraisers, you’re already working hard. You don’t have enough time, you’re pulled in too many directions, and… Read More


6 reasons why some donors prefer to stay anonymous

In case you’ve ever wondered why some donors prefer to stay anonymous, here are 6 proven reasons why: 1. They do not want fundraisers from… Read More


Follow This Example To See How Automated Cultivation Can Work To Meet Donor Needs.

If you were a fundraiser at my alma mater seeking a donation from me for a new building, a progressive campaign might look like this:… Read More


4 types of supporters that self-qualify their interest in being in your portfolio/caseload.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I think donor surveys are great for qualifying and prioritizing your supporters… Read More


Too much major and legacy gift fundraising is focused on HOW when it should be focused on WHY.

What the heck am I talking about? Major gift fundraising communications (especially legacy gift marketing) tend to focus too much on showing supporters how they… Read More


What The Heck Is Progressive Profiling And Why You Need To Do It?

It’s about their timing, not yours. Fundraisers, as well as their organization’s leadership and board members, need to come to terms with the fact that… Read More


It’s too bad that nonprofit leaders and board members thwart risk-taking

I think too many in the nonprofit sector fear failure. Unfortunately, that paralyzes people. It prevents them from making decisions and thwarts innovation. In most… Read More


Let’s treat donors like piggy banks, not ATMs!

Stay with me on this. Of course, you can’t expect to get money out of a piggy bank unless you first make deposits. That framework… Read More


Why Your Year-End Fundraising Failed To Generate As Much Revenue As You Hoped

If your end-of-year ‘interruption’ marketing results were not what you hoped for, perhaps my prediction about ‘FUNDRAISING CLIMATE CHANGE‘ (in my book, Engagement Fundraising) is… Read More


Isn’t it time you leveraged technology so you can be the fundraiser you always wanted to be?

Let technology do what you don’t do well. Everyone knows that technology has been the key for innovation in the private sector. But the nonprofit… Read More


The Four Selfs

I think donors like to qualify themselves, educate themselves, involve themselves, and solicit themselves. I call these the “four selfs” of Engagement Fundraising: Self-qualification  Self-education… Read More


Automated Cultivation vs. “Moves Management”

I’ve never really felt comfortable with the phrase “moves management.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a process Gift Officers or other… Read More


Are You Too Busy to Succeed?

As Henry David Thoreau pointed out:  “It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants!  The question is, what are we busy about?”… Read More


Are You Ready to Engage?

If you have been following our past posts, you should have a deep understanding of Engagement Fundraising and its fundamental concepts by now. You may… Read More


3 scientific concepts you should understand and use properly to break through the noise and gain your supporters’ attention.

People are busy. They’re also drowning in information, data, marketing, and fundraising communications. Gaining their attention isn’t easy. Here are 3 scientific concepts to help… Read More


Free Webinar: 9 Useful Proven Strategies To Get The Major Donor Visit (Claire Axelrad)

I’m excited to share that Clairification Claire (Claire Axelrad) will be hosting a webinar with us on Tuesday, January 8th at 2 PM EST. This… Read More


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