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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10 Ways to Deliver Value to Your Major Donors and Planned Giving Prospects

1. Find ways to release dopamine and/or oxytocin in your supporters’ brains. Oxytocin creates intimacy, trust, and builds healthy relationships. It is essential for creating strong… Read More

35 amazing ways to engage and involve your donors and supporters

If you’re stuck wondering how to involve your supporters with your mission, look no further. Here are 35 ideas from a stream of my consciousness…. Read More

Why people WON'T give you money

Today, instead of talking about what makes people give, let’s take a look at what thwarts giving. You can find examples of communications that depress… Read More

Why the only thing to fear is fear itself.

I think nonprofits need to be more real. More genuine. Less formal. And, less afraid of being real and genuine (Tweet this!). Charity : Water,… Read More

5 questions to ask your planned giving marketing vendor

1. How many highly qualified planned giving leads did you generate for my nonprofit last year? 2. How many of those leads could also be… Read More

You don’t own your donors

Here’s the deal folks. You don’t own your donors. Too many times I’ve heard chapters say that they don’t want to share planned giving leads… Read More

What planned and major gifts officers can learn from Shark Tank

I love Shark Tank, the reality TV show that features a panel of potential venture capitalists (“sharks”) evaluating aspiring entrepreneurs product/business ideas. I watch it… Read More

3 real world examples of the Pareto Principle

If you know me and this blog, you know that I talk about the Pareto Principle a lot. That’s the concept developed by Vilfredo Pareto… 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

12 Fundraising Questions Major and Planned Gift Officers Should Be Asking

Everyone says the number one reason why people give is because they were asked.   I think this axiom might need a bit of a… Read More

Groupthink sucks (here’s how to avoid it)

Remember Candid Camera? In this old episode, they set out to prove how easy it is to get someone to conform.   Unfortunately, today too many… 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

Are you a show up and throw up fundraiser?

I’m sure you’ve run into a bunch of “show up and throw up sales people” in your lifetime. “Show up and throw up selling” is often… Read More

Dr. Russell James' Greatest Hits: Free fundraising webinars and eBooks

Want more interesting research from Dr. James? Here you go: News from the Ivory Tower: Webinar   Words that Work: Webinar Words that Work: eBook… 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

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

Fail more.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison – “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no… Read More

Fundraising vs. Facilitating

Fundraising focuses on an organization’s process for raising money by requesting donations. Facilitation focuses on helping others achieve their goals through philanthropy.   Fundraising is… Read More

8 posts that will help you develop a solid planned gift marketing strategy

Here’s a sort of “Greatest Hits” list. Each post containing outstanding tips that will help you develop a solid planned gift marketing strategy. Read these… Read More

15 telephone call don'ts for major and legacy gift fundraisers

Two days ago I outlined my “do’s“. Today, here are my “don’t’s”. Both can be found here on this cheat-sheet. 15 Don’ts Be disingenuous. For… Read More

Stop swapping your donor lists with other nonprofits

One thing (among so many others) that I never understood about nonprofits is why they sell or swap lists with other nonprofits. It’s usually done with… Read More

Believe in "The Fantastic Four" if you want to market planned gifts the right way

When it comes to marketing planned gifts, always remember that you want your supporters to think about how they can find meaning in their lives by… Read More

Engagement is Everything!

Hi-end hotels = Service is everything = Convenience is everything   Hardware tools = Reliability is everything   Home alarm systems = Security is… Read More

Proof That Older Donors Respond to Planned Gift Marketing Efforts Online (Using Engagement Fundraising Tactics)

We examined 55,353 donor responses to our clients’ online planned giving engagement offers and here are the results of the self-reported ages of those donors/respondents…. Read More

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