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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


Ever wonder about the history of philanthropy and fundraising? Here it is!

This is so cool! You’re going to love it!   Thanks to the good people at the National Philanthropic Trust, now you can take a… Read More


How Your Restaurant Waiter Can Teach You About Fundraising

The theory of reciprocity is powerful.  And nowhere is it displayed more dramatically than in restaurants every day. Think about it.  Your waiter is basically… Read More


Is your job really to raise money?

Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World wrote: “The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than… Read More


Why you need to think of yourself as a facilitator

Supporters give to satisfy a need. Supporters give because they trust your organization to satisfy that need. Supporters give because they see you, your colleagues,… Read More


4 keys to fundraising success you might be overlooking

1. Humanity – Understanding human beings — really taking a deep, genuine interest in their wants, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams. The best way to… Read More


11 best practices for your legacy society communications

When it comes to legacy gifts, most fundraisers spend too much time focused on uncovering hidden gifts or closing more of them. Sure, it’s important to… Read More


Do you care more about your legacy society than the donors in it?

Some nonprofits seem to care about ‘having’ a legacy society far more than they care about the donors in them.  There’s lots of evidence supporting my… Read More


Should you target market financial advisors in order to get more legacy gifts?

It depends. I find myself saying, “It depends” quite a lot these days. But, seriously, the decision to target market to financial advisors depends on… Read More


Count legacy gift dollars, not promises

The goal for legacy gift fundraising is to raise money right? In sports they say it doesn’t matter how many points you score, it’s whether… 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


Opportunities vs. Problems: Which will your donors support?

I’ll cut to the chase. People want to take advantage of opportunities more than they want to solve problems. Here’s how it works in fundraising. “Problem” messages:… Read More


Here’s one great legacy giving promotion

I love this legacy giving promotion. It’s actually a placeholder for your beer! You can find this along with its case study and many other… Read More


Want more planned gifts? Focus on why not how

There are a whole bunch of so-called “marketing companies” out there that say they help nonprofits get more planned gifts. I have a lot of… Read More


3 things every fundraiser needs to consider before they talk politics in front of their donors

I don’t have any data on this whatsoever but something tells me that a good number of fundraisers might lean left when it comes to… Read More


What to do with wealth screened data that's "sitting on the shelf" unused

Wealth screening your data is a good idea! My firm doesn’t provide that service but there are plenty that can help you to determine who… Read More


Want the best of Smartideas for free?

I love my staff!! They are so thoughtful! They figured that some of our thousands of blog subscribers might want a super-concise book of my best blog… 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


16 Content Ideas Your Major and Planned Gift Donors Will Love

Infographics Short, “self-contained” emails (with no hyperlinks) that include very brief updates Short letters or online articles (2-3 paragraphs) Highly relevant and targeted medium length… 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


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 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


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