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 fundraisers should take some lessons from stockbrokers

I stumbled on an article written for stockbrokers (financial advisors) that I found interesting because it recounted the top three reasons why clients leave: Poor… Read More


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


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


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


Is your annual fund tail wagging your major gift dog?

I always find it stupefying when a major gifts team tells me they need to get permission from the direct marketing team or higher up to… 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


Why reciprocity must be an essential tool in your fundraising toolbox

Every single human being in every single society on earth subscribes to an unspoken rule when it comes to reciprocation as follows: If someone does… Read More


Quality vs. Quantity: Which is better for selecting fundraising prospects?

I’ve always felt that nonprofits spend way too much time and money looking at historical donor data to try to predict future giving. I’m not alone…. Read More


How big is the average major gift?

“What’s your average?” I found myself asking that question in meetings with clients all the time. What surprised me was that most didn’t know the… Read More


What's your fundraising asking style?

According to Brian Saber, “Your ‘Asking Style’ is based on your personality and unique set of strengths in fundraising.” But, don’t be fooled by stereotypes…. Read More


Should your donors be given a chance to "tip" your organization?

Are you confused by that headline? Here’s what I mean: I think it would be interesting for us to test allowing donors the opportunity to decide… Read More


Your 3-step plan to get 100X more revenue

Most money is not cash. According to the Wall Street Journal, people put their wealth in lots of places, but not in liquid assets. The chart… 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


14 things you must know about your donors to win major gifts (including planned gifts)

Here are 14 things you must know about your donors if you want to raise major and planned gifts (13 of which can be obtained from… Read More


Do you know the names of your donor's influencers?

Life stories are like fingerprints. No two are alike and everyone has them. All of our life stories are filled with challenges that must be… Read More


3 major donor myths broken by Andrew Olsen

Andrew Olsen knows a thing or two about direct marketing. On his blog, he debunks 3 major donor myths that pertain to marketing. You can… Read More


HELP! Please….

I really need your help. I funded a study to help you. Basically, we’re trying to help you and your peers understand more about major gift… Read More


Your donors want to find meaning in their lives. But are you helping them?

Sick of my rants yet? I’ve droned on and on about the fact that your job is to make your donors feel good and to… Read More


4 powerful major gift "probing closes" (for moving your proposal forward)

A probing close is yet another phrase I made up. I do that… a lot. Basically, it’s a question you ask when you feel your… Read More


I must sound like a broken record but here’s more nonprofit data that will inspire you to focus more on major donors

The left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies crunched the data from Giving USA Foundation’s annual philanthropic survey to figure out who was giving what. Here’s what they determined: Itemized charitable… Read More


9 simple pointers for writing better emails and letters to your donors

I failed to get into business school. I hoped to be a business major at the University of Maryland in the 80’s. But my ability… Read More


5 ideas you should share with supporters to close more year-end major gifts

Whenever I see articles about year-end major gifts, they always seem to say the same things such as, “Don’t forget to look at your list… 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 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


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