Smartideas

Helping you qualify, cultivate and prioritize major donors and legacy supporters so you can have fun closing more gifts more efficiently.

MarketSmart characters
MarketSmart lightbulb icon
18 takeaways from my recent appearance on the Giving Back Podcast

This was a super-fun interview on The Giving Back Podcast. But if you don’t have time to listen to it, here are some notes my… Read More


Are you doubling down on a low-dollar fundraising strategy?

A client recently told us she was being asked by her leadership to consider cancelling her MarketSmart subscription.  She said that last year, during Q4,… Read More


What is 3-to-1 Major Gift Fundraising?

Let’s face it, your supporters want something in exchange for their cash. But, sadly, many nonprofits don’t give. This compelled me to come up with… 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


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


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


10 Ways to Use Body Language to Close More Major Gifts

Almost 50 years ago, Albert Mehrabian figured out that our words matter least and our body language matters most in face-to-face communications.   His landmark… 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


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


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


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


Here are my IN’s & OUT’s for 2019… what do you think about them?

OUTS Being disrespectful, interrupting & annoying supporters Spray-n’-pray marketing Show up n’ throw up presentations Treating donors like ATM machines Asking for money (begging) Counting… Read More


Top 3 reasons why major gift or legacy gift officers don’t have enough face-to-face meetings with donors

I hear a lot of people complaining about gift officers not meeting with enough donors. Usually, these complaints come from people who don’t really do… Read More


What to do when a supporter notifies you that they left your organization in their estate plan but won’t take your calls.

I know, it’s frustrating. You want to thank them but they won’t respond to your outreach. First things first. There are a bunch of reasons why… Read More


5 Simple Steps for Fundraising Success Thanks to Marc Pitman

A Welcome Discovery! I came across this terrific little book while I was home, nursing a really bad cold this past week. I bought it a… Read More


The top qualification and prioritization data points you should consider before you reach out to your supporters to build a caseload

Recently we surveyed a few hundred fundraisers to find out what they felt were the most (and least) important data points for qualifying and prioritizing… Read More


3 simple steps to break your transactional, spray-and-pray fundraising addiction

Nonprofits tend to get addicted to transactions. Of course addictions are hard to break. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be broken at all. Too… Read More


A bunch of reasons why January is NOT necessarily the best time to ‘hit your donor’s mailbox’

Recently I saw a question posted on a discussion board that was inspired by a blog (NOT mine) titled: WHY YOU NEED TO HIT YOUR… Read More


4 simple concepts that can help you raise sophisticated transformational gifts

I like this blog post written by Greg Ring over at The Giving Crowd.  In it, he outlines his Four C’s of Successful Fundraising. Although,… Read More


How to stop over-thinking and start engaging

Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Engagement fundraising is so darn simple too! You don’t need to over-think… Read More


16 Simple Things Your Best Donors Want

Here’s my list of essential major donor needs that you must aim to fulfill:   1. Your best donors want you to do the important work… Read More


How to think about major gifts

Ditto! That’s all I can say when I read Veritus Group’s blog articles. Ditto! These guys (Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels) totally ‘get’ it! For… Read More


Are you avoiding your donors?

Too often I’ve seen some ‘fundraisers’ do whatever they can to avoid actually talking to donors. “I can’t call ’em yet. I’m waiting for the… Read More


Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!