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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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


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


Even fundraisers can "get schooled" by a 4th-grade teacher

These days you can’t be average. Average efforts deliver average results. If you want to raise more major gifts and generate planned gifts: Be exceptional… 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


Do major gift and planned gift staff need "sales managers"?

Huh? Sales managers? But we don’t sell anything! Actually, you do! You’re selling value. Any exchange of money occurs because a person sees value in… Read More


Why your wealthy donors love donor advised funds and why you should care

Donor Advised Funds… There are plenty of people who don’t like ’em. They say that they are holding pens for dollars that should be distributed… 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


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


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


8 simple ideas to involve your donors and build deeper connections

L.M. Montgomery was a famous author in the early 1900’s. Her novels were internationally renowned.  She once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I… 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


Does an "empathy gap" exist among your donors?

A lot of charities tout the fact that they take care of their own. Marines helping marines! Cancer patients helping cancer patients! And so on…. 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


Proof that donors want to help you get past the finish line

I’m constantly reminding people that fundraising is about facilitating and helping donors feel good! To do both, you might want to consider employing the concept of… Read More


How NOT to write a letter to your supporter community

Here’s the copy (below) from an old letter sent by my alma mater. In 2012 they achieved their goal and raised $1 billion but, in my… 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


"Dear donor, you rock! Here's why…" Jeff Brooks' powerful donor outreach formula

If you want to know how to communicate with your donors, I strongly recommend you listen to whatever Jeff Brooks says. Jeff is the Creative… Read More


Why nonprofit budgets should be developed in alignment with strategies

One of our clients achieved extraordinary results last year. They generated more leads for planned gifts and uncovered more previously undisclosed legacy gifts than ever… Read More


Focus!

Thanks to Giving USA and Third Sector’s Gross Domestic Philanthropy report, we now know that the United States continues to be the most charitable nation on the… Read More


How to use verbatims and digital body language to raise more money

Recently I was interviewed by Mazarine at Wild Woman Fundraising! You can hear the interview here. There’s one big point from the interview I figured you’d want… 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


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


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


6 of the biggest reasons why you don't get enough major gifts from people with capacity

Here are six of the biggest reasons why you don’t get enough major gifts from people with capacity: 1.  Your capable donors, supporters, advocates, staff,… Read More


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