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Smartideas

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

The 8 core components of engagement fundraising and why you desperately need them

Most fundraising is based on what I call “single shot” strategies. For instance, it’s an event, gala or golf outing. Or, perhaps it’s a mailing,… Read More


Want to hear an example of why I absolutely LOVE my employees?

I love my employees. Seriously! They are amazing people. But don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself! Zach Shefska (the guy who runs my… Read More


An insider snapshot of what it's like to work at MarketSmart

Recently one of my staff reminded me of this article written by Zach Shefska (one of our staff at MarketSmart). He wrote it back during… Read More


Finally, we’re releasing the HIPPO killer!!!

The HIPPO is the highest paid person in the office at the time when a decision needs to be made. HIPPOs tend to be far… Read More


Top 10 reasons why donors like taking donor surveys

Here are the top 10 reasons why donors like taking donor surveys: 1. They want to be perceived as (or see themselves as) a helpful… Read More


Can you tell your supporters that a CGA can deliver "GUARANTEED" income or not?

I attended a local monthly planned giving event a while back and learned a lot about how not to market charitable gift annuities. During the… 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


NEWS FLASH: Most of your supporters don’t really want to be in your legacy society

But, oddly, that’s the first thing fundraisers offer legacy gift prospects and those who have disclosed their legacy gift intentions.  The next most popular offer… 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


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


It was bound to happen sooner or later, here’s why and what to do…

If you have not yet heard the news, Fidelity Charitable now sits at the top of the Philanthropy 400 list that ranks nonprofits according to the… Read More


7 Solid Reasons Why You Should Kill Your Printed Planned Giving Newsletter

I know, I know… you love your printed planned giving newsletter. After all, it’s an easy marketing option (especially if you buy them from a vendor who… Read More


The number one reason why people give is not what you think

You may have heard that the reason why people give is because they were asked. For many years, this saying has motivated fundraisers to get out there and… Read More


How to ask your board members for year-end gifts

I know this is important. But, honestly, I’m a major and planned gift marketer… not a fundraising consultant. So I found this article by Gail… Read More


7 things about email subject lines that will help you save the world

Firstly, email subject lines are actually headlines. The great advertising legend David Ogilvy once said, “On average, five times as many people read the headlines… Read More


How MarketSmart Works With Partners

People often ask me, “How does MarketSmart work with partners (allies) to help nonprofits lower costs and increase revenues?” It’s a good question. Many people… Read More


Facebook restart?

I haven’t been much of a fan of Facebook for my business. I simply prefer LinkedIn. But recently it occurred to me that some fundraisers really like… 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


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


Are face-to-face meetings with donors overrated?

When I first got into professional sales at Washingtonian Magazine I was taught that the only way to really sell anything was to get face-to-face… Read More


What a terrific advertisement!

I really can’t say it any better than this ad thanks to LegacyVoice, a legacy administration and marketing firm based in the UK. Folks, it’s… Read More


Why fundraisers should take some lessons from stockbrokers

In March of this year I stumbled on an article written for stockbrokers (financial advisors) that I found interesting because it recounted the top three… Read More


How fast do you respond to your major and planned gift donors' needs?

The private sector knows all about responding to leads. They know that: The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times… Read More


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