Smartideas

Straight talk about major, mid-level and legacy gift fundraising to help you be a better fundraiser

Philanthropic Facilitation and the Art of Matchmaking

As Carlo Robustelli, V.P. of College Advancement at Dickinson College explains, “We’re not miracle workers, we’re matchmakers.” Carlo is trying to help his colleagues outside… Read More


Finally! “The Effortless Ask” – Using the Donor’s Story to Make It Easy to Ask Big in 3 Easy Steps

The Ask. Fundraisers think about it. Conference speakers talk about it. Books get written about it. But is it worth all the hype? Is ‘The… Read More


The Real Way to Raise Money

Do you want to know the real way to raise money? It’s not complicated. Provide donors with what money can’t buy. Philanthropic experiences that money… Read More


5 Tips to Being Persistent in Outreach to Major Donors

Far too many gift officers and other fundraisers give up too easily when they don’t get a positive response from their donor prospects. Persistence pays… Read More


The Way You Fundraise Matters

There are lots of ways to fundraise. All of them can be said to work in some ways but the way you fundraise: Determines the… Read More


Understanding Wealthy Donors – 3 Truths Every Gift Officer Needs to Know

There’s a chasm in major gifts fundraising. It lies between the wealthy donors who often make up over 80% of your giving base (sometimes over… Read More


Fundraising’s Worst Oversimplification

Fundraising’s worst oversimplification is: “People give because they’re asked.” That’s like saying those who agree to marry do so simply “because they were asked.” Yes,… Read More


What Gift Officers Should Put in Their LinkedIn Experience Section

If you’ve read our other posts about LinkedIn, you understand that the point of your LinkedIn profile is not to get a job. You have… Read More


The Most Important Fundraising Metric: The 20-Year Relationship

When we conduct our Vital Signs Assessment, looking for indicators of fundraising success or struggle ahead, one data point stands out far more than any… Read More


Why Organizations That Institute the Greatest Demands for Accountability Perform So Poorly

For the most part, everyone agrees that metrics are good. Accountability is good – even for major gift officers. Generally speaking, measuring what you do… Read More


Don’t Just “Find” Donors; Build Relationships for Lasting Impact

“Where do we find donors?” I’m asked that question quite a bit. To begin, let’s make sure we check all assumptions at the door. Donors… Read More


31 Donor Discovery Strategies That Sincerely Engage Wealthy Supporters

Prospect research, RFM, wealth screeners, and other hands-off/arm’s-length methods of donor discovery can only work so well. And more often than not, the people they… Read More


Revolutionize Fundraising: Let’s Stop Making it Uncomfortable

If something about fundraising makes you uncomfortable, it isn’t because there’s something wrong with you but because there’s something wrong with the way you’re fundraising,… Read More


4 Ways Your Assumptions about Major Donors Are Hurting Your Fundraising

You know that feeling when you’re talking to someone, and you realize they’ve already made up their mind about you? It happens in dating, in… Read More


It’s About Lots of Meaningful Interactions, Not Major Moves

The most important goals in managing prospects or donors in our portfolios are: Establishing a rapport with donors Maintaining contact Finding ways for them to… Read More


Why Major Donors Give – How to Tap into Their Motives and Inspire Transformational Gifts

So many nonprofits seeking major gifts keep doing what they’ve been told by the so-called experts, consultants, and traditionalists. Ask, ask, ask. Keep your metrics… Read More


How to generate referrals for major gifts

A well-placed referral can be the bridge to new partnerships, financial support, and resources. It can elevate your nonprofit from merely surviving to thriving. But… Read More


The Two Most Important Words in Philanthropic Facilitation: “Because You”

The two most important words in philanthropic facilitation are, “Because you”. As in: “Because you have such a vested interest in the empowerment of girls… Read More


3 Ways Major Gift Fundraisers Can Talk About Legacy Giving Without Reminding Donors About Death

Planned gifts often constitute some of the biggest gifts charities ever receive. But winning them requires you to make the donor think about their own… Read More


The Tragedy of Transactional Fundraising

Practitioners of transactional fundraising and the cultures who default to it will never know, see, foster, or benefit from the best in human nature and… Read More


The Secret to Raise Money More Cost-Effectively: Stop Fundraising

The longer I work with nonprofits, the more convinced I become that one of my core beliefs is true: If organizations ceased nearly all new-donor… Read More


Philanthropic Partnership Building Begins With Setting the Right Tone

Gone are the days – or so they should be: Of imagining in splendid isolation what donors should do for us then foisting our brain… Read More


10 Questions You Should Ask Your Wealthy Supporters to Motivate them to Give

One of the most effective strategies for major gifts fundraising is to help your donors advance their personal hero story. This isn’t just our claim…. Read More


How Fundraising Overcomplicated Philanthropic Facilitation

Philanthropic facilitation is as old as human history. It began when two or more people saw a common need or opportunity and resolved to work… Read More


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