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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You Can’t Marry Your Donors After the First Date

Donors build relationships with nonprofits the same way they build relationships with people. Slowly! Step 1: Meet through friends Step 2: Chat a bit Step… 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


Will You Become an Engagement Fundraiser?

For the sake of donors, volunteers, advocates, and members everywhere who want to change the world but need an organization bigger than them to get… 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


You Don’t Need Data, You Need Actionable Intelligence

You have plenty of data. That data probably includes donation recency, frequency, and monetary value. You might also track involvement information (participation in events, volunteerism,… Read More


6 reasons why some donors prefer to stay anonymous

In case you’ve ever wondered why some donors prefer to stay anonymous, here are 6 proven reasons why: 1. They do not want fundraisers from… 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


4 types of supporters that self-qualify their interest in being in your portfolio/caseload.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I think donor surveys are great for qualifying and prioritizing your supporters… Read More


Too much major and legacy gift fundraising is focused on HOW when it should be focused on WHY.

What the heck am I talking about? Major gift fundraising communications (especially legacy gift marketing) tend to focus too much on showing supporters how they… Read More


Why Your Year-End Fundraising Failed To Generate As Much Revenue As You Hoped

If your end-of-year ‘interruption’ marketing results were not what you hoped for, perhaps my prediction about ‘FUNDRAISING CLIMATE CHANGE‘ (in my book, Engagement Fundraising) is… 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


The Four Selfs

I think donors like to qualify themselves, educate themselves, involve themselves, and solicit themselves. I call these the “four selfs” of Engagement Fundraising: Self-qualification  Self-education… Read More


Automated Cultivation vs. “Moves Management”

I’ve never really felt comfortable with the phrase “moves management.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a process Gift Officers or other… 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


Are You Ready to Engage?

If you have been following our past posts, you should have a deep understanding of Engagement Fundraising and its fundamental concepts by now. You may… Read More


3 scientific concepts you should understand and use properly to break through the noise and gain your supporters’ attention.

People are busy. They’re also drowning in information, data, marketing, and fundraising communications. Gaining their attention isn’t easy. Here are 3 scientific concepts to help… 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


Exciting addition to the team!

On December 3rd, we shared an exciting announcement that nonprofit fundraising veteran, Dan Doyle is joining our Fundraising Report Card team! Coming on as Chief… Read More


What Are You Doing to Change?

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”   I don’t know who came up with that quote. I… 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


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