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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Imagine This…

Did you have a grandmother or elderly aunt, uncle or friend?  I did. Imagine if I sent mine letters and emails every once in a while. Imagine that… Read More


12 questions to ask yourself to avoid disrespecting your supporters

In the for profit world they call it customer service. All of us get frustrated when we feel slighted or disrespected. Yet, sadly, nonprofits are… 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


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


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


Imagine: One extra call each day.

I simply love inspirational quotes. Here’s one I recently came across from Thomas Edison. He once said, “The successful person has a habit of doing… Read More


The Definitive Menu of Engagement Fundraising Marketing Channels

We know that it’s not always easy to determine where you should be focusing your efforts (and your dollars). So we developed this nifty little… Read More


Stop SPAMMING your supporters with planned giving e-newsletters

Wiz-bang tech? I was talking to a fundraiser and he said, “We’ve got this cool system that includes pre-written estate planning e-newsletters I can send to… Read More


Focus on your donors’ lives, not their wallets

I came across this very interesting article a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d share it since it led me to a terrific new… Read More


Focus on your donors' lives, not their wallets

I came across this very interesting article a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d share it since it led me to a terrific new… Read More


Building awareness for planned giving is easier and less expensive than ever

Promoting planned giving doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have traffic on your website, you have a chance to promote planned giving for pennies… Read More


5 interesting videos that promote legacy giving

Here are 5 videos for promoting legacy giving. According to LegacyVoice these 5 are the best. I’m not so sure about that. But I do applaud… 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


4 things you need to know to qualify your major gift and planned gift prospects

What follows are the 4 things you need to know in order to close more gifts faster: 1. Who has the capacity to give 2…. Read More


Why you don't need to update your planned giving web pages as much as you might think

A longstanding misconception has been spread around for too long. Your planned giving web pages don’t need to be updated “with the latest tax laws.”… Read More


Do you know the names of your donor's influencers?

Life stories are like fingerprints. No two are alike and everyone has them. All of our life stories are filled with challenges that must be… Read More


How to discover planned gifts using interns because you can't afford a telemarketing firm

1. Make sure the intern cares about your mission 2. Have the intern view videos, read reports and talk to program staff (and beneficiaries) so… Read More


3 big reasons why some fundraisers should not critique creative

Recently one of our beloved clients critiqued something we thought she should do by saying, “Well if I saw that envelope I’d throw it in the… Read More


RIDDLE: How do you measure the success (or failure) of your planned giving program?

Today I’m very proud to provide a guest post written by one of MarketSmart’s brilliant, yet curious, Account Managers—Lizzie Weiland. She’s got an interesting riddle to… Read More


The single worst way to evaluate your planned giving marketing program

Recently someone told me that their current planned giving marketing efforts were not working. “How do you know?” I asked. “Because there’s been a drop… Read More


Here's why when it comes to planned gifts, it isn't necessarily ALL about the relationship

I have two questions that I ask people when they say that planned gift fundraising “is all about the relationship.” I ask, “How many gifts… 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


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