Smartideas

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

What They Don’t Teach in Fundraising School

Do you know what they don’t teach in fundraising school? The situational realities of fundraising, such as: You’re given a goal far greater than any… Read More


Why You Don’t Want Short-Term Results — 4 Reasons (Plus 6 Reasons Why You Want Long-Term Relationships Instead)

Should you work on building and sustaining long-term donor relationships that lead to major giving, or should you prioritize winning low-dollar gifts as quickly as… Read More


The Heavy Lifts of Fundraising

Seemingly random events earlier in our lives actually serve as omens for what we will encounter the rest of our lives. For me, it was… Read More


9 Powerful But Often Overlooked Ideas for More Effectively Thanking Major Donors

Are you falling behind on thanking your major donors? Are you neglecting it entirely? If so, unfortunately, you’re not alone. On the other hand, maybe… Read More


A Positive Trend In Fundraising That’s Applicable to All We Do

“What trends are you seeing across your peer group or aspirant peers?” I asked a client team last week. “Campaigns that play down the monetary… Read More


5 Advanced Fundraising Tactics You Can Automate

Identifying, qualifying, and cultivating major gifts prospects takes months, often years. And doing so requires a number of tactics to be used over that time…. Read More


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


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