Smartideas

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

What Gift Officers Should Write in Their LinkedIn ‘About’ Section

I think too many major gifts fundraisers – and people in most other industries as well – are not using their LinkedIn profiles to their… Read More


If Less Than 80% of Your Volunteers are Giving, Something Is Wrong

We customize our approaches for each client, whether it is for consulting or training, by looking at their longitudinal data to identify predictive patterns. Using… Read More


How Many Major Donors Are You Overlooking Right Under Your Nose?

The usual methods for identifying and qualifying major donors are costing your organization huge amounts of money if you are relying too much on them…. Read More


Most Senior Fundraisers Don’t Need Training; They Need Treatment

You’re always outnumbered. No matter how much fundraising experience and philanthropic wisdom you acquire, you’re always surrounded by completely inexperienced people who assume they know… Read More


Building Major Gifts Caseloads – Why Traditional Methods Fail to Accurately Qualify Donors

It’s a problem as old as fundraising. How do you find, attract, and qualify people who can give major gifts to your nonprofit organization? Many… Read More


What’s Your Reason for Requesting The First Meeting With a Prospective Donor?

What’s your reason for requesting the first meeting with a prospective donor? The ones I hear most often, including the ones used on me, include:… Read More


4 Primal Motives for Major Gifts – the REAL Reasons People Make Transformational Gifts

Understanding the motives for why donors make major gifts is a big part of successful fundraising. This is how we can relate to a donor… Read More


Planting Seeds: The Step Before Cultivation

Funny how we use the word “cultivation” so often but rarely address the preceding step, “planting.” Philanthropic potential is like fertile ground. Figuring out which… Read More


Secrets for Turning Small Donors into Major Donors

You know they’re in there, somewhere in your donor database. You just need to find them – those small donors who could turn into major… Read More


The Days of Easy Fundraising are Over

The days of easy fundraising are over. Now we need to face up to the hard parts of securing and sustaining philanthropic confidence. I’m sorry… Read More


Major Donor Stewardship – Million Dollar Experiences for Million Dollar Donors

Your biggest major donors simply cannot be treated like all your other donors. If you’re like most mid-size and larger nonprofits, they are funding the… Read More


Comfort Zones: The Places That Foster the Fullest Expressions of Philanthropy

My concern with so much of traditional fundraising is that it puts one or more parties in an uncomfortable position. Donors feel as if they… Read More


Dazzle Your Donor Prospects with an Upgraded LinkedIn Headline

Many major gift officers don’t realize that one of the things some wealthy donor prospects do after receiving a first communication from you is to… Read More


The Essence of Philanthropy: A Vision That Endures

I believe: Fundraising and philanthropy are not interchangeable terms, that the former is dependent on the latter; if fundraising assumes that philanthropy exists to serve… Read More


Why AI and Machine Learning Fail to Help Fundraisers Build ‘QUALIFIED’ Major Donor Portfolios (or Caseloads)

AI and machine learning are the new buzzwords in the prospect identification field proposing yet another solution to the challenge of building caseloads of major… Read More


Why You Need to Revolutionize Your Fundraising

A giving revolution has already occurred. So, the longer you wait to adapt to it, the farther behind you will fall. Even the healthiest, highest… Read More


How to Help Your Wealthiest Supporters Solicit Themselves

What results in a bigger gift? A) Being convinced to give B)Deciding to give on your own? Your job as a fundraising gift officer isn’t… Read More


What Unrestricted Funds and Phone Booths Have In Common

People aren’t interested in them anymore. If you fancy yourself clever, persuasive, charismatic, or irresistible, I challenge you to see how many people you can… Read More


Why what you do is called ADVANCEMENT

Ever wonder why what you do is called ‘advancement’? Here’s the answer: Your primary role is to help donors move themselves forward through their own… Read More


Fundraising Metrics Vs. The Natural Rhythms of Philanthropy

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” It’s been cited as one of the two most important quotes about business. The author is… Read More


How to Quickly Learn What Used to Take Experienced Fundraisers Decades to Understand and Apply

Major gifts fundraising is a job that requires an advanced set of skills. In other words, you must know some basics to simply do this… Read More


Two Powerful Types of Questions You Should NOT Ask Major Gift Donors Until Trust Is Established

At some point in your engagement with donors and supporters there comes a magical moment when you realize a person trusts you. At that moment,… Read More


How to Retain Your Best Fundraisers and Donors – Listen

When we poll fundraisers in advance of team practices (I don’t like the word “training” because people aren’t pets), we see very similar responses across… Read More


5 Essential Tips and Strategies for Improving How You Make Outreach to Major Donor Prospects

Making outreach to major donor prospects requires a set of skills that too often get shoved to the back burner. And yet, outreach is one… Read More


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