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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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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


The Fundraising Pyramid is Dead.

Many people don’t realize that fundraising is really just a subset of marketing.  Therefore, fundraisers are marketers that raise funds. Fundraising isn’t necessarily special.  It… Read More


What's stopping you from communicating with your legacy giving prospects?

Getting a single email, letter or telephone call out to a legacy giving prospect isn’t always easy.  In fact, with all we have to do… Read More


Test with email first

I think it’s time we finally let go of direct mail as the first option for planned giving marketing— especially if your budget is tight…. Read More


3 great quotes from Fundraising Yoda (for Star Wars fans and fundraisers)

  If you want to keep your fundraising more light-spirited.  Let the force be with you! Fundraising Yoda is a terrific voice you can follow… Read More


Why looking at response rates for planned giving campaigns is a rookie mistake.

Have you ever sold your home? If so, how many buyers did you need? Just one right? So if you put your house up for… Read More


Why Bother Finding Hidden Planned Gifts?

Recently someone told me that their organization’s leadership placed a very high value on finding hidden planned gifts.  All of their marketing encouraged planned giving… Read More


Another idea to think about before you write your fundraising copy

Carol Pollack from Planning and Endowment Consulting had a great idea to add to yesterday’s post.    


Why selling planned gifts is different (the case for a multi-step cultivation effort)

Seth Godin is pretty smart.  He really understands marketing. In his recent blog post he discusses why we should sometimes avoid “easy leads” and, rather,… Read More


What activity metrics you should measure for effective long-term planned giving marketing

For effective planned giving marketing, you really should be keeping track of your metrics. That’s because it’s not like traditional fundraising.  You can’t send out… Read More


The simplest targeting approach for uncovering planned gifts

I found a really interesting little nugget of information buried in an old report.  Back in 2007, The Journal of Gift Planning conducted a survey… Read More


Concentric circles

Traditional planned giving marketing theory talks about concentric circles a lot.  Start with your Board, then major donors, and keep going outward toward the least… Read More


The rope theory of life.

Everyone gets a rope. Some are shorter than others.  Some are thicker than others.  Some have notches.  And others are a little bit slippery. Each… Read More


Add some "ONSERTS" to your outgoing email or mail.

Well you’ve heard about inserts – what about onserts? These work because your best business and best referrals will come from your past customers. Check… Read More


Why some planned giving departments are missing out on bequests.

A friend of mine went to a really large public university.  He heard about our SmartGiftmaker and told me I should call someone at his… Read More


Go ahead… Cold call!

Recently someone told me at a networking function that cold-calling was “old-school” and didn’t work. Of course this person admitted he never made a cold… Read More


How to determine which networking events to go to for lead generation.

There are hundreds of networking opportunities in every major city in America – from chambers of commerce to simple clubs and groups. All you need… Read More


Ever wonder what the heck your salespeople are doing all day long?

First off, this is not a rant about insecurity or paranoia.  Rather, I’m sad to say that many sales people will take advantage of you… Read More


Why "hope" is not a strategy.

People have been throwing the word “hope” around a lot lately.  Two years ago President Obama’s entire campaign focused on that very word.  And although… Read More


Things to consider for smart marketing… instead of "wingin' it".

Strategy is everything. Am I going overboard?  Maybe.  But from where I sit, I see companies- large and small- spend tons of time and money… Read More


4 ways CEO's could use LinkedIN for results.

We all know we’re supposed to be “on” LinkedIN.  But how can we make the most of it? Here are some tips: 1- Use it… Read More


How the new rules of marketing apply to planned giving. (A SmartGiftmaker® blog post)

If your organization desperately needs to generate more planned gifts, bequests, charitable gift annuities, etc… it’s time for you to embrace the new rules of… Read More


Raise your hand if your marketing and sales teams don’t seem to dance well together.

Marketing and sales efforts working together? NOT! Right? How about this….  Are your marketing and sales teams even talking to each other? We’ve heard it… Read More


The 80/20 rule!!!

I can’t tell you how many times I see people, sales people, marketers and companies forget about the 80/20 rule.  Could it be that they… Read More


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