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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Is your job really to raise money?

Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World wrote: “The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than… Read More


7 steps to decline donations you can't accept

She was really ticked off because they wouldn’t accept her gift. One of my customers got the following response to a survey request: “Why on… Read More


Find your dream job with these 3 simple steps

If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there. Here’s how to start with the end in mind so you can be… Read More


A harsh reality most fundraisers don't want to face

What donors value is often their time without you and not their time with you. Ouch! Yep! That’s right. I said it. And I know… Read More


Fundraising vs. Facilitating

Fundraising focuses on an organization’s process for raising money by requesting donations. Facilitation focuses on helping others achieve their goals through philanthropy.   Fundraising is… Read More


9 Questions Fundraisers Need to Ask Themselves In Order to Improve in 2014

Commercial businesses and charities both have to fulfill needs in order to survive.  But whose needs do they serve? You might think that commercial businesses… Read More


7 questions you better be able to answer if you want to keep your doors open

Once again today I’m beating the drum about marketing.  Forget about the word “fundraiser” because, folks, you are marketers!  And every marketer has a product… 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


Do you want something "for" your donors or "from" your donors? The answer could mean everything to your mission.

I love LinkedIn groups.  By joining, you can learn from some amazing people for free! Recently Howard Freeman, CFRE [Senior Campaign Director at Young Life,… Read More


Can it be True? Wearable iPhones??

Can you say, “Dick Tracy?”  It looks like the next big thing from Apple will be wearable iPhones.  I’m so excited.  I hope this is… Read More


9 Questions Fundraisers Need to Ask Themselves in Order to Improve in 2014?

Commercial businesses and charities both have to fulfill needs in order to survive.  But whose needs do they serve? You might think that commercial businesses… Read More


It's NOT a dirty job but someone DOES have to do it.

Recently a friend of mine was promoted.  Now she is in a leader position at her organization’s headquarters.  Yippee! I asked her, “What will you… Read More


Marketing is easy, right?

Thanks to LUMA for providing this awesome graphic that shows just how many tools you could use for marketing efforts these days.  These tools make marketing… Read More


Why we love planned giving

So you probably won’t see much of the fruits of your labor.  And, years from now, someone else will probably get the credit for your… Read More


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


Why you should simply make your planned giving messages simple.

Recently a client asked me to review and critique a fundraising letter.  It was written by one of her committee members.  Can you say, “awkward… Read More


Innovative possibilities are right in front of your face.

Most of the time innovation is possible simply by taking what has already been created and mixing it up a bit. Let’s play the game…. Read More


The number one thing to avoid saying when you call a planned giving prospect

So somebody was interested in learning more about how to update their will.  You know because they sent in a reply form from one of… Read More


Follow-up to the post about being disliked…

If you don’t know Seth Godin, you should. Here’s a post that is much better than mine about being disliked. When it comes to marketing,… Read More


Who answers your telephones?

Is the person who answers your phones also your least trained employee? If so, why? Do they answer the phones with class or “attitude”?  And… 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


Interruption marketing is NOT dead.

Evangelists are popping up everywhere screaming that “interruption marketing” is dead. Folks like David Meerman Scott (author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR),… 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


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