iMarketSmart

How to ask for a gift: Do you really have to ask?

iMarketSmart

At MarketSmart, we don’t close sales and we don’t close deals. When it comes to how to ask for a gift, you’ll see there’s a parallel with how we conduct sales, and how nonprofits should raise funds.

Online will-making tools: My pros and cons.

iMarketSmart

Brace yourself. . This is a long post because there’s a lot to be said. . I wrote it because digital will-writing tools are popping up to help your supporters facilitate their planning conveniently online. That’s creating both opportunities and challenges for fundraisers.

Tools 130

Are your letters to major donors and donor prospects any good?

iMarketSmart

Direct mail is NOT dead! However, ‘ spray and pray ‘ direct mail should be! Long live one-to-one, highly relevant, personalized communications— including direct mail letters! Direct mail letters are powerful because, when done right, they make donors feel good.

Letter 130

GUEST POST: A Great Idea… Connecting With Donors Through Photo Books

iMarketSmart

This is a first! I’ve never had anyone write a guest post for my blog. But when I saw what Daphne Powell was doing to grow relationships with her donors, I reached out to her to see if she might consider telling you her story.

Photos 130

If you like VERITUS GROUP and you like me… now you can get both together!

iMarketSmart

Alignment. Have you ever met someone for the first time but felt like you had known them forever? Like you had a mysterious connection instantly? That’s how I felt when I first met Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels (from Veritus Group) in Philadelphia years ago.

Groups 130

At last, the Fundraising Report Card is now 100% free for nonprofits

iMarketSmart

In case you’ve never heard of it… The Fundraising Report Card is a little application I had my staff build a couple of years ago.

Cards 130

A perfect example of ‘spray and pray fundraising’

iMarketSmart

This email wasted my time and annoyed me because… I don’t know this person. I don’t know this organization. I didn’t give her or them permission to email me. I have no connection whatsoever to this cause or this organization.

Why your capital campaign feasibility study could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

iMarketSmart

I think most campaign feasibility studies leave a ton of money on the table. Here’s a hyper-simplified description of how it usually works. You hire a consultant. Together, you conduct the feasibility study and review the results.

A digest of last year’s best blog posts (titled ‘The Best Of SmartIdeas’) is now available… for FREE.

iMarketSmart

If you’ve ever hoped for a digest of my best posts, today is your lucky day! Each year, my staff review the data to determine which posts were viewed and shared the most. Then they pull the copy from the most popular articles to create a brief, easy-to-read digest. You can get it now, for free.

Best 130

Here’s what’s missing from moves management.

iMarketSmart

Something about the term moves management has always made me feel uneasy. When I first heard the phrase I figured it was all about managing the moves fundraisers make to get donors to move forward in the decision-making process, and I was right.

Opt-in 130

How to get your donors to respond to you WITHOUT asking them to respond to you

iMarketSmart

Does polite persistence really work any more? When I first got into sales, my uncle told me that polite persistence was the key to achieving results. He said that I needed to be gentle but tenacious. Like water dripping on a rock again and again until it finally wears away the stone.

Are you a dictatorial boss or a dynamic nonprofit leader?

iMarketSmart

I think too many nonprofit leaders don’t really know how to lead. Instead they just boss people around. Having a title means you have authority. But authority isn’t the same as leadership. In fact, too often people get into positions of authority only to become dictators, not leaders.

Giving increased.7% but you won’t hear anyone celebrating and that’s really too bad

iMarketSmart

Remember when the Lilly School predicted at least a $13 billion drop in giving due to the Trump Tax Cut (which would have taken us to $376 billion)? Instead, we saw a.7% rise in real dollars to $427.71 billion. They should have egg on their faces for their doomsday prediction.

USA 130

Why major and legacy donors think your fundraising communications stink!

iMarketSmart

First, it is not all your fault. Well then, can we blame it on leadership? Leadership should share the burden of blame because fundraisers tend to feel a lot of pressure to do what’s always been done. In many cases they are driven (by leadership) to avoid trying anything new in case it doesn’t work.

Vendor 130

Why major and legacy donors think your fundraising sucks.

iMarketSmart

First, it is not all your fault. Well then, can we blame it on leadership? Leadership should share the burden of blame because fundraisers tend to feel a lot of pressure to do what’s always been done. In many cases they are driven (by leadership) to avoid trying anything new in case it doesn’t work.

Vendor 130

Now Available: Executive Summary (PDF) of My Webinar On ‘Fundraising Climate Change’

iMarketSmart

A few weeks ago I hosted a webinar about Fundraising Climate Change (a term I developed some time ago and included in my book titled Engagement Fundraising ).

When you should NOT conduct face-to-face fundraising

iMarketSmart

Essentially, there are two types of face-to-face fundraising. When fundraising staff meet with highly qualified, major and or legacy gift donors and/or prospects; When part-time staff stand on street corners interrupting passersby asking them to give (I call this ‘street spam’).

ROI 130

Why You Need Tech-Enabled Donor Discovery

iMarketSmart

For decades, fundraisers have sought a ‘magic box’ to identify the most ideal donor prospects for outreach, relationship-building, and solicitation. Of course they do. Who wouldn’t want one? With a ‘magic box’ a fundraiser could become much more efficient and effective.

Vendor 130

3 reasons why I use curse words (but only one that matters)

iMarketSmart

She told me others would say I was unprofessional. I was asked to lead a roundtable discussion at a conference recently. So I did. And afterward one of the attendees approached me as I got a cup of coffee in the sponsorship expo room.

Words 203

Engagement Calling Metrics for Lead Outreach Associates Tasked With Arranging Meetings With Major Donor & Legacy Donor Prospects

iMarketSmart

Engagement calling, not cold calling! About 1 1/2 years ago I introduced the concept of Engagement Calling as the best way to land appointments with highly qualified, major gift donor prospects (much better than cold calling). But back then I failed to provide metrics for managing the process.

7 Data Points That Prove ‘Fundraising Climate Change’ Is Real And Happening Now

iMarketSmart

What’s in a name? In my book (titled Engagement Fundraising ) I briefly described the changes affecting nonprofits and their fundraising staff. The label I applied to the trend was ‘Fundraising Climate Change.’

Why hardly anyone reads your planned giving newsletter (and what you can do about it).

iMarketSmart

Confusing? Too often planned giving newsletters are written by lawyers and the lawyers at nonprofits think they are just dandy. However, most of your supporters are not lawyers. Did they opt-in? Your planned giving newsletter is designed to educate people about planned gifts, right?

Engagement Fundraising in Action with Erin Troia (EF-S03-E03)

iMarketSmart

Greg interviews Erin Troia about her “Engagement Fundraising” experiences. Erin recently finished reading an advanced copy of Engagement Fundraising and tried out some of the concepts she read about in the book. Learn more about MarketSmart at [link].

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16 Simple Things Your Best Donors Want

iMarketSmart

Here’s my list of essential major donor needs that you must aim to fulfill: 1. Your best donors want you to do the important work they can’t or won’t do. Your best donors want you to give them the credit and praise for your achievements. They want to be the hero in the story, not you.

Best 169

All About Fundraising Climate Change (And What You Can Do About It)

iMarketSmart

The world of fundraising is facing a climate change. For years, the environment has been shifting. The storm clouds have been gathering. I’ve been talking about this for approximately 10 years. And now, finally, the day of reckoning is upon us.

Demand 130

18 takeaways from my recent appearance on the Giving Back Podcast

iMarketSmart

This was a super-fun interview on The Giving Back Podcast. But if you don’t have time to listen to it, here are some notes my staff wrote down after listening.

Musical chairs, your donors, and fundraising?

iMarketSmart

I think fundraisers should recognize that donors are playing a lifelong game of musical chairs. The people you consider to be YOUR donors are circling around many other charities and, from time to time, they ‘sit’ with one that engages them properly and makes them feel good.

10 traits of terrible major and legacy gift fundraisers

iMarketSmart

Sadly, I’ve witnessed all of these but I truly believe #1 is the worst. Here are my top 10 traits of terrible fundraisers that drive major donors away: . Showing up late; 9. Failing to do something that was promised; 8. Talking about how great they are at raising money; 7.

Why treating philanthropists like s#!t is hurting our society.

iMarketSmart

From bad to worse. When I first saw the pictures of the flames engulfing Notre-Dame, I thought to myself, “That’s terrible.” ” But now, that the fire has been extinguished, I’m feeling like something else is even worse.

What is donor qualification and why should you care about it?

iMarketSmart

What is donor qualification?

Top 7 Fundraising In’s and Out’s for 2018

iMarketSmart

OUT: Making donors feel bad , twisting their arms, telling them to give ’til it hurts and shaming them. IN: Making donors feel good , treating them like people (not ATM’s), partnering and giving them the value they want.

Are you doubling down on stupidity?

iMarketSmart

A client recently told us she was being asked by her leadership to consider cancelling her MarketSmart subscription. . She told us that last year, during Q4, the organization decided to spend more money on Giving Tuesday and its end-of-year marketing.

Blasts 130

A bunch of reasons why January is NOT necessarily the best time to ‘hit your donor’s mailbox’

iMarketSmart

Recently I saw a question posted on a discussion board that was inspired by a blog (NOT mine) titled: WHY YOU NEED TO HIT YOUR DONOR’S MAILBOX FIRST THING IN 2019. The question was: Planned/legacy giving marketing – when do you mail? Here’s the response I posted.

How to understand your donor’s consideration process so you generate more major gifts

iMarketSmart

First things first. Too often fundraisers, board members, and nonprofit leaders spend way too much time thinking and talking about their organization’s or their employee’s process for raising major gifts (including legacy gifts).

Cold calling major donors to arrange appointments doesn’t work— but this method does

iMarketSmart

No one likes getting cold calls and you probably don’t like making them.

Work 205

Top 2 cringeworthy things some fundraisers say to major donor prospects (and what they might want to say instead)

iMarketSmart

“I’d like to meet you to update you / tell you what we do / tell you what we’ve been doing , etc.” ” I’ve had fundraisers approach me this way. It’s all about them and their organization.

3 tips for your fundraising career

iMarketSmart

Always add value. The best way to ensure that you have a job all the time is to make it a point to consistently try to add value to the lives of all the people with whom you come in contact. Everyone! Always! That includes the waitress, the janitor, and the guy who parks your car.

Tips 130

Thanking vs. Appreciating

iMarketSmart

Mechanized thank you’s. I’ve been thinking that, perhaps, too many organizations have turned thanking into an automated obligation. They realize it’s something they’re supposed to do. So, they do it as cost-efficiently as possible.

What is 3-to-1 Major Gift Fundraising?

iMarketSmart

Let’s face it, your supporters want something in exchange for their cash. But, sadly, many nonprofits don’t give. This compelled me to come up with a simple methodology that I call “ 3-to-1 Major Gift Fundraising.

Beware of the fundraising Illuminati

iMarketSmart

The Illuminati is the name given to real and fictitious secret society groups claiming special knowledge or enlightenment. . In the nonprofit sector, such groups of ‘experts’ exist; make no mistake!

Groups 130

Today I think I’ll take a victory lap. Will you join me?

iMarketSmart

I get things wrong all the time. Back in 1993 when I quit my first ‘real’ job in the newspaper business I predicted printed newspapers would be gone by now. Sure, they are having a hard time these days but they are still kicking!

Law 130

The 8 Components of Engagement Fundraising

iMarketSmart

There are eight components of my innovative fundraising methodology : 1. Accepting the Pareto principle. We’ve called it the 80/20 rule, but it’s more like the 90/10 rule when applied to fundraising.

Funnel 130

Will You Become an Engagement Fundraiser?

iMarketSmart

For the sake of donors, volunteers, advocates, and members everywhere who want to change the world but need an organization bigger than them to get it done, I sincerely hope you’ll consider becoming an engagement fundraiser.