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Why do staff at smaller charities seem to have more time to write heartfelt thank you notes?

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Some charities send me amazing ‘thank you notes’ They are personal, relevant and heartfelt. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy. And, they make me want to give again and again. But I’m perplexed.

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

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

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Why Fundraisers Won’t Call Major Donors (EF-S02-E02)

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On today’s episode we continue our discussion on phone calls. The big topic this week is why fundraisers are afraid to call major donors. Make sure to listen to the season 1 finale for the first part of this discussion.

Why fundraisers shouldn’t be making friends with donors

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A true story. I was talking to one of our customers two weeks ago. She had been working for an organization for almost two and a half years and she said, “You know, I think over time I must have met with about 100 people. But I don’t think even 2 or 3 were really, really, really highly qualified.”. She continued saying, “Most of them love us. They adore our staff. They understand and support our mission. They wanted to talk and I wanted to listen. Our meetings were great.

Why your job is to get donors to talk to themselves.

iMarketSmart

Your job is not to come up with words and images that will persuade or convince people to give. Instead, your job is to come up with words and images that will inspire people to persuade or convince themselves to give. You cannot make people do anything. Inspiring self-talk is the key. . It’s only when people talk to themselves that they make decisions. Therefore, your job is to engage donors in a way that inspires self-talk that makes them feel good.

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3 reasons why you need to stop worrying about the darn tax law!!!

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Tons of writers in major media have been fretting about the new tax law. “Tax bill could turn philanthropy into a pursuit only for the rich.” ” – 12/23/17 Todd Frankel [ Washington Post ] “Nonprofits are the unintended victims of the new tax bill.” ” – 12/29/17 Chris Gates [ The Hill ] “The sky is falling!” ” – 12/17/43 Chicken Little [ Wikipedia ]. Don’t listen to naysayers and doomsday prognosticators. .

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Does fundraising training focus too much on the ask?

iMarketSmart

Often I find that major gift (and legacy gift) fundraising education, training, and advice places too much emphasis on ‘the ask’ Yet, in many ways, the ask is the smallest part of most fundraiser’s jobs. For instance, I bet most of your time is probably spent doing so much besides asking. And, frankly, I think most of the decision has already been made by your donors well before you pop the question.

3 simple ways fundraisers can improve their LinkedIn profiles to land more meetings and raise more money

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Most fundraiser’s LinkedIn profiles are screwed up! They look like resumes, not invitations. After all, are you trying to raise money or are you looking for another job?

The most powerful motivators of major gifts and legacy gifts.

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Remembrance. Honor. Memorialize. Pay tribute. Fairness. Right wrongs. Give back. Hormones. Oxytocin “the love hormone” Cortisol for focus. Brain. Neurons transmitting information. Mirror neurons support empathy. Religion. Find meaning. Satisfy dictates. Allay guilt. Social.

Introducing the First Ever Major Gifts Fundraising Benchmark Study

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The first-ever benchmark study on major gifts fundraising. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce the 2017 Major Gifts Fundraising Benchmark Study. The research was led by Melissa S. Brown and supported by the Association of Philanthropic Counsel. I just funded the effort.

The 4 levels of donor commitment according to Mal Warwick

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For those of you who are new to the field, Mal Warwick played a tremendous leadership role in fundraising and direct marketing. In his book titled How to Write Successful Fundraising Appeals , he outlined the 4 levels of donor commitment.

3 smart new metrics to measure your fundraising effectiveness

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I’ll bet you make lots of calls. You set appointments, uncover needs, make presentations, write proposals and close gifts too, right? I did it too. Back in 1996, I was a young, energetic salesman working to help grow a small marketing agency in Silver Spring, Maryland. I made tons of cold calls and set plenty of appointments. Then I uncovered needs and, later, made presentations or wrote proposals. A percentage of the proposals would turn into sales.

I must sound like a broken record but here’s more nonprofit data that will inspire you to focus more on major donors

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The left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies crunched the data from Giving USA Foundation’s annual philanthropic survey to figure out who was giving what.

How to structure and staff your planned gift shop for the 21st century

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Jim Collins, author of the best-selling book Good to Great , has three big recommendations for all organizations: Get the right people on the bus. Get the right people in the right seats. Get the wrong people off the bus. So what does this mean for you?

6 major donor expectations you simply cannot ignore

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Dialogue. Major donors expect to be able to have a dialogue with an organization and its staff. Permission. Major donors expect to maintain power over whether or not they grant permission for dialogue to happen. Convenience. Major donors expect their engagements to be convenient for them. Focus.

4 things pizza and major gift fundraising have in common

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A while back I wrote a blog post that included 5 best practices for delivering progress reports to major donors (sometimes including legacy gift supporters too). Later on, my kids wanted Domino’s Pizza. Honestly, I don’t like their food.

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Why you should stop looking for fundraising silver bullets and unicorns.

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Many marketers/fundraisers desperately hope to find silver bullets or unicorns. They become enamored by shiny objects that are easy to employ. Usually, these technologies and tactics focus on the top of the funnel, generating awareness or (at best) interest.

Are you in love with your organization’s mission?

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It’s all about love. Once you brush away the internal politics, the nasty board member out to get you, the job title or raise you did or didn’t get, and so many other things that can drive you nuts, it all boils down to one simple question: Are you in love with your mission? If you are not in love with your mission, you can’t expect your donors to love it. And, you can’t expect them to support it.

Your donors want to find meaning in their lives. But are you helping them?

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Sick of my rants yet? I’ve droned on and on about the fact that your job is to make your donors feel good and to facilitate the exchange of dollars for value. And, of course, value is in the eye of the beholder (the donor’s eyes).

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3 major donor myths broken by Andrew Olsen

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Andrew Olsen knows a thing or two about direct marketing. On his blog , he debunks 3 major donor myths that pertain to marketing. You can find them below. Here’s his proof that they aren’t true. Myth #1: Major donors don’t give through the mail or online.

The 5 p’s of engagement fundraising

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1- Permission. Donors have immense power these days. They can ignore your communications! The best way to ensure that they don’t exercise that power is to gain their permission to communicate with them. Having a list of 100,000 matters little if no one engages with your outreach.

7 simple steps to qualify your donors

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Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t understand qualification. They don’t recognize its power. They wait for the next wealth screened list. They fiddle with it in Excel or in some other database. They make a few calls. They don’t get any appointments. They give up. Then they say the list was no good. Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t use the qualification process effectively. They don’t recognize the fact that understanding qualified supporters in-depth is crucial.

Donor Psychology: Do you know what really makes your supporters feel good?

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Funny thing about fundraising is that it all boils down to this: Making sure that your supporters feel good! I know, I know. In the books and webinars, they’ll say, “It’s all about proving impact and results.” ” Others will say, “It’s all about relationships.”

If asking for donations makes you uncomfortable, read this now!

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Recently I was asked the following: “The whole idea of the ‘ask’ is very uncomfortable to me. How can I become more comfortable with it?” ” Here’s my answer: First, if you are uncomfortable with asking, it’s probably for one or all of 3 reasons.

The 6 most read parts of any major gift solicitation letter

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I’m always a bit baffled when I see fundraising letters that fail to take into consideration the following. After all, research by Professor Siegfried Vogele has clearly proven what people read and in what order.

Why fundraiser job titles suck and cost you a lot of money!

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My pal Dr. Russell James is at it again. This time, he researched what fundraiser job titles inspire more engagement, connectivity, and giving.

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8 Great Ways to End Emails or Letters

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Cultivation starts and ends with great communication. Goodbyes are just as important as hellos. So here are some great ways to end emails you send to donors: 1. First name], I’m really counting on you!

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Do you care more about your legacy society than the donors in it?

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Some nonprofits seem to care about ‘having’ a legacy society far more than they care about the donors in them. . There’s lots of evidence supporting my claim. For instance: Way less than half of the people who make planned gifts notify the nonprofits in advance and many of those that do ask to be anonymous. Look online and try to determine the benefits of joining any legacy society and you’ll see that too many provide very little real, meaningful value to the donors.

Could your volunteers solve most of your fundraising problems?

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Volunteerism is the gateway drug leading to major giving and legacy gifts. Proof can be found in the 2016 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy. The study is based on a survey of U.S.

Are you a cold-hearted fundraiser or a warm-hearted facilitator?

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The flow chart below makes me very uncomfortable. Here’s why: Science and experience have led me to realize that a donor’s objective is usually, first and foremost, to find meaning in their life through giving and to feel good knowing their legacy gift will make an impact.

4 keys to fundraising success you might be overlooking

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Humanity – Understanding human beings — really taking a deep, genuine interest in their wants, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams.

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Why you need to focus on the most qualified donors

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Focus. Because… the world is quickly becoming one that has fewer donors giving more. According to The Institute for Policy Studies (after they crunched the data from Giving USA Foundation’s annual philanthropic survey from 2003 – 2013), itemized charitable donations over 10 years have increased : 104% from households with earnings of at least $10 million per year. 57% from people making $500,000 or more (the top 1%).

Have you ever had one of these horrible bosses?

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According to Toni Coleman, interim editor in chief of CASE’s CURRENTS Magazine, there are 4 types of horrible bosses : The micromanager. The disinterested boss. The bully. The abuser. Have you worked for one of them? If so, please share your story in the comments section below. Or, for tips on how to be a better manager, check out Toni’s article here. Related Posts: >>What’s missing from most nonprofit mission statements? >>3

5 lessons fundraisers can learn from Subway (Yes! The sandwich shop)

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Here are 5 great lessons fundraisers can learn from Subway : 1. Ask for feedback. Say please. . Use the word “YOU” often. It makes people feel special. Create menus to make it clear what you want them to do (menus will help them make a decision too).

A challenge for the fundraisers of the world…

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Fundraisers have more competitors now than ever before. Your competition is global. They are everywhere because the Internet has made it easy to become a competitor. Some work from their kitchen tables and others from corporate offices. Scary, isn’t it? You are substitutable. The growth in competition makes your organization exponentially more substitutable. Donors now have more information conveniently available at their fingertips.

What’s your fundraising asking style?

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According to Brian Saber, “Your ‘Asking Style’ is based on your personality and unique set of strengths in fundraising.” ” But, don’t be fooled by stereotypes.

Is donor qualification more important than donor identification?

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Identification. If you are a major or legacy gift fundraiser, you’re probably responsible for a group of donors on your caseload or portfolio.

8 simple ideas to involve your donors and build deeper connections

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Montgomery was a famous author in the early 1900’s. Her novels were internationally renowned. She once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ” This is so true. Involvement is one of the best ways to build seriously deep connections. It can mean the difference between no gift and the ultimate gift. There are millions of ways you can do this. Here are eight of them: Be transparent and give them access with a personal tour.

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14 things you must know about your donors to win major gifts (including planned gifts)

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Here are 14 things you must know about your donors if you want to raise major and planned gifts (13 of which can be obtained from a donor survey ): 1- Why do they care about your nonprofit’s mission? 2- What programs interest them and why?

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When it comes to “moves management,” are you concerned too?

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First, what are we really talking about when we say moves management ? Wikipedia says , “moves are the actions an organization takes to bring in donors, establish relationships, and renew contributions.” ” So, moves are what the fundraiser does. Moves are activities. I get it! Fundraisers achieve their goals if they develop plans for their activities. Moves management in fundraising is the development of plans and activities to raise money.