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9 hard truths your fundraising operation needs to face in the post-pandemic era.

iMarketSmart

Competition is fierce and everywhere. Nonprofits don’t only compete with other nonprofits. They also compete with private sector businesses and Uncle Sam (the tax collector) for every donor’s “share of wallet and attention.”

The Way Forward: Part 1 of 3 for Marketing Major and Legacy Gifts in the Coronavirus Era

iMarketSmart

Don’t Panic. It’s the first rule of crisis management. When we panic we make bad decisions. Many of us have been facing closures, lockdowns and other extreme measures around the pandemic for almost a month, and every organization is thinking about how they can cut nonessential costs.

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A pep talk for fundraisers like you!

iMarketSmart

We are going to get through this, and history proves it. For many of us, this is not the first economic downturn we have seen in our careers.When we look at the Great Recession of 2008, giving declined only slightly.

Top 10 Free Resources Thanks To Dr. Russell James

iMarketSmart

Nearly ten years ago I made a new friend. It started out with an error. I wrote a blog post about the link between childlessness and planned giving. But I screwed up my math. Dr. James reached out to ‘help’ me catch the error and we struck up a dialogue via my blog.

7 big ideas for raising ‘major gifts of assets’ right now from Dr. Russell James

iMarketSmart

A couple of weeks ago, my longtime friend Dr. Russell James presented his top recommendations for fundraisers to consider especially during the coronavirus era. If you missed the event, don’t worry. You can view the recorded webinar and download the slides here.

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7 Major Gift Fundraising Benchmarks You Really Need To Know

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Before we begin. The 2020 Major Gift Benchmark Study asked people working in nonprofit organizations (n=580) what they consider to be a major gift, how they are staffed to raise major gifts, the types of information used to identify major gift prospects, and more.

Product Updates: Stewardship Series Effort and Online Will Tool Add-on

iMarketSmart

Stewardship Series Effort. When it comes to legacy gifts, many organizations spend too much time focused on uncovering hidden gifts or closing more of them. Sure, it’s important to find out who planned a secret gift and to inspire donors to make planned gift disclosures.

THE WAY FORWARD: PART 2 OF 3 FOR MARKETING MAJOR AND LEGACY GIFTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS ERA

iMarketSmart

This is part 2 of 3 in a series. For the previous post, go he re. Kill self-doubt. Some in your organization might be saying things like: “Our major donors’ investment portfolios have been decimated. There’s no way they’ll give.” I want to help you quash this negative train of thought right now.

Here’s what I learned about leadership in 2019. I hope it helps you!

iMarketSmart

Leadership is NOT about ‘managing’ people, bossing them around, or being a tyrant and it ISN’T about showing people how great YOU are either. Instead, it’s about helping coachable people that have passion and character become great.

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Top 10 Reasons Why Fundraisers Might Be Uncomfortable ‘Making The Ask’

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Let me know what you think about my top 10 reasons why some fundraisers might be uncomfortable making the ask : 10. They are in the wrong job and should be doing something else; 9. They are poorly trained (or not trained at all) and, therefore, don’t know how and when to do it; 8.

Donor-advised Funds Are Misunderstood, Bound to Be Regulated, and Not Going Anywhere

iMarketSmart

“Have you read this one?”. “Zach, hold on I didn’t even finish the other articles you sent me yet.” ” I guess I was being a bit overwhelming. Okay, yeah, I’m sorry. It’s just there is SO much out there on DAFs right now. It’s hard to keep up.”.

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

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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.

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Two Examples of How to Cultivate Your Donors (Even When They Aren’t Your Donors)

iMarketSmart

There’s a theme to major and legacy gift fundraising. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to uncover it. It’s the importance of relationship building. At the root of every major or legacy gift made there’s an intimate and undoubtedly deep connection between a donor and the organization.

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.

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MarketSmart + The Giving Institute

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In case you couldn’t tell from the title of today’s blog post, we have some exciting news to share with you! MarketSmart is the newest member of The Giving Institute.

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Major and Legacy Gift Fundraising Is Changing… Blame Robocalls.

iMarketSmart

Relationships building is part art, part science. And, as we all know, raising major and legacy gifts is all about building meaningful relationships. Over the past few years, the strategies and tactics nonprofits employ to raise major and legacy gifts has evolved and changed, and with good reason.

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.

A Glossary of Key Fundraising Terms, Jargon, and Vocabulary You Need to Know

iMarketSmart

Every profession has its fair share of jargon. Fundraising, and nonprofits in general, are no exception. Fundraising terms, acronyms, and jargon are as varied and valid as any other industry. As professionals in this field, we certainly have a wide-ranging glossary of phrases at our disposal.

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3 simple steps to break your transactional, spray-and-pray fundraising addiction

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Nonprofits tend to get addicted to transactions. Of course addictions are hard to break. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be broken at all.

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.

It’s too bad that nonprofit leaders and board members thwart risk-taking

iMarketSmart

I think too many in the nonprofit sector fear failure. Unfortunately, that paralyzes people. It prevents them from making decisions and thwarts innovation. In most cases it isn’t the fundraisers fault. They want to take risks.

How to Project Your Planned Gift Potential

iMarketSmart

“I owe a great deal of thanks to the person who invested in planned giving 15 years ago.”. I was sitting in the crowd at the 2019 ANA Chicago Nonprofit Conference, listening to the presentation titled “Retaining Your Sustaining Donors” when my ears perked up.

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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.

5 Online Year-End Fundraising Stats You Can Use to Help Craft Your Campaign

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This guest post on year-end fundraising stats is from Nathan Hill at NextAfter. Every development professional understands the importance of year-end fundraising.

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5 Ways You Can Get Meetings with Major Donors (Even When They Won’t Answer their Phone)

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I hear the following all the time when I ask fundraisers about their efforts to land meetings with major and legacy donors: “I tried calling, but they didn’t answer the phone,” they say. So what’s really happening here.

3 Reasons You Should Be Thinking about QCDs (Backed By Data + A Free Guide)

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How many decisions do you make each day? A quick google search yields our answer: somewhere near 35,000. That number may seem intimidating, “How can I make 35,000 decisions a day?” You might find yourself pondering.

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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.

3 Things You Can Learn From $58B in Donations

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If you had $58B, you would be among some interesting company. 58B represents more wealth than Larry Page and Michael Bloomberg, but not enough to surpass Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos.

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

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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.

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

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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 ).

THE WAY FORWARD: PART 3 OF 3 FOR MARKETING MAJOR AND LEGACY GIFTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS ERA

iMarketSmart

This is part 3 of 3 in a series. For the first post, go here and for the second post, go here. Engage and offer, don’t ask. We’ve been hearing from a lot of organizations over the past few weeks, and many are putting a total hold on communications to their donors. I would encourage you to do the exact opposite. . Donors are getting bombarded with information and opinions from the media, the government, their friends, their family, social media — you name it!

Introducing, Louis Diez— The Checklist Guy for Fundraising Excellence

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Some people really know how to be givers. You know what I mean don’t you? From time to time all of us come across people who simply want to help others without seeking anything in return. Don’t you agree? That’s how I found Louis Diez.

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Why You Need Tech-Enabled Donor Discovery

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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.

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MarketSmart’s “How-to” Guide for Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs)

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Click here for the free comprehensive guide for donor-advised funds. Trends come and go, but donor-advised funds are forever. I’m not quite sure that’s the quote, but I think it goes something like that.

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

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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?

Here are my IN’s & OUT’s for 2019… what do you think about them?

iMarketSmart

Being disrespectful, interrupting & annoying supporters. Spray-n’-pray marketing. Show up n’ throw up presentations. Treating donors like ATM machines. Asking for money (begging). Counting numbers of new Legacy Society members. Shaming donors into giving at events that cost a lot.

What Does Thanksgiving Have to Do with Fundraising? A Surprising Amount.

iMarketSmart

“You can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”. I wasn’t frustrated. If anything, I was disappointed. How could I forget that quote?” I thought to myself. I was sitting in our CEO’s office.

Let’s treat donors like piggy banks, not ATMs!

iMarketSmart

Stay with me on this. Of course, you can’t expect to get money out of a piggy bank unless you first make deposits. That framework has resulted in positive outcomes for eons. That’s why you should treat your supporters like piggy banks! You, the fundraiser, must make deposits first.

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.

The power of convenience: A follow-up to my post about online will-writing tools

iMarketSmart

The power of convenience as an influencer and motivator of outcomes is enormous and should never be underestimated. Ours is a culture of convenience; we expect it in every area of our lives. Amazon.com is growing and profiting because it provides astounding levels of convenience to its customers.

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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.

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.