iMarketSmart

Dr. Russell James’ Top 10 Ways Your Supporters Can Give Wisely Before the Year Ends

iMarketSmart

I’m very thankful that Dr. Russell James has graciously shared 10 smart ways your supporters can give wisely before the end of this year. He recommends you share these concepts right away, as you see fit. 1. Deduct $300 without itemizing. This year only!

Why Your Giving Tuesday Efforts Will Succeed Or Fail

iMarketSmart

Our sector is, once again, awaiting the results of Giving Tuesday without much thought about what value WE are giving to our supporters— and that’s really too bad. Why,” you might ask? The answer: Because immutable laws apply when money is involved.

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

If you want to hear how the best major gift officers succeed (and fail) in fundraising… look no further

iMarketSmart

A different frame of reference. Every once in a while someone comes along to change things. They say a few words differently or help you see things from a divergent perspective. That’s what Kevin Fitzpatrick did with his ‘One Visit Away’ podcast. Link to the Apple podcast.

Best 141

5 Best Practices For Writing Emails to Major and Legacy Donor Prospects

iMarketSmart

Be truthful, no tricks! You cannot build relationships upon lies. Not even white lies. Be relevant. . To do that, you must consider where ea ch supporter resides in the consideration process for giving and what they might be thinking.

How to Reach Out to Your Major or Legacy Gift Prospects Using LinkedIn

iMarketSmart

You know major gift fundraising is a marathon, not a sprint. But your boss wants results now. So you screen your list for wealth. Or maybe you have a predictive model developed to determine whom to contact first. Next, you send a letter to your prospect and promise to follow it up with a phone call.

The worst way to start a conversation with a donor.

iMarketSmart

“Did you get the [information, brochure, or letter] I sent?” ” Has anyone really had great success starting an outreach call with this question?

Top 10 Capital Campaign Mistakes Revealed

iMarketSmart

Can you add to this list? Failure to conduct a feasibility study. Failure to pay attention to the results of the feasibility study. Failure to build an appropriate campaign leadership team. Failure to obtain deep and broad stakeholder buy-in.

7 Major Gift Fundraising Benchmarks You Really Need To Know

iMarketSmart

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. Study respondents were also asked if their organization met their annual major gift fundraising goal.

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.” Plus, donors want non-exclusive, polyamorous relationships with organizations. In other words, they will decide when they’ll cozy up to other charities. Of course, you can influence their decisions, but you can never control them. You are at a disadvantage.

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. A lot of nonprofits are letting panic cloud their long-term thinking. Let me say this loud and clear so everyone at the back of the room can hear me: Your fundraising team is NOT a nonessential cost.

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. The Giving Institute Foundation (Giving USA) found that total giving dropped by 7.0% in 2008 and by another 6.2% in 2009. However, as a percentage of GDP, giving fell minimally, dropping from 2.1% in 2008 to 2.0% in 2009, 2010, and 2011. .

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

iMarketSmart

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. They don’t truly believe in their employer’s mission ; 7.

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. It’s about supporting them as they pursue worthy goals that align with a company’s mission by making sure they feel secure as they grow and achieve.

Help 126

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. So, here goes… Introducing Daphne Powell and her magical use of photo books for donor stewardship. Hoooooorayyyyy Daphne! Connecting with donors through photo books. By Daphne Powell.

Photos 140

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. Then, when the music starts playing again, they go around and around until they find another charity and take a seat there for a while.

Donors 149

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. At that time I was just beginning to pivot my business. We were a marketing agency helping private sector CEOs generate, qualify and prioritize leads for relational sales.

3 Simple Fundraising Metrics for Nonprofits (and How to Calculate Them)

iMarketSmart

Google search “fundraising metrics” and you’ll find plenty of blog posts and articles. In fact, you’ll come across too many. It can be overwhelming to figure out what fundraising metrics your nonprofit should track and measure. No two websites seem to offer the same suggestions, making it difficult to know what’s really worthwhile. Fortunately, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has come to the rescue (sort of).

MarketSmart + The Giving Institute

iMarketSmart

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. Founded in 1935, The Giving Institute has served as one of the most influential and important organizations advancing leadership and ethics in philanthropy and fundraising in our sector.

USA 126

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!

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. First, while that might be true for some of them, you’ll want to remember that many wealthy people didn’t get there by being stupid.

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.”. I was peppering my colleague, Jeff Giannotto with articles on donor-advised funds in preparation for his webinar on DAFs. For the past few weeks, Jeff and I had both been staying up to date with relevant donor-advised fund news.

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

iMarketSmart

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. Too often, nonprofits get addicted to making requests for transactions (solicitations) aimed mostly toward low-capacity supporters even though most of the funding already comes from major donors (including bequests).

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. So, today, I’ll lay them out for you. But before we dive into that, it’s important to remember that most supporters will not be ready to make a gift right away.

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. Along with so many others, I’m very thankful to Dr. James for his research and contributions to the sector.

Ideas 100

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. But, unfortunately the leaders, the board or the media make fundraisers feel like they can’t. They always seem to be lurking, waiting for failure so they can jump in shouting, “How dare you waste money!” and that thwarts risk-taking which leads to innovation.

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. But, believe it or not, closing legacy gifts is just the beginning of the fundraising process, not the end. That’s because most legacy gifts are revocable and many people change their plans near the end of their lives.

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. Relationships, and a strong sense of connection to your cause are major drivers of philanthropy.

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. Tactics from the past simply don’t work as well as they once did. Annual reports from Giving USA make it clear that giving is going up, however the total number of donors is going down.

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 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. In the aftermath of the destruction, people from all walks of life have been making comments about the philanthropists stepping forward to repair and restore the 856-year-old cathedral in Paris. Many of those comments have been negative.

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. She said, “Greg, I really enjoyed your roundtable discussion but why on earth did you curse… twice? Don’t you worry that people will say you’re unprofessional?”

Words 156

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. Then, you make a decision on whether or not to go forward with the campaign. So what then? What about the supporters who helped you come to that conclusion? Prior to conducting the study, did you prepare a plan to give to them after they helped you?

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

iMarketSmart

This guest post on year-end fundraising stats is from Nathan Hill at NextAfter. Every development professional understands the importance of year-end fundraising. The key to success at year-end is equally as well understood, but much harder to execute: to actually be seen and heard by your donors during one of the busiest times of the year. Here are 5 quick online year-end fundraising stats that can help you cut through the year-end fundraising clutter with your communications.

Stats 109

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. Five years ago I began my career in nonprofit fundraising. As you know, there’s a lot to learn when you get started (we’ve all been there).

Income 100

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 ). In the webinar I presented a ton of data supporting my claim that the fundraising environment has been shifting and the storm clouds have been gathering. I believe that, finally, the day of reckoning is upon us and too few organizations are ready.

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

iMarketSmart

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.

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. Acquiring thousands of new, low-dollar donors. Finding innovative ways to get ‘em to give more. Pre-qualifying major donors mostly because they’re rich. Making supporters feel bad. IN’s.

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

iMarketSmart

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. Research shows that we utilize a variety of techniques to help guide us through our daily lives.

Guide 109

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. They’d be able to zero-in on the best donor prospects, call them up, land a meeting, build a relationship quickly, solicit a gift, close it, and take a victory lap around the office.

Donors 122

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. In other words, you need to be the one to give to your supporters first before you can expect to receive. Giving makes your supporters feel good. It builds trust and it activates the law of reciprocity.

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.’ ’ I had been monitoring some metrics for some time until, finally, I concluded that sh#t was about to go down — big time. And now, it’s beginning to hit the fan. So I conducted a webinar.

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? The problem is that most people are not ready for your education. Most of the people to whom you send your newsletter probably did not opt-in to receive it.

3 Things You Can Learn From $58B in Donations

iMarketSmart

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. Here at MarketSmart we certainly don’t have $58B sitting around, however we are privileged enough to have access to $58B in anonymous donation data from the 5,500+ users of our free Fundraising Report Card.