5 great ideas for advancement services

A fair number of blog posts here are about data analysis and data fluency.  If you don’t know me well, you might think my job is all about analyzing tons of data.  But that’s far from the truth.  I spend more than half my time on prospect research basics – verifying addresses, names, phone numbers, relationships, age and publicly recorded assets.

That’s why this article caught my attention.  Chris Hughes, with Ruffalo Noel Levitz, assembled a top-5 list of investments for organizations moving toward the end of our fiscal year (for those of us on the academic calendar).



1.  Number one on his list is good old basic research and data enrichment.  My favorite.  How many of your donors in the last 6-to-12 months are in your system without a good address?  Probably more than you think.  Check it out!  Make sure you can contact your recent donors.  Don’t assume the national COA is going to keep your file up to date.  If you have too many constituents to look up, then segment by lifetime value, last gift amount, or wealth tier and start there.


2.  Second on the list is analytics.  This doesn’t have to mean complicated modeling.  In fact more than likely, all of us could benefit from knowing more about our donors.  What is their age distribution?  Where do they live?  How many have more than one valid contact method listed in your system?  How many fall into more than 1 segment (like alumni, patient, member or ticket subscriber)?


He rounds out the top-5 list with 3 additional worthy ideas, so click on the image above to read the full article.


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