Tag Archives: best practices

Fundraising Advisor quiz from Abila

True confession: I’m one of those people who secretly take online quizzes.  Like what’s your hippie name?  Or which Mary Poppins character are you? OK, I totally made that last one up, but sometimes quizzes can be ridiculous.

 

Unless of course they’re about increasing your fundraising IQ.  I couldn’t resist this quiz from Abila!

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The best part is the great information they deliver right after you complete the survey.  Maybe some information you already knew, but reinforcement is a good thing.  Here’s a sample:

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Ouch!  The learning moment is for us to leverage all the data at our disposal for communications segmentation, personalized outbound touches and channel specific content (being mindful of constituent channel preferences).

 

Click on either of the images above to take the quiz yourself and get a set of advice that matches your results!

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Have you heard of the relationship mapping work group?

I have to admit I hadn’t heard of it ’til just the other day.  Thank goodness for the internet!

 

OK, so here’s the scoop.  Hosted by the Prospect Research Institute and moderated by the brilliant Jen Filla, this is a quarterly online meeting of practitioners who discuss relationship mapping products and methods of applying the products.

 

And it’s free for participants.  Yes that’s exactly what I thought too.  Count me in.

 

All you have to do is sign up on the Prospect Research Institute’s email list for this event and then RSVP when they send out the next invitation.  The work group accepts only the first 25 RSVPs.

Click on the logo above to sign up and take part!

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Case study – impact report from Colorado State University

The 2015 CASE awards were just announced.  Each year I eagerly look forward to sifting through the winners to see the creative ideas our peers are rolling out in their fundraising programs.

 

Right off the bat this winner in the Stewardship category captured my attention, because of course, it is an impact report!  Colorado State University’s Veterinary school developed this wonderful report for their donors to communicate program measurements in a useful and easy to digest manner.

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I love the mix of philanthropy, patient load and education all on one page.  I can easily understand why the CASE awards committee recognized CVMBS with a gold award.

To view the full impact report, click on the image above.

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The value of information – Lifetime Value

I read a Harvard Business Review article recently that cited a glaring omission in the nature of our traditional accounting systems. Our accounting practices focus on revenue, inventory, and assets, but assign no value, not even a mention, to information.  For businesses that heavily leverage information to succeed, that can be a big problem, and here’s why:  when no value is assigned to information, the costs associated with managing, stewarding and upgrading information become a low priority.  There’s no way to incorporate financial gains to an ROI calculation.

 

So what to do?

 

Well, here’s an idea, we could start citing constituent value in our activity reports, status reports and project reports.  And that starts with being able to assign constituent value.  One way to do that is by computing lifetime value.  KISSmetrics offers a great how-to for understanding and calculating lifetime value (click on the image below to view the full discussion).

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Lifetime value, combined with other segmentation variables, such as membership in more than 1 constituency class, giving capacity, probability or recent interaction can help the emerging development of quantifiable information.

 

If you have an example you’d like to share, please let me know!

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Case study – Technology innovations at DePaul University

Another 2015 CASE award winner, DePaul University’s Advancement Services wowed the judging committee with their impressive technology tools all designed to facilitate development officer self-service in an intuitive and transparent manner.

This is just one of the sample screen shots from their interactive reporting tool–

 

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To browse through their full presentation, click on the image above and prepare to be amazed!

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10 secrets to winning with analytics from Qlik

Qlik published this handy presentation outlining 10 great ideas for making the most of analytics in your organization.

These are my favorites–

#1: Create a plan for what you want to accomplish, why it matters and how you’ll measure success

#3: Team up with a designer when building dashboards!  Trust me, this is a must!

#9: Use business intelligence to push the boundaries of the information reports deliver.  Instead of columns of dry numbers, add elements of diagnostic discovery in the content by asking “why?”

To read the article, click on the image above.

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4 Analytics Essentials

There are 4 functional analytics methods that the International Institute for Analytics tell us are true business imperatives.

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1. Dashboards.  Clearly dashboards require thoughtful metric selection and a carefully curated design to be engaging, useful and valuable.  However, human brains are designed to detect and understand patterns. Data viz is here to stay.

 

2. Business analytics.  IIA includes a broad spectrum of initiatives in this category – data mining, predictive modeling, and any number of specialized inquiries to pose to your data set.

 

3. Lifetime value.  A key tool for evaluating outcomes, particularly when applying integrated channel communications for solicitation campaigns.

 

4. Rolling financial forecasts.  The next generation of annual budgeting calls for iterative models that consider relevant internal and external influencing components.

 

To learn more and read IIA’s white paper, click here.

 

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Mobile compatibility is a requirement

So I attended a workshop last week and the speaker stressed that any online content we had not optimized for mobile device viewing was not going to be seen by our audience.  Same for email.  Truth is, I heard this twice last week in two different forums.

 

I decided to check the facts and went to a trusted source: Litmus.com, experts in the email marketing space.  Turns out, 53% of emails opened in 2014 were read on a mobile device.

 

Litmus based their findings on data from 12 billion worldwide email opens in 2014 and has been studying trends in behavior over the last 4-5 years that correspond with new mobile product introductions to the market.

 

The shift in device preference since 2011 has been rapid, but these are the facts.  Content that is not mobile optimized is simply not going to reach your audience.

Click on the graph above to read the article from Litmus.

 

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Case study: Analytics ROI at Michigan State University

I received an invitation from TechTarget to read a white paper the other day and the topic drew me in right away.  Text mining, predictive analytics, higher education development, affinity scoring and ROI.

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The project that MSU started in 2012 involved reducing the time cycle to deliver constituent insights to the major gift and annual giving fundraising teams.  They implemented more rigor around their processes for conducting text analysis and leveraging these insights for predictive analytics.  Now they compute affinity scores each night and push the results to a business intelligence (dashboard) platform that their fundraising colleagues use to select and segment constituents for next-step engagement strategies.

Seriously?  How awesome does that sound!

Click on the ROI figure above to read the white paper.

 

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Trendline: personalization

We’re all in agreement on applying personalized greetings to the correspondence we send to our donors, studying our website visitor demographics to craft appealing content and even generating different versions of our outbound email communications depending on the recipient segment.  These are all best practices in personalization.

 

Imagine my surprise when I read about a creative way to deliver an annual report with a fun, personalized flourish!  Yes, even the dry annual report can become a vehicle to engage and inspire our constituents with a bit of creativity.  BigDuck Communications highlighted the idea in a recent blog post that you can read here.  The innovative organization who created the report was Warby Parker, the uber popular maker of eye glasses.

 

But the fun doesn’t stop there.  After you customize your report, you get the choice to post it to the social media channel of your choice, and in the case of the BigDuck reader, the Warby Parker social media team interacted with her via her social media channel after she made her post.  Which of course, would make anyone feel extra special.

 

So what about it?  Sign me up!

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