Tag Archives: career

Making the move to research analytics

The business analysis skills mandatory in successful for-profit entities are equally as important for nonprofits. The career jump from prospect research to research analytics is a natural.  That’s why I found this article from STATtr@k so illuminating – 10 tips for entering the analytics career ladder.

 

My favorites are #2: get experience with large real-world data sets, #7: familiarize yourself with the industry, and #10: network. Here’s my own two-cents on these 3 pointers, since the author didn’t approach the article from a nonprofit point of view.

  • Real-world data sets.  Everyone in our profession has access to data, so start exploring!  Count the number of donors last month by gift size, by giving capacity, by state, by age.  Learn more about your data.  If that exercise is too simple, then pose a business question to yourself that is more challenging and solve it!
  • Become familiar with our industry.  Read the online blogs from the top consulting firms, software vendors and services providers to understand the kinds of solutions they are implementing in other organizations.
  • Network.  The Prospect DMM list is a great way to join the conversation and involvement with APRA Greater Houston is an excellent opportunity too.

Click on the image above to read the original article from STATtr@k.

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June events

There are a few items on the APRA-GH calendar of events, so just in case one of them is appealing to you, check it out!

June_calendar

 

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New job board listings

Don’t forget to check in on APRA-GH’s website from time to time to browse job listings.  If you haven’t been there for a while, you’ll find a few new positions posted on the Job Board.

 

If you have a position that you’d like to post on our Job Board, email us!  aprahouston@gmail.com.

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Building data fluency

All of us are analysts.  We look at a set of information about constituents, campaigns, proposals or gifts, absorb the meaning and make decisions about what we need to do.

 

When your organization as a whole begins to understand that information is a requirement for any decision making process, you know you’re contributing to a data fluent culture.  But how many of these data fluent cultures really exist?

 

If you look at Linked In’s published list of the top 25 skills that resulted in traction between job seekers and recruiters in 2014, you’ll see data analytics right at the top.

 

HotSkills

 

 

Even in the face of this overwhelming evidence that data and the analysis of data is strategically important, many organizations struggle with change.  Changing core beliefs and changing attitudes.

 

In my opinion, this one thing, more than any other, is the first step.  We can communicate factual information to our peers, throughout our organizations, that will begin to replace myths, urban legends and anecdotes.

 

This article by Rick Groves from the Chronicle of Philanthropy explains it so well.  He gives us 3 actionable ways to promote a culture of data fluency.  Please read the article, it is amazing!

  1. Help people ask better questions.  We can do this by establishing a consistent baseline of understanding, then guiding our peers along a journey of curiosity by examining the information from multiple points of view.
  2. Speak their language.  Endless tables of numbers, lengthy lists and calculations do little to promote understanding.  When the goal is to communicate, illustrate the story with meaningful diagrams.
  3. Be humble.  Our data can only reveal what is captured.  There’s so much more.  As analysts, when we approach our business armed with facts, we also need to approach with curiosity to discover what we don’t yet know.

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Best of the best – development officer traits

One of my brilliant colleagues shared this gem with me recently.  We’re all aware of the crucial impact of talented fundraisers to an organization’s bottom line.  And as my daddy always used to say:  the best indicator of the number of major gifts coming in tomorrow is the number of asks that occurred today.

Development officers have to be knowledgeable, driven and strategic.  Recently the Education Advisory Board completed a little research to determine those professional traits that the absolute best development officers possess.

Click on the image above to read more about the EAB’s research methodology.

It makes me pause to consider how we in Development Services can better contribute to development officer success by being the best of the best in our own domain?

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Nurturing creativity

From Fast Data – how to stay creative when you feel stuck–

 

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APRA GH Job Board

Opportunities are still coming your way on our job board.  Don’t forget to keep up with the changes and refer your friends and colleagues!  Check out the job board here.

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The Hospital Fundraising Summit. Free. Online. Check it out!

I’ve not ever heard of this event until just the other day.  I just happened to see a sidebar advertisement when I was reading an online article.  So I clicked.  And I have to admit it sounds like an amazing idea.

hospitalfundraisingsummit

By all means, share this information!  Forward to at least 1 colleague!  Improving our industry is just good for philanthropy.

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Job opportunities

There are 5 open positions posted on the APRA-GH Job Board.  Just saying.

Please refer a friend – these are all wonderful organizations that offer abundant opportunities to learn and contribute.

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Building confidence – worth a watch

I attended an industry meeting a number of years ago and a female Chief Development Officer was the speaker. Her opening words shook me.  She wondered why, in an industry dominated by female staff members, were there so few female executives?

Why indeed?

Author Kitty Kay has a possible clue, although her research is not limited to the nonprofit sector.  Females are notorious at self-effacing behavior.  For no obvious reason.  Even successful females have a measurable confidence gap when compared with their male colleagues who have achieved similar success.  Here’s a discussion with Ms. Kay, who has conducted research on the topic and offers some valuable suggestions.

Click here for the accompanying article.

What lessons can we learn?  Ms. Kay shares some findings.  She says women often hyperfocus on failures or negative aspects of their performance, but in a way that is ridiculously out of context with their overall professional achievements.  She also indicates that women tend to have internal dialogues that can spin out of control, contributing to a lack of action.

The video and article are well worth a look.

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