Monthly Archives: April 2015

Break down the characteristics of a million dollar donor

A recent blog post from the Million Dollar list caught my eye.

 

 

 

This information is probably not what I’d expect, so I feel compelled to update my set of internal beliefs about philanthropic behavior.

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Planned Giving prospect identification presentation

Kevin McDonnell is a data analytics rock star.  I say that because he’s been in this field for quite a while, has a valuable perspective on data analysis pertaining to advancing fundraising success, and he’s extremely generous when it comes to sharing his knowledge.  In case you don’t already know, he’s the author of the Cool Data blog.

 

Last week he gave a presentation at the Canadian Association of Gift Planners conference.

 

And the topic, coincidentally was planned giving.

 

More specifically, it was a primer for direct fundraisers to understand how data mining works and how to ask better questions of their constituent data sets in order to elevate the odds of success in their own fundraising efforts.

 

Kevin generously shared the whitepaper he composed for the presentation via his blog.  By all means take a little time to read through it, he explains everything so well.  To access a copy, click here.

 

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Bookmark this – app for wrangling brainstorming meetings

Have you ever been in a meeting that solicited ideas from all the participants – collecting the ideas on colorful post-it notes all around the room?  I was in one of those a few weeks ago.  Keeping the information organized and accessible to all the participants afterwards used to be really challenging.  But now there are smart-phone apps that help facilitate this work.  Here’s one–

 

Post-it Plus lets you organize ideas into groups, and allows all participants (even across multiple meetings in different locations) to contribute to the discussion of prioritizing, aligning and tackling those ideas. The app is free, just click on the image above to learn more.

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How to make an incredible area chart

Courtesy of Chandoo.org, let’s all ramp up our area chart effectiveness in Excel.  Area charts can give an ordinary line chart more visual impact, and with these techniques, the charts can become even more information rich, leading to greater insights.  After all, isn’t that the key to a good data visualization?

 

 

 

 

First you examine and analyze your data to determine where to create your segments.  Then format it this way in Excel to generate your area chart.

 

 

 

Click on either of the images above to read Chandoo’s discussion.  He even gives us a preformatted sample that we can practice with.  To get the sample click here.

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Strategic value of constituent research

I recently read a white paper on the Marts&Lundy blog.  The opening paragraph described how the private sector automatically conducts market research as a matter of procedure before formulating ideas for product development, advertising campaigns or go-to-market strategies.  Then I came to this sentence and had to read it twice.

M&L

 

It’s sort of embarrassing, but I have to admit Mr. Mathias is telling the truth.  You can read his entire report by clicking on the image above.

 

He walks us through 3 case studies where M&L applied research techniques (like surveying constituents and analyzing facts) to make observations.  Then they figured out how to drive improvements based on the findings.

 

My favorite example of a finding was from the first case study.  The team surveyed non-donor alumni at a university and discovered a surprising number were unaware that the university was a not-for-profit.  Consequently, they formulated a plan to target this segment of alumni with a particular campaign message:  why the university should be a top philanthropic priority.  Very smart.  And it yielded results.

 

This was particularly revealing and I wonder whether this type of mistaken assumption is widespread among many of our constituents?  A provocative question indeed.

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Bookmark this — Philanthropic outlook report

The Giving USA Foundation, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Marts & Lundy have released The Philanthropy Outlook: 2015 & 2016.  Click on the image below to download a free copy.

 

philanthropy_outlook

 

The purpose of the report is to provide a sound economic forecast for the nonprofit sector, since contributions play such a vital role in resource generation.  The report explains the methodology behind the forecast and it largely takes into account the kinds of factors that could impact philanthropy overall – such things as national and world economic stability, world gross domestic product and legislative policy implications.

 

philanthropy_outlook2

 

There’s good news and more good news.  Overall, the forecast for 2015 philanthropy is up 4.8% over last year and the forecast for 2016 is up an additional 4.9%.   To download a free copy, click here.

 

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Walk on the crafty side

There’s an employee art show here at work this week.  A supportive coworker encouraged me to enter.  She knows how much I love making something crafty.

 

So just for today, how about we take a break from the work blog and think about artistic expression?  For me, if I can incorporate natural elements from my backyard, all the better.  This super clever idea for hanging photos from Photojojo is totally something I would make.  And probably will, so don’t be surprised if you come to my house and see my humble reproduction.

 

 

There’s another version too – for folks who love anything miniature.

 

 

 

I’m thinking vintage postage stamps combined with buttons and dried flowers.  Cute?!

Click on either of the images above to read the diy instructions.

 

Let me know if you make one – even better, send me a photo!

 

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