Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Future of Fundraising Research Now

APRA Greater Houston is excited to announce our next workshop highlighting innovative practices and methods in prospect research.

 

We hope to see you there!

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How to calculate donor retention

Recently I stumbled across this great how-to from the DonorPath blog that discusses practical ways to pay attention to your donor data.  In addition, it highlights a formula for calculating retention.  If you’re not already keeping up with this measurement, put this on your to-do list.

 

 

In my office we look at retention over time (1 to 5 years) by cohort groups.  If you have a novel way of evaluating retention that you’d like to share, let me know!

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Bookmark this – US metro economic indicators

If you work in a nonprofit organization, national economic indicators are part of the big picture.  These indicators paint a picture of economic disparities and highlight the areas of greatest need for families struggling to maintain their stability and independence. These indicators influence current and future demand for education, healthcare, housing, transportation and social services.  Thankfully, the Urban Institute compiles an incredible amount of insightful and useful data, dashboard style.  Their dashboard includes data compiled for 366 of the country’s most densely populated cities.  Give it a try!

 

 

Drill-down information for Houston–

houstonindicators

 

This dashboard is amazing!

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Good news for humankind in Houston

When I read this news article, I thought it was worth sharing.  We all witness the human suffering associated with homelessness each day.  However hard working programs are making a big difference.

 

Over the past 3 years Houston-based programs have located housing for 3,650 homeless military veterans.  The good works of the organizations that focus on housing, human services and veteran services is having a positive impact on our society.  Click on the image above to read the news article.

Thank you ❤

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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.

ColoradoState

 

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).

LTV

 

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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Benchmarking – social media content engagement

Hubspot recently published their 2015 Social Media Benchmarks report.  It is a realistic guide for determining whether the content you are publishing on your social media channels is driving a level of engagement equivalent with others.  The great thing about this report is that the benchmarks are separated by industry and there is even a nonprofit cohort.

 

The key takeaway, according to Hubspot, is that posting content 2-3 times per week is optimal for the nonprofit sector audience.  Click on the image above to read the online article, or download the entire benchmarking report by clicking here.

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