In a perfect world, a fundraising database would be, well, perfect.  Imagine for a moment your CRM system with every name spelled correctly, all addresses and emails updated, every gift entered accurately – it’s a beautiful thought, isn’t it?

It is, however, extremely rare to find a “perfect” database.  There are always issues, anomalies and mistakes.  And, of course, donors and prospects don’t always give us their full information or don’t alert the organizations they support when they move or change information.  Indeed, we can always expect some level of data degradation year...Read more

For the last several years we have all been inundated with the admonishment to collect and use data in decision making.  As Joe Tish, Senior Manager for Client Success at Patron Technology suggests in his December 4 blog post, many are asking, “is this really something I can do at my organization?”

In truth, using data wisely takes an organization-wide commitment. But there are steps you can take now to move your organization forward.  Last year we surveyed...Read more

Anyone who has initiated a screening project will tell you that it can be a mixed blessing.  Whether it becomes a thorn in your side or the answer to your prayers is up to you.  A common first reaction to getting screening results delivered to your desktop is "Oh myyyy, that's a lot of data!"

Fortunately, for those who are in that position, it's not too late to gain control.  And control leads to momentum, momentum leads to wins.  And wins lead to cheers.  Suddenly, you're a hero.  And admit it, being a hero once in a while feels pretty good.

Because I've worked with hundreds...Read more

As 2015 approaches, it is not too early to consider what the New Year will bring from a charitable giving perspective.  Many forecasters believe that the stock market and the economy will continue to improve, and we will see enough growth in 2015 to finally pull us out of the recession-influenced doldrums of the past several years.  If it holds true, that is good news for charitable giving, which has historically been very responsive to upturns in the market. 

So how should nonprofits...Read more

Only 39% of donors on average renewed their support for a given charity from 2011 to 2012. This, according to AFP and The Urban Institute’s 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Report, is the sad state of donor retention.

There are a number of reasons donors stop giving.  Research by Adrian Sargeant, one of the foremost scholars on the topic of donor retention, indicates that 53% of donors who do not renew cite reasons related...Read more

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