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?"

Using data wisely takes an organization-wide commitment:

There are steps you can take now to move your organization forward.  Last year we surveyed and interviewed organizations concerning their use of data and technology in making business decisions.  We surveyed a cross section of nonprofit organizations and received 1,126 responses, 11% of which were arts-related organizations.  Respondent organizations ranged in size from those with fundraising budgets of $10K and below to those with budgets of $25M and above.Read more

There’s a lot of hype around data driven marketing – and there’s certainly a lot of companies that claim they have the services you need to drive a data driven marketing strategy. But what does that really mean?

We know it’s about using unique data to remove the guesswork so you, as marketers and fundraisers, only engage with people most likely to buy, invest or donate.

Bottom line – it’s not just about data either. It’s about powerful insights that allow you to deliver value by engaging customers and prospects more effectively. Whether fundraising, marketing a luxury brand,...Read more

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

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

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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