Collecting Social Data


Social data comes from various outlets.  It’s not just your online presence; it is in-person meetings, networking events, phone calls and even gossip. You capture all of these points in your database, building detailed profiles. With all of these social data points in your database, it can be hard to know what to do with them.  However, nonprofits have a major opportunity to use social data to asses a prospect’s life and passions. 

Your development team should use this information with the aim of connecting your organization’s work to what a donor cares about – if you reach out with a pertinent campaign, a prospect is much more likely to give when they are personally and passionately aligned with your mission.

Timing is everything

Without social data, knowing when the right time to reach out is can be a challenge. Social data provides cues, allowing you to make a more informed decision on when it’s the right time to reach out.

Through your social connections, you can have an inside track on a donor or prospect’s life: job changes, births, graduations and more. These are great times to reach out and make a personal connection with your donors. On the other hand, social data can let you know when it’s not the right time to reach out, helping you avoid any uncomfortable situations that could dissuade a prospect. Overall, social data delivers excellent background information to build a connection into a relationship.

Be social with your social data

Your development team won’t be the only ones to benefit from social data. The web team, social media team, management, human resources, etc. can all use social data to be more successful. Aside from identifying donors passionate about your mission, your whole organization can use this data to not only improve their work, but to foster a culture of philanthropy. If your nonprofit is hosting a large gala event, wouldn’t it be nice to arm your executives with pertinent data about the key attendees? This ensures they effectively use their time for cultivating these relationships. Once the event wraps, be sure to debrief with the executives. It’s an opportunity to gather more social data to add to your database. When your whole team works together on your social data, it’s a win for your organization!

Social data can be key in targeting specific segments of your database. Register for our webinar Leveraging Social Media & Events to Engage Millennials to learn how to better engage millennials through social media and events. 

Business Owners Need to View Their Succession Planning as Their Legacy


Without a formal business succession plan, you are not only putting your business at risk but also risking your family’s wealth and security.

Over the past 10 years, despite political and economic uncertainties, entrepreneurship and business ownership have helped to close the wealth gap and to create significant wealth for black/African American entrepreneurs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2012 survey (the most recent survey available), there are 27.6 million closely held small businesses in the U.S., of which 29% are majority-owned by ethnic minorities. In 2012, black/African American businesses totaled 2.6 million nationally, with total annual revenue of $187.5 billion, reflecting a 34.5% increase in business ownership, up from 1.9 million in 2007.

In fact, research confirms that business ownership and entrepreneurship are key drivers of significant wealth and legacy creation, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender. In an annual industry intelligence report, State of the Affluent—(published by CEG Worldwide, a leading research firm, and WealthEngine, a leader in wealth intelligence)—we learn that 33% of affluent, 74.5% of super affluent, and almost 90% of ultra-affluent households own a business.

The fact that the increase in black/African American-owned businesses represents the highest percentage increase in business ownership among all ethnic groups in the U.S. is important. For these entrepreneurs, an increase in business ownership also translates to significant increases in personal and family wealth, both for the current generation and for future generations. Urging his community toward building a firm foundation for business success, Earl G. Graves Sr., the founder of this publication, noted in a Nov. 3, 2015 publisher’s letter that: “[W]e as African Americans have the capacity to pass on more wealth than any previous generation—wealth needed to continue to finance the progress and empowerment of future generations.” However, citing that nearly 70% of African Americans have no will or estate plan in place, Graves went on to say that, “this potential cannot be realized if we don’t collectively commit to estate planning.”

Many business owners are discovering that with proactive, purposeful planning, much of the newly created wealth can be preserved and even passed onto future generations.

Owners of closely held businesses, in particular, should not only commit to estate planning but also to integrating business succession and exit strategies as part of their overall wealth plan. More than 4 out of 5 closely held businesses are still run by their founder. However, there is a disconnect between the 88% of business owners (according to the Family Business Institute) who believe that they will be able to pass their business onto the next generation, and business succession statistics, which show a decrease in business survival. According to The Family Firm Institute, only about 30% of family and businesses survive into the second generation, 12% are still viable into the third generation, and only about 3% of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation or beyond.

In a separate 2015 study, 64% of business owners over the age of 50 have no formal business succession plan, which puts their largest asset and family’s wealth and security at risk (Five Attributes of Today’s Business Owners,” 2015 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth).

So, what are the things to consider in establishing an estate and business succession plan? First, you will want to consider a few of the key objectives when working with your tax and legal advisers to create a plan, which are to:

  1. Address and achieve certain financial and family objectives
  2. Maintain privacy and control regarding your wealth
  3. Maintain family harmony and ongoing viability of key assets
  4. Maximize your wealth during your lifetime and for legacy and social impact
  5. Preserve wealth from unnecessary taxation and claims of creditors
  6. Minimize liability and claims against your wealth

Next, you and your attorney will want to consider how to properly structure and coordinate your wealth planning to maximize results. Some of the vehicles your attorney can draft for your planning objectives may include the following:

    • Will – makes your intentions known and unambiguous and avoids having the state determine who will receive your wealth
    • Revocable/Living Trust – avoids probate, which otherwise subjects your estate to probate fees and unnecessary public scrutiny
    • Power of Attorney for assets in the event of mental incapacity
    • Health Care POA/Directives – provide clear instruction on who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make such decisions
    • Irrevocable Trusts – for making intra-family wealth transfers in a manner that leverages available tax exemptions to enhance family legacy planning

Business owners will also want to consider:

  • Shareholders Agreement (corporations), Partnership Agreement (partnerships), or Operating Agreement (limited liability companies) – establishes plan for managerial succession and instructions on what happens to your interest in the business in the event of death, disability, or retirement,
  • Buy-sell Agreement – formal agreement for selling your interest in the business to an existing partner, family members, or third-party buyer
  • Business valuation – for transfer of a business interest by gifting or sale. A proper business valuation should be considered before making any transfers to family members to address potential IRS challenges regarding valuation.

Because of the complexities involved with estate planning, especially when a successful business is involved, it is important that you assemble and tap into a team of experts to help you identify and navigate the planning issues. Your team will provide meaningful insight that will empower you to make better-informed decisions that will positively impact your community, business, and family legacy and wealth.

The Final Four of Wealthy Individuals


Depending on who you ask, it’s quite possibly one of the best times of the year – the NCAA basketball tournament. In the spirit of the competition we decided to take a look at the wealthy individuals in the city each university in the Final Four is located. Specifically, we looked at the number of men and women with a net worth greater than $1MM. How did the cities stack up? Take a look at the infographic below.

Try our free trial of WE Prospect to see how your team’s city compares to the Final Four.

NVTC Announces Finalists for 2017 Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards

The Northern Virginia Technology Council is honored to announce the finalists for the 21st annual Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on June 5, 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.

These prestigious awards recognize chief financial officers for extraordinary achievement and excellence in promoting the development of the Greater Washington region’s technology community.

In addition, NVTC will honor posthumously Greg Kuykendall and Harry Weller, two industry leaders who passed away in 2016, for their contributions to the Greater Washington tech community with the Michael G. Devine Hall of Fame Award.

Congratulations to the following finalists!

Public Company CFO of the Year
Alison Engel, Gannett
David Keffer, CSRA
Thomas Kramer, Opower
Nicky McGrane, Evolent Health
Jim Reagan, Leidos Holdings
Paul N. Saleh, CSC

Private Company CFO of the Year
Lance C. Cawley, InSite Wireless Group
Keith Haas, Snagajob
Michael Krone, Deltek
Dana Mariano, Invincea
Cynthia A. Russo, Cvent
Douglas S. Strahan, KrolLDiscovery

Emerging Growth CFO of the Year
Steven Fay, OneWeb
Aaron Levine, Fishbowl
Jim Murphy, Greensmith Energy Management Systems
Dawn Orr, WealthEngine 
Matthew Sysak, EverFi
Hai Tran, Specialists on Call

Division/Group CFO of the Year
Melissa Carson, Unisys Federal Systems
Nimish Doshi, Northrop Grumman Technical Services Sector
Cynthia Sereno, CGI Federal

Click here to learn more about the 2017 Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards and to register for this special event. – See more at:

The Data-Driven Annual Fund Part 1: The Building Blocks


Annual funds are as different and varied as the organizations that run them. From the large-scale direct marketing solicitation of tens of thousands of prospects to the targeted email blast to a few hundred regular donors, annual giving remains the backbone of a comprehensive fundraising strategy and, in many cases, forms the solid base of the fundraising donor pyramid.

Because of the many differences and variations we developed The Data-Driven Annual Fund, a workbook that focuses on data understanding and use; strategies for segmentation, solicitation and stewardship of donors and prospects; and measuring and analyzing fundraising ROI and other key metrics.

Part 1: The Building Blocks focuses on building a strong base for the annual fund and setting the protocols that will drive the entire process. Specific topics include conducting a data audit, data hygiene and segmentation, and developing an annual fund plan.

Download The Data-Driven Annual Fund Part 1: The Building Blocks for information and resources on building a strong base for your organization’s annual fund.

The Evolution of Persona-Based Marketing

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At the risk of dating myself, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane today. Let’s jump in the way-back machine and look at the business application journey since the 1990s. It’s interesting to see the evolution of business applications that companies have used over the years to run their business. When looking at accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, contact management, customer service, or any other functional software, there was one thing in common: everything was siloed.

Eventually this practice was looked at and the realization was made that we can conduct business more effectively if these systems talked to each other. Low and behold, along came the concept of integrating everything. Companies started looking at how they can manage their CRM platforms and integrating it into their ERP/Accounting systems to have a better view of leads through purchase. Great idea, but it was a tedious and costly process.

The cloud revolution started in the CRM and ERP/Accounting spaces in the early 2000s. Salesforce and NetSuite were innovators in this space and started putting CRM and Accounting data online, giving you access to this data anywhere. Of course, there were many nay-sayers that didn’t like that “crazy idea” of putting all financial transactions out there for all to see and to grab.

In my view, NetSuite was truly the mother ship of business transactions in the cloud, as they took on the hardest task and functionality to build – accounting. Like they always said, accounting is sticky, and if I own the core transaction with an invoice, everything else around the core ERP is just an additional add-on. While many people thought that NetSuite was just a Cloud ERP system, most don’t realize that it actually started by capturing a lead from a web form and tracking that lead/contact all the way through to the transaction. Offering an end-to-end solution was a revolutionary concept at the time. My friend Rob Israch, CMO at Tipalti and former NetSuite CMO, helped take the concept of tracking marketing impact to another level. In many ways, this was the birth of marketing technology (MarTech) and marketing automation.

So, the background information above is important to note because many MarTech apps and platforms came to life through this evolution. Great marketing automation organizations, such as Marketo, took the concept of tracking and managing a lead at the front end and following it through the entire buyer journey, to the next level.

Yet, have you ever wondered what the common denominator is between all these systems? You guessed it…DATA!!

If business applications are the engines that power companies, data is the fuel that runs these engines. The hot trend now in the MarTech space is Account Based Marketing (ABM). This concept simply focuses on the best accounts to target and market to. However, we always get the same questions – within those accounts, who are the people that I am actually marketing to? What do I know about them? What messages will resonate with them and help continue them along their buyer’s journey?

This is where the next evolution is, and something I like to call Persona Based Marketing, or PBM. Wouldn’t it be nice to know a little more about the person I am about to engage with in a multimillion dollar transaction?

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can, and we have the same common denominator again – data. At WealthEngine, we are here to help you learn more about individuals to help you better find, engage, and understand your prospects. Personalize your marketing and enhance your ABM journey through some Persona Based Marketing today.

Until next time!

Today’s thought is a guest post from our very own Omar Sary. Omar is our Vice President of Business Development. He’s also our resident evangelist on all things marketing automation. To reach out to Omar, contact him at

Select the Right Growth Strategies to Maximize SaaS Enterprise Value

Joining us for today’s show is Mark Logan, a Chief Executive Officer that every executive from a company with aggressive growth goals should tune in to watch. Today’s topic is developing corporate strategy objectives, and to follow along download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the corporate strategy section and flip to the objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the workbook. 

Mark is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of corporate strategy objectives. As the CEO of WealthEngine, Mark has spent his entire career leading growth companies in the software and SaaS technology companies. His experience from companies like JD Edwards, Sybase, PeopleSoft, and the last few years with WealthEngine represent a valuable experience base to learn from.

Watch as Mark demonstrates how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. This show is a must watch for executives of technology companies with high growth goals. Those executives from outside SaaS-based companies can borrow emerging best practices from SaaS leaders like Mark to leap-frog your competition.

Why this topic today? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities really don’t have any at all, they risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO’s strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing, and product leaders, are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment, and often results in subpar revenue growth.

In the first part of the program, Mark provides an overview of his business and the approach to serving two very different markets.  We discuss the faced by serving two distinct markets and how Mark guides his team to succeed on both.

Every sales leader who want to become a CEO someday needs to pay close attention to Mark’s comments about how to grow enterprise value of the company.  Every board wants their company to be worth more tomorrow than it is today. As a sales leader, you have a revenue objective, but not all revenue is created equally. Revenue for certain product categories may create more value for the shareholders than others, and there might be certain products that are more strategic for other reasons that just top-line growth revenue.  Understanding how to create enterprise value places you on a path to become a Chief Executive Officer.

Not all revenue is created equal. Watch as Mark and I discuss the different types of revenue growth strategies. There are three types of revenue growth.  Starting with market expansion, this is where high waters are raising all ships and all companies in the market are growing. The second type of revenue growth is market exposure. In this case of WealthEngine, Mark was in the non-profit world and moved into the commercial world where he you exposed his company to a new exploding market. The third type is market share performance, a market is not expanding, but you are in the market because you can take share away from my competitors in that space.  Watch Mark and I discuss the growth strategies in a use-case that you can think through for your business.

Mark and I discuss how he guided his team to go after two distinct markets in non-profit and corporate. For the CEO audience, when you make a move in your strategy, you need to make sure that you’re thinking through the go to market implications of that move. Mark deployed a team of specialists, and aligned his functional sales organization with his corporate strategy.  When making a corporate strategy shift, make sure to carry that argument all the way through to its logical conclusion, and think through all the different functions all the way to the end user.

Sales and Marketing leaders faced with a major corporate strategy shift, such as Mark’s case where they went from the non-profit world to the consumer world, realize that your whole playbook now needs to change. It’s an exciting change, but it still needs to change. A marketing leader for example, the way that you market to non-profits versus the way to market to corporate prospects is a diametrically opposed to the marketing strategy. Watch my interview with Mark as a use case to make sure that you’re staying in alignment, and constantly refreshing your strategic playbooks.

Would you like help developing your growth strategies or fine-tuning your go-to-market approaches for your existing growth strategies? For your next executive offsite, bring your team to come see us in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio typically results in getting three months of work done in three days. The immersive sessions accelerate everything, dramatically reducing the time it takes to diagnose a problem, develop a solution, and create an implementation plan.

The Power of a Clean Database


Everyone struggles to keep their donor database up to date. Databases become disorganized for a multitude of reasons – time constraints, lack of understanding, inconsistent data entry, staff turnover; the list goes on and on.  Whatever your reason, a clean, accurate database is essential to meeting your fundraising goals.

How is your database?

If your data is overrun with duplicates, bad addresses and old contacts, it’s time to clean-up.  Not only will you increase your revenue, you’ll save time and money in the long run.  To start, evaluate your objectives.  What do you want to do with your data?  What are your annual fund goals?

Once you have your objectives in place, assess your data.  Take a look at your donors – are they segmented into lists?  Not even the most enthusiastic of followers wants to see everything that comes out of your organization – each donor and prospect is an individual and has individual interests and passions.  What types of campaigns work best with which donors?  Some of the people in your database are hot prospects.  Has someone in your organization spoken to them recently or heard them speak at a conference – these details need to be included in each donor’s notes.  What better way to touch someone directly then to reference something they said.  Ask yourself: where does our database lack information, what are our data strengths and weaknesses?

Optimistically, you have specific types of donors associated within specialized lists and detailed notes about each donor’s interests.  And you’re scrubbing your data yearly.  If this isn’t your case – that’s okay – there are resources to help.  The first step in cleaning your data is purely to make the commitment to clean your data. But in order to successfully meet your goals, you do need to get down to business. Check out our Five Tips for Maintaining Your Data.

More on Getting the Most From Your Data

For more information on taking your annual fund to the next level, including conducting a data audit, data hygiene and segmentation, and developing an annual fund plan, download The Data-Driven Annual Fund Part 1: The Building Blocks. It focuses on building a strong base for the annual fund and setting the protocols that will drive the entire process.

For ideas on how to forecast annual giving goals, develop meaningful metrics, and develop strategies to enhance giving, check out WealthEngine’s workbook Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytical Approach to Data-Driven Success.