The 2015 World Wealth Report: 5 Essential Takeaways

Capgemini WWR cover

The 2015 Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management World Wealth Report is out! Every spring, it makes for fascinating reading for those of us in fundraising, and for financial advisors and wealth managers working with high net worth individuals (HNWI). [Read more…]

What you need to know about family offices

mansionAccording to INSEAD’s Singapore campus Executive Director Michael Prahl, the number of family offices in Asia and the Middle East will double over the next 8 years. As supersonic as that growth is, the sheer number of family offices in Europe (1,000) and the United States (3,000) are massive compared to their cousins in Asia (estimated to be at about 200).

With an estimated $4 trillion managed in family offices globally, we ignore to our disadvantage the impact and influence these investment and philanthropic powerhouses will have for the fundraising and social impact sectors.

To learn more about this, I interviewed HBG’s in-house experts on family offices, Kenny Tavares and Elizabeth Roma, to explain what it is about family offices that make them so important, and what resources are available to tap into.

Click here to download the podcast.

Act like it’s not our first time at the rodeo

John Paulson’s gift of $400 million to Harvard has released a surprising amount of ill-will and petty sniping around fundraising water coolers. Around our virtual instant-message water cooler, HBG Researcher Rachel Dakarian and I started talking about Paulson’s gift and donor intent (the inclination rating we discussed previously here on The Intelligent Edge). I asked Rachel to create an article covering our thoughts, so with thanks, I turn it over to her:

megaphilanthropy rodeo

You probably saw in the news recently that Harvard University announced its all-time largest donation: a $400-million gift from John A. Paulson to support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. [Read more…]

Five critical actions to make your fundraising database work better for you

HBG Researcher Heather Hoke shares some great words of advice on making the most of our organizations’ most valuable assets in this week’s feature article.
Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape
“Don’t gather data first and think about how to use it later!”

I was talking on the phone in April with Tommy Tavenner, Data Strategy Lead at the National Wildlife Federation, to get his perspective on data integrity when he said that. After I hung up the phone and for a few days later, his words kept resonating in my mind. [Read more…]

Going beyond capacity ratings

love signIn case you missed it (and click here if you did), last week on this blog Melissa Bank Stepno shared her knowledge and some wise words from her colleague, David Lamb, on capacity ratings.

Capacity ratings are an important factor in every major gift effort. They will not be perfect, (let me repeat that – they will never be perfect) and capacity rating are just one of several data points we use, but they are an important tool to help us rank our very top prospects.

One of the common misconceptions of capacity codes is that some folks new to the profession might think that capacity means “How much will they give us?” It doesn’t.

A capacity rating says, “what is this person’s total ‘wallet’ for philanthropic giving in a year to every organization they support?” [Read more…]

The Artful Science of Capacity Ratings

It is a great pleasure to welcome Melissa Bank Stepno as this week’s guest writer on The Intelligent Edge. I’ve long admired Melissa’s gift in seeing the big picture in prospect development and her ability to eloquently communicate and train on its finer details. So when she and I were chatting between sessions at the recent NEDRA conference, I grabbed the opportunity to ask her to share her thoughts here on capacity ratings, which has been a hot topic lately on the prospect research discussion forum, prspct-l.

Monet haystacks detail

How much can they give? What should we ask for? How rich is she? What’s his net worth?

Such short questions. Such common questions. Such important questions. [Read more…]

Analytics: The 16 little fields you need to get started

If you’ve been following our company blog for the past month or so, you know that we’ve been focusing on data analytics and what a powerful tool it can be to benefit fundraising. But maybe, like others I’ve been talking with recently, you feel that you’re not yet ready because your data isn’t pristine, or you don’t have enough data, or you just have too much else to do.

If you’re one of those folks who is feeling a little overwhelmed, I put together this brief video just for you. Really, all you need to get started in analytics are these 16 little fields. [Read more…]


Are you ready for analytics?

If you’re a regular reader, you know that each month we feature special guests writing about their favorite topics. This month we welcome HBG Senior Researcher and member of the HBG Analytics team, Tara McMullen to share her thoughts about one of her favorite subjects!
Vintage typewriter

Sometimes it’s hard to get started with a new program or type of technology because we don’t know what its power is. We don’t know what it can DO, so we stick with the old familiar way of doing things. But these days, doing things the same old way can leave your progress lagging and your program looking a little old-fashioned.

Sometimes the basic principles are good, they just need a little updating.

Maybe you are thinking about undertaking a campaign and aren’t sure if you have the critical mass or the right prospects to meet your goal.

Or maybe you are looking to create a prospect management system, and want a way to sort prospects into various stages in the pipeline.

Or maybe you are trying to find new potential volunteers for your board. [Read more…]

Tips from the International Prospect Research Pros

Prague river viewAt the recent NEDRA Conference, a group of prospect research pros shared their knowledge of international research (and got great tips from participants as well!). We discussed the challenges and rewards of international fundraising and research, and the best places to find information on prospects living outside of the United States.

The panel included me as moderator, Emily O’Brien of Massachusetts General Hospital, Laura Parshall of MIT, and Andrew Stuerzel of Wesleyan University.


Questions (and answers) included:

What are some of the barriers to international research/international fundraising, and what are some suggestions you have for alleviating them? [Read more…]

Bookmark These 3 Great Analytics Software Resource Lists

London Eye by Scott Liddell

London Eye, by Scott Liddell,

There are tons of free and fee-based analytics tools. Some are designed for complete novices and others are meant for only the most experienced data scientists.

Wherever on that spectrum you and your team feel most comfortable, there are software tools to help you get the answers you need from the information layers in your database.

New analytics and data visualization tools are being developed every day. Where can you find out which program(s) you should use? [Read more…]