It’s no secret that the most important thing about major gift fundraising is relationship building. No matter whether you’re talking about raising money from individuals, companies, or foundations, the key is building honest, authentic relationships to bring about positive change. [Read more…]
As you probably remember from my previous article on this topic, it’s a myth that high net worth people don’t use social media. Studies show that the adoption rate in that demographic is growing every day, too.
That’s great for those of us in fundraising, because new sources like these help us to (as Chris Carnie recently discussed in a terrific podcast with Ben Rymer) craft a donor-centered relationship for each individual donor – because we can (and should) treat them as individuals. [Read more…]
No matter how much you plan for it, change happens as a slow drip and a sideswipe – sometimes simultaneously.
No matter how much you plan, the future reality is always going to be different from your plan.
As a consultant, I work with clients every day who are dealing with change. Some of the change is welcome, like when we’re hired to do a training. Or when we provide an extra pair of hands to help with a big screening project, or to just be there for the duration of a campaign.
Sometimes, though, it becomes evident that the change I’m bringing was imposed on the people I’ve been called in to work with. Maybe that’s happened to you? You were stuck working with a consultant or vendor you hadn’t asked for. [Read more…]
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:
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…]
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.
“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…]
In 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…]
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.
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…]
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…]
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!
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…]
There are few things in fundraising or business that are associated with more hype and perceived barriers to entry than analytics right now.
But it’s worth getting down into the weeds, even a little bit, to avoid missing out on the gold trapped in your data, waiting to be discovered. [Read more…]