I hope you had a safe and relaxing Fourth of July weekend! Our town cancelled its annual fireworks show this year, but various neighbors randomly filled the gap in their own way (ahem) so we still got to peep some here and there. Same with you?
The celebration here at HBG continues this week: We’ve been working on something very special over the past year, and today I have some exciting news to share – cue more fireworks!
As we all retool and strategize to be successful in this new normal, the project we’ve been developing could not have been ready at a better time. We are delighted to announce a new initiative here at The Helen Brown Group specifically designed to help nonprofits identify and get the information they need on their best donors.
We’ve formed a new unit called HBG Data Insight (DI).
While the unit is new, you’ll definitely recognize the DI team as long-time HBG talent. Tara McMullen-King is the new unit’s Lead Consultant, and senior staffers Kenny Tavares and David Hargadon are the DI Consultants filtering and transforming data into insight.
Why HBG Data Insight? Why now?
Over the years we’ve been frustrated seeing nonprofit colleagues unintentionally left stranded by talented specialists who provide analytics services…but then move on. The nonprofit pays a lot of money for the work and they may get a fantastic group of new prospects, but when the analytics consultant goes away to their next job, then what?
Circumstances change quickly – especially these days – and algorithms have a very limited shelf life.
And all of the AI and machine learning and data science and screenings in the world won’t tell you which living, breathing, human being amongst the list of hundreds is genuinely interested in your cause and has a personal connection to your nonprofit. Or which ones have family wealth. Or have made multiple philanthropic gifts through a DAF. Data insight and screenings alone just can’t do that.
We decided it was time for a practical, integrated, affordable, solution.
So over the past year, we partnered with a group of our dedicated consulting clients to beta-test a unique service: data insight married with prospect development:
Data insight plus research.
Data insight plus due diligence.
Data insight plus prospect management.
We found that most wanted all four woven together: insight, research, due diligence, and prospect management to take advantage of new opportunities and ideas as they arose.
We’ve helped our clients use their own data to answer these questions (and quite a few more):
- Who are our most likely donors right now?
- How should we prioritize our prospect pools?
- How can we segment our wealth screening results to find top prospects faster?
- Do we have the right people in the right portfolios?
- Are we allocating our frontline fundraisers in the right way?
- Can we better predict what our fundraising goals should be next year?
- If we can’t do events now, what is our next-best option of engagement?
- Where are our best planned giving prospects?
Our insight services range from descriptive analysis projects and RFMV analyses, up to and including predictive modeling. For some we have integrated wealth screening information that they had; for others we helped them get the most out of a new screening. We’ve even gathered a proprietary set of additional data to help us surface more prospects.
When you work in an integrated way, insight questions like the ones above can rotate and be added to continuously as new questions arise.
Marrying ongoing data insight with the rest of prospect development and the frontline team makes sure that you’re introducing the right – vetted – prospects into the pipeline continuously.
Don’t just take our word for it, here’s information from a survey of nonprofits done by IBM.
- 78% of nonprofit leaders with analytic capabilities reported higher effectiveness in performing their missions.
- Nonprofits using analytics had more efficient operations and increased staff productivity.
- However, the survey found that 48% of non-profits indicated that technology was a primary barrier to advancing analytics, and 41% indicated that talent was their primary barrier.
- Nearly three quarters said that budget was one of top three barriers to using analytics.
Honestly, that last bullet point just floors me. It doesn’t have to be that way.
What does partnering with HBG Data Insight look like?
As I mentioned, our goal is to help clients affordably make data-informed decisions. To do that, we primarily use an integrated, dedicated, prospect development approach, which is something we’ve specialized in since 2005.
We provide expert consultants for a contracted number of hours each month for at least three months. That commitment allows us to keep our price-point lower and bring clients real value. It also allows us – together – to customize what happens during those hours to exactly what you need.
Don’t need the whole burrito of data insight plus prospect research? No problem.
If you already have internal prospect research capacity, that’s great. Our data insight team can work with you on a project basis, too, and we’d be happy to partner with your researcher (or research team) to provide results they can build on.
Check out our website to see more detailed information on the services we’re offering. If you have an insight project in mind that isn’t listed there, we’d be happy to talk it through with you.
HBG Data Insight: Practical. Integrated. Affordable.