Should you conduct your own survey? If you have to ask, then no.

Should you conduct your own survey? If you have to ask, then no.

Online software such as Survey Monkey and Google Forms have made the power of survey research available to anyone with an internet connection rendering us a society of survey experts. And WebMD has made us all doctors… And Pinterest has made us all pastry chefs… Do you see my point already? Bill Jacobs and I share an alma mater in Northern Arizona University where we both managed survey projects for the Social Research Laboratory while obtaining our graduate degrees in Sociology. Although our time at NAU was over a decade apart, we were first connected to each other by a mutual mentor from the lab. Since then, we have shared in conducting hundreds of surveys for non-profit, as well as commercial, governmental and private clients. From time to time we get to witness the horror of the “in-house” survey. It sort of reminds me of the local news every Fourth of July when you hear about all the amateur fireworks accidents. The perceived simplicity and relative user-friendliness of the survey tools mentioned above have resulted too many times in false confidence and ‘shoot from the hip’ research. Sometimes we’ll be called in to make sense of a bad survey, but the problem is that once the data collection is done, it’s too late. At best you have useless data. At worst, you’ve been making bad decisions off of bad insights. So, how do you know if you should conduct your own survey? I’ve put together a list of top-line questions about the process. If you feel comfortable about your answers below, survey away! Sampling: • How do I create a...
What You Need to Know About Nonprofit Analytics – Free Webinar

What You Need to Know About Nonprofit Analytics – Free Webinar

With more nonprofits investing in advanced measurement technologies and analytics to drive their multi-channel fundraising programs, the need to understand what to measure, what to model and what to expect from an analytic partner is greater than ever.  Join Analytical One’s partner Joe Churpek and other leaders from the nonprofit industry’s top analytic consulting firms for a candid panel discussion on how programs at every maturity level should approach analytics. This FREE one hour seminar is one of five information-packed sessions on topics generally not covered at your standard nonprofit conferences. The Integrated Marking virtual conference for nonprofits will be this Friday, February 20th and will help you enhance and optimize your cross-channel fundraising and marketing programs, and you’ll gain valuable insight from experts in the field on new trends and smart integration techniques. – Register now by clicking here....
It was a Good Fall

It was a Good Fall

This time of year, direct response analyst dig through an avalanche of fall results from our clients to see what worked, analyze what failed and forecast the rest of the fiscal year. Though most of the fall campaigns started slow, they picked up pace in late November and blew it out in December. For the first time in quite a few years, my empirically packed Powerpoint presentations will be met with client cheers and goodwill: Everyone’s results are up over last year. And that’s a relief. The much maligned channel of direct mail acquisition held its own this past fall. And though they aren’t “throw-back” results of the 1990s, neither were they worse than last year. Online revenue continued to grow, though I have noticed that the pace of its growth is more modest this year. In 2008 I predicted that online revenue would surpass direct mail revenue in 2018 for the first time. It looks like I am a year closer to being wrong about that. Roughly, in the data I’m looking at, I’m seeing that online revenue is about 10-30% of direct mail revenue. Though improving, we still have a long way to go. One trend I am happy to report is the stabilization of active donor counts. After a steady decline in active donor counts that started in 2008, I’m seeing counts the same or above last year. Whew! Two trends that I see continuing – which are in fact related – are the increase in average gift size and the decline in retention. The decline in retention is particularly pronounced in second year from new...