Fundraising Trends for 2019

Fundraising Trends for 2019

Last week, Analytical Ones completed its survey of fundraising professionals to gain insights on trends for 2019. Overall, the outlook among fundraising professionals is mixed. As many expect a good year as those who are forecasting it will not be a good year. As one respondent stated, a good year may come down to planning: “Modest growth will come to organizations with strategic fundraising programs.”   When asked about the most important trend in fundraising for 2019, it was unsurprising that the stock market’s recent downturn was top of mind. Half of the respondents identified this as the most important trend for the coming year. The two other second-tier trends mentioned in the survey were: Fundraising Channels, and the Tax Law changes. Here are two of the direct quotes from the fundraising professionals who took the survey: “A global recession could cause a significant impact on giving.” “Whether people will begin to bundle donations and not give every year, but change to another giving pattern.”   External forces lead the responses when participants were asked about their biggest concern for the coming year. In short, fundraising professionals have many concerns right now. We all know in times of uncertainty, donors tend to give less. Let’s hope our panel is wrong, but the general consensus is that it may be a bumpy...
Predictions are a Tricky Business

Predictions are a Tricky Business

For all of us who are “March Madness” fans, this is a great article: https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/bracketiq/2018-04-03/ncaa-bracket-was-better-all-rest-2018 Given all the upsets in the first round of the tournament this year, some lucky ESPN entrant, “Che 3”, accurately guessed 80% of the games, including the finals matchup and the eventual winner, Villanova. That’s impressive. Until you realize that there were 17.3 million entrees into the ESPN contest. And the best one was only 80% right. Predicting the future is a tricky business. Joshua Ramos wrote a fascinating novel on the topic called “The Age of the Unthinkable.” Basically, it’s a bunch of case studies on how bad we humans are at predicting the future. Even the really smart humans. https://www.amazon.com/Unthinkable-First-Joshua-Cooper-Ramo/dp/1408700581/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522851729&sr=1-2&keywords=the+age+of+the+unthinkable&dpID=415KoqBr8kL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch Part of what we do at Analytical Ones is to forecast future revenue for nonprofit organizations. And we think we have a pretty good model. But it’s not a perfect model. There are no perfect models, as there are always variables that affect results that are impossible to predict. But we get way closer than 80% with a lot fewer than 17.3 million...
Facts

Facts

  “Facts all come with points of view Facts don’t do what I want them to” – from the Talking Heads’ song Crosseyed and Painless As an analyst, this has always been one of my favorite Talking Heads songs. The academic term for “facts all come with points of view” is value impregnation. It’s the idea that the analyst already has the conclusion in mind from the get-go and their objective is to just find data that supports what they already believe to be true. This lyric does really point to an on-going challenge not only among analysts, but throughout our culture today. And it’s very dangerous. I learned this early in my career. When I was still in grad school, I worked at a University’s research lab. One day, a representative from a large well-known national corporation walked into my office, and offered to do a very big-budgeted research project with us – if – we could guarantee that the research findings would support his agenda. It was an early lesson in the slippery slope of incremental corruption. Of course, we turned that project down. One of the great joys of working at Analytical Ones is that we are free to follow wherever the data leads. You can always trust the insights we provide are grounded in your data....