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Mar 18, 2019

Analyst Heaven

I was imagining what heaven might look like for us fundraising analysts.

By and large, fundraising analysts lead good lives here on planet earth. We help causes that really matter. We get to work indoors. Often, we can even work from home. We get to use our brains a lot, and fun tools like laptop computers and cool software like SPSS.

However, the absolute bane of our existence is the abundance of really crappy data.

The unglamorous fact of life for a fundraising analyst is that we spend most of our time trying to figure out whether the data we are working with is fit to analyze.

The Great Lie is that a new CRM system or data warehouse will fix your crappy data problems.

Short of a transcendent visit from the Data Angels, the only thing on this side of heaven that can fix crappy data are smart people who are willing to dive into messy databases and make sense of it all.

My hope is that if and when I get to heaven, all the donor data will be spotless, and the channel coding will be standardized. What sweet hope this sentence brings!

Early Returns

We are knee-deep in analyzing last fall’s results. While there is of course some variation in results by organization, the general narrative is that last fall wasn’t great . . . but it wasn’t awful either. It was just OK. What we are seeing is that overall revenue was...

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How Fundraising Will Evolve

In honor of International Data Week, I’m sharing how the future of fundraising will evolve. Many people are concerned about fundraising (I’m not btw). For nearly two decades, the “experts” have been predicting the death of direct mail fundraising. Eventually, the...

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Forecasting the Demise of the Boomer Donor

For the past decade or so, when fundraising analysts gather together around the bar at a conference, the discussion invariably leads to a debate on how the generosity of the Boomer generation comes to an end (after we put away our slide rules and stop talking about...

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