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Jan 12, 2016

Let’s Get Small?

getting smallAs we kick off 2016, I have a question for you. Let me set the context.

In the past decade, we’ve witnessed many of our clients migrate from micro-computer based fundraising databases to CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) cloud-based databases.

And for 10-years we’ve seen many of these organizations’ ability to leverage their data for insights decline. Rather than the CRM serving the nonprofit, it seems like the nonprofit now must serve the CRM.

I still find this so ironic and frustrating.

I know it’s not any one CRM or any one client. I think most every organization underestimates the commitment of undertaking migrating to a CRM. They also underestimate the cultural change required to harness the power of CRM – which includes adding highly trained (and highly salaried) fundraising professionals to run it. Most organizations understand the need for CRM and are willing to swallow the expense of the database infrastructure, but in my experience, too few organizations have been willing to cover the cost to train their people adequately or add CRM professionals who know fundraising to their payrolls.

It’s like building a fancy new library, filling the library with books, magazines and periodicals, and then not hiring any librarians.

OK, that’s my long-winded setting of the context. Here’s my question: Do you think organizations will one day abandon their failed CRM adventures and return to micro-computer fundraising databases?

Love to hear your thoughts.

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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