Learn more about analytics and research best practices, as well as real world examples and solutions for nonprofits.


Dec 13, 2021

Mentors: Kooros Mahmoudi

As we finish one year and head into the next, I thought it would be appropriate to recognize some of the key mentors I have had that have shaped my career. So, this 4-part series focuses on those who have helped me along. A big thank you to each and every one of them.

First on the list is my college professor, Kooros Mahmoudi.

I distinctly remember the first time I met Kooros Mahmoudi. I was 29 years old and had recently made the decision to go to grad school. I just spent the morning at Northern Arizona University’s business college, as I was interested in getting an MBA. But the scheduled meetings at the business school were disappointing. The MBA advisor told me I had to retake a year of calculus courses before I could apply to the MBA program. So, I went across the street, discouraged, and walked into the Sociology college and asked if there was anyone around to talk about getting a Master’s in Sociology. They pointed me to Kooros’ office and I let myself in. The conversation went something like this:

Me: I’m interested in doing a master’s in sociology, and just wanted to know if you’d require me to retake a year of calculus courses?
Kooros: Why would anyone ever want to retake a year of calculus courses?

I knew I was going to like Kooros right away.

Kooros ended up becoming the Chair of my master’s committee and helped me to get a full-time graduate assistantship with the College’s research lab. But more than anything, Kooros became my mentor and friend.

I loved grad school. After being a so-so student as an undergraduate, I ate up coursework and for the first time in my life, and became an A-student. I give the credit to Kooros, who was super encouraging to me every step of the way. One should never underestimate the critical importance of regular encouragement.

Kooros retired a couple of years ago and splits his time between Flagstaff, Arizona and San Diego, California. We still connect a couple of times a year and I continue to appreciate his counsel. Thanks for your investment of time, your encouragement and for seeing something in me that I myself was unaware of. Your mentorship has made a difference in my life.

Prevailing Over the Fear of Uncertainty

There is an awful lot of uncertainty in our world right now: war in Europe, recession, inflation, layoffs, and climate change. Adding to this environment of uncertainty are the recent Congressional rumors of major tax overhauls, entitlement cuts and government...

read more

The Economic Fundraising Forecast for 2023

The year 2022, for most nonprofit organizations, has been referred to as “regression to the mean.” One of the untold heroes of the pandemic were donors – their response to the pandemic was one of amazing generosity. But that level of generosity couldn’t be sustained...

read more

The State of Data Woes in 2022

When I started analyzing donor databases in the 1990s, the state of donor databases was challenging: Poor data hygiene duplicate records non-standard gift coding undertrained IT staff simple inflexible software Let’s fast forward 25-years. Since the 1990s, nearly...

read more


© 2022 Analytical Ones