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


Apr 5, 2018

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.


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 tries.

The Regression to the Mean has Begun

A year ago, all of us in the business of fundraising were nervous. Lockdowns were taking place across the world, there were shortages of toilet paper and no one was sure how donors would respond. No one could have predicted that donors would respond in a such an...

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December 31 Emails

This past year, we tracked email solicitations for both Giving Tuesday and December 31 (your can read about Giving Tuesday here: https://www.analyticalones.com/giving-spam-tuesday/). We wanted to compare these two critical days of email fundraising. Here are some...

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Giving (SPAM) Tuesday

This year, the whole Analytical Ones’ team tracked our the number of emails we received from organizations, how many we received, our relationship with the organization (active donor, lapsed donor or new donor acquisition), and, when we received the email. Here is...

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