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Jul 15, 2013

The Beauty of Small Data

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Is CRM the nonprofit solution?

Everyone is talking about nonprofit organizations needing to buy CRM systems so they can be just like the Obama campaign and mine BIG data to make huge breakthroughs.

But I am not so sure.

I hesitate to sound like the great Jeff Brooks’ Future of Fundraising Now blog and criticize anything new in fundraising, but . . .

The aging promise of CRM has always been making insights from your data easy. But I have yet to see it. Rather than being a user friendly tool for nonprofits, CRM becomes the angry tyrant that everyone must satisfy. Much more time and resources are spent on the multi-step data processes then on mining the data for actionable insights.

And that’s just not right.

For now, I could not recommend moving forward with CRM. Rather than spending all that money on a data system, invest into some analysts to mine the data you already have. Your ROI on investing in analysts over infrastructure will be far, far better.

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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....

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