“I need to write our case for support,” said my friend who I ran into at Fundraising Day New York. My immediate suggestion was to identify those words and phrases that would resonate best with his audience. In other words, I wanted to reach through his organization’s social media accounts to find what words and phrases got the largest number of positive reactions (such as “likes” on the organization’s Facebook posts). And so we launched a project, borrowing the web sites of two of our small business friends: Gabriel Colella, a transformational teacher; and Snug Planet, an environmental services company.
By Greg Duke
Graduation season is upon us once more! As college graduates celebrate, advancement services staff all over the country are getting anxious requests from development staff about how long it will take them to get their new alumni into their Raiser’s Edge database. Here are three strategic tips, from my experience in working in advancement services and on Raiser’s Edge, which will help you get new alumni ready for contact.
A Celebration of Research Pride Month
Yes, I am of the age where I want to sit around telling “In MY day…” stories. But today is still my day because I get to share this amazing profession with you. And this blog post is a rampage of appreciation over how far along we’ve come.
In 1988, I would have to leave my building to go crawl around the basement of the Harvard Business School to look at dusty old copies of the Standard and Poor’s Business Directory to find out how long my prospect had been executive vice president of his company. It was there that I realized that the president of the company had the same last name of my prospect’s wife’s maiden name, and so I had to go to the Personal Name Index to the New York Times, upstairs, to find their wedding announcement and find out if he married the boss’s daughter. And he had.
When we think of the science of analytics, we consider it as a part of mathematics. And math is a set of instructions, even more than science. For instance, it doesn’t matter how you set up your equation, 3 + 3 + 5 = 11. Set differently, the equation would still be: 5 + 3 + 3 = 11. And:
3 + 5 + 3 = 11.
This past summer, I attended the APRA International Conference in Nashville. This 4-day conference centers on analytics, prospect development, and prospect research. To the credit of the organizers, a record 2,000 professionals attended. I was inspired by the melee to write this blog post.
Attending conferences is sometimes thought of as a perk. After all, what productivity happens there besides drinking and picking up tchotchkes? And there is travel, hotel rooms, and meals that the organization pays for. Those of us who are not on the front line of fundraising have an additional challenge for conferences; we are not the holders of the purse strings and so we have to argue for conference dollars. So why go to – and send your staff to – conferences on a regular basis?