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?
I have recently returned from an AFP Central New York luncheon, hearing a talk given by Bill Abrams (of Infinize), and my mind can’t stop spinning about what Bill said. Let me share with you a boiled down version of his message:
I interrupted Bill’s presentation to ask, “So, where will organizations’ major gifts prospects come from, then?” Bill answered that my local auto mechanic is much more likely to have as much income and wealth in the future as my banker does now – the Millionaire Next Door idea but cranked up several hundred RPMs.
And that’s when I started trembling, because now the number of prospects that my clients need to cultivate through personalized, special attention has gone from the top 5% of their constituency to – well – everyone. And I imagined major gifts programs melting down into a huge, stratified, boundless annual giving program.
This article shares my subsequent research along with some of Bill’s ideas to illustrate where this vision comes from.
In a world where wealth now includes mining rights, fracking revenue, and other intangible assets like patents, copyrights, and trademarks, it can be confusing to figure out whether some assets add value to a prospect’s capacity rating. Here, we'll explore the intrinsic value of patents and how to include them in a prospect’s profile.
Most data mining and donor modeling projects include one dependent variable compared to several independent variables. Let’s review these concepts briefly before we get into the meat of this article.