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

The Impact of Grace and Encouragement

I spent the first 35-years of my life in Arizona. This past week, I had an opportunity to visit Phoenix and Flagstaff to catch up with many of the people who have made a big impact in my life. It struck me, on the drive back to the airport, that there were two...

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The Fundraising Power of Awareness

It may seem like a serious “duh”, but in the countless studies we have done on literally 100s of nonprofit organizations, the variable that seems to most accurately predict fundraising success is how well-known the organization is within their market. One would think...

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The 101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make

Andrew Olsen has done our whole vertical a service by compiling a list of the most common mistakes that nonprofits make. Whether you are new to the nonprofit world, or have been involved for decades, there is something for everyone to learn in Olsen’s new book. My...

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March Madness and Predicting the Future

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 last year, some lucky ESPN entrant, “Che...

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Analyst Heaven

I was imagining what heaven might look like for us fundraising analysts. By and large, fundraising analysts lead good lives here on planet earth. We help causes that really matter. We get to work indoors. Often, we can even work from home. We get to use our brains a...

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The Bi-Polar Future of Fundraising

There are two fundraising models that are heading in opposite directions. The traditional model is that you invest in new donor acquisition and then work to build a long-term relationship with those donors who, in turn, will faithfully support your cause. The emerging...

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A Walk Into the Sunset or a Walk Off a Cliff

Blackbaud Institute’s 2018 Charitable Giving Report was recently released, and though giving was up 1% (due to large donors), the most disappointing metric for 2018 is that online giving remains stuck below 10% of total giving. Ten years ago, most of us (including...

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The Triangle of Truth

I love this triangle diagram. Not only is it true for our business in data analysis and donor behavior research, but it can apply to many things in life.   The Triangle of Truth has three points: Quality, Time, and Cost.   You can choose any two points of...

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A Question to my P2P Peeps

Not surprisingly, one of our favorite quotes at Analytical Ones is from Peter Drucker: “If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." Most people in direct response fundraising agree. Perhaps that’s why the fundraising field is filled with metric hungry...

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Pledge Conversion Recommendation

Here’s a crazy out of the box idea. We all know the power of the donor who gives month in and month out. This idea will both save you money in the long run and could possibly generate a lot of monthly revenue for your organization. But it is also a bit risky....

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Are My Response Rates Statistically Significant?

I’m taking a different approach in today’s blog to discuss a problem I continue to run into when I am working with clients. And that is testing whether the response rates in a direct mail test are meaningful. Now response rates are relatively uncomplicated to test....

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People First, CRM Second

A festering trend of the past decade is many of our clients have migrated from micro-computer based fundraising databases to CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) cloud-based databases. And for 10-years we continue to see too many of these organizations’ ability...

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Retiring the Term “Donor Engagement”

I woke up this morning with the need to cease using the term donor engagement. It needs to be laid to rest. This is a serious personal drag because it now means I need to remove all those blogs we have written on the topic. But nonetheless, I am retiring the word from...

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Postage Going Up

On January 27, first class postage is going up to 55 cents, a 5-cent increase. This is the largest increase in almost 30-years. As this article states: “The Postal Service lost $3.9 billion in 2018, attributing the losses to drops in mail volume and the costs of...

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Improving the Acquisition Experience

Allegories for Unintegrated Direct Mail Acquisition Testing Activities: • Tailor fitting a funeral suit • Climbing a tall ladder on a building that’s on fire • Planting orange trees above the freeze line Don’t get me wrong. I love direct mail. But sometimes, context...

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My Fall Mailbox

Like many of you, my mailbox is stuffed with nonprofit appeals between October 1st and December 31st. Here is a recap of the direct mail I received this year, and the insights I noted: • I received an even 50 pieces of direct mail. Thirty-five pieces were appeals from...

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