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

Let’s Get Small?

As we kick off 2016, I have a question for you. Let me set the context. In the past decade, we’ve witnessed many of our clients migrate from micro-computer based fundraising databases to CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) cloud-based databases. And for 10-years...

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The Force Awakens?

I’ll be darned. Direct mail acquisition seems to be making a comeback. OK, perhaps not to the degree of a Star Wars $250MM opening weekend comeback. But as I am reviewing recent acquisition (and reactivation of deeply lapsed donors) results, I was pleasantly surprised...

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A Surprising Trend in Fundraising

Any of us who have studied donor behavior can tell you that your best prospect for a sustainer or monthly pledge donor is someone who has been on your file for several years and has averaged 3 or more gifts a year. And the best recruitment should be done in January....

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Marketing / Anti-Marketing

This blog is a little different. Sometimes, even among us, we don’t agree on things. Here’s one example. Bill: If you ask 10 people to define marketing in the nonprofit space, chances are, you will get 10 different answers. Here’s the one answer I like, paraphrased...

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Fundraising & String Theory

Last month at DMA-NY, the American Cancer Society presented the adverse effects on their fundraising when they pulled out of direct mail acquisition. And though they received some undeserved criticism, I for one appreciated the fact they shared their results with all...

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The First Thing about Analytics

As fundraisers, we plan to succeed. And to maximize our chances for success, our plans have to be grounded in empiricism. Far too often, we’ve seen inexperienced boards or EDs make up crazy revenue goals for their DDs. These goals seem to be based on whim and wish....

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The Riddle of Digital Analytics Solved

Well, not completely. But we at Analytical Ones at least have adopted a standard philosophy for approaching digital analytics and strategy. And I bet you will be surprised at what we recommend. We’ve been doing varying degrees of digital analytics for as long as there...

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The Age of Acquisition

This graph is beautiful. One look at the correlation between the age that a donor is acquired and their LTV is like taking that first sip of coffee in the morning. Ahhh. The r² on this relationship is over 0.85. That means that age alone accounts for 85% of the...

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LTV SchmeLTV

If there is one metric our industry is fixated upon, it’s LTV (long-term value). And, like so many other things, though it started out as such a good idea, it is in serious need of a tune-up. Now don’t get me started about the 7-ways to Wednesday that LTV is...

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The first half of 2015 is already coming to a close

The first half of 2015 is already coming to a close. And for many of our clients, so is their fiscal year. Here is my review of the state of fundraising so far. Most clients are still living this narrative: their active donor counts continue to slip; however the...

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Lift and Keep

In my last blog, I talked about the Public Religion Research Institute study that detailed the changes in the demographic landscape of America. But before the full measure of those changes take place, we still have a few years to maximize the fundraising techniques...

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The Times They Are A Changing

The Public Religion Research Institute recently released a study that found for the first time in the US, "white Christians" were a minority in 19 States. In the study's own words: "Hawaii and California stand out for having the smallest white Christian populations of...

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It was a Good Fall

This time of year, direct response analyst dig through an avalanche of fall results from our clients to see what worked, analyze what failed and forecast the rest of the fiscal year. Though most of the fall campaigns started slow, they picked up pace in late November...

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The Key to Growth

Sumarie’s blog reminded me of the most important and painful lesson I learned as an undergrad. I was in my senior year of Business College, and the capstone class was Policies. Basically, it was applying everything we had learned into real world business case studies....

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The Waiting Game of December

Here it is December again. I remember being a kid and counting down the days until Christmas Day. Waiting. Being impatient. Hoping the Christmas would be all that I dreamed it could be. Being in fundraising perpetuates these feelings. Working since March on year-end...

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We Don’t Have a Retention Problem Part 2

My last blog we talked about how we don’t have a retention problem, we have a generational communication problem. This blog is going to introduce a new retention metric that we believe is more relevant than donor retention. It’s REVENUE retention. It’s simply looking...

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