September 2013: Data

What is “Good Enough” for Data?

Submitted on Mon, 9/30/2013 - 6:54am
We’re not always clear about what we mean when we use the word "data.” Often, we use it in a strictly technical sense. But there’s a larger and more fundamental sense in which the term "data" can be used that places "technical" data in its proper context. In this larger sense of the term, we all use data all the time. Because, fundamentally, data is all relevant information that’s used in the service of making decisions, large or small.
By Lawrence McGill – Vice President of Research

The Cost of Bad Data

Submitted on Wed, 9/25/2013 - 8:31am
Everyone in the fundraising industry knows that fall is the busiest time of the year. Charities are gearing up for campaigns that will drive in a large volume of their year-end donations. Decisions are being made on which packages and audiences will drive the highest results. What these organizations may not be considering is how much bad data could be costing them.
By Sara Rowland – Business Analyst

If a Metric Changes on a Spreadsheet and No One Notices, Does it Show Impact?

Submitted on Fri, 9/20/2013 - 1:55pm
We have a lot of data coming at us from a lot of sources. It makes sense to pay attention to the numbers that can help demonstrate the impact that we're having, but we also need to make sure that we're reporting the right kind of data.
By Amy Sample Ward – CEO

How Can I Love You If You Don’t Know My Name?

Submitted on Fri, 9/20/2013 - 9:15am
When your nonprofit fails to use data to determine how to treat donors, problems creep in. Constituents begin to feel your organization doesn’t know them, and they’re infinitely less likely to respond with support.
By Steve Birnbaum – Vice President of Client Solutions

How Do Canadians Give? The Answers May Surprise You!

Submitted on Mon, 9/16/2013 - 1:06pm
hjc, Blackbaud, Edge Research, and Sea Change Strategies recently studied the giving habits and communication preferences of four generations of Canadian donors and published their findings in a report called The Next Generation of Canadian Giving 2013. The results may surprise you.
By Michael Johnston – President and Founder

Proven Practices for Year-Round Testing

Submitted on Mon, 9/16/2013 - 12:16pm
This is my favorite time of year. This is the time when nonprofit organizations seem most open to testing because even small improvements can have a significant impact during a time of year when organizations raise up to 50% of their revenue. But successful testing programs don’t hinge on a few weeks of one-offs.
By Miriam Kagan – Senior Fundraising Consultant

Do It Yourself: Getting Started with Data Analysis

Submitted on Mon, 9/16/2013 - 9:51am
Anyone can learn to do good analysis. Working with data doesn’t have to be hard, but it can be intimidating when you’re starting out. Most of us were taught that math is hard and numbers are confusing. It’s not true, and you need to un-learn that lesson if it’s scaring you away from your data.
By Jo Miles

Logic Models: Charting a Course for Success

Submitted on Fri, 9/6/2013 - 7:24am
Sometimes it's hard to see the little details that make up the big programs. A logic model helps to visualize those details and highlight the connection between a program's purpose and the programs results, and it helps you make sure you're measuring the right things so you can show success!

Top Things to Consider Before Converting Your Nonprofit’s Data into a New System

Submitted on Tue, 9/3/2013 - 6:03am
You might be surprised at how many organizations skip detailed mapping, dismissing it as a nitpicky, administrative task. Data mapping is much more than that. It’s your first opportunity to consider how the new system is going to meet your current and future needs, not just replicate processes from the old system.