Why Higher-Ed Advancement Should Embrace Cloud Software

“The cloud” is everywhere. You hear about it daily. And it’s terrifying (initially). I’ll self-identify as a control freak; I like knowing where my stuff is and who is touching it. So, having the information I rely on floating out in cyberspace was scary at first. Could someone just grab it? Does it really even belong […]

Shifting Towards a Culture of Data-Driven Fundraising

We’re here in the 21st century surrounded by mountains of data and technology, and there are fundraising operations that are not taking advantage of it. We can provide insights and information about our donors in a way that’s unprecedented for nonprofits, but not every organization does. Why not?   Why do fundraising ideologies such as… […]

6 New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Advancement Services

January is the month in which New Year’s resolutions die. So, what better way to keep resolutions than to make them at the end of January—so as to not watch them wilt away in the middle of the month? Aside from your typical diet, fitness, and “shedding vices” resolutions, it’s also worthwhile to set some […]

7 Things the Cleveland Browns Taught Me About Fundraising

I was born on the East Side of Cleveland. This means that I was fated (cruelly) to be a Browns fan. For the unaware, this means watching: A team that has not won a championship since 1964 Over 22 quarterbacks start games since 1999 Multiple displays of grasping defeat from the jaws of victory (see: […]

Talk the Talk: A Field Guide to Speaking Advancement Services

In the deep recesses of your fundraising operation, you’ll find advancement services. I’ve said before that fundraisers who are willing to venture into the world of databases, reporting, and analytics can benefit from new insights and increased efficiencies. However, sometimes advancement services can be mystifying and intimidating to those unfamiliar with data and technology. Consider […]

6 Steps to Implementing Data Science at Any Organization

Technology is all about buzzwords: the Internet of Things (IoT), Rich Media, Big Data, Selfie. Don’t be intimidated by jargon. Many of the concepts are much easier to grasp than what these made-up words and phrases suggest.   If you browse the Internet for long enough, you’ll probably come across the concept of data science. In […]

Setting Metrics for Advancement Success 101

In 2003, I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 20-something ready to take on the world. My first order of business: Get a job. After searching and applying and interviewing, I finally landed my first job as a “Home Wellness Consultant.” Translation: Selling vacuum cleaners door to door. Yes, that’s still a thing. When I wasn’t […]

Advancement Services in the Age of Big Data

Scene: A major gift officer is showing a prospect around the office. They come into your office and ask what you do. “Advancement services!” you announce, proudly.   “Advancement services?” replies the prospect. “Database manager,” translates the gift officer. Yes, databases are important to our roles as advancement services professionals. However, it’s not the reason […]