From Silos to Synergy?

Having recently returned from a conference, I’ve been thinking about some of the current themes in nonprofit technology. As in the past, integration (vs. silos) was a major topic. In recent years the concept of silos vs. integrated systems has come up time and again and I’ve often felt the discussion missed the mark. While in the extreme, data silos can definitely contribute to issues, the major barrier to effective, consistent communication and knowing your constituents is often a human one.

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Build on the Basics

I was thrilled to be an attendee at the AFP International Conference in Vancouver BC last week. It was exciting to be amidst this energized group of professionals in such a breathtaking location! Thanks to our Canadian neighbors for hosting the event and for sharing the beauty of their city and country.

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Blogging from the NTC

For those of you who are wondering what the NTC is, it’s the nonprofit technology conference held by NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) each year. Historically, I’ve enjoyed the conference and always learned a lot when I’ve attended. This year is no different! I wanted to jot a few notes about what I’ve learned so far, and to invite any of you reading this who are also at the NTC to drop me a note.

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Can they see right through you?

Two side-by-side articles on the front page of the NonProfit Times March 1st issue were pretty eye-catching: “Pink Ribbon Gets Black Eye” and “Where’s Your 990?” I doubt it was by coincidence that these two articles were paired together, since both aim at the issues of accountability and transparency by charitable organizations.

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Happy Belated Pi Day!

If you read the headline for this post, you likely already know what very special holiday occurred this week on March 14th. It was Pi Day, and I’m not talking about apple, pumpkin or the yummy chocolate silk varieties; I’m talking about that very special number: π

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Write It Down

A number of years ago I was working for a company that was engrossed in business strategies like ‘Total Quality Management’ and ‘Continuous Improvement.’ For a while it seemed that all we did was plan. We even had planning meetings to plan our plans. At the time, I don’t remember accomplishing all that much, which was pretty ironic. But in actuality, I can now see that I learned something very important which I use nearly every day of my current life. It’s a single piece of advice that stuck with me and here it is:

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How Do Enhancements Get Identified?

As we’re getting ready to release ResultsPlus 11 (phase 1), I’ve been thinking about version 12…and 13…and… It comes up fairly often that a customer asks how to submit a suggestion for an enhancement, and it’s easier than you might think. Every enhancement suggestion submitted, either by email, phone, or pony express, gets entered into a central location and reviewed regularly as we are laying out plans for upcoming versions.

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The Old is New Again (Segmentation), and For Good Reason!

I’ve been seeing a lot written about segmentation lately. I even attended a Network for Good NonProfit 911 webinar on that very topic this week-and it was excellent. The concept of segmenting your prospect and donor data is nothing new, but the recent re-focus on the concept has me “all aflutter.” I love segmentation because it’s a beautiful example of how you can make all that data you’ve been so diligently gathering and entering into your fundraising CRM system work for you.

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Fundraising Effectiveness Project

Now that another calendar year has passed, it’s a logical time to evaluate your fundraising efforts for 2011. Did you obtain new donors? Did you increase the size of the average gift over the previous year? Did any of your donors increase their giving? It’s no surprise if these questions seem familiar to you since they are likely asked every year by many of your colleagues in the nonprofit sector as they evaluate their development efforts.

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