Tag Archives: philanthropy

Ends vs. Means: A Balanced View of Fundraising Technology

It seems that 2012 will be a year for change in fundraising operations. The proverbial dust is starting to settle on one of the two biggest fundraising operations stories in months. In January, Datatel and SungardHE finalized their merger (click here for details). January also held the other big story about the purchase of Convio by Blackbaud (click here for details).

The Twitterverse has been abuzz. ListServs, blog posts, calls to account managers…the volume of attention to these issues has been significant.¬†How much does it matter? In total, not much.

Wondering if your technology is well-used. Click here for a Test.

Fundraising is still a predominantly top-down, inside-out business (with some exceptions). Grass-roots, high-volume, high-tech fundraising is neat and (somewhat) new, but the essentials–asking engaged people of means for very large gifts–is where most campaigns are won. And, frankly, an organization’s database of choice affects these sorts of gifts less than we might think. For example, have a look at this technology transition cycle. What you will notice is that it’s a loop: you’re never quite finished because you should be constantly learning and adapting the use of your technology. Without long-range, comprehensive implementation plans to fully leverage our technology, we tend to have databases that house name, address, giving, and a few other details.

Now, this may sound odd coming from a guy who champions fundraising operations, published a book to inform fundraising ex Continue reading

Balancing when Busy

Fundraisers get busy. Indeed, being busy can be a sign of great things to come, so long as we’re busy with the right things. But, being busy can knock you out of balance. By carefully calibrating your perceptions, your performance, and your priorities, you can ensure that your daily “best practices” are really the practices that are best for your organization.

The forthcoming AFP’s Advancing Philanthropy includes a Management Trends article on this subject written by yours truly. It’s not exhaustive, but presents some helpful guidance for keeping your team productive and your work on target.

You can also click here to find this article on the AFP site. Have a look and let me know what you think. And, for more news and information on transforming philanthropy, visit my site at www.bwf.com or the fundraisingoperations.com site.

Spinning the Top

The central challenge in fundraising operations is managing data, technology, reporting, business processes, and people while balancing the countervailing forces of accuracy, speed, and volume. This new blog will focus on the difficulties that fundraisers experience and, more importantly, how to overcome these challenges, deliver results, and help our organizations raise more money and build more relationships.

I welcome feedback and input, stories and tales of success or caution.