The Oxford Comma and Confirmation Bias
October 16, 2015 at 9:36 am

At Turnkey, we try to turn every "gut instinct" decision into one made with data, analysis and supporting theory. But I see people, like me, who seek only information confirming their currently held beliefs, instead of that with which to make the best decision. Why do we do this?

Charities Lost 103 Donors for Every 100 They Gained in 2014, Says Study
October 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

For every $100 in new donations nonprofits gained in fiscal year 2014 over the previous year, they lost $95 in lapsed or reduced donations, according to a new survey. While that five percent net gain in gifts is "disappointing," said Nathan Dietz, senior research associate at the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute,…

Why Do I Make These Decisions?
August 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm

The movie Moneyball shows us a situation in which Oakland A’s Major League general manager Billy Beane, due to enormous pressure to perform, casts aside his natural bias (using visual attributes about players to make decisions) and instead turned to a non-natural way to make decisions: using statistics. Who but a crazy person would rely almost totally on statistics to make decisions?...

Direct Mail: Know the Response
August 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm

There are many times when customers reach out to us to help them increase response rates. When that happens, my first question to them is, “What was the response rate on your last mailing?” Now, you would think that after 24 years in the business the standard response to this question would no longer shock…

Breaking Down Silos With Dashboards
July 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Data silos make it hard to manage across an organization. They are barriers to a single view of a donor. But for many fundraising teams this situation is the reality of life today. Given that multiple technology systems led to these silos, how can you use technology to improve this situation? You’ve heard the phrase “what gets measured gets managed.” This is particularly true for fundraising teams...

How to Have a Data-Led Approach to Fundraising
July 7, 2015 at 7:00 am

Our online lives have become highly personalized. Every digital action, whether liking a page on Facebook or binge-watching a series on Netflix, helps to create a clearer picture of who you are online—information that businesses use to feed into their future strategies. While the for-profit world has embraced these processes, there are far fewer examples…

Marketing Analytics: Putting More Than a Face on Your Donors
July 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm

The velocity at which data is being created, coupled with the ability to capture, store and utilize that information (more data crosses the Internet every second than was stored on the entire internet 20 years ago), gives fundraisers more access to pertinent information at the individual level than ever before. In the past, it would have been nearly impossible for fundraisers to imagine amassing such information at the donor level, much less at the prospect level...

Data Man
July 3, 2015 at 6:00 am

Our nonprofit staffs struggle with lack of time to cover necessary duties. They all know that they should call every fundraiser and every donor and squeeze the maximum amount of commitment from them. But there is simply no time. They have to focus on the most productive and highest fundraising or donating individuals, leaving the remainder to wither away from lack of attention. They have to resign themselves to the fact that the average fundraiser feels like the organization just doesn’t care that much. Staff can’t win, until now...

Beyond Fundraising: Mobile POS and Donor Data
June 30, 2015 at 7:00 am

Many nonprofit organizations are seeking ways to accelerate and simplify the donation process. Mobile point-of-sales (mPOS) solutions not only help streamline this process, they allow organizations to gather donor and donation data, which can provide insight into a donor’s motivation and capacity to give again. Data analytics have become vital fundraising tools, helping nonprofits determine…

How to Read Google Analytics Reports in Three Steps
June 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Google Analytics can be overwhelming. Even if you use it regularly, it can often seem like a jumbled blur of strange numbers and labels. You know the information you need is somewhere in your account, you just can’t find out exactly where. It’s like when you were first learning to read. You stared at letters…