This is the Blackbaud Community Best Practices blog.

Learning From Experience: Albert Einstein And Your Data

What is the definition of insanity?

According to Albert Einstein, it’s “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Does your nonprofit organization’s decision-making process suffer from this insanity from time to time? I know mine did! In a lot of organizations, we do things the way we do because—well, that’s just the way we’ve always done them!

The good news is, learning from experience is not too hard. “Experience” is stored as data in our databases and in external sources, such as industry reports and research-based predictive indicators. Analyzing that data (or “learning from experience”) can help us determine what is working for us and what we can do better. We can compare our numbers to industry benchmarks to see how we measure up. Additionally, we can look for patterns in our data to inform our cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

That nice mid-level donor? Maybe external data sources indicate that she has the potential to give a major gift.

Mr. Jackson, who uses a paper bag as a briefcase? He may just turn out to be a perfect candidate for a planned gift.

What other gold is hiding in your data? The only way to find it is to look, and the only way to look effectively is data analysis!

If you’re inspired to upgrade your fundraising to data-driven fundraising, register today for our new class, Nonprofit Workshop: Data-Driven Fundraising to learn about data hygiene, predictive indicators for various donor categories, and how to build a culture of data use at your nonprofit.

Good news for Learn® training subscribers. If you have a Learn Everything® training subscription, all Nonprofit Workshop classes are included. Not a subscriber? Find out how a Learn subscription can help develop your efficiency and ongoing skills.

Release your inner Einstein, break the cycle of doing the same thing over and over, and take steps to discover the gems hidden in your data!
Posted by Mike Adams on Oct 10, 2017 11:52 AM America/New_York

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Looks like a interesting workshop. 
  • Posted Tue 03 Apr 2018 11:20 AM EDT
Looks like I should register for this.
  • Posted Tue 03 Apr 2018 01:30 PM EDT
Looks interesting
  • Posted Wed 04 Apr 2018 03:43 AM EDT
Interesting concept.
  • Posted Tue 10 Apr 2018 12:16 PM EDT
Looks like an interesting class!
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 12:11 PM EDT
Thanks for sharing! Excited to learn more!
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 05:39 PM EDT
If you took this course, how was it? Wish we had a learn subscription...
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 11:46 AM EDT
I wish my boss would think about this.  She has a set guideline she uses every year, only adjusting the amounts of her levels.  There are so many others that we could probably successfully solicit at higher levels.
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 12:02 PM EDT
This will be part of my summer training schedule!
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 01:22 PM EDT
This was a fantastic course! It was like the mothership calling data geeks like me home...
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 02:06 PM EDT
Hidden treasures to be found in the db. Sometimes though they uncover themselves. Time after time we are surprised by bequests of $100k and more left to us by our $50 donors. 
  • Posted Tue 05 Jun 2018 11:02 AM EDT
Are you offering this again? Would like to check out.
  • Posted Tue 24 Jul 2018 02:22 PM EDT
Hi Natasha!  The next session is August 8th. You can find future sessions here:
  • Posted Tue 24 Jul 2018 03:00 PM EDT