Welcome

After writing a couple of blog posts for JustGiving towards the end of last year I’ve decided that I have something to say about my specialist subject “data in the not for profit world”.

Whilst I would never want to go in the scary black chair I hope to remind, empower and help you to remember to care for your database and the data within it.

Feel free to drop me a line, ok that’s so old fashioned now, tweet me, message me or if you are a bit old school send me an email with feedback or topics that you’d like me to cover and I’ll do my best.

The Insight from Insight

Last week I attended the Institute of Fundraising Insight Conference. This conference marked 10 years of the group being set up and was very well attended.

From the sessions that I sat in on I felt that this was the place that the cool kids were hanging out and most of the sessions left me buoyed and excited with what was possible and where, as a sector, we are heading. I still have my hang ups about the sector, in so much as Data People are still not seen in all organisations at senior leadership levels and I think they should be to enable the voice of the data to be heard but everything that I saw said that there is appetite for this now.

So with this in mind, here are my key takeaways: Continue reading The Insight from Insight

APIs – It’s much easier now

Last week I presented at the annual #IOFTech Conference. My session was about API’s and how to consume them in Excel.

I believe that this is an area where it is possible to get your CRM Champions engaged in data. Whilst most data people will be used to their own ways of transforming data into the correct formats for their CRM system or working with csv files, I thought that I would run a session on how to consume APIs.

As you probably know I used to work with the team at JustGiving for a number of years specialising in integrating the JustGiving data for charities into the various CRM systems that are out there in the marketplace. This is what I used for the live demo.

So I thought I’d share the Online Giving Apis presentation  I gave and if you are interested in a demo then please do get in touch.

The art of CRM project management

Project management is one of those terms that is banded around the sector as just part of everyone’s role. Whether you’re an events fundraiser, a major donor fundraiser or a database manager and its true there is project management that helps all of the people in those roles succeed, but most times its silo’d. There’s no cross team working unless its writing a piece for comms or digital to help promote the cause or event.

I find a lot of charities think that the project management of a new CRM system is something that can be “tacked on” to someone’s day job not realising the amount of effort required and communication skills needed at all levels within the organisation as well as talking to vendors and potentially other contractors to do the things that you need.

I do a lot of project management as part of my implementation roles and always find it interesting the perception of what “good” looks like. I always say when starting projects that you will start off liking me, you’ll get to UAT and be a little bit overwhelmed and then once you see how a  will change your work be on the happy curve again.

But essentially, CRM project management is about a journey. Most people who are implementing a new CRM system are either doing it and not wanting to change or excited about the change and the new possibilities. Wrapped up into this is the change management piece and collaborative working across all teams who will use the new system. In my view this should be everyone who is a touch point with a supporter, from CEO to the receptionist as its really important. All good organisations charity or not base their work/products/service on data as well as other things but data is at the heart or should be.

So back to the difference between day to day project management and CRM implementation project management, a CRM implementation has a lot of moving parts and should have lots of collaboration within the organisation as you define best practice and a common understanding. There’s a lot of potential data sets that will be unearthed that should be in the CRM but never made it for whatever reason and then there’s the cultural change for the organisation.

Like I’ve said previously, the best CRM system in the world is only as good as the people who use it and the data that they put into it. But now more than ever it’s important to ensure that your organisation has one version of the truth.

So with these three things the key is to:

  • Know what go live looks like (I personally recommend going live in phases so if you need web/events/volunteering/ as part of go live, when is that going to happen, you probably want to try and stagger how people need to take on that knowledge of the new product
  • Understand that people have day jobs, if a project can be delivered in 4 months that’s great but real life will I guarantee get in the way, most of my projects at best go live after 6 months but more realistically end up somewhere closer to 9 months – again the key here is making sure you know what number 1 looks like.
  • Communication and collaboration – put time in people’s diaries for show and tell or key business changes, its key in getting buy in and making sure that your users (or even better super users) are on board with how it will work
  • Book out time for familiarisation sessions let people play with the product and give them the support that they need. A good project manager is 70% counsellor and 30% doing or managing the doing
  • As project manager you don’t have to know how to do everyone’s job, make sure you have key people (Super users / Champions / Heroes / Knowledge Managers / Wizards) whatever you want to call them, they are the people who know their job
  • Make sure you share the knowledge, its key in keeping everyone on track, a folder on a server, a group in outlook, a simple project management tool, make sure it forms part of your meetings. It’s key to share this knowledge with the leadership team as well as your Super users and champions

It’s a journey, in my view it’s a fun journey as you come out as a better organisation after you’ve done it, but it is hard work and on top of day jobs can be very frustrating.

I hope that this has helped and if it is a bit overwhelming for you or your team drop us a note and we’ll talk it through with you.

Brush up your Excel Skills – Wednesday, 21 September

We know the summer holidays have only just started but it isn’t too early to start planning for getting “back to school” in September with some skills refresher training.

V

Anthony is running a half day training course in London in conjunction with the lovely people at Fundraising UK Ltd to help you polish up your existing skills and give you lots of hints and tips to make your workbooks and spreadsheets more efficient.

Microsoft Excel is a very useful tool for analysing your campaign data, results and key performance indicators. And there are some very useful hints and tips and easy formulas that could make your job a lot easier and give greater insight into your data.

If you feel like your Excel skills aren’t up to date or would welcome some refresher training to get you back up to speed this is the course for you.

This course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn or refresh their skills in Excel – You will not require any prior knowledge of Excel formulas and functions just being able to open Excel would be great.

The course will cover:

  • Walk through of the ribbon – giving you an overview of the most useful items
  • Introduction to useful formula (countif / sumif / if / Vlookup)
  • Basic Data manipulation tools including:
  •   text to columns
  •   remove duplicates
  •   conditional formatting
  • Basic Pivot Reports – an extremely valuable tool to analyse your data

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Manipulate data ready for your reporting requirements
  • Manipulate data for importing into your CRM system
  • Create Pivot Reports and Charts to display data to your peers or Line managers

The half-day training  is on Wednesday, 21 September 2016 at 10.15am and costs just £100+VAT for charity participants.

Visit Eventbrite for more information and to book.

Permissions, regulations and your CRM system

You can’t have helped but notice that there is a lot of noise in the sector and the wider press at the moment about permission based marketing.  There are lots of people making comments about whether new regulations, Codes of Practice and European Data laws are a good or bad thing and what they means for income, jobs and from my point of view, the most important people, our beneficiaries.

For example my wife mentioned to me in a comment recently, after attending a conference that a question was raised about “If Olive Cooke was alive today, would she have signed up for the Fundraising Preference Service” it does make you think….

So I thought that on a practical level the best thing that I could do would be to write a post about what all of this noise might mean in terms of CRM systems.
Continue reading Permissions, regulations and your CRM system