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.

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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.

To profile or not to profile……

In days gone by we used to think about profiling as being geodemographic. Splitting up of data based on things like household income, gender, age. But now as a society we have got concerns about what’s acceptable when cutting data up into these chunks.

In fundraising terms the most common segmentation is rfv/rfm regency, frequency, monetary or value depending on which marketing school you went to. We then use stakeholder groups as well to get a deeper level of understanding.

I’ve seen a lot of charities in my time move away from just mailing everyone on the database to a very simple rfm segmentation model which has reaped huge benefits. There was one charity where because of the size of the database, we had close to 100 segments, which for most charities would be overkill. It did give the fundraising manager a view that was really helpful when having a database of such size though and is the benchmark for the work that they do today.

But I think that the landscape of what’s possible is now changing. So this next bit does come with a bit of a health warning. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean that you have to do it all or have a database big enough to get value out of these things.

Now lifestyle data is different. Historically it was what car do you drive, what postcode are you in, how many children do you have. With the rise of social media we now have what I think could be more meaningful data and large organisations are harnessing this data with their integrated approach. Organisations let you login with your Facebook login details  and can then cut the data in different ways. How many friends do you have, what causes do you and your friends care about, what are your personal interests?

Twitter makes it even more interesting where we have the rise in sentiment so now with the intelligence in systems we can now interpret your feelings about a product, person,organisation or situation, leaving sarcasm aside for a minute.

All of this might feel a bit big brotherish and I know that at Actually Data towers we have spoken about what security concerns things like this can cause a supporter. If I communicated with you in a supporter email with your latest tweets or Facebook status wouldn’t this freak you out? Maybe or maybe not!

The point I’m trying to make is this. How we can dissect data could change and if what you’ve read above is interesting this is where the conversations around big data start. I’m not trying to make this post scary but buzz words like big data are banded around and scare some with little knowledge but at the heart of it, it’s just a different way to get at and aid the segmentation process.

One of the things that I believe is changing in the sector is how we do our segmentation whether this be overlaying extra data from things like social media, or whether it be trying to capture more information about a supporters motivation to support the cause.

The age old thing that every fundraiser/marketeer will tell you is test, test and then test again. It’s only from this that we will learn what is working in this ever changing environment. If you would like help in working out how and whether you can do this please contact me for a no obligation chat.

How to review your CRM System

Now you are back in the swing of things, the January blues have faded and you are looking forward to your new goals for 2015, it is the perfect time to think about checking that your CRM system is in good shape to help you achieve your targets.

CRM systems need love, care and attention, if you are going to get the best from them and keep them accurate. This is essential to make it easy for all your staff to use, update and understand the data.

databasecartoonWhen I visit charities as part of my consultancy work I often find that their CRM systems are organic beasts.  With changes in staff or business processes or sometimes both, over time, what used to be a lean and relevant system with clear procedures has become increasingly a long winded process that doesn’t easily meet the needs of the organisation’s current objectives.

Continue reading How to review your CRM System

My Marathon Experience

The Team from SandsHaving worked in the sector now for over 8 years and first starting off in online fundraising I thought it was about time for me to do my bit and join a cheering squad, no I’m definitely not a runner, despite my personal trainer’s best efforts.

Back in October 2013 I was asked by one of my clients, Sands, if I would go down to the marathon to take some pictures of their runners that they could use on social media and marketing materials. Having an interest in photography and having never been to the marathon I accepted the challenge of trying to capture these amazing athletes at their final stage in a journey.

I turned up around 9 with chair and packed lunch in hand and headed to meet the team on Birdcage Walk. We were about 800 metres from the end. It was a great day for being a spectator, London in the sunshine is a truly magnificent city.

First off were children, I managed to test the settings and get in some training for what the day was going to hold and then I saw the first casualty, a child collapsed by the side of the road and police and medics turned up fairly swiftly and got him back up on his feet and with the roar of the crowd he continued on his merry way and this is what I have found so heartwarming. I work in the sector so I see all the great causes that people raise money for and admire some of them in the way that they support their fundraisers but being part of the cheer squad was a humbling and uplifting part of the day.

These runners who had been in training during the monsoon winter weather in the UK were doing their bit with their motivation keeping them moving forward.

I realised that the crowds along this part were helping motivate the people who really thought that they had had enough. I remember a guy sitting on the side of the pavement in front of where I was cheering and at least four runners stopped to try and get the guy moving, he took his breath and with an eruption from the crowd he continued on his way. I also remember someone else on the other side of the street getting a fireman’s lift for the last part of this gruelling 26.2miles and that is what it was about helping each other achieve something truly amazing.

The amazing costumes and the grimacing on the runners faces as they completed the challenge running in the heat and the euphoria of the crowd. I bow to each and everyone of them and say well done and thank you – you made it an amazing day for us the “not so fit” marathon supporters.

Here’s a selection of the pics I took, if anyone would like original copies, please get in touch and I’ll email them across to you.

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.