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Rob Mitchell, Gregg Carlson & Una Osili: Faceoff: Atlas of Giving & Giving USA
You need to not miss this! And I want you to join the conversation!
Since Atlas of Giving announced its review of 2013 fundraising in January, there’s been tension between them and Giving USA in other philanthropy media. For the first time, they’ll be face-to-face, rather than talking AT each other.
These organizations have 2 things in common:
1. Each prepares a broad analysis of fundraising results.
2. Each has problems with the way the other measures and forecasts.
We’ll talk through their issues around accuracy, methodology and relevance. We’re taking your questions, too! Submit them as comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #NonprofitRadio.
Forbes.com dubbed it the “philanthropy food fight.” On February 21, I’ll be the cafeteria cop.
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Hello and welcome to twenty martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host and this is show number one hundred eighty started this show in july of two thousand ten. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the embarrassment of disc wamidh of gingivitis if it came within my ken that you have missed today’s show a very big show philantech be face off atlas of giving and giving yusa since atlas of giving announced its review of twenty thirteen fund-raising in january, there’s been tension between them and giving yusa in other philanthropy media today for the first time, they’ll be together rather than talking at each other. These organizations have two things in common. Each prepares a broad analysis of fund-raising results, each has problems with the way the other measures and forecasts we’ll talk through their issues around accuracy, methodology and relevance. It’s a face off, so i’ll be the referee, which is ironic that i’m using a sports metaphor because i got my varsity lettering announcing, but i’ll fill the role it got the attention of forbes dot com they dubbed it the philanthropy food fight. If that’s what it is, i’ll be cafeteria cop, we have guest live tweeters. Alex daniels, a reporter for the chronicle of philanthropy, he’s at alex daniels seop the chronicle is retweeting his tweets and lynette singleton lynette is a big, loyal fan of non-profit radio and principle of singleton consulting group she’s at s c g the number four non-profits we’re taking your questions on twitter use hashtag non-profit radio we’re monitoring that hashtag here in studio on tony’s take to today i have a professional development survey on my block and i’d be grateful for your help. We’re sponsored by rally bound peer-to-peer fund-raising and by t b r c saving you money on credit card processing fees. It’s a pleasure to welcome my guests. Rob mitchell is ceo of atlas of giving on twitter he’s at philanthropy man also looks to me like at fill inthe roman could think of it either way, he’s in the studio on dh. He also has another twitter id at atlas of giving. Greg carlson is chair of the giving yusa foundation he’s at giving yusa on twitter and is with us from henderson, nevada. If you’re gonna be in nevada. I’m not sure why you would choose henderson, but welcome greg carlson dahna osili is director of research at indiana university, the lily family school of philanthropy. She’s, the researcher forgiving yusa on twitter, she is at i u philanthropy and she’s with us from indianapolis. We have the west, we have the heartland and the east coast. We have a special structure to start today to keep things balanced, we’re going to start with a back and forth we’re going to start with greg is going to take sixty seconds to describe giving yusa and then sixty seconds for rob to describe the atlas of giving rob is then going to ask e-giving yusa a question and either or both greg and unit can answer, we’re going to record how long greg a noona take latto answer, greg is then going to ask rob atlas of giving a question, and rob will have the same amount of time that giving us a took. We’re going to put a five minute maximum on the question answers, though five minute maximum for each side, but of course rob gets how much time greg and unity we’ll be monitoring don’t worry if you’re confused, we have it under control here and they were going to repeat this a second time, so by the second time we do it, you’ll be familiar with exactly what we’re doing, and the second time will start again with rob asking a question of e-giving yusa and then after that round, we’re going to take our first break and then we return, we’ll be a little more back to normal and i’ll have some questions and, ah, maybe there will be questions from twitter. If you have questions for for our guests today, please use the hashtag non-profit radio. So let me first welcome everybody. Rob greg dahna welcome thanks, tony. Pleasure to have all three of you. We’re going to start with greg. We do have a timer. Greg here in studio we’re timing. We’re going to give you sixty seconds to describe e-giving yusa. So? So please do that. Well, thank you. Toning given at the mission of the giving us a foundation is to advance the research, education and the public understanding of philanthropy. We welcome today’s conversation. Almost no of the foundation’s work through giving us say annual report on philanthropy, which we have produced for over fifty five years. We always are pleased to share what we do and how we do it all with the goal of helping the fund-raising practitioner and threw the question. So what does this mean to me and to my organization? Fiona and i are pleased to be with you today. All right, thank you very much. That was way under a minute. Thank you very much, greg. Glad to have you and owner with us, rob mitchell. You you get a minute, teo. Describe the atlas of giving. Well, first of all, tony, thanks for hosting this discussion. The atlas of giving my original goal was to create a tool that i never had access to. And thirty years as a practitioner. I was looking for a timely benchmark of giving for comparative purposes and a reliable, regularly updated forecast so that i could raise more money by timing events and promotions and creating budgets based on real data. I wanted it to be useful for working fundraisers, non-profit leaders, board members and the press and the public. The atlas of giving is about looking forward. We monitor the velocity and trajectory of charitable giving. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of american philanthropy. The atlas is ah high fidelity monthly benchmark of us giving by sector source and state the only highly reliable forecast of charitable giving for each of the next twelve months. With the atlas. We know what is happening in giving each month and khun schedule fund-raising events and promotions at times when they’ll get the best results, we can also create and revise budgets based on a reliable forecast. Robin, thank you very much, there’s the timer you just heard. All right, um, we’re gonna have. Rob now is going to ask a question of giving us a greg noona, either or both of you can can answer, but there’s a there’s, a five minute maximum combined for both of you, okay, is that is that clear? Yeah, good. Okay, cool, alright, rob, please. Thanks, craig, in enough for participating, by the way. So my first question is, what would you tell working fundraisers and non-profit leaders about how to use giving yusa information to raise more money this year and plan their upcoming fiscal year budgets. Greg dahna well, i’ll go ahead and take that, i think the first crack at that way may tag team that’s tony sure, okay, yes, it is so, robin, in terms of how the advancement professionals and development professionals in our field use our information with giving us say, we’re identifying true patterns and trends, and, uh, and i stay true because there’s some patterns and trends that that might not be as appropriate in terms of measurement and you’re making plans as as other ideas on deacon talk about what some examples might be of that. But the practitioners in the world in our field really used giving us say, too, see where the money’s coming from and where the money’s going tio and so specifically, then teo identify the overall e-giving patterns that would then enable them to know where to think about investing. Additional resource is as we move forward, you know, what would you add to that? I would just add that giving us a provides an overall context for non-profits to understand trends within their own sectors. Hyre oh, god, i don’t know. Oh, okay, um, e-giving usa allows non-profits to understand trends within their own sectors, but also provides them with an in depth view of what’s happening throughout the sector. We really strongly believe that giving us is an important tool for fundraisers, but it should be used alongside other resource is depending on the non-profits need we should also emphasize that in this sector non-profits experience, a lot of volatility in their fund-raising activities there’s a lot of months, months fluctuation as faras making decisions for a researcher. What this means is that there’s a trade off between thie information that’s widely available on the information that’s accurate and so one big hallmark for us been that trade off between speed and accuracy. Okay, the non-profits sector needs data quickly, but the non-profit sector also needs reliable data in order to make planning decisions, budgeting decisions and so forth. And so one of the i think hallmarks of giving us has been to make sure that information provided is reliable while providing an overall context of what’s happening in the sector. Okay, we’re going to stop there. That was two minutes and two minutes and thirty five seconds and greg would you would you kindly ask robert question, and then we’ll give him the same amount of time. Tio tio, answer. Sure, thank you. I think we would all agree that the volunteer board and development professionals we serve need and deserve accurate information. Rob, for your company’s product. What outside data and process do you use to validate the estimate you initially released? It’s probably best greg, to talk first about how we created it because what we did was we assembled a team of twenty five, phd level statisticians and analyst, and we actually took forty two years of e-giving yusa data and i thank you for the work that you’ve done over the past five decades. We could not have created the atlas of giving without giving yusa what we were looking for, wass we use correlation science, and so what we’re looking for, based on the data that we had from what was available, what factor’s, what economic and demographic factors correlated two, two e-giving both well for the national number for sectors each of nine sectors and each of four sources, and so we’ve been able to determine what exactly those factors are those economic factors for each sector, for each source and for each state now, and what we’re able to do then is we were able to build on algorithm we have sixty five different algorithms, one for each sector resource in the state and the national number. And the the interesting thing is that the factors involved for, say, individual giving are very different and their strengths are very different from those involved in corporate giving, as you might imagine. And so are you. No way. Our technology has proven that she isn’t used by hedge funds, that cheese by the federal reserve bank and others. It’s. Correlation. Science is a proven wait. To do this kind of analysis, greg, you have about another half a minute. If you want teo, use it only go ahead if you like. I’m sorry. No, i’m sorry i said the wrong name. Sorry, rob. You have about another thirty five seconds if you would like to use it. Sure, the last thing i’d like to say is there has been there’s there’s been a lot of stuff in the press about transparency and so forth, and i’ll just re emphasize what i said a few weeks ago, which is we would actively look for a major research university to enter into an agreement with us to evaluate everything that we do and everything that we’ve done and look for new research opportunities, using our data and our technology. Okay, thank you very much, rob. You can ask another question of greg and guna and will record how long they take. Teo teo, answer that question. Go ahead, rub please, rob. Sure, so i’m i’m curious about this. In the past twelve years, the number of non-profits in the u s has grown sixty percent over that same period of time. New technology is dramatically improving fund-raising results for many of them, not most. Non-profits donorsearch vise funds now account for more than four percent of charitable giving each year, and they’re they’re growing at a phenomenal rate online, giving a skyrocketing and popularity. And yet, in spite of all this, all this trend upward, i’m the giving yusa answer for charitable giving in the united states seems to be stuck at two percent of real gdp each year. And so my question is, does that bother you? Greg dahna greg well, they what i would say that that rob is that altum as we do our analysis, we’re taking into account okay, hundreds of variable, we’ve tested over seven hundred variables of issues that correlate with giving in order to develop our report. And so as we work through our report, we are doing a number of things which would include the use of the advisory council on methodology, which is an outside group that we’ve organized which their main job is to challenge both are processing our sources, asking, how can we do better that’s how we begin each and every year is we lay out processes of developing our report and then secondly, it’s critical that we have outstanding researcher and we have the best in the business for the indiana university lily school philantech on dh, their credibility is second to none when it comes to these kinds of questions. And so as we develop our annual report, this is the process that we go through in terms of determining how we’re going to them share with our sector results of our findings, you know? What would you ask? Yes, i think the question rob poses a very intriguing one, he says, how can we change that percentage from two percent? And we agree that it is indeed certainly an important issue, but it will take a lot to move that needle. This takes us back to the question at hand, which is how does giving us actually obtain its numbers? I just want to emphasize that giving us a estimates rely on in-kind a metric methods that have developed not just that the lily family school, but that we indeed share those results. Has greg mentioned with the advisory council in methodology, which includes leading researchers from institutions throughout the country during its history? Giving us has tested over seven hundred variables that potentially correlate with charitable giving by households by corporations and foundations, and i should mention that in every single period before we release giving us, we verify and validate this data, and we also consider, if anything, in the environment needs needs to be taken into account. So over time, we’ve added to that seven hundred very bold list by looking at additional factors that may have the potential to affect shared e-giving, including economic and demographic variables. So i just want to emphasize the two percent numbers, one that we have looked at very closely. Our advisory council methodology is well aware of, and our users are well aware of, but to change, that percentage will require not just the work of the non-profit fundraisers, but also our whole society being involved as well. All right, that was that was three minutes. So we’re going to now have greg is goingto ask robert question, and rob will have three minutes. Teo respond, greg, go ahead. Actually, you know, i think you’re next, okay, only you have a question, okay, very good. Well, i will use this minute, just to mention a few points that address tony’s question, he said. There’s been a growth in online giving, which is true it’s, now about five percent of all giving and certainly don’t advice. Funds are rising part of the fund-raising landscape philanthropically landscape as well. But we should keep in mind. Dahna mouna yeah, i want okay on the call, okay? The last thing we heard you say was keep in mind you’re you’re posing a question now to rob, right? Oh, yes, i’m posing a question, rob, but i also wanted to just very quickly mentioned that a few of the points that robberies such as the writer and online giving and also the use of dahna advice oh, no, no, no, i got to stop you. You’re transgressing a little bit it’s not eyes, not jargon jail it’s typically have george in jail, but it’s not that question for rob is the scientific process really depends on verification and validation off estimates in particular for the monthly and state and sectoral estimates that you present what dina sources used ultimately verify and validate those data sources because at least it’s not exactly clear, given that the methodology is not necessarily shared widely, how that verification and validation process is taking place. Well, first of all, we do not use we don’t use old irs data were not using any surveys. The atlas of giving, as i said, is based on correlation science, and so we’ve identified the factors that in their strengths, as they relate to each sector and each source, and those factors include regularly vetted and regularly reported economic and demographic data things like the case shiller price home price index we use gdpr of course we use actually there’s, there is one source that actually correlates to auto parts sales, which we’re not saying that that’s a cause, but it actually auto parts sales is important in that particular algorithm, which is not unlike the fed they’ve actually decided that auto parts sales are important, teo to the unimportant correlation to the banking business. So the the factors that we’re using our are regularly reported by the government and sound economic and demographic groups that give this information and our algorithms. If you’re looking for me to say that our algorithms have been vetted by the university of indiana, i’m not going to give i’m not going to say that, because of course, it’s not true, but again, i would emphasize we we’d welcome the opportunity for a major research university too. Teo, look at what we’re doing and and evaluate and comment on it, rob, you have about another minute and twenty seconds you can continue whether answering that question or anything else, but you get three minutes, okay? I would just say that, you know again in terms of utility what we’re most interested in, as i said in my opening statement, is velocity and trajectory of e-giving and as a as a someone who practiced fund-raising for thirty years, i was really interested in not just what happened a year and a half ago or two years ago. I was interested in what’s happening this month last month and what’s going to happen in the next twelve months and that’s what we’re really all about, okay? Wow, i am not i am not accustomed to this formal structure. This is not typical of non-profit radio so people joining us for the first time we don’t we don’t usually have time limits and things like this, you will see that after the break, we’re going to take our first break and when we come back, i’ve got some questions. I have a question from from my blogged, and we’ll see if we get a need live questions. If you want to join the conversation, join us on twitter and use hashtag non-profit radio to ask your question. Stay with us. They didn’t think dick tooting good ending things. You’re listening to the talking, alternate network, waiting to get you thinking. Cubine do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth seven and seven will help bring the changes you need. Wear small business consultants and we pay attention to the details. You may miss. Our culture and consultant services are guaranteed to lead toe right groat for your business, call us at nine one seven eight three three four eight six zero foreign, no obligation free consultation checkout on the website of ww dot covenant seven dot com are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three the conscious consultant helping hunters. People be better business people. Dahna you’re listening to the talking alternative network. Geever duitz welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. We’ve got a ton of live listener love. Hamburg, pennsylvania! Fort lauderdale, florida. Dallas, texas. Atlanta, georgia, new bern, north carolina. Locust grove, virginia. Corvallis, oregon, indianapolis, indiana live listener love to all of you, there’s mawr in the us! But we’re going to go abroad. We’ve got guangzhou, china, and kunming, china ni hao in japan, we’ve got tokyo and yokohama, konichiwa, and we’ve also got korea, south korea always loyally checking in on son and gun, po han, yeo haserot and also seoul, korea. Um, greg noona, way got your message that you’re experiencing a bit of a delay. We want to make sure you’re not listening on your computer. You should just be listening to the to the conference number that you dialed into if you’re listening on your computer than that would definitely cause a delay. So if if you’re doing that, the best thing to do would be to meet your computer and just listen on the phone, and hopefully that will correct the problem time let’s say, okay, i want to make sure that listeners understand the method, the methodology and whether the methodology is pretty much the same between the two, but you’re using different variables or or whether it’s it’s actually different now, i think the i’m going to speak for a lot of people, i think on greg nuna, this first one is for you, i think a lot of people believe that the e-giving usa uses surveys and you did for many years you surveys, but then you changed, and i think it was in two thousand ten. First of all, dude, you don’t have that history correct, you’re no longer using surveys. Let let me correct this because it’s a really important issue within us. Based on an econometric model, it includes econometric analysis and tabulations e-giving usc does not depend on a survey, it does not use a survey. In fact, what it uses are data sources, including irs data data from the bureau of economic analysis, the philanthropic, the sliding panel study, which does provide an estimate of non itemizers e-giving we use data from very various sources within the non-profit sector, including the urban institute national center for charitable statistic, which provides the data on the uses the subsectors including education, health, the arts of environments i think there’s a lot of the need to clarify that giving us is based on econometric model providing estimates so in it is basically an estimate of e-giving that relies on the most reliable and most up to date data available. Um, i should also mention another distinguishing characteristic of giving us is that it’s, extremely transparent, it’s been peer reviewed. The econometric model on which giving us is based on has actually been published and in a peer reviewed journal and v s q because of its transparency and its commitment to transparency e-giving u s citizens fact replicable and verifiable anybody, whether researcher non-profit practitioner, our fundraiser can reference the data and actually see how those estimates were derived. In addition, giving us the update those estimates as more three cent and updated data becomes available from government sources and other industry aggregates and releases those revised estimates over time, giving us a program to be extremely reliable. To give you a sense of the reliability of giving us from the initial to the final estimates between two thousand for two thousand eleven, those estimates were between one point four percent difference the difference between the original and the final estimate was one point for-profit scent. And the median difference was one point. One. Okay. You know, i’m gonna haul night. Yeah. Okay. I’m gonna i’m gonna ask you stopped there. But i do want to ask about the history, though. What in the past was it? Wasn’t it a survey based model? I understand, it’s. Not now. I understand. But in the in the past. And what was it? A survey based model for years. Yes. In the past, when giving us first began, it did do a survey of different subsectors. Now, why did we switch? When the data from those charities the nine, ninety easies and the nine, ninety forms became available, we were able to actually provide an f estimate off those subsectors, using the most recent and up to date irs data available through a partnership with the national center and shared both statistics. So that’s actually, when that which took place on were able to develop a comprehensive econometric models for each of the subsector. Okay, and was that switching in two thousand ten? No, that was done in two thousand five for the subsectors. Prior to that, we since we have been doing the work, which is at the beginning of this decades in two thousand is when we started an econometric model for all the sources and for the uses that only became possible when the cs at the national center for charitable statistics start began a partnership with at the lily family school back then, it was the centre and philanthropy. All right, so rob, we have we have methodology based on econometric modeling and peer reviewed. How is the atlas of giving different? Well, i can’t say that we’re a peer reviewed we’d like to be peer reviewed, but we’re we’re also a were also a business. And so in the same way that coca cola isn’t going to release out of their safe their formula for making coq, we’re not going to release that either, but what we will do is we’d be happy to partner with a major research university in a controlled environment toe look and we would be willing to show anything we show every all sixty five algorithms, we’d be happy to show them anything they’d like to see. We’ve been able to reconstruct my monthly giving data by sector. Source and state back to nineteen, sixty eight we’d be happy to show them that database, so we’re not allergic to transparency were just need transparency to protect our proprietary intellectual property, you know, with the indiana university be interested in partnering with with the atlas of giving? Absolutely we be delighted, and i think that the hallmark of any data estimate that’s used in the nonprofit sector has to be that transparency and also verification and validation. So we would welcome the opportunity to share our process without less and work jointly with to verify invalidate their data on what that validation and tails is actually comparing the actual prediction with what happened in the sector. And so i think that’s an important process for increasing confidence and strength of the estimate for atlas e-giving we welcome that opportunity, and we’d be able to share it with the field more broadly, not just to check the data for internal purposes, but we would welcome that opportunity so that we can, in fact, share the broader results with the rest of the non-profit okay, well, i’m not committing rob mitchell, teo extending an offer to the indiana university i was just wondering if if the university would be interested, but no it’s, certainly not speaking on behalf of the atlas e-giving, rob, let me ask you about the atlas and and owners point verification verification of your data well, in the same way that they validate their data with their own internal sources in their own, their own systems, as she said, they revise their their estimate a couple of times after the original estimate comes out. Generally we measure we our estimate is one thing, and our forecast is something else and are forecast has been very reliable on a month to month basis. It’s over ninety eight percent reliable. Now, this is based on on the numbers that we calculate, not on the numbers that giving yusa calculates, right? So if if you’re looking for something to compare our forecast to giving us a cz estimate, it isn’t gonna happen because we’ve found that the correlations that we’ve identified for each sector source and state for giving in the us, our numbers have diverged pretty significantly. I mean, you can go and look at the atlas numbers over the last few years and look at giving us a and you can see a very different story being painted well. So how in the heck do we know who’s? Who’s, right? Let’s, let’s bring greg carlson back in if you’re both so divergent, how do we know that? How do we know who’s, right? Well, this is a key question that you’re asking me. Yeah, i know, i know i was very pleased personally, when a couple of years ago, your company took on the very difficult task of getting into the forecasting in prediction business because honestly, our our industry and sector were greatly benefit from an accurate forecast, but a zai look at your own analysis using not our numbers but your numbers over the last two years of your forecast, you’ve been off by a total of about fifty billion dollars, and so, you know, i’m just confused as to why you’re saying that your accuracy on your forecast is at whatever high percentage you claim it to be? Well, we’ve actually done the reliability calculations and month, month to month since two thousand eleven month to month were more than ninety eight percent reliable on a three three month basis where ninety seven percent reliable on a six month basis, ninety five point, three percent reliable on a twelve month basis, ninety three point, three percent reliable. And the thing you have to remember, greg, is our forecast, like any forecast conditions change and the example that i would give you is two thousand one, two thousand one was shaping up to be ah, pretty good giving year, and then september eleventh occurred and giving dropped off significantly for the last quarter of the year and into the first quarter of the next year. So we update our forecast every month, and we report that, and by the way, we give our we give our information away for free, okay? It’s uh, but what i would say to that, rob is that the average practitioner is eating information to make investment and budget decisions, and the boards that they are working with as to where they’re going to put their time and resource is typically with all the institutions i’ve ever worked with, their typically doing their budget and planning process six months before either the beginning of a calendar, your fiscal year. And so when, when someone gets into the prediction forecasting business and so for instance, in two thousand thirteen, this past year, where you forecasted that giving would be nearly flat at one point, six percent, then using your own number, it actually increased by nearly thirteen percent. How is a practitioner actually, then to use that information with the fact that they’re having to do their budget that much ahead of time, that they would have mess this philanthropic giving opportunity? Had they decided to conserve their budget with that initial estimate of just one point six? Well, as a as a practitioner for thirty years, i can give you the answer to that question in terms of budgeting, yeah, the forecast changes, i mean, things change nine eleven happens, the asian tsunami happens, events happen, and we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of american philanthropy. So as things change, the forecast changed, and that was true last year. Yes, our forecast at the beginning of two thousand thirteen was very, very modest, almost flat, as you said, and then it turned out to be a fantastic giving your if i was just trying to validate the atlas of giving, we try to make our numbers come out exactly to the forecast and we didn’t do that, and if you want to call that transparency, i think that’s pretty transparent because we finished, you know, we reported that giving was up more than thirteen percent last year on that was after our first and i want to say the first of twelve forecast for monthly forecast updated for two thousand thirteen. So as a practitioner, i would say, set your budget based on the best data you have and then monitor and update the budget as conditions change, we have to take a take a little time that zits tony time now so everybody can take a breather because i want to recognize our sponsors that helped me to produce incredible shows like today’s rally bound supports the show for our live tweeters, please, would you please give a shout out to at rally bound falik bound to makes simple, reliable peer-to-peer fund-raising campaigns, it’s friends asking friends to give to your cause as a non-profit radio listener, you will get a discount. People have been doing that. I’m very glad people are claiming the discount and calling talking teo rally bound it does not have to be an event. It could be any fund-raising campaign as an example, grades of green in los angeles used rally bound to raise twenty two thousand dollars. It was their youth corps grades three to twelve, and each member of the youth corps set a personal pages to ask their friends to give. There is twenty two thousand dollars third through twelfth graders, they’re at valley bound dot com or you could just pick up the phone and talk to someone you talk to joe mcgee, he’ll answer your questions about setting up a campaign i know joe, i had breakfast with rally bound ceo schmuley they’re good guys or else i wouldn’t have them as a sponsor. It’s really bound dot com or as i said, talk to jo mcgee triple eight seven six seven nine o seven six we’re also sponsored by t b r c cost recovery life tweeters please use t br si dot com teo give a shout to t b r c t brc dot com they save you money on credit card fees when donor’s make a credit card gift, they don’t change your company processing those credit card transactions not jane jing processors t brc. Talks to your existing credit card processor to get them to lower the feed that they charge you on each and every transaction. If they don’t lower your rate, you don’t pay them. It’s yourself, rabinowitz he is the genius behind the company. I’ve known yourself for nearly ten years, he’s no pressure. I wouldn’t work with somebody like that. You could talk to him. Two, one, two, six, double four nine triple xero or tb rc dot com i have a professional development survey on my blogged i’m interested in what it is that you do to keep current and fresh in your work naturally non-profit radio is at the core of your professional development, but what else? What’s what’s on the periphery around that non-profit radio core webinars, conferences, blog’s books, whatever it is i’m interested in, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a non-profit or you do consulting, i’m interested in how you keep up with what’s new that survey is on my block at tony martignetti dot com that is tony’s take two for friday, twenty first of february eighth show of the year and as i mentioned one hundred eightieth show let’s, unpack a few. Things that came up in conversation there the question of the forecast. Greg dahna does. Does e-giving yusa provide a forecast for what will happen in the coming year? Let me take that question so let’s, just be clear the estimates that giving us he provides our projects shin, because the most recent irs data that we have is actually only available with a two year lag. So we are ultimately in the process of actually providing a forecast even about the current year that we’re in because the most up to date government data is not available until two years after the fact. So i do want to raise the point about a forecast it’s an important one. I agree with greg there’s, a need for more data, more reliable data within the sector. But we are concerned about atlas, at least the discussion around a monthly estimate, our monthly forecast because there isn’t an ultimate check off that estimate within the field because iris does not actually publish monthly data, so there would be no way to confer firm or not confirmed how accurate that forecast was against what actually happened. So the example i would give to sort of explain what a forecast is, the weather forecast is one that we all know well, but we can always check how reliable the weatherman wass because we know what happened in terms of was it snowy? Was it rainy on the challenge with the least the description of atlas of giving? We don’t ultimately know how this is done, because it’s not transparently provided is that there isn’t an ultimate benchmark for that monthly forecast or even the regional forecast that have been described. Okay, rob well, what about the forecast? Sure, we provide a monthly benchmark, but she’s questioning the how it’s validated the the best validation is those who use it, and i would say this, you know, one of the things we’ve learned since creating the atlas is dahna how money is raised and who money is raised from makes a huge difference in an organization’s success or lack of success and in the current economy, it’s it’s been a striking couple of years in that respect, because what we’ve seen is that organizations that rely on organizations and churches that rely on lots of small gifts from lots of small givers our are still struggling, and the reason that they’re struggling is because of the effects and after effects of high unemployment. Conversely, all you have to do is google record giving and you’ll see colleges and universities in particular and donor advised funds have had fantastic years for each of the last three years, and the reason why is it’s directly tied to the rebound in the stock market? And some rebound in in real estate prices, among other things, so different, and those organizations raise money very differently. Colleges and universities, college graduates have less than a three percent unemployment rate, so unemployment is not important for the kinds of people who typically give to colleges and universities. But for a church or a large national charity, like the one i used to represent. Thie american cancer society, lots of small gifts from lots of events and small donors. It’s a tough time, and so your question was about validation. Hyre you know, as a practitioner, i would say if if somebody presented me with the atlas forecast, i would be completely skeptical, but i would test it. And so if you said to me, it’s going to be better for me to have my event this year in august rather than october, i might not do that right away. But if it was a direct mail drop, i i think i would i would move not the whole file, but i’d use a small percentage of the file to test and see the results in a controlled study. And then as the as i determined that the forecast was reliable, i could move more and more of my fund-raising promotion activity to the months and times during the year when it is forecast to be the best and make more money for my organization. We have a question from alex daniels. This is directed at e-giving yusa. Alex is a reporter for a chronicle of philanthropy. He’s live tweeting for us. Uh, he’s questioning does giving us a provide a forecast? You know, i’m not. I’m not clear because you say you’re using data that lags two years, but you’re calling it a forecast for the future. So can you? Well, i let me clarify e-giving usa provides a current, so basically giving us this year will provide a nest estimate of what happened in twenty thirteen that is because the most recent data available to us is available with a two year lag. I want teo just emphasize so in a temple where providing is already a forecast based on what data is actually available and what is possible to verify and validate when it comes to monthly data, a monthly forecasting there is no reliable chair oppcoll giving data that exists at the monthly level on giving amounts and most of the economic variables that would be used to create a monthly estimate, i want to be clear, i’m talking about the monthly estimate rather than a national estimate. There really isn’t government data is also available at a lag on a monthly basis, so it would be almost a challenging to actually validate a monthly forecast for reasons one into a stated above and i think the same would be said about the state by state aggregate e-giving forecasts and estimates because in fact, no reliable data is available on giving at a state level that’s available in a timely and consistent basis. Itemized individual giving by state and geography legs two years or more. And so geographic data on corporate and be crossed data is also available at significant lags. I’m not available at the state level in any reliable way, so i think when we’re talking about a forecast, i understand the need for timely information. I think the non-profit sector would benefit from very reliable information, but that has the trade off between accuracy and speed and especially with the monthly forecasts have weaved as we’ve described it’s, very challenging to see how you would actually check the accuracy of that monthly forecast on dh. How is atlas actually held accountable to the sector on providing a monthly smb? Because, as we said, there’s, no outside data source that could be used, i think, no, no, no, no, i have to go, i’m sorry we have to take a break. I’m sure rob disagrees with a fair amount of what you’re saying and we’re gonna give him a chance. But we have to go out for this break, so please stay with us. We’ll get that we’ll get robbed to respond, and then i have questions about the timing. When these things come out january versus june and plus, we have some listener questions. Gosh, hang in there. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Welcome back. We got tons more live listener love new york, new york, moline, illinois. Austin, texas english town, nevada, pittsburgh p a. I went to college there. Carnegie mellon and wolf amass live listener left to each of you end, of course. Podcast pleasantries for the nine thousand of you night more than nine thousand of you who listen in the time shift whether you’re on your treadmill in your car, who knows where you are podcast pleasantries to you and i forgot to send them last week, so i’m sending another one this week. Podcast pleasantries. Everybody listening on their own schedule. Michael baker at my at m baker cfr, thank you very much for the shout out. We’re doing the best we can. I appreciate it. Thank you, michael. Okay, we got to give robert chance, teo, and they’re gonna get off the forecast subject. Rob, you want to respond to what is suggested about forecasts monthly for cause? She was talking at the monthly monthly forecasts. Not being verifiable. Well, i’ll tell you one way that you could make it immediately. Verifiable. We offer a product on our website for less than two hundred dollars, any? Non-profit or charity church can go on our website, answer six easy questions and backed up by a database of more than nine hundred ninety thousand cells individual cells of information, they can get a fiscal year forecast of what giving will be for their organization, and they can go back and update that forecast each month for twelve months. So if the forecast works, they’ll know and i will say also that one of the services that we also provide in charge for our regular monthly report is free, and that includes e-giving monthly giving by sector source in state and an updated forecast for each of the next twelve months. So that’s free. But we also use our technology to build a specific model for specific organizations, and when we do that, the accuracy of what those organizations actually achieve in their fund-raising and what we forecast that it would be is incredibly reliable. Okay, i have to give a shout. Teo tony macklin, m a, c, k l i n he wanted me to ask a question about what’s not covered by the atlas for giving us a or any other review. Tony, i’m at a time. But his concern i’m going, i’m going to give voice to his concern, but we’re not going to respond to it, so so you take a breath because you’re not going to respond to this. It isn’t time, but tony macklin, first of all, you can check it on my blogged at tony martignetti dot com he also blogged on his own block, and i’m sorry, i don’t have the name of that, but again, i just gave you his name. His concern is that for the charitable organizations that aren’t captured by data that’s reported to the irs, andi, i’m going to ask about churches shortly, but but he’s concerned about e-giving by people who don’t itemize on their taxes, for instance, or even down to the cash that we drop in jars at counters and buckets and on street corners. He’s also concerned about giving two organizations that aren’t five oh one see threes like advocacy organizations, civic organizations? What about crowdfunding platforms? Rally bound, our sponsor happen to be one of those? Well, not not the these two parties not capturing that andi, can’t we’re not going to give voice to anything i’m giving voice to tony. Macklin but when that’s he’s a blogger and he was good enough to submit a question in advance, please check his blogged name again. Tony c, k, l a and tony macklin. I would like to ask e-giving usa about churches. Oh no, you said, you’re you’re basing it on nine nineties, but churches aren’t required two churches and religiously affiliated non-profits aren’t required to submit nine nineties, they’re exempt. So are you missing that, or how are you capturing it? If you’re if you’re not getting it through the nineties? Very good. So the baseline estimate for religious e-giving in giving us is based on a tabulation of giving to the religion subsector includes congregations how’s the warship, not nine nineties, and once we develop that initial estimate, we have calculated the rate of change by working in partnership with religious entity such as the evangelical council financial accountability on that rate of change is what we apply to the base amount of giving to all types the religious organizations, including non christian houses of worship, which is a knife segway into the bloggers question i just wanted to mention that giving us he doesn’t take into account known itemizing stoploss diverse populations, including a number of immigrants authorities, would you? Yeah, you have to we have to cut off on it. That’s not fair, you’re transgressing again, you know, because i said, we’re not going to answer that. And now now you know, because it’s not fair, because i don’t know, i’m not we don’t have time to give rob wayto answer. Tony macklin is concerned. I’m just letting listeners know that he has those concerns. All right, we can raise owners mike when i’m sorry to do that to you, but trying trying to be fair here, you know you’re the researcher, you’ve transgressed twice, i’m watch, i got my eye on you, you see what happens theat, khadem ix to see what the academics because you used to standing in front of a class and but you can’t have your own way here. I got tio latto cafeteria cop in this in this food fight, alright, i apologize for doing that, but it is the only way i could get your attention, you know? Okay, let’s, talk about the timing that these come out rob the the adults e-giving comes out in january e-giving yusa comes out in june, um, i would think i’m going to get this to the atlas of giving folks because i would think that puts you at a disadvantage, because if non-profits tryingto develop a fund-raising plan for a year, how can they do that? If they have to wait until june of that year of the calendar year to see your results? And i got a whole caution. You really have about two minutes left in the show. Okay, i do think this goes back to our theme of reliability, the trade off between reliability and accuracy and speed. Final government data don’t are not available in until later on in the year for the previous year or even for the current period and also the process. The irs numbers only become available in the spring of the current here a swell and though their preliminary irs numbers so we’re back to the question of speed versus accuracy and the trade off. But what is the weight? But i but what is the non-profit to do? If if if they don’t get your numbers until june, right. So we do think that the june numbers provide a context for giving, and in fact, they are reliable. As we said, we’ve validated and verified that they did the monthly data available in january. With all due respect, atlas of giving is that it’s not even possible to validate and verified that number. And i do have to a question why someone would have to actually buy a product in terms of data, to figure out whether it’s okay, we’re gonna stop there. Wait, stop there, rob, you have about a minute. Well, that was a lot. You have a minute, okay? I would just say that you know, fortune five hundred companies if they were waiting for a year and a half to have information, if matile was waiting for a year and a half to have information or a forecast of what they know what’s gonna happen this this november and december and sails, they have some kind of a forecast and they’re banking on it because they have stockholders that are relying on it. So we’re using that most of the fortune five hundred companies half sales forecast that air using the same kind of technology that we use and that’s that’s what we’re about velocity and trajectory of giving. Ok, weare goingto we’re going, we’re going, we’re going to leave it there cause i have to wrap up and close the show. I’m not sure that we resolved anything, but i do think that constructive conversation is always very helpful. Maybe it just comes down teo culture. These are two very different organizations. I see atlas of giving as sort of young and upstart ishan entrepreneurial on dh, smaller and smart. I see e-giving yusa as also smart. Been around for decades, though i’m not sure what it’s forty or fifty years, but just grant me that it’s been it’s been several decades. They have a major institute behind them on that’s funded by a major foundation, the little foundations based in a major industry pharmaceuticals. So there may just come down teo culture. Which culture do you prefer? I don’t, i don’t know. I want to thank my guests. Thank you very much. Greg carlson, dahna osili and rob mitchell thanks to all three of you next week. An interview from bb con the blackbaud conference last october. I got so many great interviews there that i’m still airing them from from october next week. It’s going to be increase and engage web traffic and also scott koegler returns. He’s, our monthly tech contributor the editor of non-profit technology news going talk about making the move to the cloud rally bound and tb rc they support non-profit radio mics show make this show possible. Joe magee and joseph rabinowitz. They’re good people. Check them out, please. Rally bound dot com and trc dot com our creative producers claire meyerhoff. Sam lever, which is our line producer, the show’s social media is by deborah askanase, a community organizer. Two point. Oh, a special shout out to deborah, thank you so much for all the advance work on this, a little more complex and interesting show. Thank you, deborah. The remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules also want to thank in the studio assistant producer janice taylor timekeeper. Our music is by scott stein. Be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. They didn’t think dick tooting. Good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternate network. Get in. Duitz cubine. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Hi, i’m ostomel role, and i’m sloan wainwright, where the host of the new thursday morning show the music power hour. Eleven a m. We’re gonna have fun. Shine the light on all aspects of music and its limitless healing possibilities. We’re gonna invite artists to share their songs and play live will be listening and talking about great music from yesterday to today, so you’re invited to share in our musical conversation. Your ears will be delighted with the sound of music and our voices. Join austin and sloan live thursdays at eleven a. M on talking alternative dot com. You’re listening to talking alternative network at www dot talking alternative dot com, now broadcasting twenty four hours a day. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monte taylor dot com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Talking dot com. Hyre
Two customer service reps recently reminded me of the value of straightforwardly asking for what you want. Asking politely, confidently and firmly, which is how fundraisers should solicit potential donors and prospects.
Billie (Mac) McBain at Best Buy in Aberdeen, NC asked me in all the right ways to fill out an online survey, rate the store a 10 and explain how he helped me buy the right charging cable for my wife’s MacBook Pro. I obliged, but only after sharing my impression with the store manager and Mac together. I also tweeted my admiration.
Had a very impressive&professional customer service exper at @bestbuy tonight in Aberdeen, NC w/Mac. Mgr Billy knows & I’m doing survey.
— Tony Martignetti (@TonyMartignetti) November 3, 2013
Just last week, Port Authority of NY & NJ customer service rep Mohammed Alam helped me save a buck when I bought an AirTrain ticket on my way home from JFK airport. As he explained the procedure, he wrote his name on a business card and handed it to me. OK, he didn’t explicitly ask for my help, but the implication was clear and confident. I happily dashed off an email to HQ. (Which sent back a lackluster form reply ignoring my enthusiasm. Boo!)
Both were terrific, fun, sure-footed solicitations that got me to give what was asked. Bravi, gentlemen, bravi!
Let’s bring this back to what I know something about. It’s painful when I see a weak fundraising solicitation.
— An email or letter where the ask is buried in the middle of the fifth paragraph
— One that never comes around to make an ask
— A solicitor who apologizes
— A solicitor who just isn’t comfortable asking for money, or other support
— I had a client where the executive director insisted his letter should “humbly ask”
Gutless solicitations demean your work and discourage support. They’re embarrassing for everyone and suggest you don’t believe in the cause.
You believe in the cause, right? Or else you wouldn’t be there.
Here are a few tips:
— Rehearse: many Nonprofit Radio guests have suggested this. You role play the solicitation meeting. Lots of pros use this.
— Prepare in advance: last minute preparation is inadequate; this is an important meeting!
— Not so many pages or screens: lots of notes suggest you don’t know your subject; that’s why you prepare.
— You host: when meetings are in your office, you control the flow and prevent interruptions.
For serious help with strong asks, check out Asking Matters. You can find your asking style (rainmaker; go-getter; mission controller; or kindred spirit), which will help you approach others, and show you how to support volunteer solicitors. (Follow president Brian Saber.)
When she was with Asking Matters, I had Andrea Kihlstedt on Nonprofit Radio. The link to listen to our convo is at the bottom of this post.
Ask for what you want with firmness and confidence. Ask from a position of strength.
Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
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Tony’s Guests:Aaron Schmid: Automated Accounting
Aaron Schmid is chief product officer at Bill Highway and he thinks a lot about accounting, so you don’t have to. He has ways to increase visibility; improve reporting; standardize if you have more than one office; automate; and integrate with your bank.
Jay Frost: From Online Engagement To Action
From Fund Raising Day 2012, Jay Frost, CEO of FundraisingInfo.com talks with me about moving people from engagement online to giving online. How to convert your social media friends into donors.
Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.
You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.
If you have big dreams but an average budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.
When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern
Here is a link to the audio podcast: 099: Automated Accounting & Online Engagement To Action.
Donors who give you only $5 a year–and have been doing it for many years–are outstanding prospects for a planned gift. You need to thank your small donors.
They may be testing you, to see whether you appreciate small donors, as they anticipate a larger gift. Or, they may be giving all they can (or all they feel they can) during life. Because they love your work so much, there may be a gift in their estate.
The savvy Planned Giving officer at New Jersey Institute of Technology knew this well. Monique Pryor wisely nurtured a relationship with Helen and John Hartmann, who had given NJIT around $25 a year for thirty years. Last week the college announced a $5 million gift from Mrs. Hartmann’s will, the largest in the school’s history.
You don’t thank small donors because they might some day be large donors. You thank them because it’s the right way to treat your donors.
Your small donors deserve your respect.