Precision Practices

How is Tableau Software different from Microsoft Power BI?

The world of data visualization and analytics is moving fast. However, to remain relevant in the data analytics field, a tool must have that unique mix of power, ease of use, brand recognition, and price. When it comes to Tableau Software https://www.tableau.com and Microsoft Power BI https://powerbi.microsoft.com/, both tools have this “secret sauce,” which is […]

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Here’s How to Give Your Advancement CRM Project Communication a Digital Refresh

Having a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) communication plan is important, especially during your implementation phase. The way in which you communicate with users before, during, and after your CRM implementation is crucial to the project’s long-term success. Open and consistent communication throughout your CRM implementation keeps your project on track (and in scope)—ultimately supporting your […]

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You Need to Conduct the Stakeholder Interview During a CRM Implementation and Here’s Why

  A Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) Implementation is a significant undertaking. We’ve discussed this at great length in previous posts. However, whenever undergoing a CRM implementation, many times, institutions neglect to interview stakeholders. But stakeholders play a significant role in determining the success of CRM implementation—their collaboration means crossing the boundaries to full adoption.   […]

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Here’s Why It’s Important to Focus on Change Management During a CRM Implementation

Change management within the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation context is about getting users to adopt new processes and practices and the technology that supports them.   Change management should be viewed as an integral part of any CRM project. Without change management, the preparedness is very surface level. Attending training on the new CRM […]

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Six Steps to Help You Understand the Scope of Your Advancement CRM Implementation

    There’s never enough time and resources when a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) Implementation is underway at your institution. But before you begin, it’s essential to pay attention to the scope of what needs to occur. You may be wondering, what does that entail?    Your project is not just about implementing the CRM […]

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Overcome the Challenge of Managing Advancement Operations During a CRM Implementation 

    Undergoing a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) Implementation is a significant undertaking. It can become increasingly challenging to juggle all that needs to occur in operations while not derailing your CRM implementation project.    Even during an 18-month CRM implementation project, your institution is trying to raise money and increase donor engagement. This is […]

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5 Tips to Offset the Daily Struggle of Advancement Services and Support Your Development Officers

    Those in advancement services often face many obstacles when it comes to being pulled in different directions. The first obstacle is time management. They may be faced with managing operational activities on top of a slew of daily tasks. Your advancement team may struggle to allot time for emergencies—the “at the moment need” […]

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Are You Ready to Accept Cryptocurrency Gifts? Here’s What You Need to Know

    The number of organizations accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been steadily growing in recent years. For example, UNICEF has been accepting cryptocurrency since 2019[1], whereas another well-known organization, Save the Children, began taking the digital currency in 2013[2].   For many organizations, the idea of accepting cryptocurrency may feel impossible—you may even […]

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DonorSearch and Affinaquest Partnership: Here’s What Your Organization Needs to Know

  Technology has leveled the fundraising playing field for organizations of all sizes—in many cases across the globe. Long ago, fundraising meant a letter in the mail with a return slip and the long wait that followed. Fundraising (not that long ago) required in-person visits and long lead times.   Today, it’s so much more. […]

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3 Documents You Should Maintain for Your Advancement CRM Platform

  Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) is the set of processes and supporting technologies used to initiate and improve relationships with constituents. CRM is not just a technology that is brought into your institution. It helps you manage relationships with constituents and involves all of the workflows, processes, and reporting that your institution uses to achieve […]

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3 Steps for Engaging and Connecting with Alumni

  Have you ever wondered how successful colleges and universities convince past students to give something back to their alma mater? Most often, it’s because they’ve established ongoing relationship and engagement strategies with their alumni.   An alumni engagement strategy requires careful consideration of things like nostalgia, trust, and emotion. More importantly, it means identifying […]

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Opportunities for Capitalizing on Post-Pandemic Fundraising Online

The global pandemic forced rapid changes across every industry sector, including advancement. As we continue to move toward the new normal, we’re seeing some of those changes—especially regarding the emphasis on online interaction—stick around.   Organizations should continue to take advantage of online fundraising platforms and methods to supplement their advancement initiatives. Donors are continuing […]

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When Outsourcing During CRM Implementation, Don’t Forget These Technical Components

  Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) project implementation often requires outsourcing to meet demands and ease the burden of your in-house staff. When it comes to the technical component of CRM implementation, outsourcing is even more practicable.   Outsourcing your CRM technical needs allows you to gain access to a wide variety of aptitudes and expertise […]

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3 Components to Consider Outsourcing for Your Advancement CRM Implementation

  Beginning a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation project is a large undertaking. You want it to succeed, but your organization may be pressed with its current resources.   CRM project implementation outsourcing is becoming increasingly more common, and it can help you avoid common mistakes. Most organizations choose to outsource to cut costs. But […]

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3 Dirty Secrets to Consider During an Advancement CRM Implementation

Implementing an Advancement Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) platform is an intense amount of work in a set time. The change aspect in itself is a huge undertaking—not to mention the task of changing how you do things and your daily job duties. There are learning curves with software technology, and often, the work falls onto […]

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Understanding Staffing Models for CRM Application Support

Most organizations have little to no control over the structure of their Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) application support staffing models. It’s essential to understand how they are different—plus the pros and cons of each—so you can effectively moderate issues as they arise.   The resources available to your project team may vary and are contingent […]

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3 Reasons Why Your School Should Participate in the CASE VSE Survey

Since 1957, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has collected data on fundraising at U.S. higher education institutions and a select group of private K–12 institutions. This annual survey—Voluntary Support of Education Survey (VSE)—offers institutions the opportunity to understand year-over-year trends compared to their peers.   It can be an enormous undertaking […]

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Here’s How to Ensure A Successful Advancement CRM Project Sponsorship

You’ve likely contemplated the implementation of an Advancement CRM for quite some time—it’ll save hours of administrative time, offer better future casting, and create a central hub for all your donor profiles. Having your Advancement project run smoothly often comes down to outstanding leadership. Standard project management always has a project sponsor—an executive-level person responsible […]

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Data Privacy and Security—Classifying Data for Advancement

  Data is a significant asset to your organization. It can provide a wealth of information about donors. A growing number of organizations are using data analytics to determine which supporters are most likely to make a significant gift or donate in response to their campaigns.   Data privacy is more important than ever before—especially […]

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Review of FERPA Regulations—Dos and Don’ts for Fundraising

  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects student education records’ privacy in the United States. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under the U.S. Department of Education’s applicable program. FERPA applies to any public or private elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school and any state or local education agency that receives […]

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Review of HIPAA Regulations—Dos and Don’ts for Fundraising

  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) aims to protect the confidentiality and security of information. The Privacy Rule component of the law establishes national standards to protect individuals’ records and other personal health information—setting limits and conditions on how organizations will use the information without a person’s authorization, including usage for fundraising.   […]

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Best Practices for Digital Communication with Donors

    These days, it’s nearly impossible to find an organization that hasn’t conducted some form of online fundraising. Does your team actively engage and support donors with digital communication? It can be difficult with limited in-person interactions.   Plus, the digital environment is a loud and busy space. The competition for donor attention is […]

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5 Questions to Assess Your Campaign Readiness for Advancement

  At times organizations need to raise substantial funds for a specific purpose apart from annual budgets. Typically, campaigns fund tangible things like an expansion, renovation, or restoration. Capital campaigns are always based on an ambitious vision, or more commonly referred to as Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAG).   When it comes to capital campaigns, […]

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5 Best Practices to Ease Your Advancement CRM Online Training

  Advancement is becoming increasingly more challenging. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. These unprecedented times are fueled by a global health crisis, world-wide financial turmoil, and political unrest. Markets are volatile with many negative societal implications. Many organizations continue to shutter their face-to-face activities and healthcare systems are strained […]

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Focus on These Critical Areas If You Are Implementing a New Advancement CRM

  Implementing Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) initiatives can be overwhelming—they require change, disrupt processes and workflows. They force your organization to think about how you manage your existing data and deciding how you’ll move forward with data collection.   Internally, business processes and technology may need to be changed. Externally, constituent experiences can be disrupted, […]

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How to Develop Your Business Intelligence Team in 5 Steps

  Implementing Business Intelligence (BI)—performance-based data, often acquired through software—enables organizations to access constant reporting, meet reporting requirements faster and easier, and foster a broader culture of accountability and data-driven decision-making.   BI data can help you from an operational perspective, fundraising and revenue-hitting goals, and organizational efficiency. Develop and analyze prospects and closely measure […]

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Data Security: A Primer for Advancement Leadership

Data security is critical to making sure that vital information from your organization is not easily accessible, but maintaining data security isn’t easy. In fact, there have been 540 data breaches this year.   That’s 163,551,023 people affected in 2020 so far by breaches in data security. Let’s dive into this critical topic as more […]

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Developing Advancement Operations Procedures

Everything You Need to Know About Developing Advancement Operations Procedures We’ve all seen what happens when colleagues think the other followed up with a major donor — and then no one does. Without proper procedures in place, it can be difficult to organize complex programs and maintain efficiency.   When it comes to streamlining processes […]

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Current State of Advancement: Is Your Acknowledgment Process COVID-19 Proof?

  Are you struggling with how to fundraise in the current environment?  Many institutions are. The uncertainty created by the pandemic, along with a slowdown in our economy and growing civil unrest, can make it difficult for your voice to be heard.  So in these times and beyond, transparency and sensitivity are critical in your […]

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How to Improve Your Advancement and IT Partnership

I often find myself at the intersection of Advancement Operations and IT Support. I consider both groups my colleagues. From each area I hear the frustrations and challenges about working together. What makes it so difficult for Advancement Operations and IT Support to work together and how can you improve these interactions? Acknowledge and understand […]

Know the Difference – Implementing a CRM Solution for Advancement

For all of my colleagues in Advancement Services or for anyone in charge of Advancement Information Systems; I have a Precision Practices tip for you. I’m going to talk about the difference between Implementing a CRM Solution for Advancement versus Implementing CRM Software.   If we look at implementing new CRM software as the entirety […]

How to Select the Right Project Manager to migrate your Fundraising Database to a New CRM system

  Now that you have finally decided to migrate all the fundraising data you have in various places to a sleek new CRM database there remains only one problem. How are you going to achieve a donor database that provides clean data, solid reports and a staff that buys into the process? Who are you […]

Calling all Frontline Fundraisers – What’s in it for You?

Institutions are now required by their Boards to provide more transparency and accountability for Fundraising Campaigns. This has prompted an array of metrics that not only evaluate progress towards fundraising goals but also evaluates daily productivity. Here are some metrics that might look familiar… Number of Face to Face Visits Number of Phone Calls Number of […]

This is not warm and fuzzy

I worked with one of my clients to plan the kick off meeting for their CRM Implementation project. I started with my workshop Tools and Techniques – Planning a Successful Project Kick Off Meeting and the team was brainstorming on how to meet each objective of the meeting.. Inspire – establish a context that is […]

Let’s evaluate your CRM

Author: Dauwn Parker, Principal Consultant at Precision Partners Maximizing the benefits of Constituent Relationship Management systems has become critical for organizations that are looking to solidify the long-term viability of their fundraising, advocacy, and advancement programs. This has created an urgency for organizations to find answers to the following question… Why do so many Constituent […]