Doing What You Can with What You Have: Data Made Revolutionary

November 19, 2013

Stephanie Reyes PhotoJCA’s President and CEO Steve Jacobson recently presented a session on predictive modeling at the 2013 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) conference in Portland, Oregon.  Steve delivered findings from a predictive analytics project we did with a client.  He addressed an engaged audience of about 200 arts marketing professionals from all over North America.  This session was an illustration of the exciting work being done in JCA’s new Business Intelligence Group.  Its goal is to leverage JCA’s deep expertise in nonprofits and BI to make analytics approachable, affordable, and, most importantly, results-oriented.

In the client case study Steve presented, JCA partnered with a museum to help them determine which members were (and weren’t) likely to renew.  The business goal was to “increase renewals.”  We assessed decades  of data.  We could see when members visited and what exhibits they saw.  We looked at where members live, how old their kids were, and where they purchased their memberships.  None of this information is really revolutionary…and that’s the point.  We used predictive modeling to make it revolutionary.

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Strategic Themes for BBNC, Part III

January 31, 2013

Jon Tayor_photoSo far, we’ve learned that an effective BBNC strategy consists of several key components. If you’ve already read part I and part II of this discussion, you know that it is critical to have participation from all affected departments, establish ownership and scope, and account for a possible transformation in the way your organization approaches the web. This final post completes the trilogy with a look at technology.

Part III: Technology

Functional Analysis vs. Integration
Beware the siren song of integration! While data integrity is a necessary component of any successful online communication system, it’s not the only factor to consider. Read the rest of this entry »

The New HIPAA Rules and What They Mean to Fundraisers

January 25, 2013

Steve BeshukThe Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules (HIPPA). The entire document is 563 pages (; this article focuses on the changes that affect fundraising, broken down into three main points: 1) the additional information fundraisers may access, 2) stronger opt-out requirements, and 3) the penalties for violating of the new rules.

1.  Changes to Information Access

The current rule allows a fundraiser access to demographic information relating to the patient, the dates the health care was provided, and health insurance status. The new rule expands what fundraisers can access. Now, fundraisers have access to: Read the rest of this entry »

Strategic Themes for BBNC, Part II

January 16, 2013

Jon Tayor_photoIn my previous post , I discussed some people-related themes to consider when implementing BBNC. To encourage effective use of BBNC, it’s critical for all affected departments to participate and be invested in the planning and execution of the deployment. Today’s entry focuses on the next dimension of business operations, process.

Part II: Process

Change Management
The implementation of BBNC can transform the way you approach the web and will certainly affect the tasks performed to accomplish your online goals.  While this change can be scary, don’t be afraid of it; embrace it! Regardless of any temporary confusion and frustration, remember that the end result will be a system that enables effective, efficient online operations. “But this is the way we’ve always done it” is simply unacceptable; after all, if the way you’ve always done it was sufficient, you wouldn’t need BBNC. Read the rest of this entry »

Strategic Themes for BBNC, Part I

December 18, 2012

Jon Tayor_photoBlackbaud’s online marketing and fundraising suite, Blackbaud NetCommunity (BBNC), not only offers a website content management system (CMS) and outbound email capabilities, but also provides bi-directional transactional integration with The Raiser’s Edge (RE). This all sounds great, right? You might be thinking, “No more manual entry of online transactions or messy import/export routines? I can track my constituents’ online event registrations, donations, and email responses on their record in RE? Where do I sign?”

But as Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend!” If it’s true that BBNC can significantly improve your online efforts, why do some organizations have buyer’s remorse after implementing BBNC? More often than not, the problem isn’t the software, but the strategy (or lack thereof) around it.

In this series, I’ll address several strategic themes to consider when planning for BBNC. Read the rest of this entry »

Seen and Heard at BBCON 2012

October 25, 2012

I recently attended the annual Blackbaud conference in DC for the first time. I have to admit that thinking of the conference as “BBCON” somehow always translates to “Comic-con” in my mind. Despite feeling as though I needed to sport my favorite comic book hero costume the entire time I was there, I really enjoyed the BBCON experience. As a Product Manager at JCA, I welcomed the opportunity to talk to such a large group of Raiser’s Edge users about JCA Answers, our cutting edge BI tool. As a former Raiser’s Edge database manager, I also found an odd comfort in a place where conversations about queries and debating the
principles of storing data as an attribute versus a relationship were quite acceptable.

On my drive home from DC to Philadelphia I thought about all the folks I met during the conference. I realized that in the dozens of conversations I had Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing Client Wisdom: Top Ten Survival Tactics for Year-End Processing

September 28, 2012

Ellen RohwerIt’s that time of year again.  Donors respond with awe-inspiring transactional volume to our organizations’ missions before calendar year-end.  Activity accelerates to breakneck volumes, prompting staff to suggest gift processing becomes a new X-Games event.  All this, while maintaining our usual high standards of customer service and accuracy.

We surveyed advancement services leadership at some of the nation’s largest organizations – here is their wisdom about how to handle the demands this time of year Read the rest of this entry »

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