Marianne is Senior Consultant at Cornell University, and formerly worked at Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Universities. She is a leader in advancement services, donor modelling and data mining and understanding donor engagement, speaking regularly at conferences and seminars on these subjects. She tweets at @mpellet771.
A few points from the interview:
The use of insight can have powerful effects, increasing income and allowing not-for-profits to build stronger supporter relationships. In the UK, prospect research has traditionally involved less quantitative or statistical methods. However, ‘prospect research’ is different in the US, where it is largely data-driven.
Wealth screening: we all know it and use it. And yet, even vendors admit that their information only covers around half of the millionaires in the population (and that total is probably an underestimate). So, here will be a significant portion of the HNWI population whom charities are not aware of, sitting on their databases. If not-for-profits modelled and analysed the level of wealth in more detail, they would almost certainly raise more form these groups.
Social media is coming to the fore in gaining valuable, ‘soft’ information on supporter preferences and interests. Marianne’s team includes a full-time person scraping information from the web (and hand-connecting this to relevant supporter records), including network information, which is mapped in NodeXL. Text analytics is also in vogue.
The web has fundamentally changed customer care, and Marianne describes some of the key ways in which this has happened. First, Amazon “spoiled it for us” by raising the bar for the level of customer service users now regularly expect. Next day delivery, automated, ‘you might like’ suggestions, and hugely responsive customer service are now all par for the course, whereas before they were considered exceptional. Charities must keep up with these developments or be left behind.
There is lots more in the interview — I hope you enjoy it.