26th Annual International Conference

Data Analytics Symposium

Attendees went beyond prospect identification to drive strategy and results.

Attendees discovered ideas for new projects and approaches to data analytics that helped inform management decision making and set you apart at your organization. Expert faculty presented case studies of projects beyond prospect identification and provided insight into future trends. Attendees also gained valuable tips for improving implementation of project results and communicating with fundraising managers. In the fundamental track, attendees learned how to start a successful analytics effort, while the intermediate/advanced track shared the latest in ideas, models, visualization and analysis methods to help invigorate fundraising efforts.

schwarz-headshot2.jpgKeynote Presentation: "Head Games: Concussions, Calculus and Cover-Up"
Alan Schwarz, Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter and National Correspondent, New York Times

Alan Schwarz, who once planned on being a high school math teacher, describes how his love for mathematics laid the groundwork for his New York Times series on football concussions that has been roundly credited with changing American sports.

Alan Schwarz is a national correspondent for the New York Times whose 2007-2011 series of more than 100 articles on the seriousness of sports concussions was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Prior to joining the Times, Mr. Schwarz covered baseball from 1991 to 2006 for a variety of publications. A 1990 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in mathematics, he lives in New York.

Fundamental Track
Various Variables
The Joy of Predictive Modeling
Data Visualization
Case Study Blitz

Intermediate/Advanced Track
No Such Thing as Too Much Information
Using Financial Analysis Techniques
Preparing Your Data For Modeling
Implementing Analytics as Business Intelligence
Case Study Blitz

Data Analytics Symposium Schedule
Day One – Wednesday, August 7

(Breakfast on your own)

8:30 am – 9:45 am
Keynote Presentation: "Head Games: Concussions, Calculus and Cover-Up"
Alan Schwarz, Putlitzer Prize-nominated reporter, New York Times

Alan Schwarz, who once planned on being a high school math teacher, describes how his love for mathematics laid the groundwork for his New York Times series on football concussions that has been roundly credited with changing American sports.

9:45 am - 10:15 am
ROI: It's More than Just a Formula
New Research and New Ways to Look at Fundraising Effectiveness
Tony Glowacki, CEO & President, WealthEngine 

10:15 am - 10:45 am
Break and Poster Sessions

10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Fundamental Track: "Various Variables"
Audrey Geoffroy, Associate Director of Data Analysis, University of Florida Foundation

The first step in any analysis program is to get to know your data and figure out how to transform a collection of facts stored in your database into a useful tool for finding patterns, evaluating performance, and predicting future giving. In this session, Audrey Geoffroy will briefly review the types of data typically found in a fundraising database and cover ideas for transforming data into usable variables for statistical analysis. Numerous examples of various variables used in models at the University of Florida will be provided.

Intermediate/Advanced Track: "No Such Thing as Too Much Information"
Chuck McClenon, Fundraising Scientist, University of Texas at Austin

Information is the foundation of a successful analytics program, but you don’t want to find yourself buried underneath the data. Information needs to be organized, accessible and in a shape appropriate to search and analysis, and up to date. It needs to be in the warehouse, catalogued by aisle and shelf, ready to grab. Building and filling the repository takes planning, design, hardware and software, dedicated staff with specific knowledge and skill sets. It takes investment, evolution and iteration. The payoff is that all the information gathered for one project becomes standard and reusable for many purposes. Conversely, if it’s reusable, it’s worth more effort to acquire and transform into the right shape.

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Lunch on your own

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Fundamental Track: "The Joy of Predictive Modeling"
Alex Oftelie, Director, Philantrhopic Advancement, Hazelden Foundation

 In the first session you covered the food (data) prep, now join acclaimed “data chef” Alexander Oftelie as he covers the fundamentals, and joys, of predictive modeling.  Cooking is wonderful metaphor because regardless of the dish (major giving, planned giving, acquisition) or even style of food (healthcare, higher ed, community/arts) the core concepts of cooking (modeling) remain the same.   This session will cover the key concepts that will prep you to cook your own dishes using binary logistic regression, as well as throwing in some special advanced concepts for a unique dishes sure to impress (satisfy) hungry colleagues.

Intermediate/Advanced Track: "Preparing Your Data For Modeling"
Mike Laracy, Founder and CEO, Rapid Insight

In this presentation, we’ll walk through the process of preparing data for predictive modeling. Starting with a clean modeling dataset, we’ll work backwards to look at how the modeling file was put together utilizing raw data from multiple tables and files. Using everything from raw gift transactions to event attendance and demographic information, we’ll show how the data was aggregated, how new variables were created, and how the data was cleansed. The concepts presented will be general enough to apply to multiple donor modeling scenarios. Attendees will be provided with copies of the sample modeling file, as well as the raw files that were used to create it.

2:45pm - 3:15pm
Break and Poster Sessions

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Fundamental Track: Implementation: "How Do I Actually Make This Happen?"
Kate Chamberlin, Director, Development Analytics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

So now you have some data and you’ve managed to build your first model. But you want to be sure that your institution receives the benefit of this great work. It is important to consider what systems and resources will be needed to enable your analysis to be implemented. Having built a program from one person to a team of four, Kate Chamberlin will outline the collaborative approach she takes to developing, presenting, implementing, streamlining, and automating analytics projects throughout the development enterprise at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Intermediate/Advanced Track: "Using Financial Analysis Techniques"
Tommy Tavenner, Data Strategy Lead, National Wildlife Federation

Donors often think of their gifts as investments in a better future, but what if we flipped the equation? By looking at our donors as a portfolio of securities we can think about terms like lifetime value and return on investment differently. In this session we will look to the world of financial engineering and econometrics for new ways to analyze our fundraising efforts and forecast future returns. You will learn the techniques associated with methods like portfolio optimization and risk management and how they apply to the non-profit.

Day Two – Thursday, August 8

9:00 am – 10:00 am
APRA Keynote Presentation: "Finding Your People Power"
Jon Duschinsky, Philanthropy and Change Expert, bethechange

The term “movement” has successfully found its place in our day to day lexicon as we watch people around the globe find one another, congregate and mobilize with unprecedented ease. There‘s no debating it: people today have more power to drive change in the world than ever before in history. We’ve seen what this new-found power means in the political sphere and the social sphere, but what does this mean for your business? Every company and organization has the ability to rally a passionate community around their brand. However, not many know how to activate this community. Find out what it takes to access the power of people to advance your non-profit business and build a movement around your brand.

10:00 am - 11:45 am

10:30 am – 11:45 am
Fundamental Track: "Data Visualization"
James Eichinger, Assistant Director, Prospect Analysis, University of Rochester

Is “Data Visualization” becoming a buzzword? Is it a means or an end? How should it fit in to your shop and your analytics? This session will examine the different ways that data visualization is utilized at the University of Rochester. We will discuss cases where different levels of sophistication were required in order to meet the needs of the audience and/or users. Exploratory Data Analysis, qualitative reporting, and self-service business intelligence will be addressed.

Intermediate/Advanced Track: "Implementing Analytics as Business Intelligence: A Model for Nonprofits"
Sally Boucher, Director of Research, WealthEngine
Danalisa Radu, Global Director, Data Systems and Reporting, International SOS

As analytics and predictive modeling become more prevalent in nonprofit organizations, awareness is growing that the skills and methods used by research and business analysts to benefit fundraising and major gifts are the same skills and methods needed to drive management decisions. This session is based on original research and will explore how analytics is growing and being applied in the nonprofit sector. Special emphasis will be given on how web analytics can drive marketing and programming decisions in your organization. This presentation should appeal to organizations of all types with examples drawn from organizations in various stages of data maturity.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Lunch and APRA Awards

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
Fundamental Track: Case Study Blitz: Case Studies of Good Starting Projects
In 20-minute sessions, three presenters show specific projects that illustrate good use of analytics from a beginner's perspective.

Building A Model With No Budget
Jason Boley, Assistant Vice President, Development Operations, Riley Children's Foundation
Model Score Application
Robert Musial, Director of Development, Analytics, and Data, UC San Diego
Regions of Opportunity: How to Identify Places to Visit
Klara Mueggenburg, Prospect Analytics Consultant, Northwestern University

Intermediate/Advanced Track: Case Study Blitz: Case Studies of Advanced Analytics Projects
In 20-minute sessions, three presenters show specific projects that illustrate the latest cutting edge analytics projects and methods.

Pull Shapes- Data Visualization for Everyone
Gregory Duke, Director, Advancement Services, Niagara University
BI Competency Center
Tommy Tavenner, Data Strategy Lead, National Wildlife Federation
Measuring Model Success
Emma Hinke, Associate Director of Research Analytics, Johns Hopkins University

2:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Break and Poster Sessions

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Fundamental Track: Case Study Blitz: Case Studies of Good Starting Projects
In 20-minute sessions, two presenters show specific projects that illustrate good use of analytics from a beginner's perspective.

Campaign Pyramids: Brick by Brick
Chelsea Drake, Research Analyst, Prospect Development and Information Strategies, The College of William and Mary
Planned Giving
Ivana Krizanic, Senior Data Analyst, Development Analytics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Intermediate/Advanced Track: Case Study Blitz: Case Studies of Advanced Analytics Projects
In 20-minute sessions, two presenters show specific projects that illustrate the latest cutting edge analytics projects and methods.

Hierarchal Linear Modeling
Rachel Link, Founder, RLink Analytics
Exploration of Text Mining
Marianne Pelletier, Senior Consultant, Consulting Services, Cornell University

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm
Closing Faculty Panel
Join the faculty of the Symposium for a free-form discussion of fundraising analytics.



About the Faculty

Jason Boley is the Assistant Vice President, Development Operations for the Riley’s Children’s Foundation. His management responsibilities include prospect research, information technology, gift processing, and donor relations. Jason has more than sixteen years of experience in fundraising and computer systems support, primarily for libraries and higher education development offices. Jason earned a Masters of Library Science in 2008 from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts from Hanover College in 1996, majoring in History and Theological Studies. He participates in numerous professional organizations and has spoken frequently at local and national conferences, and is currently the President of APRA-Indiana.

Sally Boucher, CFRE is Director of Research for WealthEngine, located in Bethesda, Maryland. Sally manages WealthEngine Institute, a knowledge center that provides fundraising practitioners research, education, networking and analysis of fundraising strategy. She is the primary author of several publications, including Best Practices for Prospect Research in Higher Education Fundraising, Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytic Approach to Data-Driven Success and Fundraising’s Social Revolution: How Social Media is Changing Nonprofit Culture and Practice. She has served as president of the Shenandoah Chapter of APF and has co-chaired the Virginia Fundraising Institute. Sally has also provided fundraising and nonprofit management consulting services to non-profit organizations including disaster relief, faith-based and arts organizations. She often shares her knowledge via webinars and at various speaking engagements and conferences with AFP, CASE, APRA, and AHP.

Kate Chamberlin
leads the analytics group at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Office of Development. Kate and her group use techniques such as predictive modeling, forecasting, and lifetime value calculation to segment the donor population and help fundraisers prioritize their efforts. The analytics team also performs a variety of other analyses to inform strategic management decisions. She has previously worked at Columbia University, where she was a research analyst and writer for the University's corporate and foundation relations office. She has also served as an events manager for Columbia's principal gifts group, and as a grantwriter at Arts Horizons, a small arts education agency. Kate holds a bachelor's degree in theater directing and design from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Columbia Business School, focused on economics and strategy.

Chelsea Drake is working as a Research Analyst for the College of William & Mary’s Prospect Development & Information Strategies in University Development. Prior to joining William & Mary she was employed with the Social Science Research Center where her job consisted of working on research grants at the local, state, and federal levels.  Through her work at the Social Science Research Center she was able to develop and enhance her research and data skills. Working with William & Mary allows her to apply these same research and data skills to the intricacies of fundraising.

Gregory Duke, Ph.D., has been Senior Research Associate at Niagara University since 2002. Since 2008, he has also been an Adjunct Professor teaching a graduate-level course at Niagara in fundraising. The projects he is currently working on at Niagara include annual fund analytics and campaign reviews. He previously worked in Advancement Services positions at Marymount College in California and at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He holds a doctoral degree in history from Jesus College, Oxford. He is a member of the APRA-UNY Board of Directors.  In 2013, Dr. Duke began studying at Niagara University's MBA program, specializing in strategic and quantitative analysis.

Audrey Geoffroy is associate director of data analysis at the University of Florida Foundation, specializing in constituent analysis, segmenting, and modeling for all campus fundraising units, including those for major gifts and the annual fund. She has been at the University of Florida since 2001, having spent the first 5 years as a prospect researcher before switching to full-time data analysis. Before joining Florida’s research team, Audrey spent nine years teaching in an inner-city school in South Carolina. She currently serves as technology director and webmaster for APRA's Florida chapter and spends much of her free time listening to technology and science podcasts, reading, or volunteering at the Alachua County Humane Society with her children.

Emma Hinke is a Senior Research Analyst at Johns Hopkins, where she focuses on data analysis and predictive modeling for academic and medical development offices. Emma joined the research team in 2008. She also serves as the programming coordinator for APRA’s Maryland chapter. Emma received her BS in applied mathematics from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she was a DAR student employee.

Mike Laracy is president and founder of Rapid Insight Inc.  Prior to Rapid Insight, Mike worked as an analytic consultant for clients across United States, South America and Europe to make full use of their data for analytic decision making.

Rachel Link  is a Data Research Analyst at Buffalo State College. Her roles at the college include prospect research and management, data analysis and data mining. She has created multiple analytical projects for the college, focusing on areas such as first-time donor analysis, appeal analytics, donor propensity and planned giving models. Link previously worked for the Illinois State General Assembly’s Legislative Research Unit as a legal researcher, specializing in criminal law. She holds a master's degree in criminal justice administration from Niagara University and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She serves on the APRA-UNY Board of Directors.

Chuck McClenon arrived at the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, earned a PhD in linguistics, dabbling in the nascent technology of pattern recognition. After a year teaching in English in China, he returned to UT to work in administrative information management, searching for patterns and meaning in data ranging from student course registrations to library book titles to the bit-paths of room keys. He joined the advancement operation as an IT manager in 1996 at the start of UT’s first comprehensive capital campaign. After a brief tour of duty managing the gift processing and donor records operation, he retired to a cave and immersed himself in phonathon results and gift officer contact reports. Now he spends his days acquiring, constructing, managing and analyzing data representing the full spectrum of advancement activity. Since 2006, he has held the official title of Fundraising Scientist.

Klara Mueggenburg joined the Northwestern University development office as the Prospect Analytics Consultant in March of 2011. She uses descriptive and predictive analytics techniques to serve the various departments within the development office including Annual Giving, Major Gifts and Alumni Relations. Prior to her current position, she worked in research administration at Northwestern. She holds a Ph.D. in physics and a Master of Science in Education in higher education administration and policy.

Alex Oftelie is the Director of Philanthropic Advancement at the Hazelden Foundation. Alex specializes in predictive modeling, analytics training, campaign forecasting, prospect management strategy, and analytics implementation.
Prior to joining Hazelden, Alex worked as an analytics consultant at Bentz Whaley Flessner, and as an economist for the State of Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.

Marianne M. Pelletier, CFRE, is the current Director of Advancement Research and Data Support at Cornell University, assisting with the $4.75 billion campaign. She is also a consulting associate for the Helen Brown Group, offering donor modeling, data mining, database management, and strategic management consulting to a wide variety of non-profits. She is published professionally through APRA and NEDRA, and has presented to a broad range of audiences in relation to prospect research, prospecting, data mining/donor modeling, and valuing companies.Marianne holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rockford College and a Masters of Business Administration from New Hampshire College. She has been an active member of APRA since 2007.

Danalisa Radu is Global Director of Data Systems and Reporting at International SOS, the world’s leading medical, risk and travel security services company, representing over 80% of Fortune 500 corporations, as well as Higher Education, and Government. She has over 15 years’ experience in data science within the public and private sector. Her technical background includes master data management, reporting, data mining, statistical analysis, scoring and predictive modeling. She has helped organizations more effectively allocate resources to reduce costs and increase revenue by deploying effective business analytic strategies.
While at the University of Pennsylvania, Danalisa worked at the Wharton School, PENN Medicine and Central Advancement. Most recently, she was Director of Business Analytics, Data and Training Services at Michigan State University. Danalisa has worked closely with all areas of advancement including fundraising, prospect management, IT services, operations, alumni engagement, marketing and communications, volunteer and board development and campaign planning. Her roles support institutional goals by implementing agile data solutions that inform strategy, process improvement and promote best practices. Danalisa also has her own consultanting company based in Philadelphia, specializing in business intelligence and data analytics and is a frequent speaker on these subjects.

Tommy Tavenner is Data Strategy Lead at the National Wildlife Federation where he develops business intelligence solutions for both fundraising and program applications. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, Tommy served as Development Director at the Ciesla Foundation, where he marketed and raised funds to support documentary films. He received his masters in Arts Management and bachelors in Fine Arts from George Mason University.


About the Data Analytics Symposium:

The Analytics Symposium is ideally suited for professionals involved in managing or implementing analytics or business intelligence working in development or serving the needs of development. The symposium is designed to cover a range of analytics skill levels.  For new analysts, it walks through the key elements of beginning an analytics effort at an institution, using both internal and external resources.  For more advanced analysts, speakers present a variety of projects underway, and address questions that come up as the analytics effort becomes more integrated at an institution, as well as new areas of inquiry in this growing field.

Speakers do not attempt to teach significant amounts of statistics or software implementation, but tend to focus on process, projects, and application.

Techniques and theory are presented with an eye toward real case studies, and presented by practitioners in the field.

Fundamental Track: From understanding the question to how to get started to bringing new information and ideas to management, this track will show a new entrant in the discipline how to start a successful analytics effort.

Intermediate/Advanced Track: Advanced practitioners of fundraising analytics will present on various topics to bring fresh ideas to the analytics shop. The field of donor and campaign analytics is evolving rapidly, and many new uses of the skill set are being employed by top fund-raising shops. This track is designed to share the latest in ideas, models, visualization, and analysis methods as applied in development.

Attend the Data Analytics Symposium to build expertise in:

  • Prospect identification ― Predictive modeling for prospect identification is quickly becoming a best practice in development offices. Learn how to deploy effective analytics efforts, both as an internal effort and with the help of outside analytics vendors.
  • Tools for data-driven decision-making ― Analytics methods are rapidly expanding beyond prospect identification to program evaluation, metrics creation and implementation, forecasting, and other tools that enable educated decision-making. Hear case studies of institutions’ real-world projects and understand how the field is evolving.
  • Implementation ― Predictive models and other analytics projects have the potential to reach into every corner of the development office. Learn to integrate project results with development IT and prospect management, and how to use dashboards and visualization to disseminate results and support evidence-based management.
  • Management ― One key challenge in creating a successful analytics program is effective management of projects and analysts as well as communication with fundraising leaders. Learn best practices for addressing questions that arise in a growing analytics operation such as defining projects, explaining results, prioritizing needs and implementing systems based on project outcomes.

Attendees build connections with analysts with the same professional challenges and career development objectives.

Who Should Attend

  • Analysts who manage or implement statistics and predictive modeling for prospect identification, program evaluation, program metrics, forecasting, and other data-focused projects that inform management decision-making in development.
  • Development IT professionals who collaborate with analysts to prepare data and implement the results of models and other analyses on an automated basis in the development database.
  • Business Intelligence professionals who collaborate with analysts and/or perform above analyst function to provide strategic reporting to serve the business needs of a development office.
  • Fundraising managers who use the results of analysis and modeling to make strategic decisions, set priorities and champion results.

Why You Need to Be at the Data Analytics Symposium

  • Prospect Identification - Predictive modeling for prospect identification is becoming a best practice in development offices around the country.  The symposium will introduce this practice to new analysts and discuss how to begin an analytics effort, both as an internal effort, and with the help of outside analytics vendors.
  • Beyond Prospect Identification - Analytics methods are rapidly expanding beyond prospect identification to program evaluation, metrics creation and implementation, forecasting, and other projects that inform management decision making.  The symposium will provide case studies of projects beyond prospect identification being implemented at various institutions, and give participants an understanding of how the field is growing and changing.
  • Implementation - Like development operations and IT, predictive models and other analytics projects have the potential to reach into every corner of the development office.  The symposium will include discussions of the implementation of project results in collaboration with development IT and prospect management.  Visualization and dashboarding will also be addressed as key tools in disseminating results of projects and supporting evidence-based management.
  • Communication - One key challenge in creating a successful analytics program is management, both of projects and analysts, and of communication with fundraising managers.  The symposium will address management questions that arise in a growing analytics operation, including the fundamental question of working with managers in development to define projects, explain results, prioritize needs, and implement working systems based on project outcomes. Continual communication is key in creating an atmosphere in which the right information is provided at the right time to answer the right questions.
  • Network development – The symposium will connect participants with colleagues from other institutions - in many cases, analysts work alone in their development departments.  This symposium is the only opportunity to network with other analysts doing the same work in the same field.  The symposium fosters community and gives participants colleagues to connect with after the event.