Arrows pointing backwards and forwards

Wealth screening: what’s compliant and what’s correct?

The ICO recently wrote to a number of universities to issue guidance on wealth screening, a practice we expressed some reservations about here on the Holly Palmer Consulting blog last year following a critical front page in the Daily Mail (you can read the MailOnline’s version of the newspaper piece here). The ICO’s letter was the conclusion to an investigation it undertook in response to that front page, and they’ve decided not to take any further action – a fact you can’t find on their website, although the letter was disclosed via a Freedom of Information request. You can find it here, together with a list of universities to whom the ICO wrote.

On the surface that would appear to be the end of the matter, and indeed the IDPE reported the story as such: “ICO to take no further action on wealth screening and data matching practices in universities”. But we think it would be a mistake to believe that the ICO has said there’s nothing to see here, as the conclusion to their guidance makes clear:

The ICO expects that any processing for the purposes set out above takes our guidance and advice into account. If we receive complaints in the future, any subsequent enquiries we make may lead to formal enforcement action.

So what does the guidance say, and what are its implications for our sector?

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Alumni research study magic

Use magic to plan your next alumni or supporter research project

If you’ve been following along from December’s blog, you’ll know that last month’s challenge was to make a list of things you’d like to know from (or about) your alumni and supporters. In this blog, I’ll share my magic formula with you and show you how to use it to plan a successful research project.

Two of the biggest enemies of research are unreasonable expectations and scope creep. The magic formula, while simple, forces you to consider the data you need and any limitations to this data at the project outset. It also helps you keep an open mind, so you don’t constrain yourself to one methodology too soon in the planning phase.

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A response to “Are we missing too many alumni with web surveys? (Part 2)”

I was interested to read today a guest blog on the Cool Data site by Peter B. Wylie and John Sammis. It is called “Are we missing too many alumni with web surveys?” and is part 2 in a series (part 1 was published in 2012).

In summary, they looked at a North American university’s recent survey data (and presumably the institution’s full constituent data) and compared respondents, non-respondents and email-uncontactable alumni with regard to age, event attendance and giving. They were looking to identify and demonstrate demographic or behavioural differences in the survey respondents as compared with those who were unable to be invited to complete the survey (no email address) or those who chose not to.

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Relationship fundraising for Higher Education today

A relative latecomer to this industry staple, over the last couple of weeks I ‘took Ken Burnett to bed every night’ (as my partner teased) and read his oft-quoted book. Many of you will know it well – it’s called Relationship Fundraising: A donor-based approach to the business of raising money.

Given the sound advice contained within, the amount of time passed since this book was published (1992!) and its popularity in the industry, you might assume that we’re all ‘relationship fundraising’ by now. I’ve certainly heard many a quote from this book (or from the man himself) at team meetings, conferences and industry events.

Not so! Within the well-thumbed pages of my copy of Relationship Fundraising, Ken had described many of my 2017 frustrations and concerns so accurately, I can only imagine how bittersweet it must be for him that this book is finding a new audience 25 years later. The truth is (references to fax machines and ‘working women’ aside) Ken’s book is still as relevant and revolutionary as ever.

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Segmentation and journey planning for university advancement – a model (part 2)

 

Having outlined the concept of the model in my previous post, I’d like to offer my thoughts on how you could make this work for your team – big or small.

I’ll cover determining the journeys and involving your team in this process. I’ll also look at maintaining the model,what you can put in place to make this easier and also what to do with ‘super contributor alumni’ who support multiple causes in various ways.

Finally, I’ll add an important warning.

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Segmentation and journey planning for university advancement – a model (part 1)

 

I’d like to propose for discussion a simple model for segmentation that would allow a certain degree of proactive journey planning. This has been tough to crack, and something that still needs refining – but putting this concept together has allowed me to start having conversations with colleagues about how the brave new world might look and feel. Until now, we’ve only been speaking about how ‘segmentation and journey planning’ is the solution to a lot of our communications, workload planning and supporter experience problems.

I believe that it is a solution, and I also think it can be more. I think it’s the beginning of a shift in mindset and culture, treating alumni as individuals capable of both growing and losing interest, and ultimately in need of communications that mean something to them.

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How to win at surveying your alumni

 

There are probably two things we can safely conclude from the pervasiveness of customer satisfaction surveys: one, they must be very useful to the organisations that commission them, and two: it’s getting harder to make a survey stand out.

At some point nearly every Higher Education institution will wind up wondering how to plan an alumni survey (or how to improve their results), so I thought I would collate a few tips from personal experience. For my sins, I have now been involved in two full scale quantitative alumni survey projects, co-ordinated a qualitative donor satisfaction survey and have designed and delivered countless satisfaction and engagement surveys to similar audiences. And this is what I’ve learned…

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