Dream On

New Tech/Strategy Track

Discover the next generation of technology solutions and better understand the potential impact for implementation and strategy at your organization.Check out the sessions in the New Tech and Strategy track.

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Day 1, Tuesday, Feb. 27


10:15-11:05 AM
The Man Who Mistook Alexa for an Oracle

A man says, "Alexa, tell me a dog fact." A woman leaving home says, "Alexa, tell ADT to arm the system." Soon these folks will believe that Alexa can do anything. That's the promise of AI and machine learning. Hype or no hype, AI is going to change the world we live in. What about fundraising? Some of that hype is well deserved. Some of it, not so much. Gain a framework for evaluating and implementing AI when it makes sense and review the various areas of analytics: regression, machine learning, and AI. You'll leave with a matrix that shows when "low tech" approaches like regression models are nearly as strong as advanced tools, and when advanced technologies are worth the time, effort and expense. Your turn, "Alexa, add this session to my schedule."

Ashutosh Nandeshwar, Assistant Vice President, Relationship Management and Data Sciences, University of Southern California; and Nick Zeckets, CEO, QuadWrangle, Inc.

11:25 AM-12:15 PM
The AI-Enabled Nonprofit: Using Artificial Intelligence as a Major Gifts Fundraiser

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the new buzz-phrases in the nonprofit data world. Explore practical ways for major gift officers to use AI and machine learning. Examine how AI and ML can make abundant amounts of data actionable for front-line fundraisers who are tasked with managing donors and closing transformational gifts as well as for all of those who support them.

Adam Martel, CEO, Gravyty

1:45-2:35 PM
Data Science for Fundraising: Build Data-driven Solutions Using R

This interactive workshop takes a look at data science. Learn how to get started on your laptop, how to translate fundraising problems into applied machine learning projects, and how to build data-driven solutions using R.

Rodger Devine, Senior Executive Director, Business Intelligence, University of Southern California

 

Day 2, Wednesday, Feb. 28


10:00-10:50 AM
Eating the Elephant: One Data Byte at a Time

Successful fundraising is about more than building relationships. It takes state-of-the-art analytics and data management to keep one step ahead. Learn how the University of Texas at San Antonio transformed its development operation from a home-grown shop to a best-practices model by implementing an aggressive data and analytics-driven operation, cross-divisional partnerships and an out of the box change-management strategy. Get the inside track on gaining buy-in from key leadership, managing interdepartmental change, developing processes around data normalization, and supporting and measuring success through key performance indicators.

Greg Cortez, Executive Director, Advancement Information and Strategic Analytics; and Kristin Ludwig, Assistant Vice President for Development, University of Texas at San Antonio

11:10 AM-NOON
Redefining Major Gift Officer Service Models

High-performing major gift programs depend on skilled officers asking passionate, wealthy prospects to give. Average programs have their officers do so much more, such as identifying their own prospects, managing their own ad hoc processes, subjectively culling their portfolios and coordinating stewardship for their donors. To maximize performance is to narrow roles to the most efficient and effective personnel. Learn how operations, prospect development and analytics can service the front-line, and get a first-hand account of a groundbreaking business model for officer management and services alignment at St. Jude.

Joshua Birkholz, Principal, Bentz Whaley Flessner; and Jennifer Holt, Senior Director, Gift Planning Campaign and Fundraising Ops, ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

1:30-2:20
Budgeting for CRM Conversion at a Public Liberal Arts College

We are often faced with technology acquisition projects that aren't funded (yet). Developing sustainable budgets for these projects is a crucial part of successful implementation, but it can also be a mysterious and frustrating process. The Evergreen State College recently implemented a new fundraising and alumni database. While most large IT projects run a high risk of going over budget, this project actually came in under budget. While that sounds magical, it was the result of a deliberate budget strategy and some intentional decision-making. Learn how they established their budget projection, evaluated services and vendors, and implemented this software within the projected budget. Review strategies that can be applied to technology projects of different scales.

Abby Kelso, Director of Advancement Services and Alumni Programs; and Jessica Thrift, Advancement CRMS Project Manager, The Evergreen State College

2:30-3:20
Top 10 Mistakes Made When Selecting a CRM or ERP

Many of us are looking to replace our CRM or ERP. Given the complexities that are involved, it is very easy to select the system that is NOT the best fit. With dozens of ERP and CRM vendors on the market, offering different software solutions with a variety of capabilities, as well as integration points with other packages, it can be easy for important factors to fall through the cracks. Consider the following: What are the critical questions to ask? What factors do you need to consider? Have you involved the correct stakeholders, and do they have the time, resources, experience and sufficient support from leadership to identify the correct system? Review the top 10 mistakes made during these projects and learn how to avoid them.

Dan Feely, Founder and Managing Partner, TSI-Transforming Solutions Inc.

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