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Patron Technology

PatronManager CRM: One Database for Ticketing, Marketing, and Development

Last Build Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:33:10 +0000


The Museum of Possible Futures

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:00:42 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Elise Rebmann, Renewals & Retention Manager, PatronManager. 
As a life-long art museum fan and patron, I felt fortunate to be able to attend the American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Meeting earlier this year. It was fascinating to meet people in the industry and learn more about museum technology and trends.
At the conference, I was introduced to Museum Magazine which just finished their November/December edition called Museum 2040. As you might suspect from the title, this edition is written from the year 2040 and imagines how museums would respond to one possible future resulting from some of the existing environmental and cultural challenges we face today. I highly recommend this fascinating read which includes articles about:

Museums operating well-being and health centers, schools, and elder-care programs
Museums contributing to urban planning trends and sustainability, helping cities achieve carbon-neutral status
The rise of technology designed to compensate artists for creative works of all kinds
Museums as leaders advocating for human rights and healing
Communities working together as cultural ecosystems
Relocating culture and science collections to space to ensure climate-control
A living museum and zoo alliance opening additional locations for African game animals in Idaho since those populations had to be relocated because of environmental pressures

…and much more! You can download a free copy here (you don’t even have to be an AAM member).
It’s clear to me that no matter what the future brings, museums have an important role to play in helping us respond to the challenges our world faces and stretching our ideas of what is important to our culture.
This industry seems to be eagerly embracing technology and helping us find ways to integrate those new technologies into our lives, resulting in more meaningful conversations around the dinner table. While I’m not sure about having my museum experience dictated to me by my smartphone quite yet, I would love my aging parents and children to be together in a museum-based health and education center!

The post The Museum of Possible Futures appeared first on Patron Technology.

Is it Time to Rethink Your Cultivation Processes?

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:00:58 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Kevin Patterson, Senior Account Executive, PatronManager. 
Let’s face it, your organization can always be doing a better job of cultivating donors — right? As a former executive director, one of the most difficult parts of my job was to manage the relationships between patrons and my organization. Before CRM solutions we had donor cultivation software, but it only showed you one-third of your relationship, ticketing and marketing were left out. I had spreadsheets (“Thank God for Spreadsheets!”) that helped me try and keep all of this information straight. Still, it wasn’t enough, and inevitably relationships slipped through the cracks and opportunities were lost.
Fortunately, CRM solutions have saved us from ourselves when it comes to effective donor cultivation and management. We can now capture all of the data and relationship points needed to really know our patrons. Still, we need good processes to effectively manage patron relationships. For years the process of patron cultivation consisted of a series of Moves or Steps that an organization took to advance a patron from prospect to donor; a process known in industry lingo as Moves Management.
A traditional Moves Management approach advances the patron along a series of stages:

At each stage in the process, there is a transfer of information from the patron to the organization and also from the organization to the patron. Capturing the exchanges and proactively moving the patron forward is the tricky part. Move too early to solicitation and the patron may be scared off. Wait too long, and the patron’s giving priorities might shift. Fortunately, CRM solutions invite and encourage organizational collaboration with patrons to carefully map the patron cultivation.
Because of technology, the traditional model of Moves Management has evolved into a model that places the patron at the center of the organization.

This model is true Patron Engagement. All parts of the organization are now collaborating with the patron, learning and communicating with them while simultaneously collaborating cross-departmentally. Given this evolution what can organizations do to maximize its effectiveness?
Define Success Metrics — Go beyond the dollars in the budget and define what metrics your organization is going to use to define a ...

The post Is it Time to Rethink Your Cultivation Processes? appeared first on Patron Technology.

Why Isn’t Retention More Exciting?

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:00:32 +0000

I recently attended the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMP), which is always a great conference to get a pulse on our industry from a marketing perspective, and this year was no different. What really stood out to me this time around, were presentations on the subject of retention, sometimes known as churn. These terms describe the same thing — essentially how many patrons attended your organization last season and didn’t return this season.
This presentation from JCA demonstrates conclusively that between 60% and 70% of customers churn every year (based on data from 40 large arts organizations). For those of us that have been working in the industry for a while, this is not news.
This revelation represents the tip of the iceberg in a reality that seems illogical. Although recurring revenue (money from patrons that come back year after year) makes up a disproportionate amount of an organization’s total annual revenue, the amount of time, attention, research and investment in retaining the existing audience is minuscule by comparison.
In a Q & A session, I posed the question as to why otherwise rational business managers routinely ignore this fundamental truth in our industry? We are decidedly unlike commercial industries where there are entire departments dedicated to retention. For instance, how many arts organizations do you know that have a director of audience retention?
My theory is that for many organizations, finding new customers matches their mission — they get funding for this activity, they focus and measure it, and use it as a representation of their effectiveness in building their artform. That’s exciting, but evidently, retention isn’t.
However, a house has to be built on a strong foundation, and the foundation of our industry is renewals and recurring revenue. I fear our emphasis on new audiences continues to skew our hiring and our compensation of those that manage retention.
It seems to me we ought to have conferences that are SOLELY about revenue retention? If there were one thing that could help our industry thrive (and in some cases survive), it would be making our focus on revenue retention much more important than it appears to be today.

The post Why Isn’t Retention More Exciting? appeared first on Patron Technology.

Alexa, How Many Tickets Have We Sold Today?

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:00:21 +0000

Two weeks ago, Educational Development Manager, Christy Warren wrote a blog post about how voice control will become an integral part of our interactions with computers in the future — the keyboard and mouse are ultimately doomed. This likely won’t happen anytime soon, but we decided to explore this future by incorporating Amazon’s Alexa voice-operated system with PatronManager.
Imagine an Amazon Echo device on your executive director’s desk, and at any moment they can say “Alexa how many tickets have we sold today?” Intrigued?  
We made a short video to give you a glimpse of the possibilities this future holds. (And if you’re a PatronManager customer, let us know if your organization would like to be considered to participate in our Alexa pilot program.)

The post Alexa, How Many Tickets Have We Sold Today? appeared first on Patron Technology.

The Importance of Gender Inclusivity in Your Database

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:00:31 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Judith Shimer, Senior Client Administrator, PatronManager. 
My name is Judith, and my friends call me Jude. I’m a classical pianist, love cooking vegan food, adore baby goats—and I’m also nonbinary.
Nonbinary is a transgender identity that means a person’s gender is not completely male or female. Although we’ve been around and documented for millennia in all cultures, only in recent years in the U.S. has it started to feel safe to be out, to form communities, have a public presence, and develop a common language for our experiences. For example, since neither “he” or “she” pronouns feel comfortable to me, I use singular “they.”
Being nonbinary in the world is an adventure, especially in the age of data. Here are two experiences I’ve had, the first fairly common and the second rare:
I attempted to donate to a charity online, only to discover that the donation form required a salutation, with no gender-neutral option. I emailed the organization, and they helpfully attempted to make their salutation field optional… only to break their entire online donation form. (Thank goodness this would never break a PatronManager donation form.) I gave up and donated to a different organization instead. Both charities worked with vulnerable populations, and I trusted the second organization better to respect their clients’ gender identities, if they could respect that of their donors.
A canvasser for a nonprofit caught my attention on the sidewalk, and I knew right away that I wanted to become a sustaining member. But when the canvasser asked for my salutation, I got nervous. “Is salutation required?” I asked. “It’s not!” he said. “And we have the gender-neutral option ‘Mx.’ if you’d prefer.” I was thrilled that the organization could accommodate me, and felt suddenly at ease. When he asked what I was up to that day, I was comfortable being honest: “I’m on my way to the TransTech Summit because I’m trans and work in tech.” “That sounds amazing!” he said. At the end of the interaction, we hugged. It was the warmest, most positive experience I’ve ever had with street canvassing, which tends to get a very bad rap.
Your organization can provide ...

The post The Importance of Gender Inclusivity in Your Database appeared first on Patron Technology.

Taking Cloud Computing to the Next Level with Voice Control

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:00:34 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Christy Warren, Educational Development Manager, PatronManager. 
“Alexa, make me a cup of coffee.” OK, maybe she’s not that savvy … yet.  
If you’re not familiar with Alexa, “she” is made and distributed by Amazon. You talk to Alexa using one of several devices you can purchase and connect to your home’s internet service. These devices are the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, and Echo Look. Alexa, and many other competitors*, are taking cloud computing to the next level. Not only are we storing more data on centralized servers (the cloud) that we can access anywhere on many devices, but now we can also control and receive that data verbally. Hal and Jarvis are real!
Sure, there are many novelty uses for Alexa (and the others), such as asking Alexa to tell a joke or to play a certain genre of music. But there are also some serious uses that can help you manage your life at home or in the office.  
Here’s one I use a lot: “Alexa, ask Our Groceries to add bread to the shopping list.” Alexa connects to certain apps through what is termed a “skill.” I already use an app called Our Groceries to keep my grocery shopping organized. My household shares this app, so anyone can add items to it and whoever goes to the store sees the most up-to-date list, which is already cloud functionality. Before, I needed to have my mobile device nearby to add the item to the list. However, when I’m in the kitchen and I notice we’re out of something, but my hands are occupied or messy, I can now just tell Alexa to add it for me. Done! And my phone doesn’t need to be anywhere near, because Alexa is connected directly to my Wi-Fi and not routed through another device.   
So, how could this apply to your office? One simple idea: Use a cloud-based list-building app to track office supplies. After all, even without voice control, the cloud allows all of your employees to access the app online, and they can add their needs to the list. If you wanted to add voice control ...

The post Taking Cloud Computing to the Next Level with Voice Control appeared first on Patron Technology.

Top 10 Data Points Arts & Culture Organizations Should Know, Part III

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:00:39 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Paul Miller, Senior Director, Sales & Marketing, PatronManager. 
In my first and second posts in this series, I argued that it’s time for arts and culture organizations to start capturing, measuring, and analyzing data to help grow your audiences and revenue. I also detailed what I believe are the top ten data points you should know, showed you how to calculate them, and explained why they’re so important to track and improve. In this post, I’d like to share with you the results of a survey in which I asked arts organizations to share their metrics with me.
Eighty-six organizations responded, with staff sizes ranging from 1 to 400 and annual budgets ranging from $17,000 to $125 million. When using wide ranges like this, and trying to get a value to compare to your organization, I think it’s best NOT to use the average number, but rather the median, or the “value or quantity lying at the midpoint… such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it.” My reasoning is that the median is less easily skewed by outlying numbers, whereas an average can be grossly affected by an outlier. (For example, that $125 million at the top of the budget range is an outlier; the next nearest was $18 million.) In the metrics above, the median staff size was 9 and the median budget $1.8 million, which sounds about right for a “typical” arts and culture organization.
As you compare your numbers to those below, please remember that there is no right or wrong number except what works for your organization. It is, however, important to measure these numbers and track them from year to year, making efforts to improve them where you can. On which of these metrics are you underperforming compared to the median? Why is that, and what can you do to improve it?
An interesting thing to notice is that the number of responses to our questions decreased as the complexity of the calculation (and ability to gather the necessary data) increased. Having an integrated CRM—instead of separate ticketing, fundraising, and marketing ...

The post Top 10 Data Points Arts & Culture Organizations Should Know, Part III appeared first on Patron Technology.

Big Corporations, Nonprofit Organizations, and 8-Year-Olds Can Leverage the Power of Matching Donations

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:00:57 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Erin Madden Ramirez, Client Project Manager, PatronManager. 
You see it all the time. Big Corporation, Inc. will match every donation dollar for dollar up to $100,000 for [insert important cause here]. Matching donations in this manner is popular because it works — corporations and donors feel like their money is going further. Here’s one such example: USA Today: Tech firms raise millions within hours to aid Hurricane Harvey victims. Luckily, you don’t have to be Big Corporation, Inc. to launch a similar type of fundraiser. You can be Small Nonprofit Organization. You can even be an 8-year-old raising money for the community.
Our local school system recently partnered with the city to raise money for an all-inclusive playground for children, teens, and adults of all abilities. The three schools in the district that raise the most money per student will have a bench with their school logo installed at the new playground.
My highly competitive 8-year-old really wants her school to win one of the benches. During dinner one night she asked us to give “lots and lots of money.” Of course we were happy to contribute a reasonable amount, but something in the back of my mind said it shouldn’t be that easy for her. What would she learn in the process?
Then I had a light bulb moment. I told her that Mommy and Daddy would match whatever amount of money she contributed from the allowance and Tooth Fairy money she’d been saving. She took the challenge to heart and scraped together $21 and we happily matched the amount. But that’s not the end of the story. We FaceTimed with Grandma and asked her to match the $21 donation since her granddaughter gave up her own hard-earned money. Grandma contributed $21. Grandma told two of her friends about the call, and each of them contributed $21. The plumber happened to see a flyer for the fundraiser when he was here to fix the leak under our kitchen sink. He asked about it, and I told him of my daughter’s efforts. Later, when I offered him a tip, he asked that instead, I add it ...

The post Big Corporations, Nonprofit Organizations, and 8-Year-Olds Can Leverage the Power of Matching Donations appeared first on Patron Technology.

Putting the Digital Appeals in Your Fundraising Strategy

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 13:00:22 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Kevin Patterson, Senior Account Executive, PatronManager. 
Two of my friends recently celebrated birthdays. When I went on Facebook to wish them a “Happy Birthday,” I saw something that I hadn’t seen before, a fundraising appeal. The appeal was a personal one, “I’m donating my birthday to X organization.” Donations were accepted at any amount. In both cases, the funds raised far-outstripped their goal.
A recent study by The Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good, 2017 Global Trends Giving Report, highlighted how donors are shifting more of their giving to digital platforms. Though the report focuses on NGOs and other social service nonprofits, there are some interesting lessons in the report. Among the findings:
Donors Prefer to Give

61% Online
14% Direct Mail
14% Fundraising Events
6% Mobile
5% Workplace Giving

If the method of giving is shifting, even more, interesting are the demographics of who is giving. One would think that Generation X (1965-1980) and Millennials (1981-1997) would be leading the way in giving as both generations are arguably more comfortable with the technology. While that may be true, the study found that Baby Boomers (1946-1964) lead the way in digital giving.
Generation Z (1998-or After)        1.6%
Millennials (1981-1997)               25.7%
Generation X (1965-1980)              30%
Baby Boomers (1946-1964)         36.7%
Matures (1928-or Before)                 6%
Baby Boomers have the means to give and have acquired the digital fluency to use technology to target their donations. For arts organizations, Baby Boomers are the sweet spot as they make up a disproportionate amount of their patrons. While trying to develop the next audience, don’t forget the value of the audience that is currently engaging with your organization.
In another article by Nonprofit Tech for Good, Facebook Ramps Up Reach for “Donate” Buttons and Fundraisers, being an early adopter of this kind of fundraising may pay big dividends. They point out that those that engage in this type of digital fundraising increase their overall reach. In an era where donors are increasingly more ...

The post Putting the Digital Appeals in Your
Fundraising Strategy
appeared first on Patron Technology.

The Gift of Giving

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 13:00:28 +0000

Today is Halloween, which means for the world of retail, the holiday season starts tomorrow. The candy from today will go on sale at midnight, and I guarantee you every corner drug store will have holiday decorations up by mid-morning!
Now, as you well know, the holiday season is a GREAT time for arts and cultural organizations to raise money. After all, it is the season of gift giving. According to this new report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy located at Indiana University, Indianapolis, donors tend to be happier than non-donors.
A terrifically nuanced article from The NonProfit Times offers a fascinating look at giving and happiness broken down by gender within families.
Read the article and ask yourself how can you, as a fundraiser, capitalize on this for your end-of-year fundraising campaign?

The post The Gift of Giving appeared first on Patron Technology.