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BOOK REVIEW: Data Science for Fundraising

Updated Mar 15, 2018 (Originally Published Mar 15, 2018)
Matt Dubins

The Canadian Non-Profit sector is experiencing an exciting transition with respect to data analytics.  Many non-profit decision makers are waking up to the fact that to get a firm grasp over their charity’s donor operations, they need to include data analytics as part of the equation.  As a result, a smart group of charities have taken the opportunity to use analytics to their advantage.

I think that despite this burgeoning awareness, there is still significant hesitation amongst decision makers.  Some might feel that analytics is just new-fangled snake oil to be treated with suspicion and disdain.  Others might think it a valid pursuit, but perhaps they also think it’s too much of a luxury that they can’t afford.  Still others might be genuinely interested in data analytics, but they wouldn’t even know where to begin!

I recently read “Data Science for Fundraising” by Ashutosh Nandeshwar and Rodger Devine.  I truly believe that this is a book that should appeal to the third group I mentioned above: those who are interested in data analytics but don’t know where to begin.  Despite that assertion, it should also satisfy the techies in our sector as well :)

I really urge the decision makers in non-profits across our country to read this book, and to pay close attention to the first four chapters of the book.  I was delightfully surprised to find that in these chapters the authors chose not to jump into the technical subject matter of analytics itself, but rather they chose to address such topics as:
- Integrating analytics into your non-profit’s operation
- The traits you should look for in analytics personnel
- What does success in analytics even look like
- And finally what kind of problems analytics can solve for your charity

The remainder (and the bulk) of the book runs a very broad gamut of actual recipes on how to use the R statistical programming language to address so many different objectives in a non-profit.  Here’s where the techies will be most satisfied!

I truly hope this book will be enjoyed, and used to help transform charities across our country.  The book link is below:

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