Welcome to summer, AKA the season of reunions, that time when we sit around and reminisce about who we were increments of five years ago and what all has changed. Around barbeques and campfires and bright college year quads, we indulge in comparing who we were then and now. We ask questions that begin with the phrase, “Can you believe” that make all of us sound like crotchety Andy Rooney’s, as in “Can you believe that Indiana University just graduated its first students with a Bachelors of Arts in Philanthropic Studies?” Well yes, actually, I can.
But that’s in part because we at DonorScape (R) have been spending a lot of time thinking about what has changed since we designed and launched DonorScape (R) in 2003. In the field of Advancement Services, we’ve noticed two huge changes. First, the nature of Advancement Services has shifted from focusing on researching one individual at a time at the request of an officer or gift officer to pulling and compiling smart lists of prospects to push to gift officers. Second, the recession has collapsed the tasks once divvied up among many people into one person: prospect data analysis, data cleaning, prospect research, portfolio management. These realities are strong in our field of vision as we consider what we want and need DonorScape (R) to be in the next ten years to continue to be an asset in the ever-changing, ever-more-nuanced industry of philanthropy.
But sometimes, sometimes it’s just nice to look back and remark at what’s changed. So have a sit, grab a s’more, and unleash your inner Andy Rooney. What have you seen change since you got into this field? What do you see as the future?