I’ve just got back from the best fundraising conference in the world and it was wonderful, exhausting, frustrating (just on some ideas I thought daft!), and so, so rewarding. It’s why I volunteer as a Resource Alliance board member, chair of Fundraising Online, and masterclass and workshop volunteer. What can I say? I bleed IFC! Read More →
This year was a special year for hjc at BBCON, the annual Blackbaud conference. Not because it was held in Nashville – the home of Taylor Swift, The Grand Ole Opry, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
It was special because hjc won Blackbaud Solution Provider of the Year!
In the 12 months, we’ve invested heavily in process, technology, and training, all with a goal to give our clients a better experience and produce better results. Our clients are always our number one priority. But it turns out that our clients are not the only ones who have noticed the enhancements we’ve made to our business, so thanks Blackbaud for watching and recognizing us! Read More →
There‘s been a lot of talk about the holidays at the hjc office in Toronto and it’s not because we’re all planning vacations! It’s quite the contrary, actually. It’s already holiday campaign planning time for a lot of our clients so we’ve put on our Santa hats and are working like elves to get prepared.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re still in the IT’S-STILL-SUMMER-I-REFUSE-TO-THINK-ABOUT-THE-SNOW kind of mindset? Either way, this might interest you. Read More →
Fundraising is culture. And that’s why so much fundraising happens in the last few months of the year. The religious-cultural construct concentrates our minds, empathy and activities to helping others and we naturally give a lot to the charities we care about. If fact, we give up to 60% of our charitable dollars for the year in the last 3 months. It’s important and that’s why Emma Cosgrove from hjc has a few important things to say to you about how hjc can help you with your year-end, holiday giving. Read More →
I am all for new methods of helping organizations better focus their marketing and fundraising efforts and the rise of the ‘user persona’ is getting a lot of attention.
The user persona is a creative director’s dream come true. The process to come up with a series of fictionalized ‘characters’ takes imagination and therein lies the possible weakness of using user personas.
Here are my 3 key ways to avoid the most common pitfalls when crafting and using personas:
1. ROOT a persona in both qualitative and quantitative data. The behaviours and characteristics of any personae groups MUST use data sets, analysis and survey answers to craft their behaviours. If you aren’t doing this, you are using personas that are relying more on the narrative imagination of Stephen King versus the empiricism of a Sir Francis Bacon.
2. TEST the personas through data and results. You can’t use personas and not track whether they actually improve results. There is a strong academic/research body of work that strongly criticizes the user persona model because it is not often rooted in empirical testing. It may be that personas perform poorly in comparison to classic RFM test groups. You need to test to find out.
3. PRACTICAL implementation plans to test user personas can be difficult. You need to think very carefully through how a persona can be properly tested. It’s not easy working with ‘fictional characters’ in the real world but you have to figure it out.
My gut tells me that user personas are helpful in testing for marketing campaigns BUT if they are being driven by clever, creative people and not driven by data, analytical staff then you are going to be let down by this technique. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk more about this.