Report: the IoF Insight in Fundraising Conference, November 2018

November 14, 2018 News, News & Opinion, Opinion

Wood for Trees was once again delighted to attend the Annual Conference of the IOF Insight Special Interest Group, held at Resource For London on the Holloway Road on Monday November 12th. A day for data analysts and fundraisers alike to get together and share thoughts, best practice and successes – many of which were based around winning entries at the Insight group’s awards night earlier in the year.

The engaging speakers covered a wide range of subjects and included our very own Jon Kelly (presenting the basic essentials of good data insight), Sam Stafford (joining the BHF segmentation team to explain the process for their ambitious segmentation project) and Andrew Sargent (detailing the award-winning LTV analysis conducted with The Children’s Society for their major giving and corporate teams).

Jon Kelly IoF Insight Conference 2018

Jon Kelly

Other highlights included a very interesting talk from the National Trust around their use of research techniques (and particularly neuroscience) to understand the motivations and experiences of people attending their properties. They have then been able to use this to deliver better experiences and uncover further fundraising opportunities. Whilst perhaps not relevant, and beyond the budget of many charities, it was fascinating nonetheless and the basic principles of focusing on what your users / supporters want are true no matter what you do.

Sam Stafford, IoF Insight Conference 2018

Sam Stafford

There was also a reminder from Cats Protection about how basic test and learn approaches can have impressive impacts. “We’ve always done this” is not an option! By testing a different offer in their lottery product they were able to challenge the status quo and increase income for the charity.

Broadly there seemed to be a few of themes that permeated throughout the talks:
Research – there was a lot more talk about research techniques used to deliver, create and enhance insight, and in particular more examples of how qualitative data is being combined with qualitative data to deliver real results.
Back to Basics – many speakers seemed keen to re-emphasise to get the basics right when approaching any data project. Whether dealing with simple reporting tasks, or complex neural network modelling, the same basic principles run throughout. Understand the context, review your data and interpret the outputs accordingly.
Storytelling – for insight to have any real impact it needs to be delivered and communicated in a compelling way.

Andrew Sargent IoF Insight Conference 2018

Andrew Sargent with Magid el Amin of The Children’s Society

All in all it was a great day, which as ever left us inspired to continue supporting the great work that is being done across the sector. Thanks to all of those involved. And thanks to the IoF Insight group for the photos.