Advancement Services Report

Provided as a service of Bentz Whaley Flessner

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blackbaud Acquires Kintera

It was no secret that Kintera was struggling. While their Sphere product was innovative, and their purchase of P!N in 2004 brought one of the most well-known wealth screening services under their umbrella, it was an uphill battle for Kintera to turn a profit and hold its share price. The stock price was under $1.00 a share for most of the year. In the recent past, they had a shakeup at the top of the organization, and had large layoffs of staff.

Yesterday, it was announced that Blackbaud has purchased Kintera.

That is not surprising, given the normal modus operandi of Blackbaud. Just as the purchase of Target Software and eTapestry before, the acquisition of Kintera allows Blackbaud to bring an innovative prodcut under its wing while eliminating competition for its core non-profit services. This time, bringing Sphere allows it to fully develop and integrate the market for their all-encompassing CRM and accounting services, while eliminating a competitor for Blackbaud Analytics and NetCommunity.

While the business deal does make sense for Kintera and Blackbaud, it comes with a price for the non-profit world. Now, there seems to be only three choices for wealth screening, and fewer viable product options that non-profits can choose to reach out to their donors and prospects.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beyond Blogs

An interesting article from the May 22, 2008 edition of Business Week:

"The year was 2005, and the story was "Blogs Will Change Your Business." It marked our plunge into the world of bottom-up media, of news as a "conversation." Many people at the time-including a good number at this magazine and throughout the business world-considered blogs to be a publishing tool for trivia, banality, venom, and baseless attacks. This was all true, the article conceded.

But in the helter-skelter of the blogosphere, we wrote, something important was taking place: In the 10 minutes it took to set up a blogging account, anyone with an Internet connection could become a global publisher. Some could become stars and gain power. That was already happening. In this new world, any business that hoped to "control" information-and that included just about everybody-was in for a wild ride. This promised a seismic shock in our own media world. No mystery there. But it also posed challenges for businesses in practically every realm. Every e-mail or memo could be blogged. Every employee, no matter what rank, could become a voice for the company, either publicly or cloaked, some gaining more power than the entire public relations department. "Your customers and rivals are figuring blogs out," we warned, adding: "Catch up...or catch you later.""

Read the full article.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wealthiest Angelenos

Increasingly, rich foreigners are making a home in LA. "Whether they're building Persian Palaces in Beverly Hills or investing $100 million in downtown skyscrapers, the evidence of foreign money is all over L.A." Also in the special report is the Business Journal's annual ranking of Wealthiest Angelenos. Although a good deal of money has been vaporized, there are still 39 billionaires who live there.

Read the 5/19/08 Los Angeles Business Journal special report on the wealthiest "Angelenos" or directly navigate to the rankings.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Perfecting Your Page: Can donation page optimization boost online giving?

Read a new 5/9/08 report from Donordigital on webpage optimization:


Online fundraising has become a growing source of income for many non-profits over the past 10 years. But while organizations typically spend lots of time spent developing clever, creative, and inspirational online content, they often overlook more mundane aspects of online appeals that can make a big difference in converting advocates, subscribers, and other supporters into donors. Specifically, while email and web page copy may persuade people to "click to donate now," less than half of those who click through to the donation page (and often just a few percent) typically complete the donation transaction. Marketers are increasingly turning their attention and resources to landing page optimization.

In partnership with Donordigital, Amnesty International USA embarked on a project aimed at improving donation landing page conversions before the important end-of-year fundraising season in order to increase total donations.

View the report.

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California Boasts Most Millionaires

According to a new survey from research company TNS, and reported in the 5/5/08 Wall Street Journal "Wealth Report," California and other Western states had seven of the top 10 spots, with California dominating. New York rounded out the bottom with two spots. Click here to view counties with millionaires by rank - note that TNS defines millionaire households as those with at least $1 million in net worth, not including primary residence.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nonprofit IT Staffing: Staffing Levels, Recruiting, Retention, and Outsourcing

Staffing Information Technology is frequently a challenge for nonprofit organizations. Financial resources are typically limited, and hiring managers often feel overwhelmed and under-educated when it comes to IT. Determining where IT should fit into the organization, how many IT staff people are needed, and what those people should be spending their time doing can be difficult decisions.

In order to shed some light on these questions, NTEN and the Nonprofit Times teamed up to create the Nonprofit IT Staffing Survey. The results of this survey will be presented in two parts. The first report, "Nonprofit IT Staffing: Staffing Levels, Recruiting, Retention, and Outsourcing" focuses on the nature of IT staff and departments in nonprofits.

Get the report.

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The World's Billionaire Women

When it comes to the ranks of the world's billionaires, the fairer sex is still very much the rarer sex. In 2008, Forbes counted 99 female billionaires, 16 more than last year, but still representing slightly less than 9% of the world's 1,125 billionaires. Just making it into the ranks of this uber-exclusive club is enough to turn these women into some of the most envied people in the world.

Find out who the world's richest women are.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Layoffs At Kintera, Earnings Call Set For Today

From the 5/7/08 NonProfit Time: "One month after Kintera received notice about potential de-listing from NASDAQ, widespread layoffs have begun at the San Diego-based software provider to nonprofits. The cuts are ahead of the firm's quarterly earnings call slated for this afternoon."

Read the full article.


Monday, May 5, 2008

New Podcast

Pamela Poland, senior associate at Bentz Whaley Flessner, talks with Randy Lakeman, Deputy Director of Development at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, about the future of prospect development in fundraising.

Click here, or navigate to the "Podcast" section of this blog, to listen to the conversation.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

The World's Billionaires

A special Forbes report on the 1,125 richest people on the planet, edited by Luisa Kroll.

Click here to view the 3.5.08 report.

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Wall Street 's Billion Dollar Pay Day

A Forbes video on the the top three Wall Street earners, who include fund managers John Paulson, Philip Falcone and George Soros.

View this video.

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Hedge Fund Women

This Forbes article looks at the lives and experiences of the women on Wall Street who run hedge funds. It provides insight into how these women balance successful funds as well as the decisions that got them to where they are today. An interesting read.
To read this 4.29.08 Forbes article, please click here.

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