It’s been a remarkable year for my wife and me, and for CoolData. This blog, just over a year old, has been a point of connection for me and others sharing thoughts about new data-oriented tools for nonprofit fundraising. It’s been a lot of fun.
I have something to ask you.
Please consider making one final donation before the clock runs out on December 31. I know there’s a cause out there that holds meaning for you, and for which your online gift will make a much-needed difference.
If you don’t already have a specific charity in mind, I urge you to give a gift to the CanAssist African Relief Trust. CanAssist is a registered charity that assists impoverished communities by providing funding for small, sustainable, capital projects related to health, education, water and sanitation so as to improve the quality of life and health and raise the standard of living.
On the CanAssist webpage, scroll down a little bit and click on the CanadaHelps.org button to donate online right now. In minutes you’ll have your charitable tax receipt for 2010 (good for both Canadian AND American donors) emailed to you. It doesn’t get any easier.
Since its inception in April 2008, this small, local charity has transferred $112,500 to projects in East Africa. In addition to its other current partner projects, CanAssist African Relief has a couple of new projects they are developing that involve a rural clinic in northwest Uganda and an adult literacy centre in Kenya.
Through the generosity of a donor, who has covered all of the charity’s administrative costs, 100% of your donation goes to support one of CanAssist’s projects.
Why this charity? It’s a personal connection. My sister-in-law Suzanne and her partner Virginia live in Kingston, Ontario, where two local doctors founded CanAssist. In February Sue and Ginny will be doing some volunteer work with a school and women’s group in Kenya on the shores of Lake Victoria. There is a research station there where they can live for two weeks or so while they see what can be done.
Sue and Ginny say they’re really impressed by the work CanAssist does, supporting the development goals of people in the communities they work in. That’s good enough for me.
To find out more about CanAssist and to make your donation, visit their website.
If CanAssist doesn’t interest you, then take a moment to consider what charity YOU have a personal connection with, besides the one you work for. I think it’s exciting that technology allows any charity, large or small, to connect with people who are in a giving frame of mind in these key final hours of the year. Somewhere out there is a charity just for you, whether it’s doing work in your neighbourhood or in a distant village you will never see.
Choose wisely, but do choose. And give generously!
Happy New Year to you.
Back in December I wrote about scholarship/bursary recipients and alumni giving — are alumni who received financial assistance as students more likely to give? This was a side-topic in my presentation on “using survey data in models” at the APRA Data Analytics Symposium in July. It came up in connection with surveys because the university I used to work for did not have historical data on who received assistance or awards. In retrospect, knowing that survey respondents are unreliable reporters of fact, I should have been skeptical of the finding that 43% alumni actually received a scholarship or bursary. However, although it does not provide factual information necessarily, survey data CAN reveal an aspect of attitude that might be correlated with giving. I say “might be” — you need to read the original post for the answer to my question. Follow the link above!
During the month of August I will be posting new material slightly less often, but calling attention to previously-posted material that had lower readership because the blog was still very new.
A blog is great for communicating ideas, but it is a very loose collection of ideas. They come at you every week, in bite-sized pieces. That’s how blogs work. But sometimes you need to know how all these disparate piece fit together. (And they DO fit together.) Guide to CoolData is a new page that gathers my blog posts into a more coherent and logical order. Not all of my posts are there yet, but this will become more complete over time and, I hope, make CoolData more useful as a reference. In future, you can find the Guide in the “Pages” menu on the right-hand side.
Does your data include a lot of Canadians? One of my earliest posts showed you how to create an indicator variable to distinguish rural dwellers from people who live in an urban area or small town. See Rural vs. urban postal codes. I have sometimes found a significant difference in giving levels between the two groups.
During the month of August I will be posting new material slightly less often, but calling attention to previously-posted material that had low readership because the blog was still very new.