by Matt Charters | Mar 9, 2023 | Donor Screening, Features, News
We’re pleased to announce that all the new data we’ve added over the last year in CharityCAN is now available as part of our donor screening data.
Now when you use CharityCAN to screen your donor database, we’ll return three new data points:
- Federal Corporation directorships that match your donor
- Aircraft ownership
- Boat ownership
For additional fees, we can also append:
- Matching obituary data
- Detailed donor demographics detailing overall charitable behaviours
While we were in there adding these data points, we also improved our matching algorithm and our output format, so you get more information in your output file and more transparency about what kind of matches we were able to find.
Best of all, you can now use custom graph relationships while screening to see if a donor has a relationship to your organization.
Don’t forget, we can always work with you to integrate your donor screening results back into your donor database so you can slice, dice or analyze it to your heart’s content.
Or are you looking for something more sophisticated like predictive modelling? We’d love to hear about your project goals and work with you to come up with something that fits your organization.
Please contact us if you’d like to see some examples of our new screening output or to talk more about how we can help you get more out of your donor data.
by Matt Charters | Jan 11, 2023 | Company, News
When I told the team I was going to write a blog post to summarize CharityCAN’s 2022, a colleague told me I should get ChatGPT to write it for me. So I did! Here’s what artificial intelligence’s preeminent chatbot had to say when I asked it to “Write me a blog post about a Canadian prospect research software company called CharityCAN’s accomplishments in the year 2022”:
In 2022, CharityCAN made significant contributions to the field of prospect research for Canadian fundraising organizations. As a provider of prospect research services, the company has a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that Canadian non-profit organizations face.
Aww, thanks ChatGPT! What a great way to kick off our blog post. What did we do this past year?
CharityCAN expanded its database of prospect information to include more data from a wider range of sources. This allowed their clients to access even more comprehensive information about potential donors, including their professional backgrounds, philanthropic interests, and social networks.
Hey, that’s true! We added data on Canadian obituaries and Canadian Federal Corporations and incorporated all that data into our prospect profiles and relationship mapping. Great! Anything more?
This upgrade also includes a newly improved search function that is more efficient and user-friendly, which was a key feedback from their clients. The search results are presented in a more organized and understandable format with the most relevant information at the top, including giving history, demographics and affinities, this was a game changer for the fundraising teams and allowed them to focus on the most promising leads.
OK, well you’re part of the way there. We did spend a lot of time improving the back-end functionality of our search engine, allowing users to find results quicker. I think we’re starting to get into AI gobbledygook here though. Let’s bring it home!
In summary, 2022 was a banner year for CharityCAN, with major product releases, expanding the data source and added features such as improved search function. Their achievements helped non-profit organizations and other fundraisers to identify and reach out to more high-value prospects more efficiently, which helped them to raise more funds for their causes. The recognition by the industry further validates their position as a leader in the market, with a lot of room to grow.
Not bad! Well done, ChatGPT.
It feels especially fitting to use an AI chatbot to write our first blog post of 2023 because we’re hoping to dive into deep learning in a big way this year here at CharityCAN. The field has made huge strides (as evidenced by ChatGPT, among other significant advancements) and we’re currently brainstorming ways we can use the technology to improve CharityCAN and our donor screening product for our users.
I look forward to sharing more as we experiment! Happy New Year, everyone!
by Matt Charters | Nov 1, 2022 | Features, News, Relationship Mapping
Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve upgraded the way CharityCAN builds our Prospect Profiles – the profiles on individual Canadian donors in our database that are algorithmically created by mixing and matching data from all of the various datasets that CharityCAN has to offer.
This upgrade brings improvements in a few different areas. Read on to learn more!
More Data Means More Profiles
The goal of our profile upgrade was to primarily bring in some of the new datasets that CharityCAN has launched over the last year: the Federal Corporation Registry, Federal Marine Craft Registry, Federal Aviation Registry and the Canadian Deceased List.
By adding these datasets, we added profiles for almost 2 million Canadian donors, bringing our Prospect Profile total to well over 4 million records.
More Profiles Mean More Relationships
Adding this new data to our Profiles also means we now have relationship data between not just individuals on registered charity and public company boards, but between individuals on federal corporation boards too.
Now you can find connections your organization has to local business leaders via local chambers of commerce, or see donor relationships through boards of private companies registered at the federal level.
A New Algorithm To Match Them All
Using all this new data to generate these profiles meant we needed a new way to match different datasets against each other, and figure out what pieces of the profile puzzle fit together.
We overhauled our prospect matching algorithm to better use name frequency and geographic location when de-duplicating donor name data, which we hope has led to cleaner Prospect Profiles.
The best part about our new algorithm is that it is easier to tweak going forwards, so if you see anything that looks amiss, please let us know and we can use your input to fine tune our profile building process in the future.
by Matt Charters | Apr 21, 2022 | Features, News
We know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us here at CharityCAN, but that’s because we’ve had our heads down working on three new exciting features for you: Federal Corporation data, Obituary data, and a new and faster way to search our donation records.
We’ve added data from Corporations Canada on all federally registered corporations and their directors. This data includes information on not only privately held corporations but also not-for-profits, co-operatives and boards of trade from all across the country.
We think this data will be a boon to prospect researchers all across Canada, but especially those in smaller cities and towns looking for local business leaders. Altogether this data covers more than 1.1M corporations and almost 2M director positions and will be updated with more data monthly.
We’re already hard at work incorporating the new connections that this director information will provide into our relationship maps. We’re not quite there but the corporation data on its own was too exciting to keep back until the relationship maps were ready.
Obituaries have been on our users’ data wish lists for quite some time. We’ve finally been able to team up with our new friends at Canada Deceased List to offer obituary data from their ObitScan and Canada Bereavement Registry products. With their help we’ll be providing thousands of recent Canadian obituaries from public online sources every month.
Improved Donation Records Search
As our database of almost 15M Canadian donation records continues to grow, it has started to put enough of a strain on our database that we decided we needed to make things better. We found that certain searches were starting to take a few seconds to deliver results, and so it was time to speed things up.
We’ve completely rewritten our Donation Records search engine so that results are now consistently delivered within milliseconds of your query, no matter the complexity. We look forward to moving more of our searches to this new search engine in the future!
More On The Way
As I mentioned earlier, work continues on getting these new datasets into our prospect profiles. For the moment both datasets are searchable on their own or through our Integrated Search. Stay tuned for more developments, and as always, contact us if you’d like to see these new features in action.
by Matt Charters | Jan 19, 2022 | Company, News
As we start 2022 here in CharityCAN’s home base of Waterloo, Ontario, in some ways it feels eerily like the start of 2021: working from home with limited contact with friends, family and coworkers, with lockdown measures in place to stop another COVID wave from crashing over our healthcare system.
In this Groundhog Day of a January it’s been too easy for me lately to feel down and sometimes hard to concentrate on anything that’s not just getting through the next day of home confinement, including our work here at CharityCAN.
That’s why it’s been nice for me today to take a look back at everything our fantastic team has done in 2021 to put things in perspective and to get me excited about the things we have coming up in 2022.
In company news, 2021 saw us implement a blind interview selection process that we’ve used to select our co-op students. We still have a pretty small sample size, but anecdotally the process has led to a diverse group of students selected as candidates.
Like many companies, we also experimented with reduced working hours over the summer. Feedback from employees was positive and we didn’t see any sort of difference in our business operations, so it’s something I hope we’ll do again this summer!
We also partnered with a company called Patch to make sure CharityCAN is carbon neutral going forwards.
Last but certainly not least, two employees (myself included!) welcomed new additions to their families.
Of course the other thing we love to look back on here is what we accomplished with our CharityCAN family of products over the year.
This year we saw the addition of some new data sets, including Canada’s private aircraft and marine craft registries and public sector salaries from Manitoba. What’s especially exciting about these new features for me is that they were created internally by an employee who took on the challenge of learning to code on the job – these were their first additions to our platform!
Besides the new data sets, we also added some major new features. After doing a lot of work behind the scenes, we introduced Donor Discovery, a new way to do prospect identification based on relationship and donation data.
We also launched Avenue Donor Data, a separate add-in for Raiser’s Edge NXT that allows you to view our CharityCAN Household Data alongside donor constituent records.
We added new features to our prospect profiles, like letting you export a customized PDF version of the profile, and letting you easily connect profiles to your organization so you can use their connections in our relationship path searches.
Through my volunteer experience this last year with Apra Canada (become a member if you’re not already!) and from participating in a study that found a significant return on investment from prospect research in the fundraising world, it feels like prospect research in Canada is still a rapidly growing field. We’re excited to be able to play a part in that growing world as more fundraisers start using data to make better fundraising decisions.
Here’s to 2022 and all the new challenges and successes it will bring!