Many applications today are smarter than they used to be. You probably think I’m talking about the applications themselves, and while it’s true that today’s applications do a myriad of useful and clever things (PG Calc applications among them), I’m referring to the applications’ built-in intelligence around updates.
In their January 2019 issue, Wired magazine reported the aggregation and publication of over 2 billion previously hacked unique usernames and passwords. These credentials are being made available to various hacker forums, potentially exposing the private data of a significant fraction of the world’s population. Analysts have determined that most of the stolen credentials represent data that is years old, and so may have already been remediated. However, the leak is still significant for the quantity of data, if not its currency.
Last year, Russell James, well-known expert in planned giving and Professor of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, presented a webinar sponsored by PG Calc entitled “Top 10 Gift Marketing Strategies from Scientific Research.” In this webinar, Dr. James presented research focusing on 10 “rules” for effective communications with prospective donors. What follows is a summary of his fascinating research. You may purchase a recording of the webinar on the PG Calc website.
PG Calc announces a new photo contest for all of our friends and customers - Where's Zombie? The object of the contest is to submit photos of PG Calc zombies in unusual and fun places. You can get your PG Calc zombies by visiting us at any of the planned giving conferences we will be attending during the year. You can see our conference schedule here. Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @PGCalc #huntingforpgcalcbrains. Entries will be judged on creativity, and the winner will receive a year of free Planned Giving Manager (PGM) service and support - a $695 value! If you're using our Marketing Services and are already getting free PGM, we'll take another $695 off your Marketing Services fee! To see the contest rules and current entries, go to the zombie page on our website. Good luck!
The latest trend in planned giving communications is something called “donor-focused design,” an approach that places the donor at the center of the design process. The concept is based on the presumption that an organization’s communications will be more effective and will resonate more with donors if they reflect the needs, objectives, and in particular, language of those donors. Interestingly, this concept is completely in line with a philosophy of website design that the best practitioners have followed for some time. The most effective websites are designed using the results of research into user experience (UX), including areas such as eye scanning, and information tracking. As early as 2001, research done by Dr. Ed Chi, who at the time was Principal Scientist for Augmented Social Cognition, as well as others at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), indicated that humans track information in a fashion similar to the way that animals follow a scent. People... engage in what [Dr. Ed Chi] calls ‘hub-and-spoke’ surfing: They begin at the center, and they follow a trail based on its information scent.... If the scent is sufficiently strong, the surfer will continue to go on that trail. But if the trail is weak, they go back to the hub. ‘People repeat this process until they're satisfied,’ Chi said.