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Fundraising Data Science Summit

  • Wed, April 25, 2018
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • The Hotel Viking, One Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840
  • 3


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Fundraising Data Science Summit

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Registration and Breakfast

9:30 AM - 4:00 PM Program

The Hotel Viking

One Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840

The NEDRA Fundraising Data Science Summit (FDSS) is offered in conjunction with the 2018 NEDRA Annual Conference in Newport, RI. Please stay on this page if you wish to register ONLY for the Summit. If you wish to look at package deals for attending both the FDSS and the Conference, then please click here to go to the Conference Registration.


Responding to a growing need for a regional gathering of folks interested in fundraising data science within New England, our inaugural Fundraising Data Science Summit provides an avenue for idea and innovation exchange among its attendees via the exploration of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Development Analytics and Process’s organization, processes, and practices as a “day-long case study.” We hope to springboard the presentations of various tools and techniques used by members of the MSKCC team into the birthing of insights to further advances in data management, data analysis, and data communication within philanthropy for both presenters and attendees.


Kate Chamberlin founded and leads the Development Analytics and Process group at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The analytics effort at Memorial Sloan Kettering has grown from a one-person project to identify new principal gifts prospects to a group of eight that applies advanced analytics to strategic priorities in Development, including prospect identification, portfolio analysis, program evaluation, forecasting, metrics, data infrastructure, and process improvement. Most recently, she was a member of the core team that implemented MSK’s major database conversion. Kate came to Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2006 from Columbia University, where she was a research analyst and writer for the University’s corporate and foundation relations office. She has also served as an events manager for Columbia’s principal gifts group, and as a grantwriter at Arts Horizons, a small arts education agency. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in theater directing and design from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Columbia Business School, focused on economics and strategy.


Ivana Krizanic joined MSKCC Development Analytics and Process in February 2011 and currently holds the position of Associate Director for Analytics and Data Verification, managing a team of three analysts and two verification analysts, all of whom work remotely full time. Before joining Development Analytics and Process, Ivana worked in MSKCC’s Strategic Planning Group, focusing on process improvement and strategic initiatives analysis. She had worked closely with MSK’s Chief Information Officer. Ivana holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and also holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in international relations, as well as a bachelor’s degree in computer science, from Webster University in Vienna, Austria. She had also completed extensive coursework toward a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Sarajevo. Before MSKCC, Ivana was a program officer for the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration, as well as for the NGO Women Waging Peace.


Alicia Kim-Shen has worked in the non-profit space since 2002. She began her career in fundraising at Brandeis University in the Offices of Leadership Gifts and Gift Planning and transitioned to her career in research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in 2005. Since her foray into Development Research at DFCI, Alicia returned to Brandeis University to join the Research Team as a Senior Researcher; then back to DFCI as Assistant Director of Prospect Research and Analytics; and worked as the Data and Research Manager at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She joined the Development Analytics and Process Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2015 as an Analyst and is a member of NEDRA and APRA.


Becky Miner began her career in prospect research in 2012 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2015, she became a prospect analyst at University of California, Davis. Becky joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Development Analytics and Process in 2016, working remotely from California. She holds a B.A. in history from Montana State University and an M.A. in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Gunnar Poppe-Yanez began his career in fundraising analytics in 2016 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He has previously worked in predictive analytics for financial institutions. He also holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in economics from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as well as a Ph.D. in economics from CUNY, Graduate Center.

James Cheng currently holds the position of Development Data Analytics Specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Previously, he served as Associate Director of Analytics within Development Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). Like many folks in the Third Sector, James' background was not directly related to philanthropy. Besides fundraising data science, he's made intellectual and professional forays into cell and development biology, secondary science education, as well as educational research, measurement, and evaluation. While finishing up a doctorate degree in applied statistics in education at Boston College, James' interest in development was piqued when he took on the role of Prospect Data Mining & Modeling Specialist at MIT from 2006 to 2008. After spending time in the corporate world as a healthcare market researcher, James returned to the Light, working at DFCI from 2011 to 2015 before join MSKCC Development Analytics and Process in September 2015. He currently serves on the NEDRA Board, chairing committees in Social Media and Diversity & Inclusion.


The Hotel Viking

One Bellevue Avenue

Newport, RI 02840


9:30 AM - 10:00/10:15 AM: 

In a New York Minute: Where We've Been & Where We are

Introduction & Morning Panel with Kate, Ivana, Alicia, Becky & Gunnar (moderated by James) on MSK Development Analytics as a unit within MSK over the years


10:15/10:30 AM - 12:00 PM:

At the Heart of the Matter: Data Management

It’s said that 80% of predictive modeling is data preparation, but of course data are utterly critical to all analysis and data-based decision making. Over the years at Memorial Sloan Kettering, we’ve built systems and habits to help us maintain data integrity, access and update our files for analysis, and continuously improve the information available for various projects. We’ve also just completed a massive database conversion. With representation on the conversion core team, we were able to keep analysis infrastructure in mind from the very beginning of the project. Ultimately, the project included re-building and re-learning all our basic skills, and we’re now building new data structures as fast as we can. In this session, we will discuss our approach to data management for analysis, with a focus on building infrastructure. After all, if you’ve built something once, why not automate it so you don’t have to repeat yourself?


1:00 PM - 2:15/2:30 PM:

Only If Dirt Were Dollars: We Wouldn’t Have to Worry About Data Analysis

The disciplines of data management, analysis and communication have pervaded pretty much all corporate, public, and philanthropic sectors. At the same time, each of these subfields within data science has gone and is still going through its own morphogenesis. From report building to business intelligence to analytics within fundraising, the tools and techniques for pattern recognition and insight elucidation from fundraising-related data have evolved. In this session, we will explore and discuss some of such tools and techniques as they relate to a “typical” project workflow from project objectives to data ETL (extract, transform, load) to model creation (via unsupervised and/or supervised learning algorithms) to delivery preparation/scoring (via model stacking).


2:15/2:30 PM - 3:30 PM:

Do You Speak Data? Then Give Me What You’ve Got!

Often times, fundraising organizations promote the idea of making decisions based on data. Unfortunately, communication about the patterns and stories gained from data management and analysis is often unclear, leading to useful insight being lost in translation. Having data visualization tools like Tableau allows for the storytelling to be much clearer. Moreover, providing user control over visualizations that deliver this data and insight increases user engagement. This presentation will show how very basic analytics, the right tools, and, most importantly, asking the right questions can convey what answers the data can provide and ultimately recommend what strategies to follow.


3:30 PM - 4:00 PM:

Where Are We Going…Shangri-La?

Afternoon Panel with Kate, Ivana, Alicia, Gunnar & James (moderated by Becky) on the horizon for MSK Development Analytics as a unit and for fundraising data science in general

Morning refreshments, lunch, and afternoon snacks will be served.


NEDRA Member: $199

Non-Member (New Member*): $298

*Note: Non-members are eligible to receive a full year of NEDRA membership with the Fundraising Data Science Summit registration.

Please Click Here to view the Google Maps link.


For those who have not yet booked their rooms, the Hotel Viking is still offering low overnight rates for Tuesday and Wednesday, April 24 and 25 - however Thursday night may only be available at prevailing seasonal rates. We recommend contacting the Viking by phone at 800-556-7126 to ask for a quote based on today’s rates and availability. Please let them know you are with the NEDRA Conference (group code 1K65DW).

If the Hotel Viking is sold out or you need to look at alternatives, NEDRA suggests Inns on Bellevue, which consists of four inns within walking distance to the conference. We recommend The Bellevue Manor because it is across the street, followed by Hydrangea House or the Inn on Bellevue. The Bellevue House is a fourth option if the others are sold out. There are several types of rooms available, from economy for $119/night to two bedroom suites for $159/night. All four inns can be reached via the same phone number: 

Toll Free: 800-718-1446 (or 401-848-6242) or email info@innsonbellevue.com.


465 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 421
Waltham, MA 02452

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