DMAW’s Digital Day Forum 2018

Digital Day

I joined a few colleagues and ventured out to the DMAW’s 2018 Digital Day Forum at the District Architecture Center in downtown Washington, D.C. I was excited for the presentations, since it was my first time attending this event, and I was impressed by the actionable content and wealth of information that I learned in just a few hours.

The event was tailored for non-profit industry strategists and executives, which was great for me! The format of the presentations ranged from solo speakers to 3-person forums on topics that were as varied as the newly-enforced GDPR regulation and granular donation page testing.

I thought the choice of topics was on-trend and was sufficiently in-depth for both a beginner and expert to glean some new resources and best practices for their toolbox. As expected, data privacy and GDPR seemed to work its way into the conversation during several presentations, since this was a topic we all were very interested in learning more about. All of the presenters were very encouraging of questions and interactive responses from the audience which made the presentations more valuable.

I had the tough choice of which interesting presentation to attend since the panels were held concurrently.  I wanted to digest as much information as possible, quickly, so I could hit the ground running when I returned to the CCAH offices with some new tricks up my sleeve for clients!  I ended up attending a presentation on Software Evaluation & Selection – which I already had expert-level knowledge on, but wanted to see if there were any new best practices I was missing – a presentation on donation page optimization, and one on infusing consistent testing into online fundraising programs. I was a novice on the testing methodology and found the testing presentation to be a favorite.

I found the testing presentation with Donna Arriaga to be a highlight of the day! Donna went over the basics of testing – from the case for testing to a step-by-step process to begin to integrate testing programs into all of your digital efforts. She even provided various tools and resources throughout her presentation that could be used to create and track your testing plans.

Here are 3 things I learned at Donna Arriaga’s awesome presentation on testing:

  1. A written, testable hypothesis is key when developing a test. It should the follow this format – “If [variable], then [result] due to [rationale].” For example, a donation page hypothesis could be: If the default giving option was the largest listed amount less than or equal to $25, then the average gift amount would increase.
  2. You must employ strict scientific validity indicators, such as P-value, to make sure that your data and results are honest. Until a test has reached a significant level of confidence and a valid sample size, the results cannot be trusted.
  3. Helpful reporting is just as important as the testing plan and validity of the results. To analyze your data and results, you have to compile and present your data in a way that it can be reviewed and used to enhance strategy decisions. There are several tools and templates online – we use macro spreadsheets – that can help you quickly and easily analyze your testing data and present to executives and other decision-makers.

What a great way to spend the day!  Overall, I greatly enjoyed all of the presentations at DMAW’s Digital Day 2018 and can’t wait to return next year to learn some additional best practices to help CCAH clients win and leverage their resources.

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