How Can a Chief Intelligence Officer Help Fundraising?

Why Mike Rogers has joined BDI’s leadership team

By Phil Stolberg, BDI Chief Operating Officer

“Don’t strive to do what is possible; that only requires your own strength. Rather, strive to do the impossible. In the realm of impossibilities, God’s strength and provision are required and our faith is perfected.”

Mike rogers, bdi chief intelligence officer

Mike Rogers and I have known each for nearly 30 years – sometimes as trusted strategic partners and other times, as trusted agency competitors. At all times, we have both always desired to place our clients’ needs far in advance of our own needs. Of course, the accuracy of this perception can only be measured by the evaluations shared by the nonprofit organizations that we have had the honor and privilege of serving. But I believe that we shared that desire and operated accordingly. 

Now Mike Rogers is the newest member of the BDI executive team as our Chief Intelligence Officer. You may wonder what qualifies Mike to step into this role and how it will impact BDI’s team and our client partners – and I’m more than happy to offer my thoughts on that. 

Mike’s knowledge in fundraising strategies, analytics and donor development opportunities is highly regarded throughout the philanthropic industry. He pioneered models for predicting donor behavior and defining fundraising strategies. He’s passionate and genuinely grateful for the opportunity to serve – and to apply his science and analysis to our clients’ causes. 

There are a few significant areas of work at BDI that will be greatly influenced by Mike’s leadership:

  1. Internal Agency IT Productivity Tools: Mike and his team will focus on introducing and expanding IT tools that will accelerate our BDI agency efficiencies… and by extension, those we have the privilege to serve. By taking full advantage of Mike’s knowledge about the technological possibilities, BDI will be in a position to offer new and expanded services that will promote growth and ultimately lead to greater impact. Mike is deeply committed to the idea that our clients and those they serve deserve the most efficient tools available to support their ministries. 
  2. Donor Data Security and Privacy: I’ve shared before about how critical cybersecurity is when it comes to protecting donor data. With Mike on board, he’ll apply advanced cybersecurity protocols and bring increased oversight that go beyond just government compliance. It’s a significant step forward for both BDI and our client partners, as Mike will be making certain our agency protects the privacy and security of arguably our partners’ most valuable asset – donor contact and giving data. 
  3. Client Intelligence: Mike will lead the charge on best practices when it comes to gathering and assessing outcomes. A couple of specific areas worthy of mention…
  • Accessibility to intelligence that will achieve a keener understanding of fundraising results and campaign performance. This area of focus includes the ability to apply “natural language processing” (NLP). For a business user, it’s important to ask key questions of the data and receive instantaneous answers that will inform and guide decisions and strategies – and ultimately, impact fundraising ROI. Having access to NLP intelligence will provide insights that lead to new best practices for BDI on behalf of those we serve. 
  • On-demand digital marketing customization – e.g., photos, video, copywriting – based upon known donor characteristics at the time of interaction. These characteristics could range across a spectrum, but each would potentially unlock new insights into donor behavior. Mike’s focus in this area will be achieving greater donor alignment and engagement to enhance and strengthen more intimate donor relationships.
  • Democratized algorithms via machine learning (ML) that will rank a donor’s probability of a given behavior, sentiment or interest. These ML rankings will be used to guide campaign selection and segmentation as well as offers and asks, predict donor long-term value and most importantly, increase our client partners’ fundraising ROI. 

I could continue. Suffice to say, Mike’s leadership and commitment will have a profound impact on our clients’ donor communications and fundraising outcomes. 

Mike is a professional colleague. He is a friend. His direct marketing fundraising understanding and insights are highly regarded throughout our industry. Mike’s team will ensure BDI has cutting edge IT tools and technologies. More importantly, his leadership will bring tremendous value to all donor data strategies and especially to the exciting, often intimidating and evolving AI world. Watch for – and in fact, expect – Mike to be at the table and influencing the design and implementation of your fundraising campaigns.

  • Chief Operating Officer

    Phil Stolberg, Chief Operating Officer

    With over 40 years of experience in marketing and communications, BDI’s Chief Operating Officer, Phil Stolberg, has dedicated his career to working with not-for-profit organizations. He has held a variety of leadership positions, both with nonprofit organizations and with agencies that consult with the not-for-profit world, allowing him extensive experience with marketing, major donor and capital campaigns, special event and foundation fundraising.

More fuel for more impact.

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