Drowning in Presentations

I’m currently working on not one, not two, but three whole presentations.  The most important right now is for the presentation I’ll be doing for the programs team.  It will mostly focus on cost analysis and how notes in Raiser’s Edge need to be reformed.  I had hoped to be able to predict or make models for how to predict some things for MAW, but I feel, after 8 weeks of combing through data, that there are just too many variables.  I have found few continuous patterns in all my analysis.

Part of the problem is that I only used data starting in FY 2011 for various reasons.  In 2011, we lost our relationship with Air Tran because they merged.  Previously, they had been giving us an exorbitant amount of flights for free. Airfare makes up 30% of our wish expenditures now.  We also got a new CEO who has us on track to grant the wish of every eligible child in Ohio.  We have subsequently ramped up our referrals and wish granting.

I tried to find patterns in what types of wishes children choose each year and found nothing I didn’t already know.  It’s difficult to predict because children are often swayed by advertising.  We had a major uptick in Disney Cruise wishes in 2012 and 2014 because that’s when Disney released two new cruise ships and was advertising them heavily. Also, Disney World makes up 50% of our wishes, and then a few other wishes types make up another 35% or so.  This leaves 15-20 wishes types that only makes up a percentage or two of the total.

I also started working on finding average wish costs, cash and in-kind, for wishes by type.  It’s taking quite a bit of time and I’m not even sure if I’ll come to meaningful conclusions, so I may abandon this to finish up all my Powerpoints.

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