Josh Birkholz

Redefining fundraising for the 21st Century.

Posting on analytics, technology, visualizations, fundraising, and other unrelated things I find interesting like Doctor Who, sci fi wierdness, crazy new ideas, and interesting people.

Author of Fundraising Analytics
Principal at Bentz Whaley Flessner

Founder of the analytics group donorcast

Acting Debut Top Chef Donorcast

Fan Favorite Data Hoarders Video

Check out my team's blog:

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Posts I Like


I haven’t been to a KDD since 2001 in San Francisco.  We’ve come so far as a profession.  I look forward to meeting new data scientist friends.  My colleagues Andy Schultz and Marisa Ontko will be with me.  

See you there!

This is worth checking out.  Very accessible explanation.

Markov chains, named after Andrey Markov, are mathematical systems that hop from one “state” (a situation or set of values) to another. For example, if you made a Markov chain model of a baby’s behavior, you might include “playing,” “eating”, “sleeping,” and “crying” as states, which together with other behaviors could form a ‘state space’: a list of all possible states. In addition, on top of the state space, a Markov chain tells you the probability of hopping, or “transitioning,” from one state to any other state—-e.g., the chance that a baby currently playing will fall asleep in the next five minutes without crying first.

Read the rest here and see the visualization - Did I say it has adjustment dials!?!

We still have a little room.  If you are around and want to stop by, please do.

BWF_social to Tour West Coast with FREE Online Fundraising Workshop


Hey best coast friends! We’d love to see you at our workshops in LA on 7/21, in San Fran on 7/22, or in Seattle on 7/23.

Workshop Details

2014 State of Fundraising Analytics Study.  See the full whitepaper here.

Special thanks to Morgan Zehner and Alison Roberts for their work on the study. For more information about BWF and our analytics services, visit our web site at

Justin is the Guru of Giving Days.  You should check out his stuff!


Seems like every week… shoot, almost every DAY now we’re hearing about another $1 million+ online fundraising campaign or giving day in higher education. From Arizona State to Boston University, these seven-figure giving days are becoming the norm rather than anomalies.

But how, right? What is it these schools are doing differently or better than other institutions who are having mixed results?

To get to the bottom of planning a successful giving day, we asked Washington and Lee’s Annual Giving Director, Skylar Beaver, what’s the secret sauce? By answering three short questions in the video below on W&L’s $1.4 million “Give Day” on April 24, Skylar provides an overview for how you might go about planning your giving day in 2015:

Click here to see the video


Chronicle of Philanthropy

Here is the recap of my recent LiveChat with the Lisa Howley and Nicole Wallace.  As I mentioned towards the end, I’ve not chatted so much since my Counter Strike days in the late 90s!  

Here’s the link

Thanks to Adrian Salmon for alerting me to this most excellent expression of statistical merriment.

Here is a sample

See the site here

Looks like a practical online text.  Check it out.


What does it take to make the 1% in NYC?