For as long as I remember, I have loved working in databases.
I can remember my first real job out of college as a Membership Assistant for the local Junior League.
The ad for the position stated that the Membership Assistant would manage the member database, The Raiser's Edge.
At the time, I didn't know what this Raiser's Edge was.
But I remember thinking I can figure it out!
I needed a job, and my parents weren't going to pay my rent forever.
So I applied for the job (30 hours a week with no benefits) and I got it.
I started the job, learned how to use The Raiser's Edge on my own and then became a master of it.
This was the beginning of my love for databases.
About a year later, I went on to receive a full-time job with benefits with the local women's college because of my knowledge of Raiser's Edge.
From there, I moved on to other positions that involved managing a database (usually Raiser's Edge) and that had greater responsibility in Fundraising.
But my love of databases came full circle when in 2007, I saw an advertisement for an Implementation Specialist (using Raiser's Edge and a software I had never used before, Sage's Fundraising 50) for a local consulting firm.
My contract as a Campaign Manager was coming to an end with the local Methodist Conference, and I needed to find "something".
When I saw the ad for an Implementation Specialist, I knew this was MY job.
I remember going into the interview feeling like it was just a formality.
Who wouldn't hire me? I was perfect for this position!
I was hired (of course) and loved it! What wasn't there to love about the job?
I traveled and trained nonprofits on how to use The Raiser's Edge and Sage Fundraising 50.
I also created policies & procedures documentation on how to use the systems...which I learned I was really good at.
But 2 years later, I found myself sitting in the owner's office getting my "pink slip".
I was a casualty of the 2008 financial crisis in the United States.
I was crushed. This was my dream job.
But after I regained my strength (and after going to see many movies in my now free time), I realized that this dream did not have to die.
I started my own consulting firm, and that brings me to where I am today.
My consulting firm has expanded by offering more services, implementing more types of donor databases and CRMs, assisting nonprofits with software selection, and now assisting solo entrepreneurs with how to use CRMs to be more effective in their business.