At FundRaiser, we are very lucky to have thousands of nonprofit organizations that use our software and our services. All of our customers are very important to us, and we always treat every customer with equal respect and professionalism. However, over the years, we have had a few customers who have shown their appreciation for FundRaiser by referring their friends and colleagues - not just once, but again and again.
These customers have gone above and beyond in many other ways, too, such as inviting others to their organization to demonstrate how they use the software, pro-actively reviewing our software on review sites, or offering to take our marketing materials to hand out at conferences and trade shows. These individuals feel that FundRaiser Software has something special to offer them and they never hesitate to tell people about us. These are our FundRaiser Champions.
This is a new program for us, and we will be rolling it out by adding one Champion at a time. We will be adding new Champions on a regular basis, so check back and you might just see a familiar face!
| Mary Thom Adams with a dog pal and her son Frank
Mary Thom Adams has been a friend of FundRaiser since the early days of the company. She helped shape the software even as she developed her own skills in nonprofit work. She has continued to use FundRaiser at every nonprofit where she has worked and to recommend it to numerous organizations in her role as a nonprofit consultant.
"When I started on this path, I came from another job, which had given me experience with a large complicated donor management program. I didn’t want that kind of software, but I also knew that I needed something. I understood the value and need for donor management. When I looked around, I found a little advertisement for FundRaiser. I decided that it probably was going to do everything we needed at the time.
"The cool part is that FundRaiser was new. I was also a pretty new development director. FundRaiser and I sort of grew up together. I’d call the FundRaiser office and say, ‘It would be super if FundRaiser could do such and such’ and FundRaiser’s founder Gene Weinbeck, would find a way to make it happen. The next release would come out, and there would be the features that I’d suggested."
Since then, Mary Thom has continued to combine FundRaiser with her love of nonprofit work and her skill at problem-solving. "I love my work. I especially enjoy building or rebuilding organizations and making them better. When I run into any kind of problem, I stay with it. I am like FundRaiser Technical Support in that way! I like a challenge and that is what I am good at. My job is to come in and build something and once that is done then I’m ready for the next challenge. If I had been in the corporate world, I’d have been one of the people who would get things going again-- a Turn-Around expert."
Read more: Mary Thom Adams of ETTAC
FundRaiser Champion John Mok-Lamme is busy-- going to school and working full time as Executive Director of Karis, Inc. Yet when you talk to him, it’s his big heart that comes through not the tasks he has on his plate. He fit in the interview with me between two pressing tasks, and we had only a few minutes to talk before he was going to step into a sound booth for a radio interview. In that time, two important characteristics came through clearly—first that he knows how to get a lot done in a short time and second that he’s the kind of person you want at your back- warm, intelligent, and committed to being of service in his community.
As a FundRaiser Champion, he has used FundRaiser at more than one nonprofit. He cofounded Karis, Inc., where he works now and also led to a community wide effort to establish The House, a branch of Karis, which is the only licensed teen shelter between Denver and Provo Utah.
In his personal life, family and children are also central to what gives him joy. "I’m a big family guy. I have two beautiful children. I do a lot of coaching and hanging out with the kids," says John. One of his favorite things to do is to spend time outdoors hiking with his children.
Read more: John Mok-Lamme of Karis, Inc.
|Sara Bostancic with Jaxon and the quilt she made for him
Sara Bostancic loves her work with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bucks in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. As the FundRaiser Database Coordinator, she plays an important role in the success of the organization. She became involved in the organization as a way to contribute to her community after she had taken time off from the workplace to raise her two sons. She has now been a volunteer there for 10 years.
Habitat for Humanity is special to her. “The moment I experienced a home dedication, I thought, ‘There is nothing better than this. These people are deserving and work hard’, and to witness them get their key… what a thrilling feeling! I do love the Habitat mission.”
She was introduced to FundRaiser when she first became a volunteer at Habitat Bucks. “When I started, I got very little training on the software from my predecessor. He was leaving and I had to just jump in. FundRaiser Technical Support helped me through that time. I always knew I could get help when I wanted it.”
Read more: Sara Bostancic of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bucks
Calvin Bader, FundRaiser Champion, is the engineer at WJIE Christian Radio. “I work a lot on the technical side of things, not just the broadcast but also the equipment and computers. I enjoy the challenge. There is something different every day and that keeps me motivated and interested.”
On any given day, he might find himself doing a wide variety of jobs. “I might help one of the DJ’s in getting a new song or spot loaded into the automated system, which is fairly routine.”
Another part of Calvin’s job is to get things ready for the intense fundraising pledge drives that the station runs. “If it is time for one of our fundraisers -- we have one in spring and one in fall-- I make sure that all the phone systems are working to take calls and that all computers are functioning at their peak to take the donations,” says Calvin.