I started this business many eons ago, but not with the intention of writing a program for fundraisers. In the early 1980's, I wrote a program for a local client who was running for political office and needed to keep track of donations. At the time, I was serving on the board of a nonprofit boy's home. I convinced the Executive Director to try the campaign program to help him keep track of donations and to thank donors. After using it for a month or so, he came back to me with "Well, this is nice, but I have a suggestion or two..." And, that was the beginning of FundRaiser Professional, which begat FundRaiser Jr (now called FundRaiser Select), which begat FundRaiser Basic. And the FundRaiser Family keeps growing..
We are proud of our service-oriented, professional staff. We are more than co-workers. There are ties of family and friendship between most of us, making for a strong sense of commitment and a happy working environment. Our ties carry over into our sense of serving you as we would want to serve our extended family of friends.
My training, work and education background has all been in sales and communication, so this is a field that I feel both confident and comfortable in. I was raised around a small business, Ozark Rope Sandals, and spent my summers traveling to craft shows with my family selling sandals. After I graduated from MSU-West Plains, I worked in sales with a yellow pages firm which, again, involved a great deal of travel. Wishing to settle down with my daughter, Lily, I joined the FundRaiser team in 2001. Here my skills in sales and communications have been nourished and my continuing professional development has been strongly supported. I know I have found my calling here; I just can't imagine any other job where I would have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful organizations every single day! Outside of work, I enjoy raising my increasingly strong-minded and independent daughter, baking (especially with chocolate), reading, continuing the family business (yes, I still make and sell sandals!), and learning ballroom dancing with my amazing husband, Joshua. I donate online to nonprofit organizations across the country, and volunteer at our local animal shelter and women's shelter.
I came to FundRaiser with an extensive accounting background and knowledge of computer hardware and software issues that I first put to use at the Presbyterian Church in Harrison, AR. I moved to Missouri when Autumn and I were married, and initially joined the FundRaiser team to help with website maintenance and development, then accepted a temporary bookkeeping position. Somehow, I also became the go-to man for high-level tech support issues when our support staff needs a break, and when pretty much anything around the FundRaiser office needed help... and eventually, Autumn and I were offered the opportunity to hold the reins and direct the company to a promising future. I am honored to have this opportunity, and am committed to building on the strong foundation that FundRaiser Software has in customer service and software development, to achieve a new level of success. In my (rare) free time, I like to just drive and find a new place or site I haven't noticed before - the Ozarks are full of hidden gems! I also enjoy learning about new things and how things work, and passing that along to my son, Isaac. All in all - life, no matter how things go, is fun to experience!
Before coming to FundRaiser, I learned marketing through running my own small business. Together, my partner and I provided midwifery services to families around the Ozarks, and then established a general health care practice in two small Ozark towns. I've enjoyed transferring those marketing skills to online marketing for FundRaiser. I enjoy using social media and I feel great when I learn something new that makes me better at sharing information that is useful and fun for people interested in FundRaiser. I like being involved in a company which is helping others improve the world. Outside of work, I enjoy working on a variety of personal and community projects with friends. I love my dog and three cats, and maintaining the beautiful piece of Ozark woodlands where I live. I meditate and find the study and practice of Western style Buddhism enriching. I volunteer extensively for OACC, a local environmental organization. Through my work at FundRaiser, I volunteer as forum host and facilitator for TechSoup, the nonprofit technology site.
I’ve been working with computers and technology full time since the early 1970’s, in everything from academia to the manufacturing sector. During my career, I have been through several major conversion projects from the user side. Working for Fundraiser Software since 2004, I’ve done over 100 conversions for clients coming from all types of systems - from entry-level spreadsheets, to FileMaker, to Blackbaud. I and my wife were involved in the startup of the local West Plains Habitat for Humanity chapter. My personal interests are varied, including lutherie, lapidary and gardening.
I’m a Microsoft Certified Professional. I have worked in and around computers since the working as a Navy sonar technician in the late 1960's. My introduction to personal computers came through FundRaiser Software in the mid-1980's. My passion is operations, whether operating sonar gear, computers, guitars, motorcycles, or any other motorized vehicle. My move to Arizona in the late 1990's was in part based on that state's boast of 350+ sunny days per year. I’ve applied my passion to FundRaiser's Tech Support department and most recently as the Training Manager for the company, holding live web training sessions and recording training CD's on various FundRaiser Software related topics. Most recently, I have also started blogging regularly on our FundRaiser Blog.
I started this business in the early 1980's. When it comes to qualifications for the job, I have none whatsoever. I'm lucky to be working here at all. I enjoy working at FundRaiser because my friends at FundRaiser allow me to be myself and encourage me to grow, sometimes in unforeseen and unexpected ways. It's fun working here. Outside of work I enjoy gardening, drumming, friends, firewalking, dressing up in costume, and having opportunities to be useful. I've been active in several local nonprofits and am currently on the board of Downtown West Plains, Inc (a downtown revitalization nonprofit) and the Ozarks Small Business Incubator.
My training and background is in internet technology and computer engineering. I worked in IT at a large phone company in Little Rock, Arkansas. I moved to the West Plains area to be closer to family several years ago. In West Plains, I worked as a computer instructor for Missouri State University, where I heard about a small software company that has been around for many years, and became interested in working there. In 2011, several years after hearing about FundRaiser, I was very pleased to become a part of the technical support team. My three main hobbies are hiking, playing chess, and building guitar amplifiers.
I studied Computer Science and Mass Communications at Missouri Southern State in Joplin, Missouri. At FundRaiser, I like being able to use my background in communications and computers to give excellent quality technical support for those that use our products.
Outside of work, I enjoy hiking and sightseeing. I moved back to West Plains, Missouri to be closer to family after losing my home in the Joplin tornado. I got involved in the community by volunteering for the Howell County Democrats. I enjoyed it and now serve as vice-president for the organization. During college, I was president of the Missouri Southern Ghost Hunters, a paranormal investigation club. I have some pretty interesting stories about it!
Smudge was found by Lily (our Social Media Intern, and daughter of Autumn and Joshua) at the high school tennis courts. She was very tiny and hungry, so the Shirleys brought her home, and helped nurse her back to good health. They then tried to find her a good home, knowing that it would be very difficult to part with her after bonding so strongly. Fortunately, after weeks of trying to find a new home for her, Gene Weinbeck, founder of FundRaiser Software, adopted her, and so she became the Chief Morale Officer here at FundRaiser. Smudge now roams around the office, visiting all the employees, and terrorizing Gene. She can often be found asleep (in wacky positions) in her favorite chair, as she is in the picture. Smudge never ceases to bring a smile to each and every person she runs into, hence her title. She is a very large part of the FundRaiser team, without her, life in the office would be pretty dull!