An Alumni Confessional

Looking around the newly formed “evertoo” bay of desks, I see a number of pennants, flags, and towels tacked to the walls. At any other company you might assume these would be sports related, but at EverTrue they’re all in with alma maters.

Suddenly, I feel like a bad alumnus — I skipped my reunion, I’ve never donated, and I can’t remember the last time I logged in to MIT’s Infinite Connection.  I initially couldn’t remember our fight song! The fact that I just conducted a very thorough job search but did not use my own alumni network is especially troubling.

Cosine secant tangent sine, 3.14159!

I’ve worked the past six years in #nptech.  I’ve built websites, databases, gone to AFP and NTEN events, and feel like an old timer at conferences.  I’ve worked with the Salesforce platform for most of that time and was recently named an MVP (woohoo!).  Over the past three years I built two small startups: one focused on social media fundraising, and the other is a data hygiene tool for Salesforce.  You might think I’d be a little worn out by all that self entrepeneurship, and you’d be right!  After six years I wanted to have more focus, and to find a larger team and some solid mentors.

At NTC, I was also hoping to find a company ready to make a substantial impact in nonprofit technology.  I have great respect and admiration for vendors and consultants who are working to close technology gaps and offer new, great tools, accessible to all sizes of organizations.  However, I didn’t find anyone who had both fire in their bellies and the resources to leapfrog several long years of bootstrapping.

I had no idea EverTrue existed until some “might as well Google it” searches for Boston startups I hadn’t heard of.  EverTrue – a nonprofit related startup, near to my heart – had a technical architect position listed, but while I was starting to figure out how best to get introduced, the position disappeared from the website.  I did something that almost never gets you a job: I filled out the “Contact Us” form and crossed my fingers.

It worked! With thanks to some friends who knew EverTrue from TechStars, I met with Eric and Brent. We had a lot to talk about.

I think EverTrue’s approach to improving alumni engagement and fundraising technology is very smart. Schools across the land are struggling to update cranky old systems to meet the needs of modern communities. I know from personal experience that upgrading or changing CRM is no small feat. EverTrue’s clever approach is that there’s no need to supplant Raiser’s Edge, Salesforce, or another monolithic CRM when you can just add a mobile friendly, LinkedIn-enhanced layer to place on top.

I can already see what a challenge it has been for alumni officers to do their jobs in the web era.  I look forward to doing what I can to help!

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