Faces From The Neighborhood

Amanda Jarman Puts Data to Work with Fundraising Nerd

Fundraising Nerd

Amanda Jarman is kind of like a super hero for nonprofit fundraisers. She’s hip, smart and beautiful, and provides much needed help to nonprofits with her business, Fundraising Nerd. Fundraising Nerd is all about helping non profit organizations use their data to raise more money.

Data to Dollars: Amanda is very clear about her vision and purpose. She helps nonprofits raise more money by helping them use their existing donor data to identify and target those people most likely to donate. The problem is, she says, most nonprofits just don’t know how to use their data effectively.  Amanda helps these organizations by:

  1. Working with the software and Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems the organization uses;
  2. Reviewing the data within those systems to identify patterns to identify likely donors; and,
  3. Setting up systems to coordinate data collection, and to use that data to direct fundraising efforts to those likely donors.

Rescue in the Back Office: Amanda is the back office hero.  She goes to an organization and uses the seemingly disparate data and data management systems to set up systems to make it all work together and for the organization. Then, the nonprofit can grow and raise more money quicker, easier, and with less staff. In essence, she helps the nonprofit get more with less.

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More Time For People: The beauty of her work is that once a nonprofit gets its back office systems working for it, the staff has more time for other work.  Amanda says a huge part of fundraising is building relationships, having face-to-face time with past and potential donors. Instead of spending hours managing or searching for data, fundraising staff now have time to do what they do best – build and nurture those relationships.

It’s Personal:  But Amanda’s work is personal too.  She goes into an organization and gets to know it and its people. Then, she incorporates that personal knowledge into the plan she helps the organization develop. The action plans are customized for each organization, with what I call purposeful data mining and systems development to help the organization achieve its fundraising goals.

Energetic Jump Start: I can imagine that working with Amanda is also loads of fun.  Yes, she is concise, intelligent, and knows her stuff.  But, she is just great to be around too.  Amanda has a positive energy that seems endless. She’s kind and friendly, and instantly makes you want to be her friend.  I can see how bringing Amanda into an organization would also jump start and energize the staff.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.

To Do Some Good: Amanda started in the nonprofit world right after college. She is a do-gooder by nature and began her career at a Women’s Shelter on its development team. She spent time working at Lewis & Clark College doing prospecting research, where she discovered her niche in technology.  Most recently, she worked at Portland State University, where she excelled as a member of its development team managing donor data, further mastering her fundraising, technical and data management skills.

The Circle of Good: Amanda remarks that it feels like she’s now come full circle.  She began at a small organization that lacked a lot of technical skills and probably therefore left fundraising dollars on the table. She worked with a very large organization that had more tools and staff at its disposal to manage all aspects of fundraising. Now, she brings her skills into organizations of all sizes, so they can reap the benefits of their data and not leave much needed funds on the table.

Amanda’s Back Office: It’s apparent when speaking with Amanda that she loves her work.  Her business is growing, sometimes quite fast.  She hopes one day to take on staff, but for now her cats will do. She says that her cats make bad assistants, though, as much as she loves them.  Her two cats love to participate in conference calls or volunteer to help with keyboard work. Mostly, they are great company for the sometimes long days.

Pac NW Roots: Amanda grew up in SW Washington.  She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, and after graduation moved to Olympia.  When she moved to Portland, she decided to make Portland her permanent home.  Amanda says Portland is like a big city with a small city feel.  She likes watching all the ways Portland has changed over the years, and enjoys all the vitality it has.  In her spare time, she reads, gardens and cooks.Learn more about Amanda as Fundraising Nerd at www.fundraisingnerd.com.

 Featured image source: Amanda Jarman
Lisa Ratzlaff

Lisa Ratzlaff is a web designer who loves telling the amazing stories of interesting people and businesses in Portland, Oregon. Her web design business is Share Your Story Media, where she builds powerful websites for small service-based businesses that help them succeed online.