10 years ago I came on board at thedatabank as a temporary independent contractor to fill in while the one-person Sales and Marketing department was on maternity leave.
There were only 6 other employees here, mainly focused on the technical side of things – so it was sink or swim for me!
I learned how to do live web demos by observing Chris Hanson and listening to his taped presentation over and over again. I actually used a microcassette tape player to do so; you don’t see many of those anymore! I also had a 10 pound boombox under my desk when I wanted to hear the news or listen to music.
Five months later I had the privilege of being hired as a full time Sales and Account Representative. I wore a lot of different hats in the old days: sales, marketing, training, support and client care. Teaching others how to use the Databank and answering their day to day questions was the best way to learn the system and understand how to show it to others.
Much of my time was spent answering basic questions and educating people about online, cloud software and CRM. Even though our first client was up and running in 1998, the all-in-one, online database concept was unknown to many nonprofits, and people were very skeptical.
I really enjoyed my long conversations with prospects and clients, getting them up to speed on technology and showing them the wonderful possibilities. The best part of my job was helping people discover a better, more efficient way to do their work, and being here for them as a partner in their mission.
We traveled a lot more back then, attending nonprofit and fundraising conferences. It was always fun to be in different cities and talk to so many nonprofit professionals and clients from around the country.
A few memorable things that have happened on our conference travels:
- The time I was trapped on a bus by an angry driver
- When Chris flicked a chocolate candy over our booth and it hit someone on the head
- Brooke Shields walked right by me on her way to deliver a keynote address
- In Texas, I ate my body weight in meat at one of those Brazilian Barbecue places
As the years have gone by, there has been an explosion of technology and now everything is online and in the cloud. There’s an app for this, a platform for that – and none of us can survive without our devices! There are thousands of cloud applications to choose from and the list keeps growing.
The Databank software, too, continues to change and grow for the better. And I continue to talk with nonprofits about the wonderful possibilities and a more efficient way to work.
So the more things change, the more they stay the same, right? I still enjoy long conversations with prospects and clients, building those relationships and being here to support their missions. It’s been a fun ten years and I’m looking forward to more adventures with the Databank team and our amazing clients as we continue to work together!