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Welcome to our new blog series. We'll be sitting down with some of our staff to highlight their industry experience and get their take on the latest fundraising trends.
In this episode, we interviewed Claire Logue, our new Director of Technology Sales.
With over a decade of experience in SaaS technology, data analytics, and technical consulting, she makes an incredible addition to the growing GivingDNA team. Claire is an accomplished leader in the nonprofit industry with experience in major gift fundraising, campaign management, and prospect research. She comes from an extensive working relationship with WealthEngine, Salesforce, and her nonprofit career took her to the American Red Cross National Headquarters, and Pepperdine University.
Listen to or read our conversation with Claire:
Leah: Welcome to the Pursuant Go Beyond Podcast. Today, I'm excited to be sitting down with Claire Logue. Claire just joined the team on the technology side for GivingDNA. And we wanted to grab some time with her to get to know a little bit more about Claire, what she's passionate about, and some of her experience in the nonprofit space. So, Claire, how are you doing today?
Oh, Leah, I'm doing great. I'm really excited to be doing this podcast, but I'm really excited to be here at GivingDNA.
Leah: We're excited to have you, for sure. So why did you decide to join the team?
Well, when I found out about the GivingDNA platform and the power behind it, I really got excited about what the platform actually does because it's that missing piece to the puzzle for development offices. If you think about the third-party screeners out there, vendors that do screenings, they generally will come back every one to three years. A lot of times, you're given a data dump. It’s kind of like buying a car. When you buy a car, you want to know how to drive it. What are those special features that are there? And sometimes what happens is that you're basically given the keys and said, thanks for the business, good luck.
With GivingDNA, the data and guidance are right there. We're actually saying, let the data tell the story. And once we know what that story is, let us tell you what you should be doing with it. GivingDNA is focused on fundraising, so that's exciting. It was really an easy decision because of the power behind the platform. And I just am a data geek.
Leah: What started you on your journey in fundraising and nonprofit work?
I kind of fell into it by accident. It was an internship through college, I started working with a nonprofit and I loved it. I loved the ability to be able to serve the community. And that's really what nonprofits are doing. Our constituent base are clients that are trying to raise money to be able to serve the community through the programs that they have.
You have to be a very unique type of person to work at a nonprofit. And the love of being able to do that, because you're not making a lot of money when you're working with nonprofits. All of that is going back into the community, where it should go. So it just seemed like a natural fit for me.
Leah: Speaking about giving back to the community and working in the nonprofit space, you had some experience working at the American Red Cross. And we were doing a little bit of dialogue here before we hit record, and you described that as being one of the most rewarding experiences you had. Would you care to share a little bit more?
Yeah, I would love to. So I was working, doing major gift fundraising when I first got to the American Red Cross. This is a national organization, and I was doing major gift fundraising for disasters. And my first disaster when I was there was Hurricane George, and it was first hitting overseas. So I was immediately pushed over to the international fundraising and it was just absolutely phenomenal to be able to see all of the impacts that the Red Cross has. And we're going through and I'm loving it. And everyone's seeing the impact that I'm making and bringing in all of these gifts.
And then all of a sudden, we have another hurricane that hits in the United States. And the way that it works is that you have a team that is launched from the development office. And you're there, in the first three weeks you need to raise X amount of dollars. This is obviously outside of any national campaign that the different chapters would have. This is literally raising a million dollars in the first two to three weeks in that community. And you're trying to raise money there.
I think the reason it was most rewarding for me is that I was there in the middle of it. We were one of the first to get to the disaster. And there were people coming up that had lost everything. They had lost their home. They had lost their belongings. Kids had no toys. A lot of them didn't even have clothes, except what was on their back. And so to be able to be there and pass out those coupons to be able to go to Walmart and buy clothes for yourself, or to be able to say, here are some certificates to go stay for the next two weeks in this hotel that we've made a partnership with.
While that we're doing that and seeing that, we're raising money at a major gift level from the corporations, from individuals there that could make these large gifts. And knowing that all of this is going to go back into the community, was incredible. It was a really incredible experience. So being able to be there right in the middle of what the Red Cross does, outside of serving different communities, was extremely rewarding.
Leah: Based on your experience, where do you see more opportunities for technology to play a greater role in fundraising and nonprofit marketing, and even just in the operations of the nonprofit in general? I think we're all seeing huge shifts right now in how work gets done and how we make our decisions.
I would say data analytics, for us data geeks, it's been around for a long time. But I think that with the pandemic and things that have happened, people are realizing how important the data analytics piece really is. Decisions shouldn't be made, organizational decisions, as something as simple as making an ask, without having the data to support that at. Having the machine learning and artificial intelligence and the experience, like with just Pursuant and the birth of the GivingDNA platform, based on all of the wonderful things that the Pursuant agency has done for nonprofits, being able to take that and know exactly what we should do with a client's data and what the data story is, and be able to provide those actions, right?
Going back to what I said before, too often with new technology you're given the key, but you're not given what to do next. I really believe that being able to come in, in the morning, see what your dashboard is telling you, and then being able to go down into further areas of your fundraising efforts and add in the machine learning and the artificial intelligence that's out there, is an evolution that needs to happen. Not just with third-party vendors, but built-in within clients' and the nonprofit's CRMs. So being able to take that, I think that's really where it's leading.
It’s almost like data analytics should be second nature to everyone, but it isn't. There are still so many nonprofits out there for whom this kind of technology is new to them. And so to be working with a company like GivingDNA and to make it so easy for the clients, I think that transition is going to be a lot easier. In my opinion, it's going to be a lot easier for them when they see what the GivingDNA platform will do and how easy it is, and the importance of it.
Leah: Something that is keeping a lot of marketers, and not just marketers who work in the nonprofit space, up at night is waiting to see where some of these data privacy laws are going to go. Trends like Apple having increased privacy with iOS 15 and with third-party cookies going away with Google. The big tech companies are starting to capitalize on the fact that they have a lot of data and they can start to charge premiums for it. Something that we've seen that's important is for nonprofits to start to think of themselves as data companies.
The future remains a little bit murky when it comes to how much publicly available information is going to be out there, or what's going to cost to license it, and how expensive it's going to be. Because of all these impending changes, third-party data is something that nonprofits should be leveraging now, honestly. But beyond that, there’s an overall mindset that you as a nonprofit are sitting on a lot of valuable information, and there are so many different things that you can do with it to help you make decisions that ultimately result in better donor experiences.
I was going to just talk a little bit about that, outside of the data analytics and machine learning. I think that donors now expect a personalized journey. They're expecting that. For the nonprofits that aren't providing that personalized journey, they may see some of their loyal patrons move elsewhere because they're not getting that. I mean, sometimes, to a nonprofit, you may have someone that is absolutely passionate and loves your organization, but financially just does not have the money. But they could be huge influencers in their community and can be an advocate for you on social media. That is still a way of giving back to a nonprofit. Personalization is something that every nonprofit needs to really think about if they're not doing it. With machine learning and artificial intelligence, there's no reason that nonprofits can't head that way.
Leah: This reminds me of something I just experienced a few days ago. A nonprofit was advertising their January exercise challenge. They were inviting people to sign up on Facebook. And I thought that was interesting because I'm a runner, and I use Strava to track my runs. One of the things that I love about the Strava app is not only can I track my activities and see my overall fitness progress, but I can also see what my friends in my network are doing. And I can see if, for example, a friend of mine has signed up for a challenge within the app. And I saw that there was another healthcare organization that was just wrapping up a December exercise challenge that you could join.
The great thing was, is even if you weren't planning on participating in this challenge at the outset, you could sync your exercise data with it. And then if you fulfilled the challenge, you could redeem it for a T-shirt or some kind of a tchotchke from the nonprofit and be also invited to make a donation. I don't know if the whole campaign was advertised on Strava. But they had a presence in this gamified, social exercise app.
And a light bulb that went off for me when I saw this. Nonprofits need to be curious about where their donors are spending their time and all the different environments where their brand can be experienced. One might assume they should advertise on Instagram or Facebook, or just the biggest social platforms. But if you're in the peer-to-peer space, you need to be looking at apps where people interact around things like exercise, because that's where people have siloed that facet of their lives. And I see large nonprofits doing that, but there are a lot of smaller nonprofits that have brand recognition in their region that could do the same thing.
Think about on the GivingDNA platform, how you can go through and take your data and append it and be able to identify the age, the gender, the type of source or method of giving. You can see a certain group of people living in a certain geographic area or even county, and in a certain age group, and ask, do they tend to want to receive the old-fashioned snail mail? Is it email, because they've got their phone all the time? Or is it through some type of social platform or digital marketing?
The fact that the GivingDNA can tell you that was just another reason why I wanted to come work here. Because, again, this is that personalization that has to be done, because that's what people are expecting today.
Leah: Speaking of hobbies and things that we like to do in our spare time, what's something that you enjoy when you're not fundraising or thinking about nonprofit technology?
I absolutely love the beach. Anywhere near the water. And so that's one of my passions, is to get away and go to the beach with my family. Love music, so concerts. It's been sad that we haven't been able to do outdoor concerts, but something that I've always loved to do. And when I can find time, personally, being able to just pick up a book and read is one of my all-time favorites. And I don't mean pick up my iPad and read, I mean the old-fashioned book and turn and all of that. So yeah, that's just something that I find a ton of joy with.
Leah: Speaking of the beach, you and I actually both spent some time at Pepperdine University. We didn't overlap, but you worked there for a time and I was a student there for a time. A question that I would always get asked as a student was, “Did you go there for the beach?” So, did anyone ever ask you that since you're a self-described beach person?
Of course, they did. Part of my reason to move from the east coast to the west coast, the beach had a little bit of impact on it. But in all honesty, when I first got to Pepperdine, my office was a file room. And so I had no view, I kept threatening to paint a picture of a background. But I can say that it's an absolutely beautiful campus. And it was nice during lunchtime to go and sit by the beach and have lunch and watch the dolphins or whatever. So I would say the decision, beach-wise was maybe 30%, and the other 70 was that it was a great opportunity for me in such an awesome school.
Leah: Well, and I'm sure some of the work you did played a role my education, because I was fortunate to benefit from some scholarships there. So perhaps you’re someone I have to thank for getting to attend.
Yes. Well, you're absolutely welcome.
Claire, thank you so much for your time today. I had fun chatting and I look forward to more conversations in the future.
Thank you, Leah. Anytime.