Community Member Spotlight: Meet Cassie Chilcutt with the Grand Canyon Conservancy!
Blackbaud Community member Cassie Chilcutt leveraged Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT’s new AI capabilities to help major gift officers use their time and money more effectively when seeking prospects to support her amazing organization, The Grand Canyon Conservancy. You can read their customer story here.
Read more about Cassie’s pivotal role using Prospect Insights and be sure to ask her what her favorite true crime podcast is in the comments (or recommend your favorite to her!).
Community, meet Cassie!
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My husband, Pete, and I have been together for 13 years, three of those years married, and we live in St. Charles, Missouri.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I like to travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s far away or just a quick weekend trip, I like to get out of town! I also enjoy reading, listening to true crime podcasts, and playing video games.
Q: What is an achievement (personal or professional) of which you are particularly proud?
A: I’m a first-generation graduate, I’m proud of attending college to receive two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree. Education is both fun and important to me.
Q: What is one memory that always makes you smile?
A: We traveled to Iceland in 2018 and it was truly magical. The scenery is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. One day we hiked up a mountain to soak in a hot stream in the middle of nowhere. It was amazing and something we’ve never done before.
Q: Tell us about your organization:
A: Grand Canyon Conservancy (GCC) is the official philanthropic and collaborative partner of Grand Canyon National Park. Our mission is the inspire generations of park champions to cherish and support the natural and cultural wonder of Grand Canyon. Our goal is to provide enriching and fulfilling visitor experiences and protect the park for future generations. If you haven’t visited yet, I suggest you put it on the top of your list!
Q: Tell us about your role as prospect research manager. What does your typical day look like, and what is your favorite part of your job?
A: GCC created my role in 2022 and I’ve been on board for a year now. I’ve been building this position from the ground up, which is both exciting and challenging. I assist our frontline fundraisers with their portfolios, implement moves management, and conduct research on individuals and organizations. Identifying prospects who can support our mission and partner with us to support this natural beauty is very motivating for me. I spend most of my time digging into our database, segmenting data, screening records, and writing policy centered around prospect research management.
Q: Your role involves research to identify major gift opportunities. You were one of the first Blackbaud customers to use the new Prospect Insights, an artificial-enabled prospect research tool for Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT. Tell us about that experience:
A: I was told when I came on board that we had just added Prospect Insights to our contract, and I was really excited about that. I love to learn new tools and knew it would help our frontline fundraisers as well. One of the first things GCC asked of me when I started was a list of our top prospects, and Prospect Insights does exactly that. I’m able to take that tool and show our team who we should be focusing on, what the quality of their portfolio is, and how to use the data to make educated asks.
Q: What process improvement wins did you discover while utilizing artificial intelligence? What discoveries would you like to share with others exploring ways to use AI to streamline their fundraising work?
A: What I like about Prospect Insights is I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It is always up to date, there is nothing I must refresh manually. It helps me have a conversation with a gift officer when their prospect is labeled as “under giving” and we can discuss strategies to get them to increase their commitment to the next level. Prospect Insights has been a great resource to see giving indicators and giving behavior. I like to push our fundraisers a bit and point out that just because a donor has been giving the same for years, doesn’t mean that’s what their full capacity is. I don’t think people should be afraid of AI, it’s here to support us. AI can’t build relationships with people like fundraisers can, but it can help us meet the right people and connect them to what they are passionate about.
Q: You’ve been a Blackbaud Community member since 2019 (thank you!). What do you enjoy most about it, and how has being able to connect with peers helped you?
A: I love the Blackbaud Community because it’s a group of people just like me. When I’m looking for feedback on a process, trying to see how others do things, or solve a problem, I start there. The products are always changing, and I like the collaboration of seeing how others are adapting things to fit their needs. I also love that there is a job board so we can post openings to people who are already using the systems we use. I would love to meet more prospect research people like me, reach out!
Q: To close us out, can you share your favorite images from The Grand Canyon?
A: I’m so lucky to have grown up in a family that valued and visited national parks. I’ve actually visited the Canyon five times before becoming an employee at GCC. I’ve included some pictures from my trip in 2022.
Nice publicity for NXT…does anyone talks about the (pros &) cons? many charities want to leave or have already left because BB are forcing charities to migrate to NXT. I will definitely find other databases rather than go on NXT.
There's plenty of NXT-critical discussion from clients across the Blackbaud Community forums, as there should be. However, I don't think the comments section of a member spotlight post is the appropriate place for that discourse.