Member Spotlight

Meet Jamie Heslin!

Meet Jamie Heslin, a Raiser's Edge, TeamRaiser, Luminate Online, and Blackbaud Merchant Services user with Project Angel Heart.
Meet Jamie Heslin!

This Community Corner spotlight shines on Raiser's Edge, Luminate Online, Blackbaud Merchant Services, and Team Raiser user, Jamie Heslin, with Project Angel Heart.

Jamie Heslin's Community Profile>


About Jamie:

Tell us about your family (fur babies count!) "I live with my partner, Cait, and our two black cats, Brody and Zoë. They are twin sisters and they are going to be 12 years old in September! They are still very young looking and acting, and they're as friendly as puppies. I don't think they ever got the memo that cats are supposed to be aloof."

Where do you live: "Denver, CO."

What do you like to do for fun? "When I'm not managing data for Project Angel Heart, I really enjoy reading, cooking, playing board games with friends, hosting dinner parties, writing, crafting, camping, and just hanging out at home with my partner and cats. I also like to attend events around my wonderful city, from art openings to festivals to local performances."

What’s a life achievement you are particularly proud of? "I'm only 31, so I hope I still have lots more time to accomplish more! But a recent achievement I am proud of is attaining my bCRE at the professional level. I work very hard at being my best in the work I do, and it's nice to have something to show for it!"


What’s one memory that always makes you smile? "I lived in a studio apartment in the heart of downtown Denver on the third floor. I had probably only had my new kittens for a few days when my friend, Suzi, came over to meet them. But when I looked for them to introduce her, I couldn't find them anywhere! It was hard to imagine where they could be since I lived in such a tiny space, but we proceeded to check everywhere we could think of. Were they in the closet? Nope! How about the bathroom? Nope! Were they under my little desk? Not there either. They couldn't be under my bed, since there was no frame. How about in the little kitchenette area? Nowhere to be seen!

We started to panic, had they gotten out as Suzi came into my apartment? We checked the halls--but no luck. We started to get really creative then. Behind the toilet? On the top shelf of the closet? In the fridge? No, no, and no. I remembered that there was a small hole in the screen of my window. Could they have crawled out? Oh no!, we thought, we're on the third floor! We checked, but they hadn't crawled out the window.

After a while, we realized we should probably give up. We had looked everywhere. As a last ditch effort, Suzi opened my silverware drawer, and surprisingly, there they were! We couldn't believe it! Two tiny black kittens were snuggled up together in this small drawer, asleep. We determined they got in by climbing in from the backside of the drawer, getting in through the open cabinet space underneath. We never could have imagined we would find them there, but we were so relieved! Those adorable little kittens kept getting into the drawer for weeks after, until they finally got too big. It was more than ten years ago now, but my friend and I still laugh about it from time to time."


Tell us about your organization: "Project Angel Heart's mission is to deliver nutritious meals to improve quality of life, at no cost, for those coping with life-threatening illness. This year is our 25th, marking 25 years of delivering meals with love to people living with life threatening illness. We're so proud of how far we've come, from serving our first meal of donated lasagna to 12 clients in 1991 to serving freshly prepared, medically tailored meals to 2,830 clients in 2016."

What’s a typical day like for you? "A typical day for me is always a little unpredictable. I manage all of the data that flows in, through, and out of Raiser's Edge, from gift entry to volunteer timesheets to email subscriptions and beyond. I track, analyze, and report on all of that data, building custom reports whenever needed, exporting mailing lists, and finding new ways to bend the tools we have to serve our evolving needs. I also build and maintain many of our web forms for donations and event registrations, and we've been transitioning from Online Express to Luminate Online for the past several months! It has been very challenging work. Because I handle so many functions and hold the keys to all of our donor and volunteer data, I am constantly fielding requests for lists, reports, and new analysis. It's always a little unpredictable and challenging, but I appreciate the diversity of work that I do."


What’s the best part of your job? "The best part of my job is knowing that when I excel at my work, it furthers my organization's mission. I know that efficient, meaningful tracking of and service for donors and volunteers directly translates into more revenue, more efficiently used, which ultimately means more meals for more clients in my community. On a nerdier level, I really love when a query or report works perfectly or numbers line up just so. Managing data can often feel like performing an improv ballet, and it is always satisfying when I feel like all the elements seem to fall into place in such a way that it looks effortless."

What advice would you give someone starting out in the non-profit field? "Volunteer! I ended up in my position after volunteering, and I always recommend it to others. By volunteering, you can really get to know an organization and its mission. You can also get a taste of the different roles people work within a non-profit, from fundraising to daily operations, which helps when you're trying to figure out the best fit for you."


What do you love about the Blackbaud Community? "Even with the knowledgebase (kb) and Training Central available, Blackbaud product users often need more support in using their tools to the best of their potential. Solutions offered in kb and through training have to be generalized by design to work for the many types of organizations that use these products. Community offers Blackbaud product users a resource where they can learn from others--in the very distinct ways that they use these products--how to grow their knowledge and update or design their processes from actual conversations with other real-world users of these products. And of course, many of us who do this kind of work are often one of the only people at our organizations who do the work we do. It can get lonely, so it's always nice to interact with people who get it."

If you were a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be? "
If I were a sandwich, I'd probably be a cucumber sandwich made with fresh dill, cream cheese, and Irish butter on really nice white bread because 1) it's one of my favorite kinds to eat! 2) they're elegant and not too filling and 3) they can be surprisingly complex in their simplicity and they go so well with a variety of treats and snacks. Also, I love tea parties!"
Posted by Crystal Bruce on Jul 14, 2016 3:06 PM America/New_York

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Love your glasses and sandwich choice!
  • Posted Fri 15 Jul 2016 12:04 PM EDT