Elizabeth Vila is a CRM conversion consultant who uses her knowledge of Blackbaud systems and experience with nonprofit organizations to implement custom solutions for clients..

Get to know her better in this Q+A!

How did you get started in working with nonprofits?
When I was in high school, I spent my summers working at a college preparatory school in Florida. When I first started, my tasks consisted mostly of grunt work – physically and digitally cleaning computers, filing, scanning and data entry.

After manually entering so many test scores, I was convinced there had to be a more efficient manner in which to complete this task! After minimal research, a task that would’ve taken an entire day took only several minutes. Having realized I had an interest and a knack for database management I moved on from the grunt work and into more complex projects like integrating The Education Edge and The Raiser’s Edge databases. The rest is history!

Elizabeth Vila - CRM Conversion Consultant at Zuri Group

What are some of the organizations that you’ve worked with?
Throughout the years, I have primarily worked on projects for higher education institutions. Having been a Blackbaud CRM consultant for over eight years, I’ve worked with a number of organizations, including Boy Scouts of America, University of California Los Angeles, Catholic Health Initiatives, University of Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, The Salvation Army, Syracuse University, Virginia Tech, and Yale University.

What kinds of projects do you work on/what kinds of projects are you most excited to work on?
Over the years I’ve worn various hats on projects – I’ve done functional consulting, business analyst work, reporting writing, data conversions and customization development.

I enjoy working on various aspects of a project to keep my skills sharp. Although, if I had to pick a favorite, data conversions are definitely my specialty – I’m a stickler for data integrity!

What kind of insights from the data are you able to help organizations surface that they wouldn’t be able to do on their own – and what can they do with those insights?
Zuri Group brings an immeasurable amount of non-profit experience across different disciplines to the table. Working with Blackbaud CRM, day in and day out, for many years in different capacities brings with it a level of familiarity with the database schema and constraints that clients wouldn’t have after completing their implementation.

This deep knowledge facilitates data integrity – which leads to a more efficient and reliable operation. Decision making and strategy development heavily rely on good data – as the saying goes “Garbage in, garbage out.”

What is the most exciting nonprofit technology trend you’re following right now?
Interactive reporting. Considering how essential reporting is to any non-profit, interactive reporting is a trend everyone should get behind.

Additionally, when executed properly, interactive reports can enable and empower users to be more self-sufficient and rely less on developers to write additional reports or extract data. We recently dedicated a whole Office Hours session to data visualization, so if you’re curious to see some of these interactive reporting tools in action, you can check that out here.

Why is technology so important in the nonprofit space?
When an organization uses software effectively it can drastically increase efficiency within the organization – giving them more time to focus on their mission.

Elizabeth – we’re so happy to have you on the team!

Lorealle Bishop is a marketing consultant here at Zuri Group. She understands the impact that messaging can have at every touchpoint of the user journey and helps organizations build a communication strategy that reflects their core values and supports their business goals.

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