92: The People Behind the Products: We All Use Data and Now It’s Time to Harness It with Nejeed Kassam

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“I come to the space without the biases and the myopic view of only being a fundraiser or only being a program manager … I’ve been able to be at 10,000 feet and not always in the weeds, but I’ve also been in the weeds.”

– Nejeed Kassam
Episode #92


In this episode of What the Fundraising Podcast…

How’s your data hygiene? No need to panic! As we learn on this episode of What the Fundraising, our metrics don’t need to be perfect. In fact, according to my guest, Nejeed Kassam, Founder & CEO of Keela and Co-Founder of Fundraising Kit, missteps and gaps are a given. But that’s not the bigger problem here. The first hurdle is the tendency to bury our heads in the sand. Prone to perfectionism, many of us in the nonprofit world are afraid that our data isn’t pristine enough, and our numbers are not impressive enough. The truth is, says Nejeed, things are seldom as bad as we fear and always better positioned for success – when we actually look at the numbers!  And the Keela platform that he and his team have developed is designed to make your nonprofit’s numbers empowering, not intimidating! 

Founded in 2013, Keela’s mission is driven by people like Nejeed, for whom giving back is a core value. Using a targeted, multi-channel communications and marketing approach, the Keela platform was designed expressly to ease the burden on the humans providing the heart and soul of fundraising. So if you’re feeling fearful of all things data-driven, this episode is your point of entry. Take the plunge and you’ll see: What we imagine is never worse than what we actually know – and have the tools to address. There is a powerful upside potential of deploying technologies like artificial intelligence and pinpointed communications if we’re open enough to try them.

Please come on over and visit our lively new What the Fundraising community forum. You can join the conversation at this link.

Please note: This episode is a part of a very special series called The People Behind the Products. More than ever, nonprofits care about the company behind their technology and service providers. What’s the underlying mission and vision of the company? What do they stand for? And how are they thinking about the sector and serving nonprofits? This series is an opportunity to get to know some of my favorite nonprofit technology companies so that the next time you’re making a tech decision, you can understand a little bit more about the people behind the product. There is no sponsorship or industry money behind the production of this series and the editorial content was at the sole discretion of the What the Fundraising team.




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Get to know Nejeed:

Nejeed Kassam is the CEO and founder of Keela – an impact technology company, dedicated to empowering nonprofits with accessible software. He is also the founder of Fundraising KIT – the world’s leading AI-powered predictive analytics tool, built exclusively for fundraisers and nonprofits. Nejeed was educated at McGill University (B.A.) and Osgoode Hall Law School (JD). Called to the Bar in Ontario in 2015 and in British Columbia in 2017, Nejeed is also the founder of the public policy organizations Better Canada Initiative and Believe Vancouver. He is the former executive director of both End Poverty Now and Conversations for Change. Nejeed is a global innovator with experience working for the United Nations and the Senate of Canada. He is the author of the book ‘High on Life’ (foreword written by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien) and the co-producer of the documentary, ‘Conversations for Change’. Nejeed sits on a number of corporate, education, and non-profit boards, has spoken at conferences around the world, and is an alumnus of the Global Shapers Community (World Economic Forum) and a former fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts in the UK. In 2012, Nejeed received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his contribution and service to Canada.


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