Before joining GivingData, Eric Jones spent his early professional life as a program officer in the foundation community. After earning his Masters in Public Administration from Indiana University Bloomington, he spent seven years at the Pasadena-based Flintridge Foundation. After a stint with the National Forest Foundation in Oregon, Eric joined the Portland-based Meyer Memorial Trust as program officer, with a focus on conservation initiatives. After relocating from Oregon to Colorado, he joined the Bohemian Foundation in Fort Collins. In 2019, Eric joined us as a Senior Project Manager, where he draws upon his unique background to help others strategically align GivingData's tools with their grantmaking programs and processes.

Eric's interest in conservation issues comes to him naturally. He's an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for hiking, skiing, and other wilderness adventures afforded him by life in the Colorado Rockies, where he resides with his wife and youngest daughter.

You worked in the foundation community for many years. What inspired you to join GivingData?

During my time in philanthropy, I quickly learned the value of an easy-to-use and efficient grant management system. To be honest, I didn't know about GivingData until I applied for the job and started researching the product. After seeing the platform in action, I knew I wanted to be a part of the company that created it.

How do you see GivingData changing the way foundations work? What impact is it having?

Just the intuitive design alone makes it possible for more foundation staff to use the system. This helps to decentralize and democratize the grantmaking process which reduces the administrative burden on the grants management team. That allows those teams to devote more of their time to analyzing data, informing foundation strategy, and streamlining grant processes. A few of our newest features are helping to improve the flow of information between grantees and grantmakers, streamline internal processes, and facilitate data analysis.

What does GivingData's purpose-driven mission mean to you?

It means a lot. One of the reasons I was drawn to philanthropy was the opportunity to work for mission-driven organizations and contribute to issues important to me. What's great about my role at GivingData is that I get to help a variety of grantmakers improve the way they support amazing nonprofits working on issues I’m passionate about, like climate change, advancing social justice, and improving education outcomes.

What excites you about the future of GivingData? 

I would say that this is an incredibly exciting time to join GivingData. We’ve experienced steady growth almost exclusively through word of mouth, but with the roll-out of our new product tiers and new initiatives like our client Knowledge Base, I expect the next few years to be marked by rapid growth. I’m also gratified to work for a company that is incredibly intentional about building a culture that supports diversity, acknowledges our own shortcomings, and takes concrete steps to address them.

Which aspect of your work is most rewarding?

When I’m working with a client on an implementation and they say "wow, this is going to make our process so much easier" or when they express surprise and say "it can do that?" To me, GivingData has achieved this incredible sweet spot by pairing outstanding design with a full featured grants management system, so I fully expect these types of comments to become even more common.