Cathy Michitsch, b-CFRE, PMP, CRCP

Some background tidbits about Cathy:

  • In Information Technology since 1982 (hides her grey hairs well)
  • First 7 years of her career she spent at Manulife Financial both at Head Office and in a top end branch. Received her FLMI, Life Insurance and Disabilities Agent licenses to be on the top branches management team and was completing her Charter Life Underwriter’s designation when she left Manulife. Spent time at Manulife as a software developer, then and I.T. Manager but became very interested in charities and how they related to life insurance. Decided to start providing technology services to Non Profit Organizations. (So basically started in fund raising by learning Planned Giving!)
  • Founded Michitsch Systems July 1st, 1992
  • Has been supporting Non Profit Organizations with their technology issues since that time.
  • Supporting and Teaching Raiser’s Edge clients since 1994 / 1996
  • Ran the local Raiser’s Edge User Group for many years before Blackbaud decided that independent consultants were not a good fit as User Group leaders.
  • Teaching as a Night School Instructor for the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) since September 1989 and recently received her award for 20 Years of Service to BCIT.
  • Been teaching Crystal Reports development and business intelligence for approximately the last 15 years at BCIT.
  • Cathy’s two main focuses are Raiser’s Edge and Crystal Reports and how to get the most out of your fund raising database. She also works with Organizations to use Business Intelligence Metrics and Key Performance Indicators to help you raise more money.

Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP) experience:

  • To give back to her clients and the non profit community in Vancouver and surrounding areas, Cathy joined AFP as opposed to helping just one or two of her client sites. Her feeling is that to support an organization that supports Fund Raisers, is a way of giving back.
  • She currently finished her six year term on the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP),Vancouver Chapter, Board.
  • Chaired the Every Member Campaign in 2009 for the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada.
  • Was the co-chair of Vancouver’s National Philanthropy Day celebration in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and has sat on this committee since 2003
  • She has worked on the Professional Development Committee for 5 years prior to her commitments for the Philanthropy Day celebrations.

Crystal Developers User Group of BC (

  • Cathy is Chair and a founding member of the Crystal Developers User Group of BC (for the last 8 years)
  • Other Board Members are from WorkSafe BC, ICBC, UBC and independents.
  • They bring together about 75 – 150 people once a quarter to learn more features about the SAP/Business Objects Products and how to use these reporting tools.

Crystal Reports Special Interest Group – Global Business Objects Network

  • Cathy was Program Chair for the CR SIG GBN and aided in building the Reporting topics and speakers for 2009’s User Conference from GBN (which is the SAP User Group for Business Objects Users)
  • Other members on the CR SIG include a variety of volunteers from around North America including, the author of the Crystal Reports reference books, employees of Pepisco, SAP, USInfoTech, Davisco Foods, & Lufkin Industries.

Speaking Engagements

  • AFP Events
  • Canadian Museum Association Events
  • Raiser’s Edge User Groups
  • Crystal Developers User Groups in Vancouver, Santa Clara, New Orleans
  • Wired Woman Events
  • Business Networking International Events
  • Convocation Speaker for Capilano College Graduating Class in 2003
  • Interviewed by Woman’s Television Network (WTN), BCTV, Shaw Cable on various topics
  • Filmed on a CR ROM video produced for high school students (how to manage as an I.T. Entrepreneur).
  • Business Objects Insights Conferences 2005 (Orlando), 2006 (San Francisco) and 2007 (Orlando)

Other Information:

Crystal Reports

  • Cathy has been using Crystal Reports since version 3.0 and has been teaching it since version 5.0. Throughout her years of Report Writing she has used her Crystal Knowledge to use a myriad of report design products to help her clients review and analyze their data.
  • Cathy has been teaching Crystal Reports for over 15 years and is a CRCP (Certified Crystal Reports Professional)
  • She has worked for clients such as the Fraser Health Authority, REI (in the USA, similar to MEC here in Vancouver) and numerous smaller projects of up to 10 people for various Non-profit Organizations.
  • She has also done customized training for clients to bring their staff up to speed on their database and Crystal Reports.

Raiser’s Edge

  • Cathy has been heavily involved with Raiser’s Edge since the mid 1990’s. Her area of expertise covers all versions of Raiser’s Edge from the DOS versions to the latest version versions & patches of 7.91.x.
  • Over the years she has worked with many high-profile non-profit organizations throughout North America, such as the, BCSPCA, the Vancouver Aquarium, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to name a few.
  • Cathy possesses an in-depth knowledge of the Raiser’s Edge front end and has guided implementations and/or migrations of Raiser’s Edge from an assortment of other databases or previous versions of Raiser’s Edge.
  • Cathy is a Raiser’s Edge training specialist, running onsite sessions for entire organizational departments, and writing policies and procedures manuals that address each organization’s unique mandate and needs.
  • Cathy has a knack for translating computer jargon into business parlance as well as putting the fund raising database features into functions performed by fund raisers. For example, where are all the places in Raiser’s Edge could you set up a Moves Management System? How to handle Annual Giving, Major Giving, Prospect Management, Planned Giving, in your system.
  • Blackbaud previously hired Cathy and her Team in 2000 – 2001 to do Data Conversions for them until they made the strategic decision to do all their Data Conversions in house. However, Cathy has continued doing Data Conversions for the clients that chose not to spend the rates charged by Blackbaud.
  • Cathy has touched/worked on/been involved with 140 fund raising databases since 1992.
  • Cathy has converted hundreds of data files (or taught staff to do them) from online websites, event tracking, auction software, Campus Call software (Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation).
  • Tons of experience managing website development projects with her Software Firm. Ensuring that Users give her and her staff all their requirements up front.

Other Fundraising Software

Other fundraising packages that the Michitsch Systems team have had exposure to, converted from, or supported over the years:

  • Tons of experience managing website development projects with her Software Firm. Ensuring that Users give her and her staff all their requirements up front.
  • Income Manager 5.4 and Income Manager Enterprise (2010 implementations)
  • DonorPerfect
  • E-Tapestry
  • GiftMaker Pro
  • FundMaster (several versions)
  • Many homegrown/legacy systems

Project Management Experience

  • Cathy received her PMP (Project Management Professional) designation in July 2009 after proving 10,000 hours of Project Management experience, completed her current 35 hours of training from the National Project Management institute in June 2009 and writing the PMP exam in early July.
  • From October to April 2009, Cathy was a on the UBC Links Project Team lending her non-profit database industry experience to aid in producing their Request for Proposal, writing Case Studies Demo Scripts, attended software demos ….
  • From July 2005 – August 2006 Cathy was the Technical Project Lead at Save the Children, USA in Westport, CT. Lead them through a large implementation of Raiser’s Edge 7 which included cleaning up their RE 6 data, integrating RE 7 with an AS400 application, 2 data migration test runs and 1 live production data run of 1.5 million constituents and 9 million gifts.
  • Prior to July 2005, Cathy has acted as Project Manager on almost all Raiser’s Edge Implementations or Migrations. Whether the projects took weeks, months or even over 1 year, Cathy helped to keep all parties on track.
  • Cathy also was a part time IT Manager for Moore-Clark, Nutreco Canada (a fish feed manufacturer). During her years working at Moore-Clark she ran numerous projects, such as:
    1. Putting in a new local area network, new servers and network structure over time
    2. Was on the team to uncover all software requirements to put in an Enterprise wide system that would integration with the International Systems, with headquarters in Norway.
    3. Was the Vancouver Project Manager on the Year 2000 project for all their software applications and worked the Year 2000 midnight shift as each Production Plant and office, around the world, signed off that their systems were all working.
  • In the 1990’s, Cathy was Project Manager for three big projects for the Vancouver Aquarium.
    1. Retail System
    2. Admissions System
    3. Membership and Fundraising System (Raiser’s Edge)

For each of these systems she gathered Requirements, lead Team Meetings, wrote our Request for Proposals, organized Software Vendor demos, built the Software Vendor/Features Matrices and ensured needs were going to be met through many Software Vendor and Aquarium Management discussions. She then helped with the actual Software Selection process, and continued on during the Software Implementation.

During the Retail project, Cathy also Project Managed the redesign/rebuilding of the Clamshell Gift Shop so that they could go live with their new system, in new sales terminal counters, etc. She kept all pertinent dates in Microsoft Project and had everyone refer to the Project Plan to keep on track, including the mill workers, internal Aquarium Facilities Management and the building contractors.

  • Prior to July 1992 Cathy ran Projects for Manulife Financial as their I.T. Manager in one of their Vancouver Branches. Projects included putting in their first local area network, various client lead databases, etc.
  • In the While at Manulife Financial’s Head Office, Cathy was on a high end Marketing Systems Team that took Mainframe Cobol programs, migrated them to the first PC’s and created leading edge PC based applications. She managed the delivery of the application (called “Workstation”) to many of the branches across Canada and traveled as one of their lead software trainers. Thus developing a love for teaching software applications.
  • Cathy has run her Software Firm since July 1992 and during that time handled many software requirement meetings, project milestone meetings and all that software development entails.

Higher Education Experience

Cathy has worked on several Raiser’s Edge databases (with Alumni tracking, Scholarships/Bursaries/Endowment tracking, interfaces to Banner, Capital Campaigns) for

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Capilano College
  • Vancouver Community College
  • Kwantlen College
  • Douglas College
  • University College of the Fraser Valley
  • University of Northern BC (they did have Raiser’s Edge)
  • Pacific College of the North West (Oregon)
  • Vancouver School of Theology – Spring / Summer 2007
    1. Cathy managed the project (ongoing Summer 2007)
    2. Cathy did data conversion for old Paradox home grown system into Blackbaud’s SIS
    3. Implementing a new Blackbaud Student Information System
    4. Includes a Student Portal and a Faculty Portal
    5. Years ago did their original Raiser’s Edge conversion and implementation

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