We’re proud of the research we do at Ajah – it’s a big part of what differentiates us from other fundraising products.  When our clients log into Fundtracker, they are able to access the most up-to-date information on funders available.  Ever wonder how it happens? We sat down for a short chat with one of own, Bhavya Raju Mandya, to find out what goes on behind the interface.

Bhavya, a software engineer by training, arrived in Montreal in 2008 as a newlywed.  In her native India, she had worked for a large telecommunications company and taught computer skills on a volunteer basis at an orphanage.  Once settled in Canada, however, she realized she wanted a change of pace and volunteered with different organizations and festivals, trying to find the right fit for her computer science background and her burgeoning interest in the not-for-profit sector.

That right fit came in the form of a posting for a research stagière at Ajah.  Now employed full-time, Bhavya manages the research that goes into creating funder profiles – the very basis of Fundtracker.

Bhavya’s main responsibility is to coordinate the update and review of funder profiles on a regular basis, in addition to constantly adding new funding opportunities and gifts.  This includes managing the information like giving, geographical focus and deadlines for multiple kinds of funders found in Fundtracker.

She doesn’t do this alone.  Bhavya also manages a team of junior researchers at Ajah.

“The first thing I do when we welcome new researchers is to orient them to the importance of funding for non-profit organizations.  A missed or incorrect deadline may have a devastating impact for a non-profit, so our entire research team works extremely hard to ensure the information in Fundtracker is accurate. We pay attention to the details because we really care and understand the importance of funding for non-profits.”

Bhavya’s background as a software engineer comes in handy.  She uses her SQL knowledge to query Fundtracker, looking for gaps in information or to pinpoint profiles that need updating.  Her background also makes it easy for her to communicate the research team’s needs to Ajah’s development crew, especially when it comes to building and testing in-house tools.

Ajah also uses automated research to update the database, particularly when it comes to updating information found on the T3010 filings of Canadian grant-making foundations. Machines can’t quite make educated deductions (yet), so we consider ourselves lucky that knowledgeable and detail-oriented Bhavya and her team are around to review discrepancies and use “common sense” when it comes to the data that is at the very basis of Fundtracker.