Do any of these names ring a bell for you?
There are a plethora of names for the technology non-profit organizations and churches use to manage their records of membership or donors.
No matter what you call it, this system (database) is the very heart of your operation which pumps blood (i.e. information) to all other areas of your organization. If this vital organ is showing signs of disease or aging, less blood will flow to the other important organs of the body and eventually the heart will fail.
Now, internal medicine is not our specialty. But you get the idea! Without a database that has the latest tools and features, your staff will be unnecessarily overworked and frustrated while your communication with members/donors will be sporadic and uninspiring.
How do you know when you need a new database? If your system checks any one of the boxes below, your database is no longer meeting the needs of your organization:
ONE: Still Using Software
During the COVID pandemic, we learned how important it was to be able to access important files and tools while at home rather than in the office. Three years later, we still see organizations limit their efficiencies by using a database software solution that is only installed on a computer or two in the physical office.
Database tools should be available to your staff wherever they are working on whichever device they choose, either through a secure web browser or a mobile app. Giving your staff the tools they need, when they need them, creates a much more efficient process and ensures data integrity.
If your team has to wait until they are “in the office” to update records or find member/donor contact information, you can imagine what may accidentally get missed or how much longer tasks will take.
We have even seen staff have confidential information of donors/members insecurely stored on their personal laptops because they haven’t had the chance to get to the office yet.
Your organization must securely store and handle the confidential and personally identifiable information of those who support your mission.
Ask your current provider if they have a web-based or cloud-based option. If not, it is time for a new system.
TWO: Limited or No Integrations Available
When managing a non-profit or church, so many systems and processes are essential to your mission—giving and donor management, new visitor tracking, event registration, reporting, email lists, etc.
Yet, we rarely find that these systems “talk to each other”. Therefore, your staff is spending a significant amount of time updating individual systems, pulling reports from multiple sources, or following up to collect payments for registrations received months ago.
Imagine how the scenarios below could have an impact on your organization, your supporters, and your staff:
THREE: Takes Longer Than 1 Minute to Pull Reports
Pulling a list of members or donors is an important task so that your leadership can be informed and analyze trends. Unfortunately, we have found this simple task can take hours for staff to run database queries to provide accurate results on outdated systems.
Specific reports, such as a list of households with children 0–5 years old or a list of donors who have given more than $100 in the last 12 months, should be easily accessible to best serve your mission
These reports tell an important story about your organization. Yet, if it takes considerable time to find the data and write the story, then leaders and staff cannot make informed decisions or communicate proactively. This is devastating for an organization’s growth when information is a prevalent and powerful tool.
FOUR: No Campaign tracking
Having the financial resources to live out your mission is crucial, which means fundraising is essential to your daily operations.
Fundraising technology has adapted substantially in the last 15 years with the global adoption of online giving, digital payment systems, online banking, etc.
This new technology requires updated security measures so it is a great time to evaluate the fundraising and payment tools you offer for donors.
Many systems now offer online giving which directly connects to member profiles in the database (with secured access for only admin users) as well as pledge and campaign management tools.
You can still collect intent cards or paper pledges in addition to offering the opportunity to make a commitment online for those busy families and donors who prefer digital options. Real-time status reporting is available to help your staff communicate campaign progress as often as you prefer— pulling reports is no longer needed!
You could also send email reminders ONLY to those donors who have not made a commitment, rather than blasting your entire audience. All at the click of two buttons—seriously, only two clicks.
Now, you may be thinking this has to be too good to be true and there is no such thing as a perfect system. And you are right about the second part…there is no perfect system, but a few come close.
We highly recommend taking a closer look at:
Ultimately, your organization should use a database system that simplifies your processes, increases the productivity of staff, and allows for better communication with donors and members.
During the COVID pandemic, it became clear to many organizations that their website was not meeting their needs. We have heard the following from many of our partners:
“Our website is too confusing/difficult to update.”
“People can’t find the information they need.”
“Our website is almost 10 years old and it looks like it!”
You already know the importance of your website for connecting with potential visitors or donors. So we will jump off that soap box and focus on why your website needs to be inspiring and actionable and how you can implement some simple best practices!
Your Website is a TV CommerciaL, Not a Billboard
Many organizations still treat their website like a bulletin board—informational, static, and updated only a few times a year.
When in reality, your website needs to be a TV commercial—inspiring people to take action through stories and visuals, addressing pain points with regularly updated messaging.
Meaning, your website should be a visual representation of your organization’s personality/mission and include the most relevant information people need to know about your ministries, services, or events.
However, we are finding many websites are still outdated, difficult to navigate, have little to no photos, and way too much text to read through.
Here are a few ways you can make your website the communication hub it needs to be to engage with visitors!
HUB FOR TELLING STORIES…AT LEAST MONTHLY!
Most websites have a blog feature built into the platform. Begin to utilize this blog feature to share stories of the amazing work your organization is doing. You get caught up in “what is coming” and promote future events that you forget to look back and celebrate the awesome impact you are making in the world.
Take Action: Ask a volunteer or two to write up some stories about your organization, the people it serves, and the impact you are making. Publish these stories on your website blog and then showcase them on your homepage.
You should also categorize/tag each blog story by topic so you can display relevant stories on specific pages of your website.
For example, volunteers sharing stories of why they love to volunteer should show up on your volunteer recruitment page. Rather than you talking about why people should volunteer, what better way to inspire others to sign up than by sharing stories from actual volunteers?
Hub for all RSVPs, Links, & Sign Ups
You should be using your website to house all event RSVPs or volunteer sign-ups. By doing so, people already connected to you can find the information 24/7, even when they are not on site.
Any potential supporters can also engage with the same information while they learn more about your organization. You know the whole two birds, one stone thing.
Many organizations send out monthly or weekly email newsletters to their donors or members, yet that same important information never makes it onto the website. We know you have the details, but it’s simply not available on your most important communication channel.
Take action: Take an hour once a week and make sure your upcoming events and opportunities are easily accessible on the website, on the homepage, and on a calendar/events/news page.
Many website providers have a calendar, event, or blog feature that can be utilized to showcase upcoming events and ministry opportunities. It should look something like this:
If your website does not have this feature, then it may be time for an upgrade! It is incredibly important to have an events feature that is easy to update so staff/volunteers can avoid spending hours creating new website pages for each upcoming opportunity or removing event details after they have passed.
HUb for Pictures & Visuals
For our church partners, we usually find a picture of their church building within five seconds of being on the website. However, buildings are not usually that inspiring unless you have a painting by Michaelangelo on your sanctuary ceiling :)
People, however, are inspiring. Smiling faces and a sense of community between a group of people is even more inspiring. It is true that pictures speak louder than words. Even better, videos can capture the tangible feeling of an event or organization.
Take action: Be sure your website has an assortment of pictures of the people you serve, people who volunteer, employees/staff, and opportunities you want people to engage in. Help them imagine what it looks like for them to be a part of your organization.
Also, a reminder that no one else knows that little Sally in the photo is now entering high school. If the image still accurately depicts your organization’s personality and environment, then you can still use it.
Just remember to regularly change photos when you have them so your site stays fresh. There is always a photographer in your midst who would be willing to display their work on your website—you just have to ask them!
Hub to Get more Information
When your website is the hub for a majority of your stories and opportunities, it would seem obvious to then link to your important information in other communication channels. Yet, we continually see emails that are so long, even the email provider truncates the content!
A majority of your website visitors and social media users are on mobile devices. So you must be optimizing the length and presentation of your content for mobile users.
When your website is relevant and updated, your website now becomes the hub for getting more information about your organization, regardless of the communication channel they found you on.
Also, your staff only has to update information in one place rather than every communication channel.
For example, if the time of an event changes, you only need to make the correction on the website because all other communication channels are pointing to your website for the event details. Can you imagine the staff time saved?!
Take action: Link to your website within other communications channels, especially within emails and social media posts. Avoid sharing long paragraphs of text by linking to blog posts, events, or pages of your website where more information can be found.
Your social media post does not have to share every detail necessary about an upcoming event, this is what your website is for. Give a quick snippet of the story with an image and then link to the story on your website.
Allow people who want to read the full story to easily find it, while those who don’t have time can still be inspired by the most important details!
Avoid linking only to your home page and making people search for the information that is relevant to them. Create a path of least resistance and drop people to the pages that are most relevant and likely to inspire them to get connected or take the next step.
With its Smithsonian-red stone walls surrounded by beautiful and expansive gardens, Luther Place Memorial Church is a pretty iconic destination at Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C.
In 2023, this congregation celebrates its 150th anniversary which prompted Justin Fitch, Director of Communications & Liturgy, to reach out to Evoke about a logo and website redesign. Their previous logo was created by a former staff member and was lacking the necessary versions Justin needed.
Next, the Evoke team tackled the website redesign and migration to a church-specific platform called FaithConnector. FaithConnector has an easy-to-use backend so even a website novice could create new pages and update ministry events without fear of "breaking" anything.
Although the church building is well recognized in the area, the redesigned website showcases the people of Luther Place and the work God is doing through the congregation.
We centered the holy work of the congregation rather than the facilities in hopes of inspiring new visitors to learn more, get connected to a ministry, or participate in worship.
Check out the new website and visual identity first hand!
For the month of June, we looked at a random sampling of ten church websites that Evoke manages (from across the U.S.) to identify the percentage of users who were on a mobile/tablet device while browsing these websites.
Can you guess the average percentage of users who were browsing on a mobile device?
57% of the users visiting these church websites were on a mobile or tablet device. That’s almost two-thirds of your website visitors!
If your website is not automatically optimized for mobile users, you have missed the opportunity to make a good first impression with most visitors!
So how do you optimize your site for mobile users?
Here are a few ways to ensure your site looks great on mobile devices and increase overall engagement with mobile users.
1. use a Responsive Website Platform
Be sure your website platform is “responsive”, meaning no matter the screen size the user is on, your website content layout will automatically adjust for the specific screen size.
Gone are the days when you need a separate mobile website. Website coding technology now has the built-in capability to adjust the layout of content in response to the specific size of the screen being viewed.
Some website platforms and templates do this better than others. The best way to test your website for this feature is to browse your website on a computer/laptop, grab the side of the browser window and condense the size to whatever size you choose.
Does the content “responsively” reorganize based on how large or small the browser window is? If not, you need a responsive website platform. Evoke can help you with that!
2. Decrease the Number of Pages
20 years ago, all of your website content needed to be “above the fold” because people would not scroll below what they could first see on the screen due to slow loading times.
However, user behavior has changed (thanks to the invention of smartphones and social media). There is no longer an apprehension to scroll down web pages which means you no longer need as many pages on your site.
If your menu looks like the example below, you are overwhelming users with too many options and making it hard for them to find the information they need in one place.
Condense multiple pages of content into one page and ultimately, simplify your menu to a handful of pages (shoot for 10–15 pages depending on your organization).
Your most important information should still be “above the fold” and designed to inspire users to keep scrolling but you are no longer limited to this small area—Yahoo…can you feel the freedom!?!
Here is an example of a condensed menu:
3. Interlinking of pages
Because of all the scrolling as mentioned above, mobile users rarely click on the website menu to browse a site.
The menu disappears the second we scroll down and appears as three lines in the top corner, called a “Hamburger menu”.
Therefore, it is crucial for your website pages to be interlinking, meaning one page of your site includes links to another page on your site so that users on a smartphone do not have to use the menu at all in order to browse around your website.
Like breadcrumbs leading Hansel and Gretel through the forest, interlinking helps mobile users explore deeper into your website, keeps them on your site longer, and also boosts your search engine rankings.
It’s a win-win!
Here is an example of interlinking on a church’s worship page:
4. Skimming is King!
5. Important Links as Buttons
Notice in the example above, there is also a button to “Email Gary”. Although you can hyperlink text on your website (or in emails), we recommend that important links are also made into buttons.
Why? They are easier to click, especially for mobile users.
Buttons also draw more attention to the action you wish for the user to take, therefore, increasing overall engagement on your website. More engagement = more RSVPs, volunteers, or donations.
Spend some time looking over your website and implementing these strategies so you can be sure you make a great first impression no matter which device visitors use to find your organization!
And if you need help redesigning your site on a responsive platform, reach out to the Evoke team.
As church members and staff, it can be helpful to have a “second pair of eyes” experience your congregation, worship services, and processes—especially someone who has never visited or come in contact with your church before.
Having an unbiased person(s) experience your property, signage, feeling hospitality, and experiencing the worship flow, usually brings to light a few areas of improvement to better serve those who may be new to your church or new to church in general.
Over the last two months, the Evoke team completed a few “secret visitor assessments” for churches on the East Coast and in the Midwest.
During our last few assessments, we found four common recommendations that churches should consider to become a more hospitable congregation:
#1: Hospitality Begins Before Arrival
Before a visitor even steps foot on your property, you can assume they will visit your website and online worship services if you live stream. Having an easy-to-navigate website that showcases your visual identity/personality is helpful in inspiring visitors to take action and engage with your congregation.
#2: INTENTIonal Inclusion of people with disabilities
As we explore our biblical call to welcome all of God’s beloved people, you must consider how you welcome people with disabilities. The ELCA has some great resources from their Disability Ministry as a place to begin your exploration of what true inclusion looks like.
We commonly found a lack of visible signage for accessible entrances on the outside of buildings, aisles that were not wide enough for wheelchairs or walkers, very few or no chairs with arms for those needing extra support while standing/sitting, and a lack of communication about where to find large print bulletins or hearing devices.
#3: The Right Signage in the Right Places
You may not want to crowd up your walls outside and inside a church building with too much signage, but our team has yet to experience what too much signage could look like at a church—not enough or not in a helpful place is the most common issue.
Right type: What we mean by “right type” is the method by which the signage is displayed or hung.
If you have long hallways, consider installing wall-mounted signs that stick out above the door of highly trafficked rooms (fellowship hall, nursery, restrooms, etc.). A sign displayed on the wall next to a door is completely unhelpful when a visitor is looking down a corridor.
Reduce the volume of signs needed by using directional signage for multiple areas. Directional signage in common areas can be helpful in pointing visitors in a general direction of where they wish to go.
Make sure these signs are SIMPLE—architectural sketches of the building and all of the emergency exits are usually more confusing than helpful. Directional signage is also incredibly helpful in parking lots and around the church property.
Right Place: As members or staff of a church, you get so used to navigating the church building that it becomes second nature. It is not second nature to your visitors. The location of signage matters to visitors so that they never feel lost along the way.
#4: It's Not Enough to simply say hello
During one of our assessments, our secret visitor was on a church property for four hours attending two services and a fellowship hour.
Want to take a guess how many people out of approximately the 200 in attendance introduced themselves to this 30-something person?
One person took the time to introduce themselves to the visitor—that’s only .5% of the worshipers who took a moment to welcome an unfamiliar face. At that rate, it is no wonder churches are struggling to “fill the pews” or “grow membership”.
Plenty of folks said “hello” throughout the morning. But a quick hello is not enough. People want to be seen, heard, and in a community with people that care about them. Without genuine connections, visitors won’t feel like they were welcomed into your community of Christ and will most likely not return.
It is easy to say hello as we pass by, but it takes courage and dedication to welcoming all people into the church community to say “Hi, my name is Jan! I don’t think we have met before.”
Evoke’s secret visitor assessments consist of:
Imagine you are out for an afternoon walk (hopefully with a cute pup in tow) and you pass by this house.
What is your first impression? What do you notice?
What thoughts did you have about the owners of this property?
Looks a little unloved and messy, right?
Just like a physical location, your digital presence leaves an impression, a feeling with those passing by.
Whether people “walk by” your website, Instagram reel, or email newsletter, we want to avoid any feelings of chaos or confusion so that you can inspire them to take action and engage with your organization.
You can do just that through a consistent, personalized visual identity.
Below are a few reasons why a visual identity is so important to the success of your organization.
Every interaction with your organization needs to offer a quick and easy introduction to the mission of your organization, what you value, and how others can get connected.
A visual identity is crucial to making a great first impression.
Ministry in the Heart of the Nation's Capitol
When your congregation is nestled in a Washington D.C. neighborhood just 1.5 miles north of the White House and 2 miles from the Capitol building, it is incredibly important and impactful to share the Good News of the Risen Christ with a broken and hurting world.
As one of the first local congregations to racially integrate in the 1950s and to welcome and affirm people of the LGBTQIA+ community in the 1980s, Augustana Lutheran Church is known in the community as a diverse, welcoming place of worship.
Yet, their visual identity was focused on a mission that the congregation was no longer living into. The previous website was also difficult to navigate, cumbersome to update with relevant information, and lacking visuals of the inclusive and energetic congregation that Augustana is today.
Pastor Lauren Jenkins was called to Augustana in the winter of 2020 and knew it was time and necessary for the congregation to showcase what the congregation values and to radically welcome all of God's beloved.
Knowing that a majority of people are getting a glimpse of Augustana from their website before they even step foot into the physical building, it was important to Pastor Lauren and her team that the congregation has a visual identity and a website that accurately reflected the congregation.
"One of the many things I appreciated about the process with Evoke was the collaborative approach," states Pastor Lauren.
"Evoke employs a lovely balance of offering insight, expertise, and promoting best practices, while also listening deeply for the vision of the congregation it's working with. The result is that Augustana was truly 'seen' throughout the process, and that shines through in the website and visual identity!"
A BIG thank you to the Augustana team for trusting Evoke with this project!
With overall church attendance continuing to decline year after year, many congregations are searching for ways to better their visitor engagement and get new folks connected into ministries.
As we look to the summer, usually a high visitor traffic time for congregations, we wanted to share the top three common pitfalls we see in church visitor engagement as well as solutions to overcome these pitfalls.
It is easy to point out the problems—we are committed to helping you find solutions to the communication and engagement issues you face every day!
Okay, let’s get into it!
Pitfall 1: Processes are Focused Solely on In-person Visitors
According to a Barna study about the new Sunday morning as a result of the pandemic, more than one-third of practicing Christians attended online worship with churches they do not normally attend and 42% listened to/watched messages from other religious leaders!
Although this study was completed in June 2020, you can assume this practice of “virtual church shopping” and finding spiritual guidance from various sources continues today.
Just like the front door of a church moved to a digital space in the 2000s in the form of its church website, Christians now have more sermons, choir anthems, devotions, and online worship services at their fingertips than ever before.
It would be negligent to assume Christians are not using these resources to help them have a better understanding of a particular congregation, who is welcome in the church’s physical space, and what the church values are prior to walking through your physical front door.
Why prioritize the online experience?
At Evoke, we have seen a shift from prioritizing the online experience, back to an acute focus on “butts in the seats” under the lens of “rebuilding community.” Because churches are no longer required to maintain an engaging online presence, some have let it fall to the wayside.
As budgets have taken a hit over the past three years, along with the constant comparison of “before the pandemic” numbers, we understand the human reaction to revert back to what we understand best.
Yet, there is a lot we were forced to learn about how technology can be used to enhance worship and engage more people in ministry.
However, these important learnings seem to be lost in the fearful shuffle of what comes next for churches in a post-pandemic world and how to get people “back in the building”.
Instead of believing the ways of doing ministry during the pandemic were temporary, how could your congregation utilize your learnings and integrate technology into your processes long-term to feed your in-person ministry opportunities?
When your visitor processes neglect God’s beloved who may prefer online worship, families that are praying and reading scripture together in their living rooms, those who travel often for work, and those who cannot physically visit our spaces for a variety of reasons, we limit the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit to only the righteous in-person few. And the God that I believe in will and can not be limited by our human view of how church must be done.
Solution: Establish an Online Greeter & Prayer Team
Just like your in-person greeter team, an online team of greeters should engage with those who are worshiping online, many of whom may be looking for a church home.
This team should be trained on the dos and don’ts of how to effectively engage with folks online and how to get them connected to digital resources.
Online greeters should be familiar with upcoming ministry opportunities and events, the church website (and necessary links they can share like a prayer request form), and service/volunteer opportunities.
“Where are you joining from today?” is a great introductory question to ask during online worship.
Notice we did not say “Where are you joining us from?” - stay away from “us” language (learn why here!) to help create a more inclusive environment for online worshipers.
Consider this chat scenario:
Greeter: Good morning church! Where are you joining from today? It is a wonderfully sunny day in Fairfax, VA today.
Lisa: Myself and my three kiddos are still in our pj’s this morning. The time change kept us away today—sorry!
Greeter: So happy to have you and the kids in worship today, Lisa! Here is a link to the faith formation resources for today, including some coloring sheets for the kids to enjoy during or after worship.
Lisa: Aww, thanks so much! Super helpful for my 3 and 6-year-olds.
Greeter: Glad I could help! Hope to see you and the kids for the upcoming Easter Egg hunt on April 8, too.
This team can also take it a step further and provide an opportunity to pray over those in need of prayer while the service is taking place. There are a few live stream systems out there that provide an option for private prayer--like Church Online—or use the Messenger feature on Facebook so the person can privately chat with you.
Online engagement is more than a friendly “Good morning :)”! You want to proactively provide opportunities for others to share a bit about themselves, their spiritual needs, and connect with others in the congregation.
Pitfall 2: Lacking a Process or Confusing Processes
As you grapple with how to reach out to church seekers and the surrounding community, congregations are trying out new approaches to connect with visitors or looking to other communities of faith for good ideas (copying is the sincerest form of flattery!).
Yet, the approach to your research and development usually goes something like this:
We like to call this the “spaghetti dinner approach”—throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. If it sticks, then it must be good.
A critical step missing in the “spaghetti” approach is to first establish a few goals for your visitor process. What are you trying to accomplish with a visitor process? How do you want a visitor to feel when they come to your church? What does your congregation provide to those in your community that may be different from the church down the street? What is important for a visitor to know on their first, second, or third visit?
If the team of people doesn’t have a common goal for visitor engagement, then the ideas generated will feel scattered and disconnected, leaving it difficult to prioritize them.
The “spaghetti” approach can also lead to conflicting processes, confusing actions for the visitor, or a plethora of take-home materials that rarely get used and quickly become outdated.
Solution: Utilize the Tools You Have & Follow this Implementation Process
After you have set goals, the next step in your process should be to review and assess the current tools and processes. If you don’t have current processes documented or know how they should work, then how can you identify the areas that need the most improvement?
This step should include a review of the available tools, communication channels, and information collected to understand what you already have, what is missing, and what tools may not be fully utilized.
Ultimately, your implementation process should look like this:
Pitfall 3: Gathering Contact Info is Your Goal
When you set your goals for visitor engagement, we highly recommend you do not include gathering contact information as one of them.
Is it helpful to have contact information from a visitor for future follow-up? YES!
Does focusing on gathering contact information put the needs of your church above the needs of the person in your midst? Also YES!
Don’t get me wrong, you should build processes that help you gather contact information! But the request for contact information needs to come at the right time—which is usually not within the first five minutes of meeting someone.
When you solely focus on gathering contact information, you can easily forget that you might be just a stop on someone’s faith journey. And that’s okay. Your congregation is not going to be the church for everyone. But you should make it a priority to share the love of Christ with everyone in your midst.
Solution: Put the Visitors' Needs First
Have your team use their brainstorming power to come up with a list of reasons WHY visitors would come to your church.
Your list may include:
Asking a young adult who has unwillingly accompanied their parents to worship to fill out a connection card and share their email address with you is not going to be fruitful, most likely.
But providing a warm welcome, engaging them in conversation, and inviting them to the next young adult gathering might be what it takes—at least they will feel seen as a separate being from their parents and welcomed authentically into the community.
Share any other ideas or solutions you may have for better visitor engagement in the comments below!
I know, I know....many of your just made it through Holy week and you are in need of a break. Please, take some sabbath time! But also, pass this fundraising resource on to your treasurer, director of development or finance team to get their wheels turning.
We have put together a Generosity Campaign Communications Plan tool which outlines the many steps it takes to pull off a successful stewardship or fundraising campaign.
There is no way to put this lightly - it is a LOT of steps/tasks if you want to be successful and have clear communication with your donors.
We have seen many hiccups happen when:
And for you spreadsheet lovers - this can easily be copied and pasted into Excel.
Check it out and let us know what you think!
Dr. Karen Strier started a field study on the Northern Muriquis (primates) in 1982. Since then, she has been tracking the muriquis and compiling the data and findings in the Muriqui Behavioral Ecology Database (MBED). MBED looks at stochastic demographic fluctuations and individual life histories to better understand population viabilities and behavior as their territory is altered and negatively affected by humans (source: anthropology.wisc.edu). She was one of the first to conduct such a study. Additionally, due to her long-term involvement in Brazil, where the muriquis are endemic, her research and voice have made a difference in Brazil’s environmental education and efforts.
Other female primatologists undoubtedly helped pave the way for Dr. Karen Strier, such as Diane Fossey, Birute Galdikas, and Jane Goodall. Primatology is now an area of science with one of the highest proportions of female to male scientists (source: CBC).
Rebecca is blessed to have been a part of the MBED lab in her college years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she greatly admires these scientists who have revolutionized our understanding of primates.