Nathan Chappell is President of Gobel Technology. We recently conducted an interview with him regarding his background and experience.
- What did you do before joining Gobel Group?
Prior to getting into the nonprofit sector about 20 years ago, I started and sold two companies in the tech industry. During that time, I knew it was important to give back, so I started volunteering on the board of directors at a local Boys and Girls Club. It wasn’t long until I fell in love with the nonprofit industry as a whole, and ever since I have been focused on raising money in nonprofit organizations. After working in human services, and then as a campaign consultant, I have served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement at UC San Diego before taking a role at City of Hope as Senior Vice President of Philanthropy.
- Why did you decide to join Gobel Group?
I met Chad about five or six years ago – we’d been introduced by a former employee of mine. Since our first conversation, I’d always had tremendous respect for Chad and what Gobel Group was doing. Over time it was really impressive to see the difference Gobel was making with their clients as they continued to deepen their focus in healthcare philanthropy.
While I was at City of Hope, we hired Gobel Group for a clinician engagement campaign as well as a feasibility study. After that, it was pretty simple. Working with Chad and the team, I experienced first-hand how everyone at Gobel Group was committed to serving our specific needs with the highest quality work in the most customized and professional way possible. Having been a consultant in the past, I was so impressed by Gobel’s commitment to “doing the right thing” at every turn or our engagement. It was that level of integrity and commitment to our success that motivated me to join the team.
- What excites you most about working with Gobel Group’s clients?
There’s a lot of synergy between Gobel Group’s core engagement and the G2G technology that we’ve developed for our clients to discover and prioritize donors. I think the two products go hand-in-hand really well, and it adds a layer of business intelligence to Gobel Group’s client engagement that has never existed in the philanthropic sector before. Gobel Group is the first company in the world to have built an AI algorithm specifically to identify and rank grateful patients based on their potential for generosity. Now, having the opportunity to work with clients all across the country to help them raise more money using state-of-the-art technology is really exciting.
- What excites you most about having the position of President of Gobel Technology, the newly-formed division of Gobel Group?
Well, the position is one thing – the idea behind the company is something else entirely. And the idea is the most exciting part. I’ve been working in analytics and artificial intelligence for many years and I figured it was time to either go on my own and start my own company, or partner with somebody. I think Chad and I came to the realization at the same time, which is how I got here.
The launching of this new technology division is symbolic of that change in our industry and the realization that organizations need to harness data to work smarter and not harder – this technology is extremely cutting-edge and disruptive for our industry. It’s so exciting for our industry I firmly believe that it will change how philanthropy conducts business in the future.
- What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I’ve always measured my contribution in life by the impact I can make – so I’m always on a mission of sorts to find ways to maximize that impact. When I was at City of Hope, I helped raise money for the fight against cancer, which is a phenomenal mission, but I came to realize that for the first time in history, we have an opportunity to change the course of how all organizations raise money. I believe that we at Gobel Group can really make a tremendous impact in the world, by helping more organizations raise more money, more efficiently and in a more sustainable way. It’s a personal calling, in a really big way, and I think it’ll drastically alter the trajectory of healthcare philanthropy.
- What are a few personal details you could share?
I’ve been married for 25 years, and we have two teenage boys. I enjoy woodworking and – of course – reading about artificial intelligence. In fact, I like to share it as much as read about it, which is why I speak at conferences. Last year, I gave the first TEDx Talk on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Generosity. It would be impossible to pick just one influence, but the person I follow most in the industry is probably Kai-Fu Lee. His new book, AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, is incredible, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in artificial intelligence.