Campaign Learning from Miami to Chicago

We recently had the pleasure of hanging out with a rockin’ group of organizations and working with Rachael Ahrens, Senior Interactive Consultant with Blackbaud, in Miami for one of our Campaign Lab events. This being my first time visiting Miami, I learned more than a few things about the community.

Out of the gate, it was clear that people know how to make you feel welcome and are eager to share why they love it there (and you should, as well). It usually starts with talking about food, which is just fine with this Portlander; that very quickly transitions into stories about neighborhoods, culture, and all those key elements of place. When you ask about their organizations and the work they do in these communities, though, that is when their eyes really light up.

The nonprofit community in the Miami area has some pretty awesome organizations doing amazing work: Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Switchboard 211, and Harry Chapin Food Bank shared some of the impact they are creating in their communities with some wins and war stories alike.


It was also great to see other ways the nonprofit community in the area is growing. We held the event at the Center for Social Change, a relatively new co-working space specifically for nonprofits and social enterprises. A number of the participants at the lab were actually located in the Center and talked about how great it was to be able to directly collaborate and support other organizations on a daily basis. With everything from 25-year veterans in the sector to newly appointed board members and longtime NTEN Community champions in the room, it was a fantastic mix and a wonderful opportunity to learn as a community. All this left me super excited to see who we meet and get a chance to learn with as we head to Chicago on August 13. In the area? Be sure to join us and get ready to share your awesome! As always, a huge thank you to Blackbaud and for their support in making this series of campaign NTEN Lab events around the country possible.  

Ash Shepherd
Education Director
Ash has been in love with the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades, where he has worked in the areas of conservation, environmental education, social work, youth program development, and technology consulting. He has been an active member of the NTEN Community, serving as a co-organizer of Portland’s 501 Tech Club, and completing a three-year term on the NTEN: Change Journal's Editorial Committee. Ash earned a B.S. from the University of Montana in Resource Management and a Masters in Environment and Development from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa.