Member Spotlight

Meet Amanda Palmer!

Meet Amanda Palmer, a Raiser's Edge, Target Analytics, Blackbaud Merchant Services, Sphere, and NetCommunity user, with 4Kids of South Florida!
Meet Amanda Palmer!

This week's Community Corner spotlight shines on Target Analytics, Blackbaud Merchant Services, Sphere, NetCommunity, and Raiser's Edge user, with 4Kids of South Florida.

Amanda Palmer's Community Profile>


About Amanda:

Tell us about your family (fur babies count!) "I am a wife and mother of three humans and one fur baby, and we live in Fort Lauderdale, FL. My husband, Donald, is the head brewer for Funky Buddha Brewery. We have two boys: 23 year old Christopher who lives in Columbia, SC and works as a store manager for Pandora Jewelry, and our 19 year old Blake who works as a craftsman apprentice at Universal Studios Orlando. And our youngest daughter, Ashleigh, will be 17 this year and a junior in high school. Our puppy just turned 3, Bailey, and he is a Schnocker - a schnauzer/cocker spaniel mix - and yes - he IS as cute as he sounds!"

Where do you live? "Fort Lauderdale, Florida."

What do you like to do for fun? "My husband and I like to go on brewery tours. Whenever we are visiting with friends from other places, we find the local craft beer brewery and go on a tour. We also like to visit local farmers markets and craft fairs. We go to festivals and bluegrass/folk music events."

What’s a life achievement you are particularly proud of? "As a teen mom of 16, I became a statistic with less than a 2% chance of graduating college. However, I overcame those odds and not only have I graduated college, I have two degrees: an AS in Computer Science, Programming, and a BS in Computer Science - Database Management, and an currently in my MBA program for Data Analytics. I have shown my children that no one decides what your future will look like but you and that you can in fact accomplish anything that you set your mind to. How far you go in life is only limited by your own self-doubt."

What’s one memory that always makes you smile? "My family vacation to Disney. I haven't always been able to take my kids on family vacations. In fact, my oldest two didn't even know that going on an annual family vacation was something that families did. So the first time I was able to take my kids to Disney is one of the most precious memories I have. We laughed and really enjoyed one another without feeling the stress of life. I will never forget Blake saying on the way home, 15 at the time, "Mom, this was the best time I've ever had with you guys and I never want to forget it." Those words are forever imprinted in my mind."

What is one interesting fact about yourself most people don't know? "I have a birthmark over my eye. Usually when someone meets me for the first time, they ask me if I'm OK. Ha! But it's a little red dot right above my eye, so my mom, when I was born, decided to spell my nickname "Mandi" with an "i" because she said I had a dot over my eye. So, my name is Amanda - but people call me Mandi...not Mandy."

Tell us about your organization: "4KIDS of South Florida is a non-profit foster care agency serving six counties in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. We run the emergency intake facility for children removed from their homes due to neglect, abuse, or abandonment. We consider ourselves an authentically Christian organization following the command that we care for the orphans and widows, as directed in James 1:27. We have over 200 licensed foster families and 5 group homes. We also have a residential program for young adults who age out of foster care, where we teach them life skills, such as applying for school or a job, cooking, paying bills and managing a budget, and more. We have another residential program for girls who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy. We have had girls as young as 11 and up to 23. We help these girls through the medical process to ensure they are receiving quality medical care and can apply for the programs needed to help them through their pregnancy. We teach them skills needed to care for a baby and provide assistance to them after their child is born through a residential aftercare program."

What’s a typical day like for you? "As the Database and Web Specialist, I ensure the integrity of the Raiser’s Edge database and the NetCommunity website by updating and correcting constituent records, running quality control reports, queries and export lists, performing bulk updates, enforcing business rules on the data tables, creating web pages and event registrations, as well as creating mass marketing emails. I provide reports to various departments requesting information from the database using the Raiser’s Edge Query, Export and Report functions. I work with IT to assist with implementation of new processes and systems integrating with the Raiser’s Edge database and NetCommunity website and provide database and web technical support. I train and assist staff with Raiser’s Edge database use, policies and procedures."

What’s the best part of your job? "The best part of my job is knowing that I was specially and specifically created for this role. Before I knew what the Lord was doing in my life, He was training me for this through my degrees. The fact that I myself was a teen mom who could have been in the crisis pregnancy program that our organization runs, and now I am able to provide support to that program through the technical skills I have learned, really makes me feel that my life has come full circle. I feel blessed every single day to be able to come here and know that I play a huge part in maintaining the backbone of our organization. The integrity of our database provides a foundation, which is our donors, and ensures that we can fund and support the work of 4KIDS."

What advice would you give someone starting out in the non-profit field? "I would say be sure that your life's passions and value systems line up with the missions of the organization that you are going to work for. The non-profit world isn't easy, and you will find many times that everyone around you is just making it up as they go. That can feel frustrating. But if you are united through a common goal and that goal is deeply rooted in what you believe in, then you will be able to push through the chaos and be a beacon for your team and your organization."

What do you love about the Blackbaud Community? "I love that there is a place with like minded people who are all working for something bigger than themselves. I so look forward every year to BBCON so that I can meet up with the people that I meet through the BB community and its great to help share my expertise with people doing the same thing I am doing every day. We learn from each other and everybody needs a community."
Finally.. if you had 24 hours before the asteroid hit.. what would you spend your time doing?  "I would gather my husband and kids, my sister and brother, my parents and my husband's parents, and we would eat food, and drink good beer, and laugh and love, and tell each other everything we love about each other and how much each person has meant in our lives and we would settle in to leave this world together."
Posted by Crystal Bruce on Nov 23, 2016 10:23 AM America/New_York

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great profile Amanda - nice to get to learn more about you! I lived in Portland, Oregon for years and we love our microbrews there! :)
  • Posted Wed 30 Nov 2016 09:30 AM EST
This is a great story Amanda! You and your husband would love Wisconsin micro brews as well. There are a ton of them!! Along with cheese of course.
  • Posted Wed 30 Nov 2016 01:23 PM EST
Wonderful profile Amanda!
  • Posted Wed 30 Nov 2016 01:46 PM EST