Blackbaud’s Mission in Action Exhibit Brings Customers’ Stories to Life

This month kicks off Blackbaud’s nine-month initiative—Mission in Action Exhibit—that brings customers’ stories to life through the lens of acclaimed photojournalist Sean Sheridan. The exhibit highlights the outcomes achieved by nonprofits that are powered by Blackbaud’s worldwide software, services and support. At a staff event last week, Sheridan shared powerful images and told stories of Blackbaud customers and the front-line beneficiaries of their work.

lacour-sheridan-blackbaud-exhibit

Blackbaud Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Catherine LaCour, and Photojournalist, Sean Sheridan

The initiative was created to help connect staff with the amazing, transformational work that Blackbaud customers are doing around the world. By sharing real stories of impact, Blackbaud leadership hoped to motivate and inspire team members in new ways, while encouraging them to continue putting customers first in all they do.

“Each day, Blackbaud team members are engaging with and advocating for thousands of customers spanning the global philanthropic community”, said Catherine LaCour, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing. “The majority of them volunteer in their communities, but they don’t always have the opportunity to see the far-reaching impact of our customers up close. This exhibit is one of many ways we are working to keep customer stories at the forefront of all we do.”

Grace-Sons“In some ways, I really do have a dream job: I get to travel, I get to shoot–it’s really fun, but it’s not all about that,” Sheridan explained. He decided to dedicate his career to helping cause-minded organizations with visual storytelling 10 years ago during an assignment in Kenya with World Vision where he saw how people were living. “I cannot ignore what I am seeing,” he told himself after the assignment. “I had to respond.”

He began seeking out more assignments in “hard” places to help those with no voice to tell their stories, and to be their brand ambassadors through imagery.

“It’s not really about the camera to me, it’s about finding these moments, of raw unguarded emotions, and that to me is where there’s real life.”

Sheridan’s work has taken him to nearly 60 countries and has been featured in SMITHSONIAN magazine, GOOD, and The Daily Beast, on the cover of The Washington Times, in numerous books including best-sellers The Locust Effect and UNthink, at TED and other leading conferences, and in countless gallery exhibitions. His images for Blackbaud’s customers were displayed in the company headquarters atrium as part of a traveling exhibit.

“Sean got connected with Blackbaud through a mutual partner that he and Blackbaud have,” said LaCour. She said judging by the number of mutual customers that Sheridan and Blackbaud have, it was “natural and serendipitous” that they partnered together.

LaCour added, “I want this exhibit to highlight the power and importance of storytelling. For our customers, being excellent at storytelling is paramount so they can differentiate themselves, attract and retain donors, raise more money and ultimately advance their missions. And for Blackbaud, hearing their amazing stories inspires us to press on with new innovation—to discover the next big thing that will help them succeed.”

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