At Fionta, the connection to service in the nonprofit world is not just peripheral; it is woven into the fabric of who we are. We are a company of people with unique experiences, perspectives, and passions. As we utilize our Salesforce expertise to provide services for our clients, we experience a sense of unity in participating in their missions. The core purpose that inspires Fiontans every day is simple: to help impact-driven organizations leverage technology as a force for change.
We are honored to be part of many client journeys and value, encourage and champion Fiontans as they lead their own nonprofits in action and service. Ken Crowder (Senior Developer) and Erika May McNichol (VP of Business Development) are integral contributors to Fionta’s success and holistic examples of our core purpose. To create space and opportunity, Fionta participates in Pledge 1%, where we pledge at least 1% of our annual revenue to cover volunteer time for all employees. We have found genuine support for employee passions and a constant reminder that Fionta exists, first and foremost, as a force for good.
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”Albert Pine
Small World Charities
In 2015, Ken traveled to Bangalore, India, on a business trip and returned home to the United States with a surprising new perspective. During his time in South India, he visited a children’s home that served orphaned children. Ken, an analytical thinker by nature, was moved by the people he met and by his experience and methodically considered what part he might play in serving the children. Over the next four years, he intentionally kept in touch with the children’s home, returned with his family in 2017, and finally decided to start a nonprofit that would expand the capacity for the growing needs of the children in this community. In 2019, Small World Charities officially became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and now partners with the children’s home to provide food, shelter, education, and medical care.
Ken is humble in service because he knows that the answer to such a problem as child poverty and abandonment is one that he alone cannot solve. He finds relationships and communication extremely important, especially with such a great distance between Omaha and Bangalore. Being far away from the children they serve can be painful, but it does not negate the incredible reward. Knowing that these children will have support, education, and a sense of belonging reminds Ken and the Small World Charities team that what they participate in is the preservation of hope where hope may otherwise not have survived.
And as Fíonta has always championed, Ken and his Small World Charities team are leveraging their Salesforce knowledge and certifications to keep track of donations and donor activity. That means their IT operations are top-shelf, and the cost of maintaining a tech-forward nonprofit is minimal.
Soon, Ken and his family will return to Bangalore to be at the children’s home and work alongside the local team to serve the children. You can learn more about Small World Charities and donate to their mission here!
The Lab Comedy Theater
About 1,000 miles east of Ken, Erika May McNichol also uses her passion and talent to serve her community in Ambler Borough, PA. Erika has been an influential leader at Fionta, utilizing her background in nonprofit technology, account management, and sales. Erika also has an impressive resume in improv comedy. Her genuine desire to make people laugh makes the world around her a better, more hilarious place.
Erika and her husband Bob, the co-founder of The Lab Comedy Theater, are both distinguished comedians who began their careers in Chicago. Erika and Bob have worked hard to create a space that provides accessible, reasonably priced “offbeat entertainment” for their community. But what makes the Lab Theater stand out from most other storefront comedy theaters is that they also focus heavily on teaching the art of comedy to any member of their community.
As a newly minted 501(c)(3), they are expanding their community outreach by offering 6-week classes that focus on optimizing the impact of comedy on students of all ages. For children, Erika and Bob have found that these classes allow young children to unlock “their natural sense of fun and play.” At the same time, older elementary-aged kids can build confidence and collaborate with their fellow improv students. Middle-school, high-school, and adult classes aim to develop students further, pushing them to the next level and refining their comedic prowess.
So, if you’re ever in the area or thinking it might be time to make a road trip, we recommend stopping by for a show. In a time that has been so difficult for nearly the entire world, laughter is the best medicine.