How Service in the U.S. Military Translated to a Career at Blackbaud for Customer Advocacy Manager Tim Newborn

Mar 5, 2020 9:35 AM ET
Blackbaud Customer Advocacy Manager Tim Newborn serves meals at the Affordable Veterans Housing Projects with other members of the Blackbaud Veterans affinity group.

Blackbaud is proud to have a diverse group of employees that leverage their unique experiences and skills to help good take over inside and outside the company.

The following Q&A with Tim Newborn, Marketing Programs Manager, Customer Advocacy and member of  the employee-led affinity groups for LGBTQ+ community and veterans at Blackbaud, was featured in the 2019 Blackbaud Social Responsibility Report.


Q: What's your role at Blackbaud?

A: My role at Blackbaud is a bit of a unicorn. Each day I have the privilege of encouraging and highlighting the magic of our customers through unique engagement and advocacy efforts. Our customers wholeheartedly want to do good, and I get to cheer them on along the way.

Q: What previous experiences do you bring to that role?

A: I come from an impoverished and medically and academically underserved rural area in Mississippi, where opportunities for personal and professional development are scarce. I joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 as a photojournalist. My service was an invaluable learning experience that taught me about the tenacity of the human spirit and power of togetherness. When I departed the Navy a decorated veteran, I attended Savannah College of Art and Design, where I could explore my appreciation for everyday beauty in the world. I think what makes me an excellent fit for my role is that I genuinely care about our customers and my colleagues as the individuals they are.

Q: Can you share a specific experience that highlights the importance of affinity groups to the work environment at Blackbaud?

A: I met with a young Marine while at a recent recruiting event at the College of Charleston. He was transitioning out of service. As he walked up, it became apparent he had a sense of trepidation and uncertainty. I remembered that feeling when I went to ask about open positions in a similar scenario. The small connection we had put him in a place where he could articulate what he was good at without worrying about saying something clumsily. We even covered a few tips on how to beef up his resume and translate what he does into a corporate setting. Affinity groups are a positive movement in the dynamic of our company culture. They’re important. They’re necessary. They’re human.