As a Senior Fundraising Sales Consultant, Ambi Ambachew works with existing customers on their current software packages and introduces them to additional services that might be useful in their nonprofit work, such as Network for Good’s fundraising software. For the past three years, he has helped executive directors and development directors understand new ways of approaching fundraising and using technology to do their work.
“Nonprofit staffers are passionate about what they’re doing, they’re trying to change their community, trying to change the world.”
Q&A with Ambi Ambachew, Senior Fundraising Sales Consultant
What’s your experience with nonprofits outside of Network for Good?
I worked at a nonprofit magazine for a year as the business manager. Online advertising was exploding at the time and I was interested in exploring whether that area was a route I wanted to take professionally. It wasn’t, but it gave me a better understanding of some of the nonprofit executives and boards we work with at Network for Good, and how to introduce new ideas and new ways of doing things.
What attracts you to nonprofits?
Working with and helping small to midsize nonprofits is a growing area that I think organizations are going to start gravitating to more. That was what initially attracted me to Network for Good. We help them learn the things they don’t even know that they don’t know. In many scenarios, we simply open their minds to a more efficient way of doing the things they’re already doing. A big challenge that I see are organizations succumbing to the wants of their board. Rather than serving as trusted advisors, some boards act as an ultimate say-so. Part of our job is to help executive directors and development directors be more assertive in advocating for the things that they want and need to succeed.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The opportunity to work with interesting people, who are very like-minded, very competitive, very hospitable. I come from the finance world, where the person sitting next to you will try to diminutize your work, so it’s nice to work in a collaborative environment where everyone wants everyone else to succeed.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Cooking. I enjoy trying out new things, cooking for friends and family. It’s my creative outlet. I almost went to culinary school but went to business school instead. It’s still a passion of mine, though. For me it’s about exploring and understanding. One of my favorite things to do is to go to the grocery store. I go 3-4 times a week. It’s about finding new ingredients and putting something together and experimenting. It may not be a dish that everybody likes, but it’s for me, it’s what I like.
If you could share a meal with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Bob Marley. He’s probably my largest musical influence and has had a big impact on my life. He’s changed my approach to life, how I think about things, and what really matters in the world. I just started to learn how to play the electric guitar, too—looking for another creative outlet. I’ve been listening to a lot of Jimi Hendrix over the last couple of years. How do you do something so out of the box? I want to learn how to do that. I’m very early on, but hopefully in the next year or so I’ll become good at it and then I can play my own dinner music.
Dream vacation? Chile or South Africa
Most recent book read? His Share of the Universe, which is a book my uncle wrote about my great-grandfather.
Last movie seen in movie theater? Avengers: Endgame
Your theme song? Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”
Favorite color? Black. It’s dramatic, it’s happy, it’s angry—it represents all the moods.