Today we announced that Dennis Fois has joined the Bloomerang team as our Chief Executive Officer. Dennis will add a new dimension of leadership that will usher in Bloomerang’s next phase of growth and strengthen the company’s support for the nonprofit community.
In this Q&A style conversation, we get to know Dennis and talk about his experience and vision and why he chose to join the Bloomerang team.
Welcome, Dennis! So tell us, why did you choose Bloomerang?
Well, now that I am further along in my career, I have a strong desire to find ways that have a more positive impact on the world around us. I love to work, so combining doing good with continuing to improve others and myself seems to me like the “Holy Grail.” And, I have found that with Bloomerang. The team, the mission, and the opportunity to help nonprofits do more and do better is tantalizing. This is not just about building great software; this is an opportunity to help strengthen an industry and set the pace. Nonprofits are challenged on many fronts–resources, staffing, visibility, and so on. Imagine what we can accomplish if we help improve the outcomes for nonprofits. More funds raised, more time back in their day, and all of that will flow more effectively to their mission–together we can make a huge impact!
Bloomerang’s vision is to make fundraising easier, foster authentic donor relationships, and help nonprofits thrive. And, you’re no stranger to the customer relationship management (CRM) and Customer Experience software markets. Tell us about what you learned from your past experience and how it led you to Bloomerang.
That’s right. I’ve had the privilege of developing and leading high-performing multicultural teams at both startups and public companies in the technology, customer experience, relationship management, and financial services sector. Most recently I served as CEO at Copper CRM, and I’ve spent quite a bit of my career leading organizations in the relationship management and customer experience sectors, such as NewVoiceMedia and Rant & Rave. My customer-focused experience pairs nicely with Bloomerang’s leadership role in the nonprofit ecosystem. I’m excited to help expand the impact that Bloomerang has made in the nonprofit community through elegantly simple solutions for the busy nonprofit professional. As you’re probably aware, CRM technology is notoriously complex, and our role here at Bloomerang is to make it easy and give nonprofits time back in their day. We want them spending time on fundraising and furthering their mission.
We want Bloomerang to be known as the organization that has set the bar and the pace for the nonprofit industry for achieving higher impact and realizing their missions. I would love for us to be seen as lifting up the industry and applying business best practices to the nonprofit world to help them execute better with the best technology available.
Bloomerang’s mission, vision, and values are part of our everyday culture and central to how we choose to not only help customers thrive, but also how we work to help the entire nonprofit community thrive. What changes can nonprofits expect now with a new CEO? What message do you want customers and the broader nonprofit community to hear when they learn this news?
I think that nonprofits can expect that Bloomerang will continue to evolve but the essence will stay. It’s important that we evolve our thinking as we broaden our understanding of the nonprofit community and what they need. For example, today our current language is very focused just on fundraising, but you can already see that Bloomerang operates much broader than that. A seemingly small change is a huge shift in thinking and what we pursue to solve for nonprofits.
We take great care and pride in our mission, vision, company culture, and values, and as such we are very, very intentional about them. We will work to stay true to those, but as with any growing company, we can expect them to evolve. And, as we grow, our culture will develop with it–it’s not static. Each of us at Bloomerang is responsible for working together as one team to realize Bloomerang’s vision and help all nonprofits thrive.
Bloomerang has seen tremendous success over the past ten years, and I am excited to help carry the company’s momentum forward and support the team that customers have grown to love. Today, we have a great responsibility of serving more than 15,000 nonprofits, and we take pride in ensuring that customers are well taken care of and have access to the best technology and resources in the industry. We will work to keep that central to everything we do. I want customers and the broader nonprofit community to know that we’re not just building software. Rather, we are working to help them create lasting change.
Dennis, we’ve talked about vision, leadership, and Bloomerang’s continued focus to help nonprofits thrive. So to wrap up, let’s shift gears beyond professional experiences. Tell us a bit more about yourself and your interests outside of work.
I am self-made and someone who chose his own path. I was born in Sardinia, Italy, and as I entered my early teens our family moved from Italy to The Netherlands. I couldn’t speak the language and I had never seen snow before in my life–and it was winter. The first part of this adventure was tough. Kids picked on me and my brother; we were bullied. This shaped me. From this experience, I have developed a pretty good understanding of what it takes to communicate well and how to bring people together as a team–this is my passion.
All in all, I’ve worked and lived in 7 countries, and now live in California. And, I gave up everything to be with the love of my life (my wife). We have three wonderful daughters and a chihuahua named Coco. I grew up playing competitive tennis, developed an athlete-like mindset, possess very high levels of discipline, and want to win. Why is this important? It translates into how I lead. I will never ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do myself, and it’s very important to me that we win the right way, together.
I know you might be thinking…wait he hasn’t worked at a nonprofit? While I haven’t worked directly for a nonprofit, I am personally involved with a number of nonprofits. I am very particular about the causes I support, and impact is critical to me. One of my favorite organizations I give my time to is through the Global Mentorship Initiative. This organization helps students from countries where employment opportunities are challenging. They’re paired with a mentor for 1:1 coaching and networking to help prepare and land a job or an internship. I am a mentor in the program and I tend to spend about 14 hours per student to help them on their way. Recently, I helped a young graduate from Ghana land an internship with a large financial institution. An opportunity like this is life changing–for him, for me, and his family and others in his community. It’s fulfilling to work with others around the world and create a positive impact.