Meet: Ciana Ferden, Give Lively Product Manager

Learn about Ciana Ferden, Product Manager at Give Lively.
January 11, 2024
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer

From time to time we will profile members of the Give Lively team, revealing more about who we are, what we do and how we fit into a mix of dedicated and dynamic engineers, creatives, strategists and advocates helping nonprofits do more with digital fundraising tools.

Like the person who is the focus of this week’s profile, the full Give Lively team is passionate about using tech for social good and providing a better fundraising experience to nonprofits and donors.

Ciana Ferden

What do you do at Give Lively?

I am a product manager at Give Lively and I’ve been with the company for a little over two years. I collaborate with team members across all Give Lively departments to coordinate the build and delivery of new features or products. Every day brings something new and I always look forward to brainstorming with the product team on how to provide solutions to current challenges or consider future features that ensure our users have an enjoyable donation experience.

What does a day in your life at Give Lively look like?

Working from home has taught me the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I like to kickstart my morning by making a cup of tea, walking my dogs – Nyx and Toccoa – and listening to a lighthearted podcast (my current favorite is Smartless!). The start of my workday involves reviewing all the open tabs on my browser from the previous day and using them as my “to-do” list. This often leads to additional meetings for the day ahead. 

As a product manager, I am in and out of meetings throughout the day. One of the most crucial recurring meetings is our daily “standup,” a get-together with the product and engineering team that sets the daily objectives and expectations for each team member. Most days also include meetings with members of the engineering team to follow up on the development status of a project, work out how to implement a new feature that has passed through our design team or run tests in our staging environment to make sure we are ready to go live with a feature. Some days, my meetings are more marketing focused, ensuring that all internal and external communications align with the scope of a new or enhanced product. 

At the end of every workday, I like to check for updates on our feedback survey, internal user advocacy channel or our Changelog, ensuring that all feature requests are logged for review, even if they may not be considered for a while. This wouldn’t be possible without our customer support and business development teams, who record all the feedback they receive on our product from Give Lively users. This is essential to our product team and helps guide how we continuously adjust our vision for both our short-term and long-term product roadmaps.

What do you like to do outside of Give Lively?

I recently moved to North Georgia to be closer to the mountains and I absolutely love the outdoors! My partner and I own three kayaks, and when the weather is nice we load up the pups and head to the nearby lake for swimming and fishing. If the weather is too cold for the lake, we venture out to the North Georgia mountains for a solid hike (with the dogs, of course 😀) or do some landscaping work around the house. On rainy days, we usually tackle home renovations. I recently did some of my own plumbing work for our guest bathroom, which I am pretty proud of! 

If I’m feeling too lazy to work on the house or go on an outdoor adventure, I’ll probably turn on a podcast and cook up something in the kitchen, followed by a classic horror movie, such as “Night of the Living Dead” or anything on Bravo TV (lol).

What excites you about Give Lively?

We work remotely at Give Lively but the sense of community and enthusiasm for what we do is next level. In a world often swirling with chaos, Give Lively provides a vibrant reminder of the beauty and compassion that people have for one another. Each nonprofit we work with has a common goal – to craft a world that’s not just better but safer for all. Every morning, I wake up excited and eager to contribute to a collective effort of empowering nonprofits to reach their goals. 

Beyond my role at Give Lively, I find joy in volunteering for a local nonprofit in my community and I’m constantly on the lookout for additional volunteer opportunities. A heartfelt shout-out to our data analyst Ryan, who helped me and other Give Lively employees find local nonprofits with volunteering opportunities, especially during the holiday season when smaller nonprofits need some extra help. At Give Lively, our team’s spirit goes beyond our work at Give Lively; it extends to bettering our local communities. And for that, I am forever grateful to be a part of this team!