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      Associate-Centered CSR: Communities in Schools Charleston

      At Blackbaud, we believe in the power of individuals to be agents of social good. When people participate in their communities through volunteering, philanthropy, and civic engagement, good things happen. One of the most impactful ways of serving one’s community is through nonprofit board or committee work. Volunteering at this level provides an opportunity for individuals to lend their experience, expertise, and other personal or professional skills to an organization looking to make this world a better place. To help encourage this type of service volunteerism, we actively match colleagues’ skills, interests, and passions with organizations that could greatly benefit from their service.

      Amy Chase, one of Blackbaud’s VPs of professional services, recently joined the board of Communities in Schools Charleston (CIS) and is serving in the role of chair for its Development Committee. Amy’s work at Blackbaud taps into her various career experiences—working at nonprofit organizations, consulting, volunteering and project managing—as she manages multiple teams of business analysts, project managers, developers, architects and consultants who help create solutions that fuel nonprofit missions.

      Amy wanted to give back to an organization where she could fuse her professional experiences and skills together with her service to an organization assisting children and education. “Serving on the board of CIS has given me an opportunity to make an immediate impact by supporting its development efforts in private-, corporate-, foundation- and event-based giving while allowing me to also build relationships with other board members and staff that are equally committed and passionate about programs for improving school dropout rates in Charleston,” said Amy.

      “The hardest positions to fill on a nonprofit board are the development committee positions, says Jane Riley-Gambrell, executive director, Communities in Schools Charleston. “Executive and development directors often have to get creative to attract talent to this portion of the team so  when someone like Amy comes along, it is a nonprofit’s dream. In her short time on our board, she has hit the ground running, accepting the development chair role, providing our development director with much needed support and knowledge as well as helped the board learn more about necessary steps for long-term success within the organizations development department. We are beyond thrilled to have her talent and skills on our team.”

      Established in 1989 to implement dropout prevention programs, the mission of Communities in Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Now celebrating its 28th year, Communities in Schools Charleston has grown to serve nearly 10,000 students in 19 Charleston and Berkeley County Schools, using an evidenced-based comprehensive approach to bring community services to students, their families, and schools.


      NEW! Blackbaud Institute Thought Leadership Asset: Analytics Toolkit

      We’re excited to announce that the Blackbaud Institute’s new Analytics Toolkit is now live!

      The Analytics Toolkit is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to maximizing data analytics for greater efficiency and effectiveness. From getting started to advanced donor program techniques to building an organizational culture around data, this Toolkit covers every step that nonprofits need to know to feel confident and organized in their analytics journey.

      Blackbaud has published lots of great resources on analytics over the years, and this Toolkit pulls them all into one comprehensive resource that nonprofit professionals can turn to. By guiding nonprofits on the journey from A-Z, we continue to position ourselves as industry leaders in nonprofit data analytics. (Check out our last toolkit on End-of-Year Fundraising here.)

      Download the new toolkit today! 


      Georgia Tech Foundation Selects Blackbaud CRM to Power Its Development and Alumni Relations Programs

      With goals to improve constituent engagement, fundraising outcomes, and collaboration, the Georgia Tech Foundation (GTF) led an extensive CRM evaluation process for campus units including the Georgia Tech Office of Development, the Alexander-Tharpe Fund (A-T), and the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. GTF selected comprehensive yet customizable Blackbaud CRM™ for its leading analytics and proven professional services to help power its fundraising and alumni programs.

      “We chose to partner with Blackbaud because we trust that its comprehensive alumni and development CRM solution will help power the mission and future ambition of the Institute,” said Dwight Dozier, chief information officer at the Georgia Tech Foundation. “Blackbaud CRM stood out during the selection process because it provided a flexible cloud solution with proven results in development and alumni programs. Also important was selecting a technology partner that would provide a long-term vision and partnership for the university and Foundation.”

      Through the Blackbaud Success Assurance™ for Higher Education program, GTF completed a results-driven discovery assessment and review of Blackbaud CRM with a partial test run of its data. The program allowed GTF to experience firsthand and better understand Blackbaud’s solutions, as well as instilled confidence in a smooth implementation and future partnership.

      “By using the power of Blackbaud SKY to enable rapid innovation, Blackbaud CRM has already begun expanding its capabilities and driving increased fundraising success for our customers,” said Kevin McDearis, Blackbaud’s chief products officer. “As an alumnus of Georgia Tech, I am personally passionate about providing my alma mater the most comprehensive advancement solution.”

      Since 1932, GTF has fostered and managed gifts given in support of academic excellence in the spirit and traditions of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Foundation is honored to be entrusted with this mission to promote the cause of higher education in the state of Georgia, receive and manage financial donations received by the Foundation for support and enhancement of the Institute, and assist the Institute in its role as a leading educational and research institution.

      For additional information about Blackbaud CRM for higher education institutions, visit or email

      NEW! Thought Leadership Asset: Share of the American Wallet

      We’re excited to announce the release of our newest thought leadership asset, Share of the American Wallet: How Discretionary Spending Identifies the Best Donor Prospects.

      This report dives deep into data from the Census Bureau’s 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey to determine which discretionary spending habits and characteristics are signals of propensity to make charitable gifts. It explores the key indicators of age, education, household composition, income, and household spending to determine which characteristics correlate with giving habits.

      Fundraisers need to know which donors are most likely to make a charitable gift in order to be as efficient and effective as possible in their outreach and stewardship efforts. By exposing characteristics that correlate with propensity to donate, this report helps readers acquire and retain the donors who have capacity to give and keep giving, allowing them to focus their efforts on the most likely candidates to bring meaningful value to their organization.

      Download your copy of the report today!

      Associate-Centered CSR: Lowcountry Orphan Relief

      Last week, the Blackbaud Investor Relations Team—Mark Furlong, Steve Hufford, and Zach Hoogerland—spent the day volunteering at Lowcountry Orphan Relief (LOR), whose mission is to provide basic necessities for children in the Lowcountry who have been abandoned, abused, neglected, or are currently at-risk.

      The team helped LOR clean off the truck full of donations, sort children’s clothing, fill orders, and organize the distribution center. “In 2016, we filled over 2,600 orders for children with items such as clothing, school supplies, toiletries, books, socks, and shoes,” said Marissa Nash, director of development & community outreach at Lowcountry Orphan Relief. “With a small staff of only three full-time team members, we rely heavily on our volunteers. They are the lifeline to our success as an organization and help us provide comfort and support for more children than we ever could on our own.”

      Blackbaud’s fundamental belief that the world will be a better place when good takes over is integral to its corporate culture. Working at Blackbaud means working with people who share a passion for doing good. We encourage our employees to get to know our customers, whether that be through hands-on or skills-based volunteerism, to allow them to personally understand the unique challenges they face.

      To join Lowcountry Orphan Relief’s team of volunteers and experience the joy of making a difference in the life of a child who needs you, visit


      The Rise of the Intelligent Machine

      As part of the launch of Trendwatch 2017, the American Alliance of Museums’ annual report that summarizes museum trends, we’re proud to partner with sector leaders to discuss the latest trends around artificial intelligence. Elizabeth Merritt, vice president of strategic foresight and founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, joined Anthony Tomaino from Blackbaud’s product management team and Jeffrey Inscho from The Studio at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh to explore how museums are experimenting with artificial intelligence and how it may shape museum practice in the future.

      Today, computer systems are beginning to be able to do things we used to believe required human thought—dealing with uncertainty, learning from experience, making predictions, interpreting language and more. So you’ve likely heard of AI—technology’s ability to process, decipher and “learn” from information. While many technology companies are talking about AI, only Blackbaud is taking a comprehensive approach to intelligence that’s completely optimized for social good by combining big data, artificial intelligence, analytics and expertise to help customers build a better world.

      The panelists discuss how AI can offer affordable expertise, saving money and man hours, as well as how AI can help museums manage the real, practical problem of amassing huge data sets of information about their collections. “There’s no practical way to manage, sort and mine data of this kind without AI,” said Merritt. “So our ability to make sense of what we are actually collecting may depend on these types of applications.”

      Watch Blackbaud’s “The Rise of the Intelligent Machine” on demand webcast to learn answers to questions like — What can this technology do for a museum? How can it make museums and their collections more accessible and useful to the public? Could AI be trained to authenticate art? Or could AI programs answer visitor questions like “Where are the paintings that will make me smile?”


      Blackbaud Named One of the 40 Fastest-Growing Companies in South Carolina

      Blackbaud has been named one of the 40 fastest-growing companies in South Carolina for 2017 by SC Biz News.

      Twenty large companies and 20 small companies have been named to the statewide Roaring Twenties list presented annually by SC Biz News. This honor recognizes the state’s best-performing companies based on both dollar and percentage increases in revenue from 2015-2016.

      In order to qualify for the Roaring Twenties designation, companies must have a physical presence in South Carolina and be a for-profit entity or a nonprofit organization (EXCEPT FOR: government entities and charitable organizations, including 501(c)3 organizations. These types of nonprofits are not eligible).

      Company size was determined by gross revenue: A small company was considered as having $10 million and under in revenue. Large companies were classified as having over $10 million in revenue. Small companies must have had revenues of at least $500,000 each year for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

      Profiles of the winning companies will be published in the winter issue of SCBIZ magazine. The winners will be honored at an event on Oct. 19 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia.

      The winners and their locations, in alphabetical order, are:

      Large Companies Location
      AM Conservation Group Charleston
      Berenyi Incorporated Charleston
      Blackbaud Charleston
      Creative Builders, Inc. Greenville
      eGroup Mt. Pleasant
      Frampton Construction Ladson
      Green Cloud Technologies Greenville
      Human Technologies, Inc. Greenville
      J. Davis Construction Westminster
      JEAR Logistics Mt. Pleasant
      MAU Workforce Solutions Greenville
      Mavin Construction Greenville
      New South Construction Supply Greenville
      NextGen Supply Chain Integrators Greenville
      Quality Business Solutions, Inc. Travelers Rest
      Scout Boats Summerville
      Southeast Industrial Equipment, Inc. Duncan
      Sunland Logistics Solutions Simpsonville
      The Brandon Agency Myrtle Beach
      The Office People North Charleston
      Small Companies Location
      Alder Energy Systems Charleston
      Atlas Executive Consulting North Charleston
      Blue Haven Pools & Spas- Charleston North Charleston
      Call Experts Charleston
      Cantey Foundation Specialists Camden
      CEMS Engineering, Inc. Summerville
      Circuit Board Medics Greenville
      CNT Foundations North Charleston
      Davis Supply of Charleston North Charleston
      GEL Geophysics Charleston
      Knowledge Capital Group LLC Charleston
      KOSS Creative Columbia
      Matt O’Neill Real Estate Mt. Pleasant
      Source Ortho Mt. Pleasant
      Pain Specialists of Charleston Charleston
      Q4Launch Mt. Pleasant
      Shelly Leeke Law Firm North Charleston
      SnapCap Charleston
      The Boulevard Company Mt. Pleasant
      The Centrics Group Mt. Pleasant


      Associate-Centered CSR: Dreamwell Theatre Company

      This post is a part an ongoing series highlighting the give-back work of our associates.

      At Blackbaud, we practice what we call “associate-centered Corporate Social Responsibility.” This philosophy puts our employees at the center of our giving by empowering them to choose causes and organizations that are meaningful to them.

      Our Reward Your Passion grants program puts this philosophy into practice. Started in 2007, this program gives employees the opportunity to apply for a grant on behalf of an organization where they volunteer, either as a hands-on on skills-based volunteer, even serving as a member of the organization’s board of directors. A committee of associates from all across Blackbaud (geography and function) review the applications and score them based on the associate’s commitment to the organization. While we love to see people giving hours of their time to a particular cause, the passion behind that commitment is what is most important. Why is an organization important to someone? What is it about their mission that makes our colleague so committed to help? The answers to these questions and the committee’s reviews result in the top 20 applications receiving a grant each quarter.

      Ali Zimmerman, a colleague from Blackbaud’s Indianapolis office, is a founder and current volunteer for the Dreamwell Theatre Company and board chair at Hear Indiana. She is very familiar with our Reward Your Passion program and has received grants on behalf of both organizations.

      “Blackbaud’s Reward Your Passion grant is a great way to help an organization and make you feel good about the company you work for,” said Zimmerman. “Fundraising can be a huge challenge for many organizations, especially unrestricted funds. Blackbaud is very aware of those challenges and makes the process easy for employees to apply. I’ve received two grants in the past and hope to do more in the future for other organizations. With the opportunities being quarterly, it’s easy to apply on my schedule or when I know an organization needs a little extra. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to easily help further the social good in our communities. I’m proud to work for a company that gives back.”

      “Maintaining a small community theatre group is no easy feat, let alone keeping it going for twenty years,” said Stephen Polchert, executive director of the Dreamwell Theatre Company. “With the generosity of companies like Blackbaud, we are not only celebrating twenty years of cutting edge theatre, we’re also given the hope that we can continue our mission for yet another twenty years. Thank you so much!”

      Through our grants program, we see colleagues apply annually for the same organizations, demonstrating their everyday commitment to these organizations and their missions. We see colleagues who may be new to volunteering or new to an organization embrace the mission and work of an organization and take it on as their own. Volunteers, whether hands-on or skills-based, are critical to the success of any organization and we’re proud of our colleagues and their commitment both personally and professionally to the social good sector. They are making a difference in their communities through their volunteer efforts. Thanks to their efforts, we have the privilege and the honor to fund organizations across the world through the Reward Your Passion program. Going forward, we will use this blog to announce and highlight organizations who receive these grants. We hope you enjoy learning about the organizations our colleagues serve.

      Giving Institute Names Blackbaud Executive Rachel Hutchisson Board Chair

      Blackbaud’s Corporate Social Responsibility leader Rachel Hutchisson has been elected to the position of Board Chair of The Giving Institute, a membership organization that seeks to develop extraordinary leaders in philanthropy.  As Blackbaud’s VP of Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy with more than 25 years of leadership experience working at the intersection of business and social good, Rachel has committed her career to driving positive social change through meaningful collaboration. 

      “The Giving Institute plays a vital role in connecting and enhancing member firms’ efforts to best serve the philanthropic market, offering us opportunities to learn from each other, to convene with experts and to support the unifying spirit that unites us – a passion both for giving and for driving lasting social impact.  It’s a true honor to be named the Board Chair of a group that teaches me so much every day.”
      – Rachel Hutchisson.

      At Blackbaud, we seek to help nonprofits drive positive change and to be a good corporate citizen. Often, the two are intertwined, as we strive to make a difference both through what we do as a company and how we serve as individuals. So much so, that in our annual employee engagement survey, 85% of employees stated that Blackbaud’s work with nonprofits was important in their decision to join the company. In addition, 86% of employees have volunteered in the past 12 months, and 25% serve on a nonprofit board or committee. People come to the company because of who we work with, and they stay because they are invested both in what they are able to do professionally and the philanthropic opportunities they engage in personally.

      Visit The Giving Institute’s Blog to learn more about Rachel’s appointment to Board Chair.

      Blackbaud Moves Up Again in IDC Ranking of the Top 100 Cloud Software Vendors by Revenue

      IDC released its July 2017 Worldwide SaaS and Cloud Software Market Shares Report today, and since 2014 Blackbaud’s rank has moved up from 30 to 24.

      The worldwide software as a service (SaaS) and cloud software market grew by 27.0% in 2016, reaching $85.0 billion. Cloud software is the service enablement of products in all three primary software markets: applications as a service, system infrastructure software (SIS) as a service — which combines to form software as a service — and application development and deployment (AD&D) or platform as a service (PaaS). This IDC study examines the SaaS and cloud software market in 2016 and includes a list of the top 100 cloud software vendors by revenue.

      Download the July 2017 IDC Report: Worldwide Software as a Service and Cloud Software Market Shares, 2016: The Year of Multicloud

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