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      Monthly Archives: August 2017

      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


      Millennials Are Causing Change With Social Responsibility – Forbes

      Article originally published on by contributing writer Wes Gay on August 11, 2017

      Millennials are an idealistic, altruistic generation.

      This generation is passionate about social causes that benefit the greater good, whether it’s a nonprofit charity or an altruistic company like TOMS. One recent study found the average millennial gives nearly $600 per year to charitable causes. While this is lower than older generations, millennials are battling student loan debt, stagnant salaries, and a rising cost of living.

      As a whole, millennials tend to be generous with their time, money, and influence. They freely use their social media platforms to raise awareness and money for causes important to them. The nonprofit charity: water, for example, found fundraising success by enabling people to use social media outlets to raise money.

      How do these trends impact the modern workplace? I’ve written beforeon the topic of volunteering programs in companies. Many of the top companies in the world create dynamic programs designed to engage millennials’ desire to do good in the world.

      As corporate social responsibility programs expand, they are experiencing an interesting shift. Instead of focusing on the company, brands are now shifting the focus onto the individuals within the company. In other words, company executives are taking the lead from their employees when it comes to building and expanding a social responsibility program.

      Focus on the individual

      “People bring their whole selves to work,” says Rachel Hutchisson, vice president of corporate citizenship & philanthropy at Blackbaud, a leading technology company that provides solutions to the philanthropic community. She is responsible for expanding the corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts of its 3,000 associates, which drives her to survey the changing landscape of CSR.

      Hutchisson senses a shift away from focusing on companies, instead highlighting the unique values of the individual. “Companies following this trend are beginning to look beyond their corporate imperatives with the understanding that their employees’ purpose — and their community’s social good needs — play into CSR.”

      This concept is especially poignant among millennials. As the largest and most targeted generation in history, millennials place a high value on being seen as individuals. Many millennials are increasingly frustrated with the sweeping generalizations made online and at work. Companies who want a CSR program that engages this generation will start by asking what they value most in terms of service and giving back.

      Don’t build around company pillars

      Some companies build programs around specific causes supported by the company. They may limit their employees to support or contribute to those organizations, restricting the opportunity for employees to donate to causes passionate to them.

      On the surface, this seems like a good idea. Companies support causes and even match donations as part of an overall brand message. But that mistakenly presumes charitable decisions are transactional, not personal.

      “A company driven by the values of their employees would, instead, take a very open approach, allowing the individual to choose what cause matters,” notes Hutchisson. “The belief that philanthropy is personal is at the heart of an employee-centric approach to CSR.”

      Tell stories often

      Every day I help companies discover clarity in their marketing by using the principles of storytelling. People are captivated by a compelling story, whether it’s in a movie, marketing, or a company program.

      Sharing stories of success is a critical way companies can increase the buy-in and overall effectiveness of social responsibility programs. “Companies should understand that there is rarely anything more motivating than for their people to hear about what peers are accomplishing,” notes Hutchisson. “Telling stories of one’s own people builds pride in the brand.”

      Companies also need to share the stories of the impact created by their work. Hutchisson recommends using the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to show how their work makes a lasting impact.

      Let data drive decisions

      Companies are accustomed to reviewing data for things like marketing campaigns, sales strategies, and corporate initiatives to ensure they achieve key objectives and help increase revenue. Reviewing data to make better decisions also involves millennials and corporate responsibility.

      “Social responsibility and HR should work together using data gained from engagement and volunteerism surveys — to determine what programs are most compelling for each audience,” says Hutchisson.

      In the race to find and keep the best millennial talent, companies look for strategic advantages in order to win. Regular evaluation of the data enables companies to improve with recruitment and retention, allowing them to make the company better by keeping people who take pride in the brand.

      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 CEO Michael “Mike” Gianoni Named One of the Top 50 SaaS CEOs

      Charleston, S.C. (August 2, 2017) – Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced that Michael “Mike” Gianoni, Blackbaud’s president and CEO, has been named to the list of Top 50 SaaS CEOs by The SaaS Report. Gianoni was recognized for his purpose-driven leadership and the company’s accelerated performance alongside CEOs from software companies such as Hubspot, Slack, Salesforce, Gainsight, Box, Workday and more.

      The CEOs on this year’s list were selected based on five primary factors – company growth, work culture, product technology, financial performance and professional experience. Research was conducted using a broad set of data including information from reported financials, company press releases, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other sources.

      Since Gianoni took over as CEO of the social good software leader in 2014, Blackbaud’s customer base has grown by 20 percent, stock price has more than doubled adding over $2 billion in shareholder value, organic growth has tripled and market cap has grown by $2.4 billion.

      The SaaS Report is a comprehensive source for business news, investment activity and corporate actions related to the software and SaaS sectors. For more information and to view this year’s list of Top 50 SaaS CEOs, visit

      About Blackbaud
      Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions, and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

      Media Contact
      Nicole McGougan
      Public Relations

      The Blackbaud Index: The Go-To Resource for Charitable and Online Giving Trends

      The Blackbaud Index reported that overall charitable giving to nonprofits increased 3.2 percent while online giving increased 7.8 percent for the three months ending June 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

      The Blackbaud Index provides the most up-to-date information on charitable giving today. Tracking approximately $23 billion in US-based charitable giving, the Index is updated on the first of each month (or the next business day) and is based on a three-month moving average of year-over-year percent change. Featuring overall and online giving, the Index can be viewed by size and subsets of the nonprofit industry via an interactive online chart. The Index also features a fundraising benchmark calculator that allows users to easily chart their own results against the Index and historical data to provide a fuller view of charitable giving.

      To access The Blackbaud Index, subscribe to monthly email alerts, read about the methodology, or access special reports, visit

      Media Contact
      Nicole McGougan
      Public Relations

      About Blackbaud
      Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

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