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      Associate-Centered CSR: Teaming Up with the Turning Leaf Project

      Blackbaud believes the world will be a better place when good takes over. You don’t have to look much farther than our 40,000+ customers to know that we live and breathe social good each and every day.  But it doesn’t stop with our customers. We don’t just power the ecosystem of good with our technology, we fully participate in it through our corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and programs.

      Each year, Blackbaud’s CSR team works with our in-house design team, Agency 545, to create our “Blackbaud Cares” t-shirts. These t-shirts are worn by our colleagues when they’re volunteering on behalf of the company, volunteering on their own, or just out and about. These shirts embody our value of We Give Back and are very popular with our employees.

      So what makes this year’s shirt different? Our partner on the project.

      The Turning Leaf Project, a nonprofit organization based in Charleston, SC, serves men recently released from prison through its classroom boot camp and screen printing business. The organization works closely with these men to help them complete probation and stay out of prison. Most men, after finishing the boot camp, are placed into temporary employment with one of Turning Leaf’s government work partners. They are eventually hired permanently by these government agencies.

      However, sometimes participants need additional support and training before joining the workforce. These men are hired to work in Turning Leaf Project’s screen printing shop. Men who complete their temporary job in the screen printing shop are then transitioned into employment with the government jobs sites or within the private sector.

      After seeing Turning Leaf Project’s executive director, Amy Barch, present at last year’s Fast Pitch competition hosted by Social Venture Partners (“SVP”) Charleston, our CSR team explored working with Turning Leaf Project on the 2018 annual Blackbaud Cares t-shirts. In early April, Turning Leaf Project began production on the shirts.

      “Our screen printing shop gives a second chance to men returning home from prison. Blackbaud took a big chance allowing us to print such a large order because they understand what we’re doing has a huge impact on our community,” said Barch. “Because of Blackbaud’s order, we’ve been able to run our shop at full capacity and hire three additional men who otherwise would not have employment. We’re finally beginning to cover the shop’s monthly expenses, and that’s largely because of Blackbaud’s order.”

      In the end, sourcing this year’s t-shirts through Turning Leaf Project shows how Blackbaud approaches our CSR initiatives. Evan Bullock, a Charleston-based Blackbaud employee colleague, said: “I had the pleasure of meeting one of the development folks from Turning Leaf Project at a weekly running club I participate in, and when she heard where I work she was so excited to tell me about this and so grateful for the business. I have a family member who benefitted so much from a similar organization in another state, so I love what these folks are doing.”

      One hundred percent of the proceeds from Turning Leaf Project’s screen printing business funds job training. By partnering with Turning Leaf Project, Blackbaud is ethically sourcing these t-shirts and working with an organization that provides opportunities to members of our community.

       

      “8 to Watch Under 40”

      Laura Beussman, Director of Product Marketing, Fundraising & CRM Solutions, has been named as one of the “8 to Watch Under 40” by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Published in its Spring 2018 edition of Update Magazine, Laura is featured as one of the business graduates with high-profile careers making an impact in their industries.

      “Getting excited about the work I was doing and energized about the impact it was having helped me grow my career and really drive it forward. I’m passionate about what I’m doing and how it can impact other people.” – Laura Beussman

      Laura Beussman’s passion for the arts world brought her to the Wisconsin School of Business, but it was her dedication to driving change that eventually landed her at Blackbaud as the director of product marketing for fundraising solutions.

      Born and raised in Bryan, Texas, Beussman was in dance at age 4, piano at age 7, and was always singing. Her interest in the arts continued to wield influence well into the start of her career. After completing her undergraduate degree at Texas A&M, Beussman worked in nonprofit arts, primarily in accounting and finance. She soon realized, however, that what she really wanted to do was drive strategy in an organization, and came to Wisconsin to get her MBA in arts administration. Read the full feature article.

       

      Blackbaud Leaders Named 2018 Forty Under 40 Winners

      Amy Chase, Blackbaud’s vice president of professional services, and Ryan Roberts, Blackbaud’s director of risk management, have been selected as a 2018 Forty Under 40 winner by the Charleston Regional Business Journal, nominated by members of the Charleston community. 2018 marks the 21st anniversary of the Forty Under 40 awards.

      “It is an honor to be nominated by Communities in Schools (CIS),which provides critical programming and support for students in Charleston County Schools to empower them to stay in school, for this award,” said Chase. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board of CIS, as well as to be leading a team at Blackbaud that provides services to social good organizations to better their missions.”

      “I’m honored to be recognized for this award and represent Blackbaud and all the great work we do as well,” said Roberts. “The majority of my experience getting involved in the nonprofit community happened because of introductions I made here at Blackbaud and customers I learned about through our volunteer and philanthropy program.  It’s great that Blackbaud encourages employees to get involved with causes that are meaningful to us.”

      A panel of judges determined who among the nominees would be named to the 2018 class of Forty Under 40. This group of 40 individuals were recognized at its Forty Under 40 event last night at Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant, S.C.  Since 1998, this elite 40 has been comprised of people under 40 years of age who have excelled in the professional arena and in community involvement. Read more at www.charlestonbusiness.com/news/business-services/74024/.

      Blackbaud Named to Forbes America’s Best Employers 2018 List

      Blackbaud has been named to the Forbes America’s Best Mid-Size Employers 2018 list for the third year in a row! This year, Blackbaud ranked #97, an impressive jump up from #236 in 2017. Blackbaud was recognized in the IT/Internet software category alongside 34 other comparable leading companies, including TripAdvisor, Indeed, Workday, Twitter, and HomeAdvisor. Blackbaud employees and non-employees (who were asked to name companies they would refer) responded in the survey at a volume that elevated us into the top 20% of midsize companies ranked nationwide.

      Blackbaud is the technology behind transformative outcomes for global good, a thought leader and direct participant in change. With the world’s largest giving trends database, the company donates more research (Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact™) to power good than any company of its kind. Giving back drives 86% of employees to join; 1/3+ previously worked in the social sector; 25%+ serve on nonprofit boards; and they volunteer 100,000+ hours annually. For more information about a career at Blackbaud, visit www.blackbaud.com/careers/.

       

      NEW! Guidebook to Becoming a Lean Organization

      For decades, manufacturing companies have employed lean principles to decrease waste and increase efficiency and quality. Although Toyota is often credited as the birthplace of the lean movement, lean thinking began with the Ford Motor Company during the early days of mass production over one hundred years ago. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a diverse array of organizations, from manufacturing to governmental agencies to nonprofits, are all implementing lean principles.

      Public and social sector organizations alike are under ever-increasing pressure to do more with limited resources. Today’s tough funding and regulatory environment is driving the need for innovative approaches that can reduce overhead and increase service to our communities and funders. You may be surprised to learn that lean has found a whole new life in governmental entities, nonprofits, and other service enterprises, where it has been successfully implemented for more than a decade.

      Blackbaud’s new Guidebook to Becoming a Lean Organization, you’ll discover how lean thinking can help you reduce waste, improve the efficacy of your program delivery, and empower employees through innovation. You’ll also learn to avoid the top reasons that lean initiatives fail.

       

      Blackbaud Announces Membership in CECP: The CEO Force for Good

      Blackbaud is pleased to announce it is now a member of CECP, a CEO-led coalition that believes a company’s social strategy — how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, investors and customers —determines company success.

      “As a company on the leading edge of developing innovative solutions for maximum impact in the social good space, Blackbaud is a powerful example of business levering its core strengths to be a ‘Force for Good,’” said Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP. “CECP is proud to welcome Blackbaud to its coalition of CEOs committed to finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

      Blackbaud’s core mission is to provide cutting-edge technology that enables social good organizations to have a greater impact and collaborates with leading companies like fellow CECP member Microsoft to accomplish this. In addition to now joining CECP, Blackbaud has demonstrated its commitment to building a better world through the company’s role as a Founding Partner of the #GivingTuesday movement and as a member of organizations such as the Giving Institute and Shared Value Initiative. At the World Economic Forum in 2017, Blackbaud collaborated with the Gates Foundation, Social Progress Imperative and UN Foundation to convene hundreds of leaders to accelerate cross-sector collaboration toward advancing social impact.

      We also deeply believe in giving back through our own corporate social responsibility programs. In 2018, Blackbaud is once again participating in the Fortune/U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, which matches emerging women leaders from all over the world with members of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders for a four-week-long program. Blackbaud runs a robust employee volunteering program in which 86% of employees worldwide participate – far above the 31% corporate volunteer average. And we give back to our communities through programs such as Camp Blackbaud, which engages underserved youth in STEM education and our Community Matters grant program run by local employee committees, which engages our colleagues in each Blackbaud location to learn about the good work organizations in their communities are doing and teaches them what it means to be grantmakers.

      “It’s incredibly important to me that Blackbaud’s business model includes both developing best-in-class technology solutions and services to advance the social economy and demonstrating its commitment to giving back as a company,” said Mike Gianoni, president & CEO of Blackbaud. “I am honored to join this coalition of fellow CEOs working to create a better world through business, and look forward to taking advantage of the strategic counsel and expertise that CECP can provide to push us even further.”

      Blackbaud’s Mark Furlong Recognized by IR Magazine 2018 Awards

      Last night, the IR Magazine Awards – US honored excellence in the investor relations profession at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC. We are excited to share that Blackbaud’s Director of Investor Relations Mark Furlong was named this year’s Rising Star for his fresh thinking and unique approach that has greatly elevated Blackbaud’s reputation with investors.

      Since the annual event first launched in 1996, tens of thousands of analysts and investors have voted in the surveys behind the awards. The result: vital benchmarking information on which companies do the best IR.  Over the last two decades the awards program has expanded to recognize more aspects of investor relations, particularly the contributions of senior management, as well as to identify the best IR by sector. More information about the awards, categories and how winners are chosen, visit http://events.irmagazine.com/usawards/.

      Congrats to all the deserving winners at this year’s IR Magazine Awards!

      NEW eBook! “CSR 2020: Experts Looks Ahead”

      Today, the practice of CSR has matured to include strategic philanthropy, employee volunteerism, cause marketing, disaster response, peer-to-peer fundraising, nonprofit board service, and even incorporating social responsibility into core business practices and offerings.

      This new ebook, “CSR 2020: Experts Look Ahead,” examines not only all the ways in which CSR has been evolving, but what companies will need to do in the next few years as expectations continue to increase. It compiles perspectives from thought leaders on topics such as employee engagement, human social responsibility, shared value, impact measurement and the SDGs and more who have successfully charted a course through these areas and are helping inform the continued paths forward.

      Chapters and Expert Authors Include:

      1. Why Business Should be a Force for Good in Society
        – Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP
      2. Realizing The Power Of Shared Value
        – Justin Bakule, Executive Director, Shared Value Initiative
      3. Why “Human” Must Replace “Corporate” – The Case for Human Social Responsibility
        – Rachel Hutchisson, VP Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy, Blackbaud
      4. The Untapped Potential of Employee Volunteer Programs
        – Danielle Holly, CEO, Common Impact
      5. Developing Human Capital Through Nonprofit Board Service
        – Alice Korngold, CEO, Korngold Consulting
      6. The Future of Our Communities Require Strategic, Long-term Disaster Philanthropy
        – Robert G. Ottenhoff, President & CEO, Center for Disaster Philanthropy
      7. The Future Of Cause Is…Embedded
        – David Hessekiel, President & Founder, Cause Marketing Forum
      8. Elevating Employee Voice With Social Fundraising
        – Jerry Needel, President and General Manager, Blackbaud Consumer Solutions
      9. Impact & the SDGs: Join the Global Conversation
        – Michelle DiSabato, Lead Impact Advisor, Blackbaud Impact Advisory Services

      We hope their perspectives will serve as a catalyst to help you engage your company in the journey toward a results-focused, holistic CSR program. Download the ebook at www.foundations.blackbaud.com/white-papers/csr-2020-experts-look-ahead.

      Associate-Centered CSR: Giving Back Takes the Form of Creativity Kits

      Giving back can take so many forms. Whether it’s through hands-on, onsite, or skills-based volunteerism, individuals and teams can invest in their communities in many meaningful ways.

      Last month, Blackbaud hosted an annual kick-off meeting in Charleston, SC. Approximately 600 of Blackbaud’s employees spent a few days planning, learning, and networking with colleagues. For the second year in a row, we integrated an onsite volunteer project into this event to strengthen the connection between the event’s attendees, comprised mostly from our sales and marketing teams, and the customers we serve every day.

      This year’s project, the assembly of 800 activity kits, benefited children’s health organizations in cities where Blackbaud has offices – MUSC Children’s Hospital and the RMHC Charleston , Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin and Boston Children’s Hospital.  Activity kits, like the ones our colleagues assembled, help children who are waiting for medical treatment or siblings accompanying them to pass the time, making an otherwise stressful or scary experience a little less so.

      The team at Boston Children’s Hospital “Throughout the year, our child life specialists create opportunities for families to look beyond the tubes, machines, and medicines to celebrate as they would at home. The kid crafts help children take their mind off the present issue they are being faced with and provides them with a therapeutic outlet.”

      We focused on kits for origami, bracelet making, and coloring books, asking our people to compile the supplies in each kit for children to be able to work with. Child life departments for most children’s hospitals typically have a list of kits they prefer along with the supplies needed to assemble them, and our goal was to feed that supply.

      Bert Harkins, VP of Sales Enablement, who leads the execution of the kick-off meeting, had this to say about the service project. “An amazing feature of Blackbaud’s kick-off each year is that we include a service project on our agenda. The near-100% participation that we get on these activities and the positive feedback we receive for including them demonstrates the dedication that our people have to the mission delivery of our customers.”

      Allston Leland, a senior solutions consultant and kick-off attendee, was the first person to participate and his enthusiasm was contagious. Allston reflected on this project after completing dozens of kits and said, “I loved having volunteer service incorporated into kick-off. What we do at Blackbaud supports the work that amazing social good organizations do throughout the world, and having a service project with tangible deliverables really helps strengthen that bond between what we do day to day and the greater good we support.”

      Associate-Centered CSR: Spreading Holiday Cheer throughout Blackbaud Communities

      Giving back continues to spur on the Blackbaud team, and this past holiday season was no exception.

      For the 15th year, our Charleston-based site participated in Trident United Way’s Day of Caring.  More than 500 employees volunteered for 35 projects at 22 nonprofits across the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  Annual participation continues to grow — through more volunteers, projects, and partner organizations — showing just how much service is central to our values.

      Shannon Emery, community manager, spent the day at Lowcountry Orphan Relief, leaving her with a better understanding of how the organization turns mission into action.   “It’s not always glamorous, and sometimes it will break your heart, but each and everything that is done is done with reason – to make the world a better place.”  Service is a great way for our people to see, up close, what nonprofits face every day, bringing that knowledge back into the office and into their world.

      Meanwhile, the Blackbaud team in Austin partnered with Austin Ridge Riders, Keep Walnut Creek Wild and Keep Austin Beautiful for its Fall Service Day.  “The team spent the entire day cleaning up trails, removing invasive species, planting native species, and improving conditions at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. It was a memorable event that allowed team members to connect with one another in ways that can’t be experienced in the office. We partnered with these organizations to educate our colleagues and expand their network of nonprofit organizations in the Austin area,” said Justin Womack, one of our internal volunteerism leads.

      Volunteering isn’t just reserved for our employees at Blackbaud’s “bricks and mortar” locations.  Our CSR team actively works with our remote employees to connect them with colleagues in their communities through service.  Pallavi Paranjape, a remote employee from Raleigh, NC, hosted a volunteer day for fellow Blackbaud employees in that community. “Not only did we get to hang out and get to know each other better, we also got an opportunity to give back to an amazing organization, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Together, our group sorted 8,250 lbs of donated food into 11 pallets that will provide 6,947 meals to food insecure households. Our little group of remote Blackbaud employees will be making this a recurring event!”

      At another location, in Cambridge, MA, the team partnered with Victims’ Rights Law Center for the 11th year to make the holidays brighter for a family in need.  They assisted a family of asylees from Central America with donations of toys, a gaming system, and household essentials.   Our colleague, Kirk Tretheway, who managed the campaign, had this to say, “Every year, coordinating our Season of Giving project reminds me that there is a wonderful spirit of generosity, empathy, kindness, and support in our company and beyond, and I am glad to have the opportunity to be a part of it!”

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