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      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

      Blackbaud Target Analytics to Showcase Latest AI-Enabled Innovations at #ApraPD2017

      As a year-round gold sponsor, Blackbaud Target Analytics™ is proud to be a part of the Apra Prospect Development 2017 Conference to share key insights and showcase its latest AI-enabled analytics offerings.

      Throughout a variety of sessions, Blackbaud speakers will showcase how the company’s advanced wealth and modeling capabilities put the power of full wealth screenings, net worth, discretionary spend, investment details, and predictive giving and major giving models in the hands of customers.

      Blackbaud speakers will also highlight how the company’s intelligent offerings provide customers the ability to identify planned gift prospects and major gift prospects, as well as how the AI-enabled analytics provides valuable insight into the three primary fundraising channels to help customers uncover their best prospects and convert them into major givers. Blackbaud sessions include: 

      Speed Dating for Prospect Development
      Speaker: Michael Quevli, Target Analytics Senior Consultant

      Who’s the boss? Large Shop Management
      Speaker: Melissa Bank Stepno, Target Analytics Practice Manager

      The long and Winding Road: Driving Analytics from Campaign Prospecting to Forecasting
      Speaker: Melissa Bank Stepno, Target Analytics Practice Manager

      Vendor session – From Alexa to Fundraising – Unpacking AI
      Speaker: Alan Dix, Target Analytics Sr. Solutions Manager
      Speaker: Anthony Pisano, Blackbaud Product manager

      Data Analytics Symposium:

      Secrets of Data Driven Nonprofits
      Speaker:  Steve MacLaughlin, Vice President of Data & Analytics

      A mix not to Miss: Blended Gifts
      Speaker: Lawrence Henze, Target Analytics Principal Consultant

      Build, Buy, Partner: Strategies to Optimize your Analytics Efforts
      Speaker: Alan Dix, Target Analytics Sr. Solutions Manager

      Apra is committed to serving, representing and advancing the professionals and practices that enable the philanthropic success of institutions that rely on fundraising for achieving their missions. The organization fosters a collaborative environment for sharing and discussion, while leading the development, dissemination and advancement of best practices, resources, thinking and trends. To learn more about Apra and its annual conference, visit

      Blackbaud Helps The First Tee Score Big!

      Blackbaud recently partnered with The First Tee to execute the design and build of its home office website, internal website, and the 172 chapter websites on WordPress.

      “We chose Blackbaud out of a dozen other companies. We wanted a partner that would pull us and get us farther with technology and they did that throughout the process from start to finish.” — Jennifer Weiler, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of The First Tee

      The First Tee’s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With 172 chapters across the country, The First Tee needed a website that chapter representatives could quickly access and update on the go. The organization partnered with Blackbaud to design a site that’s mobile friendly, mission focused, and easy to navigate.

      “Our experience working with Blackbaud was fantastic! From start to finish, what really stood out to us was the amount of research that went into the plan and strategy. We actually had metrics and research to back up why we placed things where, which was really beneficial.” — Lauren Taylor, Senior Communications Coordinator for The First Tee

      The First Tee really wanted to redesign their site so it was more mobile and user friendly. Chapters are focused on their mission and are usually on the golf course teaching kids and conducting programs and clinics.  They don’t necessarily have the time or expertise to update websites.

      “Blackbaud’s solution allows the chapters to focus on their mission at hand. We wanted to make the website engaging for site visitors and easy to use for the chapters so the coaches and volunteers could spend more time making a deeper impact on the communities they serve.” — Liz Hiers, Strategic Design Manager at Blackbaud                                                                                  Participant and coach tallying scores

      The First Tee aims to set students up for life and teach the skills that allow children to achieve their goals through after-school and in-school programs.

      To see the full story come to life, check out this short video:



      Campers learning the sportsmanship core value

      Blackbaud “Tops Off” New World Headquarters

      In building construction “topping out” or “topping off” is a builder’s rite of passage traditionally held with the last beam or its equivalent being placed atop or within a structure during construction. Recently, the contractors finished placing the final piece of steel and celebrated this milestone with a “Topping Out” ceremony and lunch for everyone working on the new Blackbaud headquarters project.

      “It was good to take a moment and recognize everyone for their hard work and commitment to deliver this project on time for all the employees of Blackbaud,” said Jon Olson, senior vice president and general counsel. 

      Construction began last Fall and is expected to be completed in phases. Phase one of the new campus is planned for completion in early 2018 and will be located at the intersection of Fairchild Street and Central Island Street. The new campus and buildings will include: innovative ideation and collaboration spaces, a game room, ergonomic work stations, a coffee and tea bar, a modern cafeteria sourcing local food, a fitness center and creative outdoor sporting, meeting and event spaces.

      “We have planned our new headquarters to be an enjoyable workplace, and one that cultivates collaboration, promotes disruptive innovation, and inspires employees to reach their full potential. We continue to drive the project forward and want to thank our partners for their dedication,” Olson added.








      Holder Properties
      Civil Engineer
      Thomas & Hutton
      General Contractor
      Balfour Beatty Construction

      Alpha Insulation and Waterproofing
      Baker Roofing
      Bluewater Painting
      Cartner Glass
      Celek and Celek
      Certified Finishes
      Citadel Contractors
      Cullum, Inc.
      Hayward Baker, Inc.
      Low Country Case & Millwork
      Maxson and Associates
      PASCO, Inc.
      Precision Walls
      Southern Safety
      Watson Electric

      Blackbaud Congratulates IAAM on New Groundbreaking African American Genealogy Center

      Today during a ceremony at Blackbaud Headquarters, International African American Museum (IAAM) announced the launch of The Center for Family History – an unprecedented national research center solely dedicated to celebrating and researching African American genealogy making it a one-of-a-kind, unprecedented research center.

      IAAM’s CEO Michael Boulware Moore welcomed guests, board members, supporters, and members of the media. He spoke to the project’s momentum and its status, as well as the updated timeline of late 2019, early 2020 grand opening and launch of the anticipated museum.

      “While the IAAM in total, will paint a broader picture of African American history, the Center for Family History will help individuals discover their own personal strands of that history. It promises to be an extremely powerful place that will change lives forever.” – Michael Boulware Moore, President and CEO of IAAM 

      Toni Carrier, IAAM’s new program developer for The Center told guests in attendance how the center will focus on genealogy education, original research, community archiving, public outreach and collections, and assist with DNA testing. Carrier, a nationally recognized genealogist, conducted research on Michelle Obama’s ancestry.

      “I’m honored and humbled to be able to lead this project at IAAM. This project helps assist families with learning where their family’s journey started and helps families to discover, honor, and preserve their history for future generations.” – Toni Carrier, IAAM Program Developer for The Center

      Blackbaud is proud to support IAAM and announced last June its $1 million gift to help bring the project to fruition. Blackbaud CEO and IAAM board member, Mike Gianoni, collaborates with Moore and his team as they create and bring forward an important institution in the Lowcountry that will benefit visitors no matter where they are geographically.

      Learn more about the International African American Museum at


      UGA Achieves Record-Breaking Fundraising Growth with Blackbaud CRM

      University of Georgia (UGA) selected Blackbaud CRM to create a unified view of all constituent communications and activities. Its goal was to support strategic planning and management, and increase efficiency using a single, cohesive system. Upon implementation in 2013, UGA has the ability to track and measures fundraising activity across the entire organization with greater insight into overall fundraising capacity of constituents. The solution also enables advanced coordination of fundraising efforts and increased visibility into the overall communications plan.

      “Adopting Blackbaud CRM throughout the campus has helped us to redefine business processes and work more efficiently than ever before — UGA finished its 2017 fiscal year by setting new fundraising records again with four consecutive years of record-breaking fundraising. Four years after implementing, we have doubled our revenue from our preceding eight-year average. The results speak for themselves.”  — Derek Clark, Senior Director of Advancement Services at University of Georgia.

      Recently completing its fourth year using the solution to manage its fundraising programs, UGA experienced the following benefits from fiscal year 2014 to 2017 attributable to Blackbaud CRM:

      • A fundraising lift of $18.9 million
      • 94% growth in fundraising
      • 22% compound annual growth rate
      • 192% return on investment (ROI)
      • Avoided labor costs of $3.4 million and IT costs of $400,000

      Read UGA’s full story: Media Fact Sheet: Fundraising skyrockets at UGA.  For more information about Blackbaud CRM for higher education institutions, visit  or email

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