Acceptable Use Policy

Blackbaud requires all email customers to adhere to the policy outlined below. For assistance with specific questions related to your email program, contact your Support representative.

Permission-based email – Before you use Blackbaud’s products for email, make sure you’re allowed to send messages to recipients.

You must:

  • Verify you have consent. Depending on how you obtain email addresses, consent might be explicit or implied.
    • Explicit – If you don’t already have relationships with recipients, you need explicit consent from them to send marketing or notification messages. They can provide consent online, by phone, or on paper forms. Wherever you collect email addresses, describe the nature of messages you send and the identities – such as domain names or brands – your organization uses when it sends email.
    • Implied – If you’re confirming online transactions, consent is implied. Consent might also be implied if recipients previously interacted with your organization.
  • Ensure you have a valid legal basis for communications.
  • Comply with data protection laws that apply to your organization.

Explicit opt-in collection – When you use Blackbaud products to collect email addresses as part of online form submissions, the screen must include a clear and conspicuous option to allow users to decide whether to opt in to receive email.

Note: When a form’s only purpose is to allow users to sign up for email, opt-in is implied.

Email address lists acquired from third parties – If you purchase or use lists of email addresses from third parties, the list owners must use their own brands and email systems to invite subscribers to opt in to receive email from your organization. Once you obtain consent for those recipients, you may then use Blackbaud’s products to send email to them.

Blackbaud email append services – If you purchase or use Blackbaud services to correct, update, or add email addresses for recipients who already exist in your database, you must still determine whether you have explicit or implied consent before you use Blackbaud’s products to send messages to them.

Unsubscribe requests – Messages must include a clear and visible link to allow recipients to unsubscribe from all marketing and non-transactional emails you send. To encourage recipients to reconsider, you may offer alternate options – such as which types of messages you send and how often you send them – from the screen where they confirm unsubscribe requests.

Unsubscribe propagation – If you use another email service provider in addition to Blackbaud, ensure you update unsubscribe requests from each system to the other within five business days.

Sender identity and reply handling – In each message you send, you must include:

  • Your organization’s identity
  • A valid physical or postal address
  • A valid “from” address

Also, create and maintain email accounts for your top-level domain names, such as and, to handle complaints and register them with

Undeliverable addresses – When messages to email addresses are undeliverable, Blackbaud suppresses the addresses from future mailings. Blackbaud uses internet email standards and requirements from major mailbox providers to determine which addresses to suppress. The criteria are set at the sole discretion of Blackbaud and can change as necessary. You may not attempt to reset or reload these addresses or take other actions to circumvent the suppressions.

Unacceptable email practices – You may not:

  • Use Blackbaud products to send unsolicited commercial email messages.
  • Obtain email addresses by harvesting them from websites or offline directories, or by auto-generating them.
  • Send email communications that contain misleading or false information about the sender, subject, or content of a message.

Enforcement of email marketing best practices – Blackbaud monitors SPAM practices to determine whether organizations follow the email policy. If you fail to adhere to the terms, Blackbaud will take corrective actions which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with your organization to review your list building practices and identify how you obtained email addresses for people who didn’t provide consent.
  • Requiring you to remedy problems identified with your list building practices to ensure they are permission-based.
  • Permanently removing one or more email addresses from your database.
  • Sending your email from a server with a low sending reputation and therefore fewer delivery assurance benefits, such as a server that’s not protected by Blackbaud’s whitelist status with major mailbox providers.

Important! Blackbaud reserves the right to terminate bulk email service for organizations who fail to correct their list building and management practices.