Blackbaud Supports Bold Technology Innovation Through Its Social Good Startup Program
Startups in This Year’s Program Recently Visited Blackbaud’s World Headquarters for an Annual Showcase, Sharing Their Ideas on Ways to Impact the Social Good Community—and Winning Cash Prizes
In 2019, Blackbaud launched a challenge to gather and support top ideas from startups impacting the social good space and mission-based organizations. Out of these early beginnings, the Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program was born. The program has grown into a unique, year-long tech accelerator that supports early-stage software companies that are dedicated to solving problems that matter to the social good community, and whose innovative solutions show strong potential to impact the global Ecosystem of Good®.
To date, Blackbaud has supported a total of 39 startups through five cohorts, with these organizations raising a collective $120 million in funding. In addition, 43% of startup founders in the program are from underrepresented backgrounds.
“Blackbaud serves a wide array of customers in the social good community—from nonprofits to arts and cultural organizations, education institutions, leading corporations and more,” said Jerry Needel, vice president, innovation and incubation, Blackbaud. “Each subset of customers in our ecosystem faces unique challenges and opportunities. By tapping into the incredible talent and forward-thinking vision of these startups, this program provides our customers with unique, purpose-built solutions that directly address their needs, all while cultivating and supporting future leaders in the social good technology space.”
This December, nine startups from the 2022 program participated in the annual Blackbaud Social Good Startup Showcase, which provides an opportunity for founders to pitch their ideas to a panel of Blackbaud judges and company leaders for a chance to create networking opportunities and ultimately win cash prizes. The hybrid event, which included options for in-person attendance at Blackbaud headquarters or virtual attendance, drew over 100 Blackbaud leaders.
“Our annual Social Good Startup Showcase provides an opportunity for startup founders in our program to share with our Blackbaud team what they’re working on and how their solution serves a need for Blackbaud’s customers,” said Lizzie Schaffer, senior product manager, innovation and incubation, Blackbaud. “Each year we are blown away by the creativity and potential of these founders. The organic ideas that are sparked between the startups and our Blackbaud leaders give us the ability to create tremendous impact for our customers and deliver cutting-edge innovation.”
Winners and participants of this year’s showcase included:
- 1stPlace: Nick Fitz and Kevin Miller of Momentum, whose technology offers a personal fundraising assistant that recommends tailored opportunities for donor stewardship.
- 2ndPlace: Kyle Kothe of RightGift, which combines the purchasing power of nonprofits to reduce the cost of items that nonprofits supply, ultimately increasing their impact.
- 3rdPlace: Geng Wang of Civic Champs, an intuitive and impactful solution for volunteer management and engagement.
- Additional Participants: Brian Mohr, Anthym; Dominic Kalms, B Generous; Harsh Khurana, Cultivate; Adam Vetter, DipJar; Ashima Sharma, Dreami; and Eric Landy, Made Media.
The winning participants of the 2022 showcase shared their reflections following the event.
“We’re grateful to be part of the Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program,” said Nick Fitz, founder and CEO of Momentum. “We had an amazing time this week traveling to Blackbaud headquarters and meeting so many other brilliant and talented startup founders who care about the same thing we do.” Kevin Miller, an advisor for Momentum, added, “Blackbaud serves so many customers in the social good space. This program has provided an incredible opportunity for us to bring Momentum’s unique solutions to those organizations.”
Kyle Kothe, co-founder and CEO of RightGift, shared, “Pitching our solution to the panel was a great experience. We are extremely proud and excited to place second amongst such an inspired group of startups and missions. We received direct, meaningful questions and feedback from the Blackbaud judges, highlighting their earnest effort to uncover new and innovative solutions for the charitable ecosystem.”
Geng Wang, founder and CEO of Civic Champs, reflected, “It was such a rewarding experience being in person and finally having the chance to meet some of the folks we’ve been working with for the past year and to pitch our idea on stage in front of the Blackbaud team. We’re excited to continue growing with Blackbaud to bring together the best combination of volunteer management and donor management in one package.”
Through the Blackbaud Social Good Startup Program, participants receive curated access to Blackbaud resources, marketing opportunities and nondilutive grant funding, and Blackbaud works with startup founders to design a unique plan for each company that addresses their goals for growth. All of the companies chosen for the program are fast-tracked into Blackbaud’s ISV partner program, which provides the opportunity to publish product integrations in the Blackbaud Marketplace, where Blackbaud customers can find and implement their unique solutions.
Blackbaud accepts applications for the Social Good Startup Program on a rolling basis. For consideration in the July 2023 or future cohorts, learn more and apply here.