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Distinguished Private University Achieves 273% ROI, Increases Funds Raised by Nearly $50 Million with Blackbaud CRM™

Independent study shows how Blackbaud CRM can significantly increase gift revenue, help create a better experience for constituents and fundraising staff and save an institution millions of dollars in labor costs

Charleston, S.C. (March 10, 2020) — Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today released the results of a commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI)1 study conducted by Forrester Consulting detailing the cost savings and business benefits that an institution may experience after implementing Blackbaud CRM™. Forrester found that over a three-year period, an institution increased gift revenue by nearly $50 million, increased the average annual gift revenue generated per major gift by more than 60 percent and avoided $1.2 million in labor costs, realizing a 273% return on investment (ROI) with Blackbaud CRM. 

To evaluate the economic impact of Blackbaud CRM, Forrester interviewed the executive director of technology systems and services at a large private university, which has an estimated 15,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students and 14 schools, colleges and other fundraising units. Approximately 500 university staff utilize Blackbaud CRM to manage 750,000 constituents, including students and parents. 

Prior to implementing Blackbaud CRM, the university relied on its legacy fundraising and relationship management software that had limited data on constituents and antiquated technology, which constrained the university’s ability to effectively and efficiently fundraise. The university also had challenges integrating the legacy system across multiple subsystems and with its 14 schools and colleges. This limitation made it difficult to input and retrieve comprehensive constituent data, hindering effective targeting and nurturing of donors and prospects. 

“Blackbaud CRM is a superior solution,” said the university’s executive director of technology systems and services. “We’re supporting initiatives that in the past would have been either impossible or just so inefficient that we didn’t pursue them. For instance, we recently rolled out a report that shows new business progress versus goals, current as of today, for all the schools and colleges. We had never been able to do that. It got a round of applause. When was the last time you put out a report for senior leadership and got a round of applause?” 

After deploying Blackbaud CRM, the university experienced:

  • Increased gift revenue of $49.4 million from better targeting and management of donors.
  • Avoided labor costs of $1.2 million for operational support of fundraising.
  • Decreased IT costs by $153,563 from reduced use of address verification services and $1.3 million from retiring the previous solution.
  • Automated entry and consolidation of constituent and gift data, replacing thousands of hours previously spent on manual tasks, such as re-keying data.
  • The ability to provide fundraisers and university administration with on-demand access to real-time, more accurate and more comprehensive fundraising metrics and donor information from a single source of truth. 

Blackbaud CRM is now integrated into many supporting systems across campus and operates as the hub of its fundraising, helping the university capture and capitalize on data to maximize its fundraising success. As a result, fundraisers are better able to assess donors’ capacity and interests, while improving their own fundraising performance.

“Blackbaud has been the trusted technology partner for higher education institutions for decades,” said Tim Hill, president and general manager, Blackbaud Higher Education Solutions. “Our Cloud Solution for Higher Education helps institutions build stronger relationships across constituents, expand campus‑wide collaboration and develop the infrastructure needed to support future growth. That’s exactly what we’ve seen happen here – with Blackbaud CRM, the university is maximizing gift revenue, engaging more effectively with alumni and supporters and saving millions of dollars in the process. With the right technology in place, institutions are better positioned to cultivate lifelong relationships with donors while achieving record-setting campaign goals.”

Learn how this university achieved these results with Blackbaud CRM by downloading the full study and registering for a webinar

1The Total Economic Impact™ of Blackbaud CRM™, a February 2020 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Blackbaud

About Blackbaud

Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, higher education institutions, K–12 schools, healthcare organizations, faith communities, arts and cultural organizations, foundations, companies and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud 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, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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