Fast Company Names Blackbaud to Best Workplaces for Innovators List
Leading cloud software company’s culture of cultivating big ideas and empowering all employees lands it on prestigious national list
Charleston, S.C. (July 29, 2020) — Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announces that it has been named to Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators list, honoring businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. Blackbaud is joined by other high-profile companies, including Google, Dell and Alibaba, on Fast Company’s second annual list. To create its roster of Best Workplaces for Innovators, Fast Company collaborated with Accenture to find companies that empower all employees – not just top executives, scientists or coders – to create new products, improve operations and take risks.
“At Blackbaud, all of our employees are encouraged to be innovative and think bigger for the social good—in fact, it’s one of our company values: We invent possibilities,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO, Blackbaud. “That value comes to life across our global organization, as employees constantly innovate to discover the next great thing that will help our customers and one another succeed. Honors like being named to Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators list are a testament to the culture of innovation that we have built—one where our employees thrive, creating new solutions for our customers to drive impact for social good.”
As the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, Blackbaud invests heavily in technology to deliver the most innovative and high-performing solutions possible to drive impact in the world. In 2019, Blackbaud invested over $135 million in research and development in order to continually innovate for the social good sector and deliver the most advanced technology possible infused with analytics to help social good organizations make data-informed decisions. Blackbaud SKY®, its platform for innovation, continues to power an unprecedented level of innovation by Blackbaud’s engineers and enables a growing ecosystem of developers. There are now significantly more outside developers developing on this platform than Blackbaud engineers.
A few of the initiatives that earned Blackbaud a spot on the Best Workplaces for Innovators list, include:
Blackbaud Labs is the tech company’s internal innovation engine with a mission is to generate a pipeline of creative new ideas, experiment with new technology and incubate new products. Blackbaud Labs also runs Ideation Campaigns where employees are encouraged to iterate on problems that Blackbaud customers face and brainstorm solutions.
The Social Good Start-up Challenge
As part of Blackbaud’s commitment to strengthening the social good community, it worked with One Million by One Million (1Mby1M) to launch the Social Good Start-Up Challenge focused on tech startups on a mission to solve the problems that matter to the social good community. Blackbaud is now sponsoring 14 emerging leaders in a tech accelerator. These 14 startups are creating innovative solutions that enable social good organizations to do everything from in-kind gift matching to donor bequest planning, mobile-first grassroots organizing, video storytelling, volunteer training, parent ambassador recruitment, credit card transaction-linked giving and more.
Off the Grid, Blackbaud’s annual 48-hour hackathon
Since 2012, Blackbaud has been hosting Off the Grid, a 48-hour hackathon where employees work outside of their normal jobs to innovate on creative new solutions to solve problems facing the social good community. Blackbaud employees work together on teams across departments, locations and time zones around the world. Projects span topics such as dynamic ticket pricing for events, donation giving tied back to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Internet of Things. Innovations that have resulted from Off the Grid include a smart water monitoring solution to improve access and availability of safe water globally and the “Blackbaud Live” app, which enables users to broadcast live from fundraising events using custom overlays and streamlined donations.
The last Thursday of every month at Blackbaud is “Tech Thursday.” It’s a day for employees to do something innovative outside their day-to-day responsibilities, such as a side project, experimenting with a new language or learning a new skill. Tech Thursday was created by Blackbaud engineers in Austin, Texas. For some, Tech Thursday has become an incubator for Off the Grid projects. A few Tech Thursday initiatives currently in the works include writing an Ethereum blockchain app, creating a “VolunTinder” mobile app and learning python. When employees are ready for a project or idea to move beyond incubation and into the real world, they can work with the Blackbaud Labs team to take it to the next level—sometimes even becoming a new solution for Blackbaud customers.
The Blackbaud Makerspace
Blackbaud has a Makerspace dedicated to building and experimenting with new technology. It’s designed for use by all of employees to explore ways technology can be used to power social good. The Makerspace is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, a drill press, soldering equipment, virtual reality headsets and more. Blackbaud Makerspace Champions teach workshops and training classes ranging from instruction on using the different machines to topics like the Internet of Things, how to write an Alexa skill and accessibility in software.
“As much of the world recovers from health, economic and social crises, we need innovation more than ever,” said Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “This new list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators celebrates organizations that have fostered innovative thinking by investing in technology, research and development and their employees.”
View the full list of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators here and learn more about Blackbaud’s culture of innovation by visiting Blackbaud.com/careers/life-at-blackbaud.
Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators issue (September 2020) is available online now, and the print issue will be on newsstands beginning August 4, 2020. Join the Best Workplaces for Innovators conversation using #FCBestWorkplaces.
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 www.blackbaud.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding expected benefits of products and product features. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or upon request from Blackbaud’s investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.