Blackbaud Newsroom

Thousands of Change Makers Gather at Blackbaud’s 17th Annual bbcon Event

Blackbaud hosted bbcon 2017, its annual three-day technology conference for social good, in Baltimore, Maryland. Thousands of emerging and internationally recognized nonprofits, foundations, education and healthcare institutions, and corporate CSR teams joined the event to explore the intersection of technology, thought leadership and social good.

Since Blackbaud launched its first annual conference in 2000, bbcon has grown to become the premier tech gathering for social good, convening fundraisers, marketers, administrators, executives and industry thought leaders from around the world. Blackbaud customers represent some of the most prestigious groups driving global good, including: 40 of the 50 most influential nonprofits, 93 percent of higher education institutions with billion dollar campaigns, 26 of the top 32 hospital systems in the U.S., a third of the Fortune 100 Companies.

“We believe that to truly build a better world, organizations across all sectors will need to come together to discover how a focus on radical collaboration, catalyzing individuals and unleashing the power of data can strengthen the entire social economy,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud.  “We’re honored to convene so many change makers at bbcon to do just that, while also exploring the critical role technology can play to bring about measurable change. Blackbaud has delivered significant innovation and thousands of enhancements over the past year, and customers can expect that momentum to continue.”

Blackbaud and Microsoft Strengthen Strategic Partnership to Digitally Transform the Nonprofit Sector

During the conference, Blackbaud and Microsoft announced their expanded partnership in support of their mutual goals to digitally transform the nonprofit sector. The two companies highlighted a three-point commitment to collaboration for the good of the global nonprofit community, which includes going deeper on integrations, joint innovation, and sector leadership to scale global good. Blackbaud also announced its intention to fully power its social good-optimized cloud, Blackbaud SKY, with Microsoft Azure.

Innovation Fuels Impact: Unprecedented Outcomes for World-Leading Organizations

Blackbaud’s Chief Products Officer Kevin McDearis shared the company’s vision to transform the social good space in the fourth industrial revolution, while sharing a glimpse of what the company is working on with Internet of Things (IoT), AI and analytics, and more.

“The incredible thing is that we’re actually entering a fourth industrial revolution right now—technology is getting smaller, smarter and more powerful, at exponentially faster rates—there’s a growing network effect as we bring together advances like the internet of things, cloud computing, 3d printing and artificial intelligence,” said McDearis.  “At Blackbaud, we believe that catalyzing the impact of the individual, unleashing the power of data and enabling radical collaboration creates a strong social economy with the conditions we all need to drive more good, more effectively. All this innovation is leading us to a tipping point, and, just as with previous industrial revolutions, the more people get connected to and benefit from these advances, the more the impact grows. With the impact of the 4th industrial revolution rapidly spreading, the stakes are higher than ever.”

Blackbaud’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Head of the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact Catherine LaCour emphasized the company’s commitment to being the best long-term partner for the social good community. “Each day we are humbled and proud to see the kind of impact you are making possible,” LaCour told attendees as she highlighted customer outcomes powered by Blackbaud solutions. “We are doubling down on innovation to help you achieve your missions faster.” Customer success highlights from the main stage include:

  • University of Georgia just knocked out its fourth record-breaking year of fundraising in a row – with 94 percent growth in fundraising to fund more scholarships and progressing to its $1.2 billion campaign goal.
  • Special Olympics Missouri leveraged analytics insights to increase its individual fundraising by 179 percent as part of its capital campaign.
  • American Diabetes Association transformed a two-week review process to a half-hour using Blackbaud solutions, enabling the organization to spend more time on its mission to identify and prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • CSAA Insurance, a AAA insurance provider, just achieved a 98 percent employee engagement of its 3,800 employees who donate and volunteer with organizations like the American Heart Association and Habitat for Humanity.

A Conversation with Award Winning Actress and Humanitarian, Robin Wright

In a special main stage interview with LaCour, Emmy-award winning actress and humanitarian Robin Wright shared inspiring perspectives with attendees from the lens of her role a public advocate, head of a high-impact foundation, philanthropist and leader of a premier social enterprise brand.

Check out the session on demand at or watch the post event Facebook Live interview here.

Fortune Magazine, Mashable and Chronicle of Philanthropy Editors Share Emerging Trends for Global Good

One of over 200 tech and expert leadership sessions included special guests Ellen McGirt Sr. editor at Fortune, Matt Petronzio Social Good Editor at Mashable, and Stacy Palmer Editor in Chief of Chronicle of Philanthropy, in a session about how to best position your story amidst the crowded, noisy news cycle moderated by Susan McPherson, founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies. Attendees heard unique perspective from this expert panel of journalists on what’s changed, what’s ahead, and how to really amplify their voice in today’s rapidly changing social and political climates, and news cycles.

Attendees Select Blackbaud’s Next Off the Grid Innovation

Attendees voted on their favorite Off the Grid (OTG) innovation which would be built into future product roadmaps. OTG is the company’s premier innovation-marathon in which Blackbaud employees step outside of their day-to-day roles for 24 hours to collaborate on creative projects that solve customer challenges. This year’s projects spanned topics such as onboarding, dynamic ticket pricing for events, donation giving tied back to UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Internet of Things. The top four innovations were revealed at bbcon and attendees voted for their favorite high-potential creation. The winning team, SDG6, developed a smart water monitoring solution to improve access and availability of safe water globally.

Blackbaud Gives Back

The newly formed Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact released its sixth research report bbcon: “Vital Signs: Monitoring Giving Patterns in the Donor Marketplace,” which provides research-backed insight on how the donor marketplace is changing, why a donor-centered approach to fundraising is essential, implications for practices, and opportunities for further research and development.

As part of its annual “bbcon Gives Back” initiative, attendees created fleece tie blankets for Maryland-based, human services organizations The Family Tree, Helping Hands and Paul’s Place.

On Demand Viewing and bbcon 2018

Anyone who missed bbcon 2017 can catch the main stage sessions and a few select others at

bbcon 2018 will be held October 9-11, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.  Learn more about Blackbaud at To learn more about the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact, and for additional resources and supporting materials, visit