Center for Independent Living

Center for Independent Living Increases Event Profit 100 Percent with Blackbaud Sphere

The mission of the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania is to advance the rights of persons with disabilities through the elimination and prevention of barriers that people with disabilities experience. Community participation is an integral part of the CILPA’s activities.


  • CILCP had been using an event management system that was not designed with nonprofits in mind. It did not track donors or giving history, making it impossible for the organization to know who gave, when, and to what event.
  • Additionally, the system was not userfriendly. Event participants and donors did not like the system and would often complain or refuse to use it. The system wasn’t user-friendly for staff of CILCP, either. Setting up a registration and/or donation page was confusing and difficult.
  • Finally, the system also could not distinguish an event participant from a donor leading to miss-communications and confused constituents that would get notified of information irrelevant to his/her relationship with the organization.


  • CILCP selected Blackbaud Sphere because it would both manage the organization’s events and its donors. The organization didn't want a database separate from its event management solution.
  • Blackbaud Sphere provided the event management and database functionality CILCP needed including gift tracking, segmentation, email capabilities, and event fundraising capabilities at an affordable price.
  • Additionally, the organization selected Sphere because it was easy-to-use for both CILCP staff as well as event participants and donors.
  • One of the primary features desired by CILCP was the ability of event participants to set up their own fundraising page. Friends Asking Friends enables participants to easily import email addresses and solicit friends and family to support CILPA.


  • For its annual Walk ‘n Roll for Living Well walk, the organization increased its online donations significantly by using Sphere.
  • With the number of participants and donors increasing 38 and 42 percent, respectively, using Sphere, the event was able to raise twice as much compared to its previous solution.
  • CILCP can now track donors, their relationships, and their giving history.
  • With Blackbaud Sphere, CILCP can manage its events and donors in a single system. Sphere makes it easy for CILCP to pull information from the database, create and send an email that easily links the event and the database without having to know a lot of coding.
  • The ability to segment its constituent base has decreased the chance of mis-communication between CILPA and event participants and/or donors.
  • Increase the number of event donors by 42 percent.

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