There’s a lot of buzz in the Foundation world lately around uncertainty as to the level of commitment Blackbaud has to grantmaking. As the Director of Foundation Strategy, this has been unsettling for me and my Blackbaud colleagues. Please trust me when I say that our commitment to grantmaking – and to our corporate, foundation and public charity customers – has never been greater than it is in 2018, and beyond. Allow me to explain…
As we wrote about right here in this blog last September, grantmaking is changing. The ways in which nonprofits and other change-making organizations receive funding have expanded: donations from individuals based on social media campaigns, investments from billionaires, and massive crowdfunding days like Giving Tuesday. Both funders and recipients are under tremendous scrutiny and must therefore amplify their reporting capabilities, provide clear goals, and be accountable. As the social sector continues its evolution towards results-focused giving, both grantmakers and nonprofits must rely on new and better technology and services that will streamline both workflows and the ability to measure and share their impact.
Blackbaud’s investment in the future of grantmaking is truly second-to-none. We have invested more in the past 18-months employing over 25 direct software engineers on Blackbaud GrantmakingTM. This doesn’t include the hundreds of Blackbaud engineers, User Interface designers, Product Managers, Security Analysts, etc. that are contributing to the underlying services and architecture that are helping to reimagine your experience with Blackbaud Grantmaking in Blackbaud cloud.
Why such a monetary and human investment, you ask?
Because we’ve known for years that the key player in the future of grantmaking – at organizations large and small – is an outstanding technological platform that goes beyond a one-to-one relationship; it’s one that facilitates relationships with entire communities of partners, beyond the walls of your office. These new Blackbaud cloud-based solutions will offer unparalleled efficiencies and collaboration opportunities: one platform to search for and identify potential grantees who will help drive your mission, one consistent way to more easily collaborate with your internal and external partners and one configurable way to see the impact of your grantmaking. Blackbaud has made this possible with Blackbaud SKYTM, our platform powering social good cloud innovation, and offering world-class availability and security. The cloud provides one, integrated system, with the same interface throughout all platforms.
GIFTS Online is now Blackbaud GrantmakingTM
Blackbaud Grantmaking evolved from GIFTS Online – as a result of listening to the needs and wants of our grantmaking customers to have one technological solution. As results-focused giving becomes the norm, conversations around the desired outcomes of a project are happening before a grant is even awarded. The Outcomes tool in Blackbaud Grantmaking helps facilitate these conversations, by providing clear agreed upon goals. Once the project kicks off, both parties can check on their progress and realign their work accordingly.
Additionally, this impressive, off-the-shelf technology includes real-time dashboards, so you can access the data you need quickly. Integration with third-party products like Microsoft’s Office Suite, and access to hundreds of standard reports amplify your ability to produce detailed information in a fraction of the time you may be spending now.
With a 97% retention rate, our (GIFTS Online) Blackbaud Grantmaking customers are confident that our technology fits the bill – now and for their future needs.
I hope I have dispelled some of the myths and doubts about Blackbaud’s commitment to grantmaking. We do realize that you have choices when it comes to technology and vendor-partners but, please, have no fear that our relationship with you and your organization is not only valuable, but critical to our contribution to the future of grantmaking, fundraising, and philanthropy as a whole.
And when our competitors approach you, and promise you a quick fix to any shortcomings you have experienced with us, please consider…
- They have nowhere near 35 years of experience providing grantmaking and other technology and services.
- They have the trust of perhaps hundreds of nonprofit organizations – not 40,000 of them like Blackbaud.
- They offer you one-moment-in-time customization, with challenging up-keep – not configurability, scalability, and flexibility like us.
- The investments they made in the research and development of their grantmaking solution – and the team of people it took to build it -- is likely small enough that it has a higher likelihood of failure down the road; and this will cause far greater issues for you and their other foundation customers than it will for them!
You requested it. We are delivering it!