Blackbaud's mission is to provide cloud software, services, data intelligence, and expertise that empower and connect people to drive impact for social good. We're committed to innovating, pivoting, and adapting to ensure that customers are successful even through periods of major change. That mission and commitment were on full display during the second virtual, global, three-day 2021 event.  


Award-winning actor, producer, and activist Laura Dern shared details about her work in film, her involvement with several charities, and the ways she and her family have gotten involved and given back over the past year. Actor, director and educator LeVar Burton discussed his lifelong passion for literacy, the importance of storytelling and the role technology can play in connecting us all. Dr. Pippa Grange, author, sports psychologist and culture coach, spoke about how to perform under pressure, overcome fear and avoid burnout. Grammy®-winner Colbie Caillat concluded the conference with an intimate mini-concert, performing hit songs “Bubbly,” “Brighter Than the Sun,” and “Try,” and sharing stories behind her songwriting. 

Blackbaud’s top commitment is helping customers drive more impact. To that end, the company shared several innovations aimed at enabling customers to work more effectively and to reinvent the way they accomplish outcomes and track results. 

Learn more about Blackbaud’s innovation and recent developments at the company’s Product Update Briefings later this month.   

The recently updated Blackbaud Grantmaking experience is making work smoother and more effective, with grantmaking technology now available anywhere via any browser on any device. Powered by Blackbaud SKY UX®, the new interface serves up capabilities from multiple products in one place, connecting fundraising, fund management and grantmaking. Automation capabilities and built-in contact relationship management workflows free up more time to focus on other tasks, all while providing users with a holistic view of the relationships driving their grantmaking.

Many Blackbaud customers rely on accounts receivable—for example, to receive funds from grantors, tuition payments or service fees. Blackbaud is transforming how the social good community manages these functions with new workflows in Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT. Customers will soon be able to generate an invoice with complex distribution line items, send it via email and take payment for that invoice with a credit card or check—all from the same screen.  

With Blackbaud's recently launched Payment Terminal, organizations with in-person visitors can now receive secure, contactless chip and tap payments for tickets and donations via an integrated experience between Blackbaud Altru® and Blackbaud Merchant Services™. Not only does this help organizations welcome visitors more safely, but payment processing is three times faster than with magnetic swipe devices. In addition, users can conveniently reconcile Payment Terminal transactions with any other transactions made via Blackbaud Merchant Services. 

With the Blackbaud Marketplace, customers have access to an open platform that connects Blackbaud software to the rest of their tech stack and extends the software with additional capabilities. The Blackbaud Marketplace has seen more than 150% growth since its launch, and over 6,400 organizations have already utilized a marketplace offering to help them work smarter. Blackbaud has created more tools enabling its ecosystem of 5,500 external developers to create new capabilities that extend Blackbaud solutions. In addition, Blackbaud is helping more people act as developers with no-code or low-code tools such as the Microsoft Power Platform connector, which allows users to build automated workflows using SKY API®.

Blackbaud’s Intelligence for Good® approach combines unmatched data, sector-specific expertise, artificial intelligence and robust analytic methodologies—all optimized to enable social good organizations to achieve their most important outcomes. With data intelligence capabilities embedded in Blackbaud software, customers receive actionable constituent insights and benchmarking tools that enable data-driven decisions in order to optimize fundraising programs and move their mission forward. Blackbaud announced that it will introduce a new search experience powered by Blackbaud SKY® early next year in Blackbaud Giving Search—the world’s most robust searchable database of philanthropic giving. In addition, Blackbaud will release a new wave of data intelligence capabilities in 2022 focused on delivering AI-powered predictions within Blackbaud solutions, starting with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT® and expanding to other Blackbaud software in the future.  

With the growth in online giving, optimizing donor experience and reducing the cost of online transactions is mission critical for social good organizations. Blackbaud announced the U.S. launch of Giving Checkout, an easy-to-use, standalone donation button that can be used by any nonprofit organization, featuring Complete Cover, a powerful new model that covers the full cost of processing, so that social good organizations receive 100% of their donor’s gift. With Complete Cover, Blackbaud empowers donors to choose at checkout if they want to contribute to processing costs. This donor coverage is optional, but Blackbaud will cover the processing costs no matter what the donor decides—so organizations receive free processing for every donation. Blackbaud previously released Giving Checkout with Complete Cover on its JustGiving® platform in the U.K., testing the model across more than 20 million donations totaling over $1 billion. Giving Checkout with Complete Cover is now available to U.S. organizations, with additional markets to follow. Blackbaud plans to expand the Complete Cover model to additional products, transaction types and countries in the future as feedback is received.  

Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Blackbaud has made its entire curriculum of recorded Blackbaud University basic eLearning courses available for free to all customers. Last year alone, this community logged more than 260,000 training hours—the equivalent of more than 30 years of training, learning and professional growth. On average, customers who complete Blackbaud University instructor-led courses report increasing fundraising by 15% and saving six hours per week due to increased efficiency. There were more than 13,000 new Blackbaud Certified® recognitions granted last year.

bbcon has a tradition of giving back as a community. This year, Blackbaud partnered with Goodera to bring virtual volunteering opportunities to bbcon attendees to benefit underserved children and people living with disabilities. bbcon participants recorded audiobooks for Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, which works with hospitalized children. In addition, attendees learned sign language and recorded messages of hope, supporting Unitopia, and organization that works with children with neurodiversity.

“I love that bbcon was virtual again this year,” said Heather Flynn, Director of Development Operations, Covenant House California. “It is so accessible and equitable as a free, virtual event, especially for human services nonprofits who can’t always afford to send multiple people. My entire team was able to participate and share in the knowledge offered at this amazing conference. This year, bbcon offered several sessions centered on wellness—something very relevant and timely for our sector. Thank you Blackbaud for your thoughtfulness and inclusivity!”

“This was my third bbcon, and my second time attending virtually,” said Tracey Curran, Data Manager, Abertay University. “Blackbaud once again pulled out all the stops to provide a fantastic experience for attendees, with lots of opportunities for networking along with really interesting speakers. It was great to hear everyone’s experiences over this past year and what lies ahead for the coming year.” 

bbcon 2021 Virtual content will be available for on-demand replay for anyone who registers before November 8. Blackbaud would like to thank its bbcon 2021 Virtual presenting sponsor Microsoft, and platinum sponsors Cause and Solution Inc., Omatic Software and PairSoft.